Happy New Year folks! As we celebrate the start of the new year of 2012, we also today reach the end of the NFL regular season, and there are some big games on tap. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Also, ring in the new year with a little Jerry Jeff Walker. Don’t hear to much about Jerry Jeff anymore, but hot damn, he was, and is, really good.
No game is, nor could ever be, as big as the Tebowl between Baby Jesus and the man who wrongfully had Baby Jesus’ position at the start of the season, Kyle Orton. Really, the entire game is only between Tebow and Orton, or so it seems from the week’w worth of blather at ESPN. In all seriousness though, it truly is pretty compelling theater. The Chefs can play, as they demonstrated by rolling the Pack in the only loss for the Cheese of the year. And you know Orton would love to pound the Donkos and keep them and Baby Jesus out of the playoffs. For Denver, if they win they are in; if they lose they are not (well, unless Oakland loses to the Bolts, in which case the Donks would still win the division with a lousy 8-8 record). Simple. I would take the Chefs pretty easily here, but the game is at Mile High, and that matters. Still gonna go with the KC BBQ, but Tebow will play his heart out; Baby Jesus is nothing if not a gamer. That leaves the AFC West division championship, and its playoff berth up to the Rayduhs and Bolts game, where the edge has to ride with Carson Palmer and the ghost of Al Davis, in the Black Hole, over the Bolt who are just done (as is Norval, finally, it would appear).
The other win or go home game that is must see theater is the ‘Boys at the Gents in the NBC Sunday Night finale. Winner takes the NFC East and moves on to the playoffs, loser is toast. Here, too, the game is a tale of two quarterbacks Good/Bad Eli and Tony Romeo. They are both like Gump’s damn box of chocolates, you never know what your are gonna get; consistently inconsistent and all over the road. Romo does have a bruised up hand from the Eagles game, but no way he does not play, and a pretty fair bet he plays well. Everything points to the Giants here, including them playing at home, but I am going with a ‘Boys upset.
Ray Lewis and the Ravens are in Cincy for a key game for both teams. The Ravens lock up their division with a win, and a first round home game (and homefield throughout if the Pats lose to the Bills) in the process, which is key because the Ravens have been a bad road team this year. The Bengals, on the other hand are young and hungry for a wildcard spot, which they would nail down with a win. This could be a great game, no idea who wins it, but either way it is hard to see the Patsies losing to Buffalo when the number one seed is still on the line.
Then we have the “lose or go home” game. Colts at Jags. Both these teams have been woeful for the season, although the Not-Peytons have a shocking two game winning streak going. The problem for the Colts is, of course, a win against the Jags might well put them out of Luck. Andrew Luck that is. Thing is, Jags may well want another QB in the draft and have nothing to gain with a win either. Jacksonville has already fired its coach, Jack Del Rio, and the franchise was just sold. In short, they are a mess. This will be a really interesting game to see who loses the best and how.
The last of the killer klashes this week is another Black and Blue grudge match, this time between the Kitties and the Cheese. The Pack has nothing to play for having already wrapped up the NFC top seed and home field throughout the playoffs. If Rodgers plays at all, it will likely not be much. Look for Matt Flynn to get most of the time behind center, with Graham Harrell getting a little game experience too. The Kitties, however, need to win to keep the fifth seed, which could mean the difference between playing the Giants/Cowboys winner or the Saints. That is healthy motivation. Lions should win this one, but if they do, it will be their first win on the Frozen Tundra in 20 years.
Titans at the Texans also has some playoff implication, but not many. Titans slim hopes for making the postseason show depend on a win against the Texans, and a LOT of help. Texans get Andre Johnson back and that is good because they need to get some game chemistry between him and young TJ Yeats before the playoffs begin. I rate this as a toss-up. The rest of the teams are pretty much just playing out the string.
We will either update or, more likely, just put up a new thread for all the college bowl extravaganza starting Monday. So, let us all take a Tee Bow, and raise a frosty. Commence trashing!