Thursday December 23, 2010
Thursday December 23, 2010
Before the season, knowing that Brett Favre would be in a Viking uniform, this matchup was supposed to be heavily favored in the opposite direction. Towards a Minnesota blowout.
Each week of play has told us something different. Last week I got the idea that maybe, just maybe, this Minnesota Vikings team has a chance to excel without Brett Favre in the lineup.
This week, the clear-cut favorites have been discovered. New England’s offense racked up 36 points on Chicago’s stellar defense, clinching the league’s first playoff berth with the victory (11-2). Atlanta extended its win streak to seven games with a 31-10 victory over Carolina. Both teams are Super Bowl favorites coming out of their respected conferences, but Atlanta has a little more competition than New England.
With Seattle, New Orleans and Carolina still left on their plate this season, Atlanta has the potential to snag the NFC South title. New Orleans (10-3) and Tampa Bay (8-5) are both battling for Wild Card spots, but next week’s New Orleans/Atlanta showdown on Monday Night Football may end up being the game of the year, and will without a doubt be pivotal in the race for the division title.
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The NFC West continues to be the laughing stock of the National Football League, with both St. Louis and Seattle at a deadlock for the division lead, both at 6-7. As insane as this sounds, San Francisco is still very much alive in the chase, just one game behind at 5-8. Arizona isn’t statistically eliminated, either, with a record of 4-9.
The battle for the Wild Card will be a wild one for sure, with New Orleans (10-3) Philadelphia/New York (both 9-4), Green Bay (8-5) and Tampa Bay (8-5) all jockeying for two spots.
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The AFC playoff picture isn’t much clearer than the NFC’s, as the second-place teams in all four divisions are just a game behind the leader as we hit the final three weeks of the regular season.
The Colts and Jets continue to crumble: Indy is 2-3 in their last five games, New York is on a two-game losing streak. New York, 9-4, is still very much in the Wild Card hunt as long as they win two of their final three games, but Indy will be battling for their playoff hopes against Jacksonville this Sunday. If the Jags–current AFC South leader with 8-5 record–defeat Peyton and Co., they will likely end the season with their first division title since 1999.
After a quick start to the season, Kansas City has hit a few bumps in the road. At 8-5, they are still the West’s leader, but San Diego (4-1 in last five games) is breathing down their necks, just one game behind Kansas City. Matt Cassel’s appendectomy, which caused him to miss last week’s game against San Diego, was a huge setback, but if he’s back in the lineup this week expect the Chiefs to recover.
Miami (7-6), Oakland (6-7) and Houston/Tennessee (5-8) shouldn’t be ruled out of the playoff hunt, either.
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Lucky for us, all four of the AFC’s divisions will likely be decided in the final week. If we’re lucky, maybe the NFC will turn out that way as well.
Brian Urlacher and Tom Brady: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Maurice Jones-Drew: AP Photo/Stephen Morton
In the middle of a heated NFC North battle with the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers experienced a setback in yesterday’s game.
It’s amazing what you learn from Twitter.
Watching SC and Trent Dilfer is talking bad on how Peyton Manning is playing as of late! In his wildest dream could never ever do the things
And later on that day:
Peyton does on the field. Good or bad! People get on TV and think they can say whatever they want! And it’s always former players! Crazy!!
Some of these athletes have trouble making complete thoughts while tweeting. So he skipped a few words in that second sentence. But basically what he is doing is backing up Peyton, who has a championship ring (unlike Lebron), and is trashing Dilfer’s subpar career…despite his Lombardi winning season with Baltimore in 2000.
Now obviously Dilfer loses some credit for that Super Bowl winning season because of the fact that Baltimore had arguably one of the best defenses in league history that season. But, despite his disappointing 13-year career with five different teams after being picked with the sixth pick in the 1994 draft, Dilfer knows the mechanics and “x’s and o’s” well enough to breakdown what Manning has been doing wrong this season, because obviously he is doing something wrong.
I’m not a Lebron hater whatsoever, in fact my NBA fantasy team was named “Lebron’s Kings” last season. But I don’t agree with him bashing Dilfer. Especially when Dilfer is just doing his job, and didn’t even say anything about Lebron. Instead, he was just letting us viewers know what is up with Peyton this season.
Note: Photo does not belong to me.
With quarterback Jake Delhomme struggling mightily after throwing just eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 11 games, Carolina let him go after the 2009 season. In the draft this past April Carolina used its second round pick to snag Jimmy Clausen, quarterback out of Notre Dame, to try and turn things around in 2010.
When it’s crunch time, the great teams always find a way to get it done. That’s why when the month of December rolls around, the boys are separated from the men.
He made rookie mistakes, and he’s got an entire year on this year’s rookie quarterbacks.
*If the playoffs were to begin this week, like most fantasy leagues, then Atlanta and New England would most definitely be the favorites to be in the Super Bowl.
*Minnesota may be better off with Tarvaris Jackson in the lineup at this point, rather than have Brett Favre’s gunslinging style making numerous mistakes a game. With Jackson in the lineup, the Vikings can control how many times they throw the ball a game a little bit easier than they would if Favre was under center. That way, they can get back to letting Adrian Peterson run freely like they did in the pre-Favre era. Go home, Brett.
*One more thing I learned? Pittsburgh has a great shot at taking the AFC North crown after Troy Polamalu stripped Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco of the ball late in the game, allowing the battered (broken nose, foot and all) Ben Roethlisberger and short-distance back Isaac Redman to put the Steelers ahead. The final was 13-10 as Tomlin’s crew took sole possession of the division.
What’s on our plate for tomorrow: hopefully a much-needed great matchup between two rivals–Indy and Tennessee–whom are both battling for their playoff hopes.
Deion Branch: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Eric Weems: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara
Tarvaris Jackson: AP Photo/Hannah Foslien
Emmanuel Sanders: AP Photo/Nick Wass
Here we are, week 13, with the playoff race getting tighter by the minute. This is when teams have to start proving themselves a contender. What better way to do that then with divisional showdowns. Between today and tomorrow night we will get to see nine of them.
Houston has been very lucky this season? If Peyton Manning wasn’t having an off year they would not have a shot in hell to make the playoffs right now with a 5-6 record (2-2 in division). But, coming off a 20-0 defeat of division rival Tennessee, Houston seems to be on track to put themselves in the middle of the playoff hunt in the South.
American football is pure beauty. Everything about it.
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