So here we are, the last real football Sunday till next September….damn that gets depressing to think about…good thing I’ve fallen in love with Netflix and my hockey leagues or I’d really be losing my sh!t about no NHL this year, but I’m not….sorry this is a little late….I was having a father/son (and half-sister) moment watching Ted and all the special features on it last night….Oh Theresa….OH MY…anyway….the AFC is settled in the playoffs this year, but the NFC is still a nice hot mess to sort out and we say goodbye to a lot of anti-football heroes this week as well….always a good time to sit back and reflect as our beloved anti-football goes away for nine long long months…..
And just for the hell of it….I dug up my pre-season records and predictions just to see how AWFUL it was…enjoy:
49ers: 11-5, Seattle: 9-7, Arizona: 6-10, St Louis: 4-12
Atlanta: 11-5, Saints: 9-7, Carolina: 8-8, Tampa: 3-13
GB: 12-4, Bears: 10-6, Lions: 7-9, Vikings: 3-13
NYG: 10-6, Dallas: 9-7, Phi: 7-9, Redskins: 6-10
Denver: 10-6, KC: 9-7, SD: 8-8, Oak: 5-11
Hou: 11-5, Ind: 7-9, Ten: 6-10, Jax: 4-12
Bal: 11-5, Pit: 9-7, Cin: 9-7, Cle: 4-12
Pats: 11-5, Bills: 10-6, NYJ: 5-11, Mia: 4-12
Sunday Dec. 30:
NY Jets at Bills:
And what better way to start and reflect on that then these two teams?? (OK maybe I should have started with Jax and Ten, but whatever)….Mark Sanchez gets back under center with the chalupa….that always makes the game more amusing since him and Fitzpatrick are good for 1.5 turnovers per possession (yes I exaggerate), but I had a moment of GENIUS last night on how to fix the Tim Tebow thing for the Jets…it’s simple and amazing if you ask me….and you should….let’s get lil TimmUHAY to run out to Hollywood and star in a Flash Gordon reboot!!! (if you saw Ted you know my inspiration for this)…as for the game, the Bills are better and healthier and they LOVE that end of season “we’ll be better next year” tease….and to ruin draft position with an empty week 17 win….though watch Sanchez channel his inner Joe Montana and get a five year extension….we can dream people…..
Game Quality: **
NY Giants at Eagles:
What a rarity….we get the Giants and Jets on at the SAME time….heh…..this game actually has a LOT on the line….Giant playoff prayers aside, Michael Vick is also getting the start with Nick Foles beat up…..this might be a BIG thing in a lot of ways….first of all, Vick is trying out to show he still can to the entire league, that’s HUGE…not to mention he can run and dance around the Giant Front Four…. fun fact….the Giants are 5-15 the last 3 (or 4 I forget) seasons when they get less then 2 sacks from their front four….I’m really torn on this….a healthy, rested Vick playing for his football life is gonna be a driven one….the Giants D has been pretty bad of late and the offense not much better….the Eagles did almost pick off Washington last week…*ugh*…though it seems the way of the world, I expect the Giants to win, have three team planes crash, back into the playoffs and make my life miserable again….and it seems the more I believe in them, the harder they fall…..
Game Quality: ** ¾ (Vick makes this fascinating)
Carolina at Saints:
…the Saints have to feel good about themselves…two big wins in a row, a 7-4 run to wash away the 0-4 start…Drew Brees trying to break his own passing yards record (really this is getting absurd with the passing yards crap) and now Sean Peyton gets an extension….the Saints have a lot to look ahead to next year….but the Saints are chasing another record….total yards allowed in a season is (6,793) set in 1981 by the Baltimore Colts, the Saints are only 575 yards from this anti-record too….it’s possible….Carolina’s been playing good ….winners of 4 out of 5, and showing improvement in both defense and some consistency on offense….this game really is a toss-up….and sometimes you just gotta go on instinct (can’t call it a gut feeling no more, the gut’s gone)….but I like Carolina and I like them going 7-9 and ending the year with some progress…..
Game Quality: **
Tampa Bay at Atlanta:
Tampa Bay is in a total (and delightful and well-deserved) free-FALL….while Atlanta is just cranking things up for the playoffs, after owning the Giants and tossing aside the Lions….Atlanta might take their foot off the gas here and make this closer then it should be….I don’t think they should…one week off is tough enough to come back from, they should go all out here and pound on team Schiano (no this isn’t my I hate Rutgers crap again, every time a team takes their foot off the gas, they never find the damn pedal again)….this should be a delightful drubbing…can we start a Schiano watch?? I’d enjoy that…TAKE A KNEE…TAKE A KNEE!!!!!
