by Ryan Meehan
Thursday night Pittsburgh (11-4) destroyed Carolina 27-3, and I had the exact number of points correct for the (2-13) Panthers. Other than that, not a whole lot to see here.
Christmas night Arizona (5-10) won as a result of a missed extra point, showing the lack of discipline that had molded them into the 5-10 team that they are as opposed to the team everybody thought was going to end up hosting the Super Bowl.
The Giants lost to Green Bay, which is fine with me because I don’t want to see New York make the playoffs this year anyway. Of course I’m a fan, but there is no reason any true fan of the league would want to see the Giants make the postseason. A year back, it was easy to make jokes about the G-men shooting themselves in the foot after the Plaxico Burress trial. Now? A bomb could go off in Eli’s mouth, crippling him forever and it still wouldn’t explain the meltdown they’ve had in the last 5 quarters.
I was at my father’s house watching the NYG / Philly game, and I remember how excited I was that the Giants were up 24-3 going into halftime. Pops is a true fan in the sense that he never trusts us even when we’re up, and now I know why more than ever before. That loss WITHOUT QUESTION carried over to the Packers game, and the effects of that afternoon will eventually end up costing Tom Coughlin his job. My Dad is always saying “The Giants don’t deserve to win if they are going to play like this”, but it’s so much more than that this time. I don’t want to see them get to the playoffs now. I really don’t. Seriously, why would anybody want to watch a bunch of guys who consistently take plays off and can’t tackle for shit get a shot at the Super Bowl? And if by some miracle they did get in and hit a hot streak, would it justify not being able to see a team like the Eagles or the Falcons represent the NFC in the big game? Of course it wouldn’t. It’s time to start coach shopping and get someone in charge that the players will actually listen to and respect as opposed to someone in charge that will just rule by blind fear. I realize they won the Super Bowl three years ago with that strategy, but there’s no way they can possibly be able to get away with that again seeing as how most of those guys already have their ring. When they won Super Bowl XXV they had a great punt returner by the name of Dave Meggett, and ever since their special teams have been atrocious. And when you’re paying your quarterback the kind of money that Manning is making, you have to get that guy some fucking field position once in a while if you want his career to last over a decade. Jesus.
The Chicago Bears beat the Jets 38-34 in a wild one at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon. The Bears are in a good spot, because if they win next week they get a bye no matter what as they own the tiebreaker against Philly. Likewise, New York guaranteed themselves a spot in the AFC playoffs due to a loss by…
Jacksonville, who is now pretty much out of the picture after a 20-17 home loss to Washington. I’m actually very disappointed in this, because I thought the Jaguars (8-7) showed a lot of improvement and promise this year. But Sunday they were without All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew, and it ended up being the difference maker in their season.
The St. Louis Rams improved to 7-8 with a win over San Francisco (5-10) despite a putrid rushing performance from Stephen Jackson on a day where he had just 48 yards on 24 carries. Sam Bradford looked great though…28 for 37 for 292 yards and most importantly, no picks. This sets them up for a showdown against Seattle next week, winner take all. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I hope the Rams win this game, not just because I like the team and am fond of the progress they’ve made, but if the Seahawks do end up winning next week it would put a sub-.500 team in the postseason and you know how I would feel about that.
In other NFC West “news”, Mike Singletary finally got fired. This was way overdue, especially when you consider the expectations the 49ers had going into this year. Personally I can’t figure out why they waited this long, but I guess that’s why I don’t own a team.
New England crushed Buffalo 34-3, also crushing any doubt that they are by far the best team in pro football. The 13-2 Patriots seem poised to do to every other AFC playoff team what Baltimore did to them last year in the first round. The Bills (4-11) really never have a home field advantage; they seem to play poorly regardless of their immediate geographical location.
Kansas City clinched so they will likely rest their starters in preparation for when they get blown out of the water in the first round by either Baltimore or Pittsburgh.
Speaking of Baltimore, they keep on rolling along and are now 11-4, defeating the Browns 20-10. I’m still leery about them because they still can’t seem to put up a lot of points against bad defenses. Joe Flacco had another below average day (12/19 for 102 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT) Ray Rice has 92 yards and has continued to establish himself as the Ravens’ most important offensive weapon, but if they keep using him at the rate they’re going he’s going to be awfully banged up by the time the playoffs start.
Colts / Raiders: Eh, maybe if Oakland would have won this game there would be something to discuss…but they didn’t, so there isn’t. The nuttiest part about that is the Colts still aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot, even with the Jags losing.
Monday night brought us a great NFC South matchup between the Saints and the Falcons. I was expecting this one to be a shootout, but both defenses played quite well. New Orleans won the game 17-14, and Atlanta (12-3) had some faults exposed during this game: They are still weak on the right side of the line, and when Michael Turner doesn’t play well the rest of the team tends to follow suit.
The Eagles / Vikings game was moved to Tuesday night due to inclement weather in the east PA area, but I’m not going to wait for that game to be played to post this piece…I can’t see Minnesota putting up much of a fight in that one. I didn’t cover the Dolphins / Lions game in this piece either because I figured nobody cares, and to be brutally honest I forgot who Houston even played.
Check out this site on Thursday for my picks for the final week of the regular season, and stay tuned the following week as we’ve got something special for you for Wild Card Weekend. I’ll be doing a tag team article with these guys from the San Francisco area who have an awesome site called “Doin’ Work”. So look forward to that, and peep their site here: http://doin-work.com/
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