Another year has arrived. OK. Who has pressed the fast forward button on life? So, Happy New Year to all. It is that time of year when I don my prognostication sombrero and take on the trends associated with the end of year tournament in the National Football League. And may the NFL playoffs bring in a Happy 2014 to you and yours. Next week’s article will try to pick the two final teams of the year and this year is no different than the past, but always with a twist.
How Did That Happen?
Seven teams return to the playoffs this year. We do not have to show them what to expect.
Out of the playoffs this year are five teams. None other than the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens head this list. In addition – Houston, Minnesota, Atlanta and Washington are all on the outside looking in.
We in turn get to welcome five teams back to the dance that were not there in the 2012 season. Kansas City, Philadelphia, San Diego, New Orleans and Carolina are all in. We, therefore, welcome these teams to the end of year party.
The trend is usually your friend, and home cooking always helps out, but lately it has not been all that it was cracked up to be.
Let us look at the games this weekend, shall we?
I Was The Last Undefeated Team … And Now I Am On The Road?
The Wild Card weekend has four games. It all begins with the “I used to be undefeated” Kansas City Chiefs traveling to Indianapolis. Just as recently as Dec. 22, they played against each other in a game that the Colts dominated 23-7. But this is a Kansas City defense/special teams that can wound a great team when schemed correctly. Indianapolis needs touchdowns instead of field goals. I will pick Kansas City in a close one.
Next up is New Orleans, who is undefeated at home, against Philadelphia. The problem is that the Saints are not at home. Uh, oh. When the Saints are away, a lousy record comes their way. But the Eagles need
to confuse the Saints. He will, so look for a Philadelphia victory.
On Sunday, San Diego travels to play Cincinnati. This Bengals team is dangerous. San Diego just seemed so listless in a game it had to win against a Kansas City team that rested 22 starters. What will it be like when all the starters for Cincinnati are playing? I’m going Bengals in what could be a blowout.
The last game of the weekend sees San Francisco traveling to the frozen confines of Lambeau field to face Green Bay. This is a rematch of the divisional playoffs last season. The Packers went to San Francisco and promptly lost by 14 points. But this year the Packers are home. They have
back and San Francisco has a 24th-rated offense. I sense a Green Bay victory on a sophomore slump by
Are You Ready For Some Football?
I have prepared some things to note this weekend while you are watching and digging into those chicken wings. The games are faster and the decision making needs to be correspondingly faster. Gone are those improvisational days. Improvisation works and then it doesn’t. It does not make for a winning combination in 60 minutes of playoff football.
The best quarterbacks will get the ball down the field. Look at how long the pass plays go for. The most 26-yard completions make for a winning combination. Mistakes end up sealing your fate. Look for mistakes and look for poetry in timing. That is all the bad and the good that can come out of this week.
But at first blush, how the heck is anyone beating Seattle in the NFC and Denver in the AFC? I guess that article will be next week.
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and welcomes your opinions on the “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles.