Meanwhile, in the NFC, everyone is struggling to determine a favorite. Len Pasquerelli actually gave the title to the Eagles of all teams. That's how nutty this season is, a team missing their best player is the NFC favorite, according to ESPN's senior NFL writer. Meanwhile, everyone's favorite after week 10, the Cowboys, are suddenly playing like a Drew Bledsoe QB'd team...wait a sec, they still have "The great Tony Romo" as their QB, right? Does anyone think, that maybe, just maybe, we were a little quick to annoit Romo as the next Brady? As Romo just won a couple middle of the regular season games to become a pro-bowl QB, while Brady won a Super Bowl to do the same? Seems like a little bit of a rush to judgement...but we've never rushed to judge anything, have we. Nope, not us, the American sports fan, we're always level headed, and make the right choices. Um, that was sarcasm folks.
To prove the nuttiness this year, everyone is counting out a 13-3 team, because their QB is either player of the week good, or couldn't get work in the Arena league bad. Not to mention the fact that the backup QB that everyone has been calling for, came out and played a terrible game against a terrible pass Defense. Ah, being a Bears fan right now is a little confusing. I want to believe they will make it to the Super Bowl, and I'll cheer my lungs out for them to do so...but at the same time, my head hurts from watching the last few outings they have had. Which team will show up? The team that slaughtered the Seahawks? Or the team that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the Cards? Or the team that looked lost against the Dolphins? Or the team that played flat against the Packers? All I have to say, is get ready for a hell of a post season ride...it's about to get crazier.
On the topic of the Super Bowl...I'll be there this year!! Have the opportunity to fulfill a life long dream, and I'm going to take it...even if the Bears don't make it, I'll be at the Super Bowl, taking in the grandeur that is the NFL. And don't worry, I'll keep all of you up to date on the goings on...even if it's just "Flight was delayed, stuck in airport for another hour. Just ate my 12th bag of peanuts." Yeah, I'll make sure that anything of interest, and some things that aren't, are recorded here.
Well, enough about all that, let's take a look at these Wild Card games....
Kansas City at Indianapolis
Here's a game that actually confuses the crap out of me....
A 12-4 team against a 9-7 team...you'd think the outcome was pretty straight forward. But look at the following things...
The Colts are 3-4 since starting 9-0. Three of those loses came against non-playoff teams. Not really an inspiring string of events.
The Chiefs are 2-3 over their last 5 games...getting pounded by Baltimore and San Diego (the cream of the NFL) before winning their last 2 against the pathetic Raiders and the sinking Jags...also not all that inspiring.
The Colts Run defense allowed 4.4 yards per carry...only 4 teams allowed a worse average, and all of those teams missed the playoffs. Kansas City brings in the 9th best rushing offense into this game, along with a workhorse back, and a coach that loves to just keep pounding the ball.
The Chiefs pass defense is 30th in the league in yards allowed. And Indy brings in the #2 passing offense.
Herm Edwards is known throughout the league as someone that hasn't even read "Clock Management for Dummies", and routinely plays the crucial last minutes of a game with his hands wrapped around his throat.
Tony Dungy is known throughout the league as someone that has never won the big game in the post season...not in his years in Minnesota (as D coordinator), in Tampa or in Indy has he ever won the big game in the post season. You can pretty much set your watch to his team exiting the playoffs early.
These teams match up so perfectly, you'd think they met on Match.com. But out of all this mess, who is going to win this game?
Neither Defense in this game is really going to put up a fight. This game is not going to be a defensive struggle. You'll cheer the offense in this game, and cringe when you focus on the plays made by the D. You'll see some of the worst displays of tackling ever. Any good defensive plays, I can assure you, will be made by accident. The key to this game will not come from the Defense...so let's focus on the 2 offensive stars...
