There is a lot of football news in the wind but, frankly, there is only one thing everybody is interested in. Rex Ryan’s wife. Tattooed on his ass, er arm. Dressed only in a Dirty Sanchex jersey. No wonder Tebow couldn’t get on the field and finished the season in quarterback production somewhere behind the St. Louis Rams’ punter. Meanwhile, gossip purveyors on the internet have been pondering what tattoos Bill Belichick might have.
The second best story is, JOHNNY FOOTBALL. Dude is legit. What kind of dropoff did Johnny Manziel have after all the Heisman hoopla and partying? None. Opening drive of the game, Mr. Football capped off with a 23 yard TD run. Score was tight through the first half, but Texas A&M never let the Sooners really into it. In the second half, they just flat blew the doors off of Oklahoma. Manziel ended up with a FBS bowl record 229 yards rushing on 17 carries, and completed 22 of 34 passes for another 287 yards. 516 yards of total offense by himself. The Aggies are very good, and their offensive line is as good as I have seen in some time. They would kill Notre Dame, and have already soundly beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I’m going to catch hell from the Gulf Coast Pirate but, say what you will, right now Texas A&M is the best college football team on the planet.
Also, it seems, there is some professional football on this weekend. Before we get to that, there were a boatload of coaches and GMs sacked on Monday. The chips are starting to fall into place. Andy Reid is in at the Chefs and Scott Pioli is out. Speaking of Chips, Kelly from the Oregon Ducks is looking good for the Brownies, who are putting a full court press on here is Phoenix where the Quackers just blew out Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Cardinals are, of course, behind the curve and are looking at one of the bigger jerks in football, Todd Haley. Oh, and the Jets are sniffing around Norval Turner.
As for the games, first up Saturday is Cinci at the Tejans. Houston should be the better team, but they are in a serious funk and the Bungles ar on a real roll. Lot of sports media types are picking the Bengals for the road win. Not me, I think Houston pulls it together enough to eke out a win. The nightcap Saturday, however, is far more interesting. Vikings at the Packers. On the Frozen Tundra. Under the lights, snow flurries and temps in the low 20s. Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers. This is good stuff. Peterson has just worn out the Packers on the ground this year. But that was in the dome at home and when the weather was better in GB. The Pack may not stop #28, but they can likely contain him enough to make Christian Ponder beat them. But Rodgers is the one more comfortable in the cold. The Vikings are not going to eat the Cheese twice in a row.
The early game Sunday is the return of the Colts to Baltimore. Andrew Luck really cut down on the turnovers down the December stretch and the Colts believe. But Ray Lewis is returning for his “last ride” after announcing he will retire at the end of this season. I was shocked how at peace with the decision Lewis really seemed; he appears to really mean it. Say what you will about Ray Lewis, but the man was a monster on the field. The only other defensive player that I’ve ever seen who was so dominant, for so long, was Lawrence Taylor. And Lewis is a more critical team leader than LT was. Is it Andrew Luck’s time to shine, or will Ray Ray live to play yet another day? No clue, I rate it a dead toss up. Maybe slight edge to the Ravens; Flacco always wins at least one playoff game every year he’s been in the league.
Which leaves what may well be the best for last. The showdown between super rookies RGIII of the Skins and Russell Wilson and the Squawks. RGIII has all the glitz and pub, but I think the Seahawks have the better team. Especially on defense, where they are big, fast and very, very good. This will be only the second playoff game ever played at Fed-Ex Field, the last being in 1999 win against the Lions, of all people. But the Squawks are not the Criminal Docket Kittehs. Wilson and RGIII, and Marshawn Lynch and Alfred Morris may just cancel each other out in a wash. But Seattle is superior on defense by a lot. That is the difference.
The music this weekend is in honor of Rex Ryan and is, of course, from Tattoo You.
And now with the preview for Monday night: