NFL: World Cup Style

Pool play and single elimination with today’s rosters

by Three Point Stance Managing Editor Brandon Rush | @BrandonRush |

With the FIFA World Cup set to begin this week, I thought it would be fun to try to set up a 32 team bracket with pool play to determine an NFL offseason champion. A blind draw for pools, predicted matchups, and results with team rosters as of today would determine the winners.

First, the draw (literally pulled team names out of a hat):
Group A
Indianapolis Colts
Atlanta Falcons
Seattle Seahawks
Miami Dolphins

Group B
New York Giants
Denver Broncos
Philadelphia Eagles
Cleveland Browns

Group C
New Orleans Saints
Green Bay Packers
Carolina Panthers
Buffalo Bills

Group D
Los Angeles Chargers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Los Angeles Rams
Baltimore Ravens

Group E
Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans
Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings

Group F
Washington Redskins
Pittsburgh Steelers
Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys

Group G
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Arizona Cardinals

Group H
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers

Now for those unfamiliar with the World Cup format, every team plays every other team in their group one time. Teams earn three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero for a loss. Top two teams in each Group advance to the knockout stage. Winner of Group A plays the runner up of Group B, runner up of A plays winner of B, Winner of C plays runner up of D and so on.

We accepted bribes to have the games hosted in the median center of the US Population, Plato, Missouri, making the Kansas City Chiefs the “host nation”.

Now, the games:
Group A
Atlanta beats Indy – No Andrew Luck, no chance. Even if he IS there, that team is not great
Seattle beats Miami – Miami is a mess again

Atlanta beats Miami – Dolphins Outclassed
Seattle beats Indy – Close, but talent wins out

Atlanta beats Seattle – Battle down to the last possession
Miami beats Indy – meh
Atlanta wins Group A, Seattle runner up Group A

Group B
Denver beats Giants – Case Keenum > Eli Manning
Philly beats Cleveland – Super Bowl Champs roll

Philly beats Denver – Keenum gets another chance with his new team but not enough to win
Cleveland beats Giants – Browns roster is better 1-53

Philly beats Cleveland – Philly sleepwalks and almost stumbles, but Browns competitive
Denver beats Giants – Low scoring game
Philly wins Group B, Denver runner up Group B

Saints beat Packers – New Orleans on the good side of a Hail Mary, Packers on the wrong side. For once.
Panthers beat Bills – Cam and company too strong

Saints beat Panthers – Slugfest, Saints win in the end
Packers beat Bills – Packers outclass Buffalo, but the tailgating is epic

Packers beat Panthers – Slugfest, Rodgers to Graham to win late
Saints beat Bills – Blowout
Saints win Group C, Packers runner up Group C

Group D
Jaguars beat Chargers – Chargers lose late, again.
Rams beat Ravens – Rams offense just too good

Rams beat Jaguars – Jags offense can’t keep up
Chargers beat Ravens – Joe Flacco has no weapons

Rams beat Chargers – BATTLE OF LA
Jaguars beat Ravens – Sacksonville smothers Baltimore
Rams win Group D, Chargers earn runner up in Group D due to point differential. 

Group E
Titans beat Texans – Titans playoff experience pays off
Vikings beat Bengals – Low scoring, but Kirk Cousins outplays Andy Dalton

Vikings beat Titans – Tight game, goes to the last possession
Texans beat Bengals – Deshaun Watson lights up Cincy

Vikings beat Texans – Team that has the ball last wins
Titans beat Bengals – Matchup nightmare for the Bengals secondary
Vikings win Group E, Titans runner up Group E

Group F
Steelers beat Redskins – Washington has no offensive weapons
Raiders beat Cowboys – Tight game, Raiders offseason pickups prove to help

Steelers beat Raiders – Big Ben’s late game experience wins out
Cowboys beat Redskins – Tradition

Steelers beat Cowboys – Zeke wins battle versus Le’Veon, but team loses
Raiders beat Redskins – GRUDEN ON GRUDEN CRIME
Steelers win Group F, Raiders runner up Group F

Group G
Patriots beat Bucs – No one suspended for New England
Cardinals beat Jets – Low scoring affair

Patriots beat Jets – Tradition
Cardinals beat Bucs – David Johnson scores on a run, catch, and return

Patriots beat Cardinals – Roster talent and depth wins out
Bucs beat Jets – Darnold ready, rest of the team isn’t
Patriots win Group G, Cardinals runner up Group G

Group H
Bears beat Lions – Staffords best years behind him, Bears on the come up
49ers beat Chiefs – JIMMY VS MAHOMMES = EPIC

49ers beat Lions – JIMMY G DA GOD
Chiefs beat Bears – Shootout won by Tyreek Hill, late

Bears beat 49ers – IN MITCH THEY TRUST
Chiefs beat Lions – Blowout
Three teams go 2-1 in pool play but 49ers win Group H on point differential, Bears runner up on point differential

Group A winner vs Group B runner up

Atlanta beats Denver – Denver’s defense up to the task, but too much Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones

Group C winner vs Group D runner up
Saints beat Chargers – Chargers are game, but get knocked out by their former leader and quarterback Drew Brees

Group E winner vs Group F runner up
Vikings beat Raiders – Back and forth game, Gruden takes too many chances and fails

Group G winner vs Group H runner up
New England beats Chicago – Brady not ready to hand the torch over just yet

Group B winner vs Group A runner up
Eagles beat Seattle – Game of the tournament so far, Eagles defense creates turnover late to seal win

Group D winner vs Group C runner up
Packers beat Rams – Shootout, Aaron Rodgers bests the far superior Los Angeles defense

Group F winner vs Group E runner up
Steelers beat Titans – Down to the wire, Roethlisberger leads down the field to set up game winning FG

Group H winner vs Group G runner up
49ers beat Cardinals – Field Goal fest, 49ers win in overtime

Saints beat Atlanta – Too much Kamara, Saints win on late TD to advance

Patriots beat Vikings – Vikings turn it over early, never recover

Eagles beat Green Bay – Packers get bullied, no late game heroics for ARod this time around

Steelers beat 49ers – San Francisco’s defense can’t get off the field, gets pushed around by the Steelers offensive line

Saints beat Patriots – Patriots defense has nothing left in the tank, Brees rolls

Eagles beat Steelers – The battle for Pennsylvania goes to the Eagles, Philly looking to pull the SB/Cup double.

Patriots beat Steelers – Tradition

The NFC Championship game we should have got in January plays out in the NFL Cup.

An absolute track meet, Philly’s defense plays well early holding a three point lead at the half, but Drew Brees playing some of the best football of the second half of his career, leads New Orleans to a NFL Cup title.

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