Monday, December 31, 2012

football's best three weeks

As far as football goes, there's nothing I like better than the NFL's Wild Card Weekend, Divisional Playoffs, and Conference Championships. The best three weeks in football, in my opinion. I enjoy those games better than the Super Bowl.

Plenty of intrigue for this weekend's Wild Card games:

Minnesota (10-6) at Green Bay (11-5). Two great franchises. The Packers are the NFC North champs. These teams split two games in December, including Sunday's 37-34 win by the Vikings at Minnesota. "Run it back one mo' time," as they used to say in my old neighborhood after pick-up games.

Seattle (11-5) at Washington (10-6). Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. RGIII and Alfred Morris. The Seahawks seem to have the better team, but the 'Skins, winners of the NFC East, have home field, not to mention Griffin the 3rd.

Cincinnati (10-6) at Houston (12-4). Two teams with a lot of question marks and a lot to prove. Can the Texans pass defense hold up? Well, it was good enough to help them finish atop the AFC South this season. The Bengals have rolled to seven wins in their last eight games.

Indianapolis (11-5) at Baltimore (10-6). Colts return to the city of the old Colts. Andrew Luck vs. the Ravens defense, probably sans Ray Lewis. The surprising Colts have won 5 of their last 6 and nine of their last eleven. The Ravens, winners of the AFC North, are M.A.L.'s favorite team, although I remain hopeful that I can convert him to being a Raiders fan.

Awaiting the winners of those match-ups: Division champs Denver (13-3), New England (12-4), San Francisco (11-4-1), and Atlanta (13-3). The Broncos have won 11 straight, longest active winning streak in the NFL. Tom Brady always makes the Patriots a threat to win it all.  It'll be interesting to see how Niners QB Colin Kaepernick performs in the playoffs. The Falcons haven't been great against the run; that could hurt them, because they'll have to face either the Vikings and Adrian Peterson, the Redskins and Alfred Morris, or the Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch. Atlanta also finished near the bottom of the league in rushing yards per game on offense. Still, they finished with the NFC's best record.

No predictions from here, as the NFL playoffs are notoriously unpredictable. Pulling for either the 49ers or the Seahawks to win it all.

No comments: