The NFL Season Continues to Turn 360 Degrees
~ Amy Lignor
Santa Claus made an early arrival in the Lone Star State; he came to ‘town’ in the city of Dallas (apparently, in the body of Andrew Luck), and allowed the Cowboys to become the NFC East Champions. But other oddities have occurred that have set both experts and fans on their ears.
When it comes to the holidays, there are many athletes in the NFL that will be enjoying their families and parties and loving the Christmas cheer. The one who will have the happiest and calmest holiday this coming Thursday is Tom Brady. I know, not a shock. But clinching the division and now a first-round bye, it won’t take a heck of a lot to get that home-field advantage and bring the big game, most likely, to the Patriot’s homeland. It was ugly yesterday…with such a pretty QB, it’s amazing to see something so ugly. BUT, we’ll blame Christmas for the fact that the Jets almost beat the Patriots before the Pats eked it out and won 17-16. But you have to remember, the egg nog is flowing this time of year.
Will Chicago be looking forward to the holidays? Nope. Or maybe they are because Bears fans decided a while ago that they were hitched to their QB Cutler’s dying star. Cutler was benched, however, yesterday…and his non-presence didn’t help a bit. The Bears loss didn’t help Green Bay either. Although the Packers are definitely going to the post-season, next week they play Detroit for the division title, and it would have been a really happy day today for Green Bay if the Bears had suddenly came to life with the moody Cutler off the field but, alas, they did not.
Pittsburgh is in. Not much to say after that statement, because no one holds even the slightest hope or idea that they will be a contender for anything.
What the heck happened to the Eagles? They were soaring, so well that I was beginning to believe someone was going to write a soundtrack for them to be played in their home stadium. Apparently, even though the famous Poe poem was about ‘The Raven’, in real life it was the Eagle that brought horror to the City of Brotherly Love. Lose to the Redskins? Well, that’s just funny. It was even funnier for three men named; Romo, Bryant, and Murray. On Saturday they got to view the demise of the Eagles and then received an extra beam of Divine light on Sunday by stopping the Colts. No coach was ever so happy to be doused in cold Gatorade than Jason Garrett.
The Saints go marching…out. The Chiefs are still alive, but treading water now; they are literally hearing the theme of Jaws playing in the distance. And speaking of fish, the Dolphins should be elated by their awesome performance yesterday. But even with everything they did, the shark gobbled them up and made sure that post-season was out of the question. One of the most depressing losses, because of the late-in-the-season hype, was the Buffalo Bills losing to the Oakland Raiders, eliminating the Bills from the post-season. However, eyes should be kept on Buffalo, because it is a very good chance that they will come back next season and knock some socks off.
Carolina Panthers versus the Cleveland Browns. Go Carolina. I have to give props to their QB on this one. Gets into a car accident then arrives on the gridiron with barely any time for recovery, and decides to win. He and his team knocked Cleveland around as if they were nothing more than gnats. And because of this, fans will see a winner-take-all game next week between Carolina and Atlanta for the NFC South title. Seems like a great deal of build-up but, in the end, doesn’t matter who wins. These are teams that don’t even deserve to be anywhere near the post-season considering they’ve barely won any games. Will they be contenders for the Super Bowl? Not a chance. But for Panthers and Falcons fans, it will be a fun game to watch.
A note should be added here. Rookie QB Johnny Manziel of the Browns was supposed to be their own angelic solution to winning games and becoming one of the best teams in the NFL. His first time out, he couldn’t have stunk more. This time around, Manziel left the game with an injury in the first half, putting up lousy numbers; 3-of-8 passing for 32 yards. Again…who really cares?
Another team that people actually did think would go all the way this year was San Fran. Which meant somebody cared about this one. However, they kissed their playoff hopes goodbye in none other than Seattle, Washington last week. But in trying to redeem themselves on Saturday against the Chargers, they showed that spark of what a 49er is supposed to be. Unfortunately, it was only a spark. Leading 21 points at one time, San Fran crumbled from ridiculous penalties assessed that aren’t actually penalties. In fact, that has happened a whole lot to them this season, and it’s beginning to feel a lot like someone is paying to take the 49ers down just for fun. If I were an investigator, I would start looking in Seattle.
Yeah, stop screaming, Seattle has a great defense. But guys, really, the QB is the only one who works on the offense and mostly the only one who scores points. You’re going to have to live with that. You’re also going to have to live with the fact that Seattle will not repeat.
In the end, some of the best are out; some of the worst are in. This is one season that has been spinning 360 degrees for a while now, and it will be interesting to see where it stops.
Place your bets!