There are certain times in history where everyone remembers where they were. JFK’s assassination, 9/11, and the scene where Kimberly showed her freaky brain surgery scar on Melrose Place to name a few. But do you understand that this week, just by being a football fan, you’ve been a part of something so historical, so important, that the sport itself will never be the same?
Between BCS bowl games (basically, the college football championships) and this weekend’s four playoff games, a few words come to mind. Words like –
STUNNING. UNBELIEVEABLE. SHOCKING. THRILLING.
That’s right, fans. I am going to go out on a limb and say we are witnessing the best football played during any time in history. Period. So put that in your e-cigarette and smoke it, Jenny McCarthy.
If we get into the last-minute finishes of all of these college games, it could take hours and totally distract us from our mission of immersing ourselves in NFL goodness. So let’s do a quick recap of last week and move ahead to this week’s matchups.
A few important observations –
1) It’s like 75 degrees in California, the rest of the world is literally frozen, and all I want to do it is sit inside and watch more football. Insane…or inspired? Football will be over in a month, people, and the beach will always be there.
2) New England QB Tom Brady pushes his dog in a stroller. Nuff said.
3) We never, repeat never, turn off the tv during a playoff game. My Colts came back from a 28-point deficit to beat the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend. Their chance of victory with 29 minutes left in the game was ONE PERCENT.
We watched four games, and three of the four provided exciting, last-minute finishes. The visiting team won in three of four games and the underdog won in three of four games. What does this tell us going into this week? Anything can and will happen.
So grab your Beast Burger and fries, or your beer slushy if you happen to live in the Midwest, and get educated about this week’s games –
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks – Saturday
What a difference a week makes. Just last Friday, you were telling your man “No way New Orleans wins on the road…have you seen their road record?”. However, they marched into Philly and got the job done, so suddenly they’re back in contention. I will tell you this – Seattle is probably the best NFC team and this season DESTROYED the Saints in a previous home game. We all know Seattle is one of the hardest places to play because of their extra loud fans. However, this could be a classic case of overconfidence – a “letdown” game is one of the biggest pitfalls in football. So watch this one with extra intensity…I am thinking an upset could be in the works.
Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots – Saturday
By all accounts, the Patriots are not as good as they have been in the past, but certainly find a way to win games as evidenced by several last-minute comebacks throughout the season. However, Andrew Luck has captained more comebacks than any other young QB and despite a very mediocre surrounding cast on offense, not to mention a defense that can play hit-or-miss, the fact that this team can pull it out against good teams is almost a miracle. Of course, they will need a miracle to beat Brady and Belichick (Coach) at home during the playoffs. Whatever happens, two can’t miss post-game events are Jim Irsay’s (Colts owner) Tweets where he dishes on everyone from coaches to former players, and Bill Belichick’s press conference, where he gives Grumpy Old Men a sequel each and every week, win or lose.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers – Sunday
After a slow start to the season, Kaepernick has once again emerged as a running threat at QB (see previous columns for how to talk intelligently about the read option), but he faces another upstart field general Sunday in the form of Panthers’ Cam Newton. Both have a signature TD move – Kaepernick’s bicep kiss and Newton’s Superman shirt tear – that I think is slightly narcissistic, but when you’re winning, you do whatever works.
If Chad Henne of the Jaguars did it, then you could criticize. In any case, the Panthers are on a tear this season and their defense is stout, but look for 49ers players like tight end Vernon Davis to prove the saying “big players make big plays in big games”. I predict a tight game with the 49ers victorious.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos – Sunday
A few weeks ago, the Chargers’ chance of making the playoffs stood at 4.31%. They are now into the second round and looking good, although one could argue that the Bengals beat themselves more than got beat last week. In any case, they won at Denver a few weeks ago by playing their best game, while the Broncos, arguably the best team in football and factually the best offense that ever played the game, came out flat. For that scenario to happen twice, the odds are…well…about 4.31%. So, in other words, the Chargers definitely could do it. I say the Broncos aren’t allowing another stunning playoff defeat like last year, and they play strong for the win. But again…don’t underestimate the power of the bolo tie.
So I hope you understand, we are living in interesting times and if your favorite team is a part of it, all the better. Get thyself to a TV and watch some history in the making.