Larry Johnson set a record for most carries in a season. Herm, following the tried and true method that killed Earl Campbell's career, has decided that he's not going to be around long enough to see LJ fall apart, so he's just going to ride this horse till his legs fall off. And then jump ship and go coach some second-tier College program. LJ has been pretty darn consistent this year, and any season by a RB that ends with over 1700 yards, and 17 TDs... that's a good season. But 416 carries? Jeez. Larry is gong to get his in this game, there is no question about that. The Colts D is just too sad, and LJ is just too good...but this guy's career is going to be shortened because of this workload, mark my words. And he can thank Herm for it when he's icing knees that barely work anymore.
Did you know that Peyton threw for 4300 yards and 31 TDs and only 9 picks? Yes, if you had him on your fantasy team you knew that...but man, that is a damn good season, and totally under the radar...at least in my book it was. It's become a typical Manning season, so no one really is all that impressed. It's crazy when a player reaches that level. And he hasn't really had a bad game this year. If you look over his game by game stats, there isn't a game where you go, "Good god, what was he smoking that week". I guess, I sort of expect those games having followed Rex all year...but not Peyton....he just keeps plugging away...
Mr. Peeps has been preparing for the playoffs all week. He's read everything he can get his hands on, from SI to Sporting News to the Physics of Football to Hustler. He has read everything that relates in any way to the games this weekend...whether a Chimp can understand any of what he's read is another matter, but he's ready. He's also been doing shots of Everclear every hour, and chasing them with Jack and Cokes...so I'm dealing with a very drunk monkey here. Looking over at the drunken, mangy mess...jeez...he's been ready for this one...he's got on a Colts hat, with official Motorola headset, standing arms folded, just like a certain Mr. Dungy. Colts win this one, as too much Manning and too little Pass D spells doom for the Chiefs.
Dallas at Seattle
Okay, so I predicted that Seattle would miss the playoffs...that was wrong....I over estimated the 49ers chances at winning out...but still this Hawks team is not striking fear in anyone's heart.
For that matter, neither is this ‘Boys team.
Since the Romosexual's big "breakout" game against Tampa...whether one can have a breakout game against a terrible team is another matter...in which he threw for over 300 yards and 5 TDs...he's thrown for 6 TDs and 8 Ints. Yuck. Not to mention that in the first 6 games, he was sacked a total of 8 times, but in the last 5 he was planted in the turf 13 times. Including 4 times by the pathetic Lions. Not all the blame for the sacks is on Romo, but from the numbers, it seems teams have figured this guy out. The last 3 playoff teams that he has faced...he had a rating below 60 against all of them. That's not Rex-Bad, but it's not good either. A Pro-Bowl QB should play his best against the best.
Meanwhile, their once stout Defense has played some awful games of late. Over the last 4 games, the Boys are 1-3 and have allowed an average of 33 points a game. Not good. Opposing QBs have a 107 QB rating on first downs against them.
The news for the Hawks D isn't that much better. I think they might have signed Night Train Lane to play DB for them, and he's dead. Everyone in the secondary is injured. They're 1-3 over their last 4 games as well, and allowed over 20 points in every loss. This D was supposed to be better than the one that got to the Super Bowl last year...but that doesn't seem to be the case.
What about the offense? Over that same 4 game stretch, the offense has only managed 3 TDs in 1 game. This is not the high powered offense of last year, where Alexander was running rough shot over everyone, and Hasselbeck was picking apart defenses. But they are all finally healthy, and the line is finally staring to shape up...
Here's the thing, the Boys are having a terrible time generating any kind of pass rush, and their safeties are HORRIBLE in pass coverage. The Hawks have 4 good WRs (Jackson, Branch, Burleson, Hackett) that will force the safeties to have to play pass coverage. Look for some big plays out of the Hawks offense. But what does Mr. Peeps have to say about this?
Mr. Peeps? Where are you? Holy crap...jeez...things you don't need to see in life...a slightly overweight, and very drunk Chimp in a full body speedo suit...in Seahawk green. Man, he looks like he should be a speedskater. Looks like the drunk one is taking the Hawks...they roll over the Boys, and the Big Tuna leaves to fill his time getting even fatter.