Game Quality: **
Chicago at Lions:
While it’s true that the Bears can’t block for crap, the Lions can’t do ANYTHING right (well aside of Calvin Johnson, aside of him Stafford gets the ball equally to everyone, back, TE, WR ….or even defender)….I guess the Lions are generous…but what do you expect from the franchise that went 0-16? “Only” losing 7 in a row gets you a damned extension…amazing….and even his awful coordinators are safe?!?!?! God DAMN….I need a job in the Lion front office….anyway, the Bears have something to play for and the Lions don’t even need worry about their jobs….pad Calvin Johnson’s stats and life is good in Detroit….amazing…..
Game Quality: ** ¾
Jaguars at Titans:
What a pile of steaming dog-poo this is….you could combine these two teams and they’d barely cover against the Chiefs….Jake Locker’s been not so good….Chris Johnson’s been eh this year…but there’s not much else on this team….the top receiver was a woeful 62/586 and only 4 TD (in fact no Titan has caught more then 4 TDs this year)….and then there’s the WORSE team….Jacksonville….without MJ-D, this team can’t compete of offense with a Division III team (or Rutgers either to speak on that level) , they don’t even have a 500 yard rusher (wow) , but at least Cecil Shorts has been something for them and pushing for 1,000 yards this year….and only 18 sacks….as a TEAM….my God this will be delightfully HORRIBLE….I need to watch me some of this pile!!!!
Game Quality: anti-football 2.0!
Houston at Indy:
It’s a great story…Chuck Pagano comes back to the team, kicks Leukemia in the face and like I said…it’s feel good and all…but the Colts did go 9-3 without him and there’s something to be said for leaving things alone and not messing with something that’s been working….it does take the pressure off the Colts, though is any team going into the playoffs gonna have less pressure and be on more of a free ride then the Colts? Though as wonderful a story as the Colts have been….this team still has a TON of holes, Andrew Luck has more rushing TDs (5) then all his RB’s combined (4), and if the offense isn’t riding on Luck’s 4100+ yards…they’re gonna struggle….and now they get a pretty pissed off Houston team….a disgusting effort against the Vikings, Arian Foster was beat up, and they didn’t even get beat by an AP effort of DOOM (something I’m not in a forgiving mood about)…and the Colts don’t beat teams that are better then they are……
Game Quality: ** ¾
Browns at Steelers:
I really wanted to pick the Browns here….sweep the Steelers….a little feel-good ending to a season that should have been a bit better then it was….Weedon made some steps, Trent Richardson emerged….and Josh Gordon became a legit home-run threat too…things were actually looking bright in Cleveland (oi), but now Weedon looks out, even Colt McCoy (another guy playing for a job next year), they play tough defense and they did force EIGHT Steeler turnovers last time…and it’s hard to imagine you’re gonna get an “A” effort….a beat-up and aged defense….crappy O-Line….but if Thad Lewis is the Browns QB (yes I had to look it up)….the Browns are DOOOOOMMMMEEEDDD, damn shame a win here would have been a major coup for them…..
Game Quality: ** ½
Baltimore at Bengals:
This game might be repeated next week as well so I don’t expect to see much here….vanilla plays….injured guys rested….the Ravens run D getting trampled on again (though don’t get me started on Ed Reed getting flagged and fined more making a TACKLE….”defenseless” receiver my ass), and the “vaunted” Ravens offense actually SHOWED UP last week…..A Raven win means they host the Colts next week (a good matchup for the Purple Haze)…a loss I’m pretty sure locks up a rematch (I’m not going through the Colt/Bengal tie-breaker crap)….the Bengals got the monkey off their back last week with the Steelers….now they need to get the running game going again, this game’s like predicting a pre-season game….and it’s gonna look like one on TV, I’ll just make a flat-out GUESS here…..
Game Quality: **
Arizona at 49ers:
Oh Arizona, thank you for the free dinner at Grillstone, I’m looking forward to it….your no-block offense did wonders for me and the hundred QBs you ran out there this year…in come the 49ers angry as can be after the 12th man abuse they took last week, the 2-seed on the line, and just a need to take out last week on someone else….and here’s the perfect “get better before the playoffs start” medicine…there’s not much to say here, the Cards are horrid and the Niners NEED this in the worst way……
Game Quality: DUD
Oakland at San Diego:
Now THIS is how you say goodbye to anti-football for a season!!!! No Carson Palmer, and no Matt Leinart couldn’t even beat out Terrell Pryor in practice this week….not to mention the sweet glorious disaster known as the Chargers (2-5 at home, oiii), even their December record is a crappy 2-2 compared to years past…the coach is gone, the GM is gonna get tarred and feathered …but hell that’s STABLE compared to the Raiders, this should be a sweet glorious DISASTER to watch with a tear in my eye….goodbye anti-football, let ye is going out properly and with honor!!!!
