It is 2012. This is the last year of the confusion and then we get into the familiar territory of decade measurement. You know the teens, twenties, thirties, etc. This whole timeline from 2000 – 2009 was really only good for those glasses you see on everyone in Times Square New Year’s Eve. 2010 – 2012 will be the ugly siblings of the teens and twenties. It is playoff time everybody. 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.
This year’s wildcard story is about the sounds of those large vehicles backing up. If you are The Houston Texans, you got in even though you loss three in a row. If you are The Cincinnati Bengals, you got in with a loss. If you are The Denver Broncos, you could have clinched three times yet you lost all three games and got in on a tiebreaker. Every other team won their way in to the playoffs and that means the streak is on your side. Let us look at the games this weekend, shall we?
Last In Is Most Likely First Out
The Wildcard weekend has four games. It all begins with the injured Houston Texans hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are not looking so good. Houston would be a formidable team if they had their starting QB Matt Schaub and a fully restored to health WR Andre Johnson. But in a close game, I believe that Houston gives their fans a reason to celebrate a home playoff game. This is big for Houston because they are in the same division as Indianapolis and they never get a home playoff game…ever! That is until now.
Next up on Saturday will be the Detroit Lions against the New Orleans Saints. The Lions are an upstart team that has the mental toughness of Matthew Stafford and his star WR Calvin Johnson. The New Orleans Saints have the number one single season passer of all time in Drew Brees. The home field advantage will work and the Saints come out on top. Detroit is getting closer to getting better but watch for many mistakes and flags. That will be the downfall of Detroit.
The Atlanta Falcons stroll into New York to face the up and the down New York Giants. Which Giant team will appear this week? The one that beat the New England Patriots or the one that lost at home to the Seattle Seahawks. The New York Giants have the potential to be the Green Bay Packers of last year. They are that dangerous. But they chose the wrong opponent. In a mild shocker I have the Atlanta Falcons coming out on top in a close one. Atlanta is kicking on all cylinders and they are under the radar when it comes to the NFC because of the Packers and the Saints.
The last game of the weekend sees the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to Denver to play the Denver Broncos. All this game rides on two turns. Turn one is Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger and his aforementioned turned ankle. This is the kind of situation that begs watching. The Denver Broncos defense is good enough to get after healthy QBs so you watch what happens if Ben is hobbled. The only problem is that Tim Tebow has difficulty with bump and run and single coverage. Look for a crazy blowout or snoozefest. I think Pittsburgh will prevail.
What To Watch
The story of this week is how far teams are falling behind and how much ahead others are at this time of the year. The AFC teams seem to have it much worse backing in to their playoff games. The NFC teams appear to have the right mixture of offense and defense to go all the way. There are teams like Detroit and Denver and Cincinnati that have not been to the playoffs in quite some time. Can any of them break through? The past does not bode well for these teams. Playoff football turns on every play and every play turns the fans eyes to the big screen.
The number one watched American television show of all time was the Super Bowl in 2011. Since this is really the only iconic galvanizing event left in America, demographics are such that the most watched television shows of all time in the next 10 years will be the Super Bowls every year. Those are the inquiring eyes most sought after by sponsors.
But at first blush, how the heck is anyone beating the Packers in the NFC and the Patriots in the AFC? I guess that article will be next week.
Tim can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes your opinions on the Diary of a Fantasy Virgin Articles.