NY Jets at New England
To play the same team in 3 times in the same season is rare in the NFL. But we get 2 such games this weekend. They are very intriguing matchups, as neither team holds the clear upper hand.
The Jets-Pats matchup is interesting cause it's been very heated this year. There is some bad blood between these teams, besides the normal division rivals stuff. Belichick thought Mangenuis left too early and hated that he went to the Jets. To fuel that fire, the Mangenuis had the gall to beat the Unabomber at home. There's a little Obi-Wan vs Anikan angst here...and yes, I know that was a totally dorky thing to say, but damn it, I couldn't come up with a better teacher-student analogy. But I went with a pretty standard reference, I didn't mention some obscure fact about Jawas, or how Sand people can only mate through the use of a strange tube called a "Fractuilizer".
Ah, Ha! Caught you! See what I did there? I made up a completely BS Star Wars thing there, to get one side of the room saying, "you stupid dork" while getting the other side of the room to go "That's not true, there is no such thing as a fractuilizer!" I will now return to the regularly scheduled sports article...and no, I don't know any obscure facts about Jawas...but I work in the tech industry, you have to work with people that know these things...guys like this...
I know I've mentioned this before, I think Belichick, and Brady both know that the real time to shine is in the playoffs. They've been a little up and down this year, one week looking awesome, the next looking shaky. While I don't think this is the same team that won 3 rings...I do think they are a good team that is saving its best punches for the right time. I think Obi-Wan was doing a lot of tinkering, and experimenting...trying to get the right combination of everything...not letting too much slip...just waiting for his moment...
But I think Mangenuis suspects that as well...it's one of those "he knows that I know that he knows that I know" moments.
My thinking on this game, it's going to be a classic. A hard fought, back and forth game. I don't think the Jets have enough to get it done, and I think the Master is saving a few tricks...
Looking over at the drunk chimp that is now pissing in the corner of my family room...Damn it Mr. Peeps, my daughter plays in this room! Yes, honey, the monkey is going pee-pee. Yes, he's making a mess. No, let's not hit him with the bat...oh, crap....toddler-chimp fight....wow, a souvenir baseball bat to the head really slows a drunk Chimp down. Hold on, need to break this up, before Drunky McChimp gets killed.
After reviving Mr. Peeps with some smelling salts, and escorting my daughter back over to her new Kitchen play set...Mr. Peeps is standing in the corner with a Pats hoody, hood pulled up, hiding his face...yeah, he thinks Belichick has some tricks up his sleeve...Pats roll, Jets need to find some real playmakers in the offseason.
NY Giants at Philadelphia
The Eagles are on a roll...and the Giants are in suspended animation until the offseason...
Have a guess who I'm going to pick here?
Before we chat with Mr. Peeps, let me say...
I can't wait for the offseason for both of these teams. The Eagles will have to deal with the whole "Garcia led us to the playoffs and to the X game" and if McNabb falters in any way...man, the Philly fans will be freaking out. Heaven help McNabb if the Eagles have the gall to win the Super Bowl without him...man, wouldn't that be totally nuts? If the Bears lose, I'll be rooting for this to happen, just to see what happens.
Meanwhile, the Giants...man, there are going to be some fireworks there. They'll need a new coach, a new running back, a new Defense, and depending on how bad the mental damage is, a new QB. It's just nuts how this team has just fallen. Coughlin will not coach again in the NFL, and if he does, whoever hires him is probably named Millen.
Looking over at Mr. Peeps...ah, you know he's been drinking...he's shoveling Philly Cheesesteaks into his mouth, he's halfway through what looks to be his 4th. Dumb Chimp. Looks like the Eagles fly away win this one, let the wacky off-season begin!
A simple note...I got to the end here and realized I took the home team in every game. This season, that isn't s very safe bet...but I just can't see the games having a different outcome. But then again, I look for help on these from a trained, drunk chimp...
Yeah, I'll leave it at that.