Winner: San Diego
Game Quality: more Anti-Football GOLD
Kansas City at Denver:
This season can not end fast enough for the Chiefs (is it too soon to say they’re not going out with a bang? Probably, though I did have an entire stand-up routine of Benoit jokes by the time three weeks had past….whatever)….and add in a Flu Bug on top of everything else….the #1 pick locked up and Denver looking to do what Peyton Manning does best…..dominate the regular season….yeah I’m done here…..
Game Quality: DUD (brutal)
Green Bay at Vikings:
I’m still pissed at Adrian Peterson for last week….the week I needed him the MOST, the week he was all set to line up to break Eric Dickerson’s record and a game they WON and he should have DONE MORE IN….86 yards and no touchdowns…..either send me a $750 check, or just suck this damn week too because if you break Dickerson’s record this week with a 200 yard game a week too late I might punch a small baby in the bar on damned principle….as for Green Bay…a week off with a win gets them a chance to get healthy and more practice time to work Ryan Grant into the mix….Christian Ponder still sucks and has no weapons aside of mister All Day, except Pay Day….just make this quick and painless Green Bay…..
Game Quality: ** (SCREW YOU AP!!)
Miami at New England:
Miami played the pats tough a few weeks ago….then again so did everyone not from Houston….and while the Pats did have a stinker last week in Jacksonville that kinda stuff doesn’t happen twice to the Pats….this has vintage “make a pre-playoff statement” written all over it so all the media type can get all creamy and gooshy about the Pats… Miami does have a chance to end the season 8-8, but I don’t think that matters, regardless of events it’s been a good season for Miami….now to get a RB and a WR or two into the fold and they might be pretty damned competitive next season….
Game Quality: **
St. Louis at Seattle:
Seattle needs this to still have a sniff at the NFC West (but they play the same time as San Fran, so this should be moot by the time the 2nd possession starts)….the Rams have improved on defense especially and won 3 of 4….this task gets a LOT tougher with the ‘Hawks last three games being wins by a combined score of 150-30, and Seattle is undefeated at home….Steven Jackson is considering retirement (and is only 10 yards from another 1,000 yard season) …the Rams have been a nice story this year and being over .500 was a nice dream…it’s not happening….keeping it close against maybe the hottest team in the league (not named Denver) would be a nice way to end the season still….
Game Quality: ** ½
Dallas at Washington:
This is probably the most important football game in Tony Romo’s career, 1-5 in Elimination Games….being in the same boat last year…hell it seems like it’s this way EVERY year in Dallas….not to mention Dumbo’s also only 315 yards away from a 5,000 yard season (again with 3 QBs on pace for it, the league REALLY needs to do something about putting defense back in the damn game)….if Dallas makes the playoffs and Dumbo carries this team in….and over RG3…you can make a heckuva case for Dumbo to be the MVP this year….it won’t be easy though Griffin is still hobbled, Dallas’ D is in SHAMBLES….but still…all of this may have happened before…but sometimes the law of averages does kick in….let a complex system repeat itself long enough and eventually something surprising might occur (now that’s a VAGUE TV reference)…maybe I’m going with the emotional pick, but God knows the guy has taken enough sh!t over his Dallas career and does deserve better…hell the Skins could still slide in….they might play again next week even….but still, I think Romo rises up in the big moment like he’s done most of this season and finds a way……
Game Quality: ****
NFL Final Power Rankings:
- Denver…. Just in time for the bye week to cool off
- Houston…Losing to Minnesota was a MAJOR red flag though
- New England…nice to see they can beat Jacksonville at half-speed
- Indianapolis….Does Pagano coming back prove more distraction then help?
- Cincinatti….the monkey at last off their back, now go beat a “better” team….
- NY Giants…until they are eliminated and DEAD DEAD DEAD I ain’t buyin
- Seattle…not only beating up the league, but Goodell in appeals!
- Green Bay…would never lose if all games were in-division…..
- 49ers….I don’t think Joe Montana could have pulled off last week….
- Atlanta….beat the Lions….*yawn*