Monday, January 4, 2010

Week 17 Hangover - Love/Hate


- I have to believe that the Jim Zorn firing this morning probably went something like when Kramer got fired on Seinfeld…….

- The Big 10 finally showed up for bowl season. In addition to Wisconsin throttling Miami, Penn State beat LSU, Ohio State handled Oregon, and Northwestern should have beaten Auburn. After years of taking abuse for the conference losing all of its bowl games, the teams put up a pretty good showing. The ending of the Northwestern game was among the best overtime college football games I’ve ever seen (that didn’t have any real meaning) - losing the game on a fumble (then having it overturned), missing a tying field goal (then getting a first down and losing your kicker to injury on a roughing the kicker penalty), and finally losing the game by faking a 20 yard field goal because your starting kicker was injured. I’d say the fake field goal attempt probably ranked up there with the Diane Lane sex scenes in Unfaithful… fit in given the context of the situation, but it definitely hits you as shocking at the time and makes you rethink what you thought about her.
- Coaching will be the difference in the NFC playoffs. With both wildcard games in the NFC this coming weekend being rematches of games from Sunday, the difference will be the adjustments and strategy that the coaches make during the next week. That makes the Philly-Dallas game even more interesting because Wade Phillips is not known as a great strategy guy, and Andy Reid has a great history of choking in games that matter (see Sunday as example A).
In Arizona, Ken Whisenhunt will be tested to come up with a way to score points against the Packer defense, and find a way to slow down Aaron Rodgers. Mike McCarthy, this is your chance to show how well you can prep a team to get a road win and potentially set up a chance at Brett Favre in the divisional playoff round.
- Great gambling finish to the season for the Sports Addict, including a perfect 9-0 record in the early games on Sunday and a 12-4 record overall for the day. If I had just placed a sweet 9-team parlay bet with the early games, I could have racked up a nice 150-1 odds winning ticket…….
Oh, and of course, the only week I pick against the Packers and they come through big time in sending a message to the Cardinals what they will be bringing back to the desert next weekend.
- Eagles Coach Andy Reid must have told his team that Sunday was the beginning of the playoffs, because they switched from their powerful regular season team mode into the heartless, effortless Philly team that shows up every year in the playoffs. Donovan McNabb and company flopped like a European NBA star on a fast break. It at least makes for an interesting rematch next week when both teams try to shed their past playoff failures.
- What a pathetic showing by the Giants to finish the season the past few weeks. Tom Coughlin is probably going to keep his job based on his Super Bowl win from 2007, but after the way the team quit, you have to wonder if he and defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan should share a cab out of town. The Giants will have some major improvements to make before next season if they want to keep up with the young Eagles and the more talented Cowboys within the NFC East.

- The Broncos are in major trouble. So let’s see if we have this right. They start the year 6-0, then proceed to lose 8 of their last 10, their star WR has beef with his coach, and their QB does not look worthy of a long-term contract. So what exactly did Josh McDaniel accomplish this season? They threw up on themselves like many people on New Year’s, and their future looks worse than when McDaniels took over.
- What a strange NFL season where the top seeds in the NFC and AFC enter the playoffs on 3 and 2 game losing streaks, respectively. In addition, the 2 seed in the NFC enters having lost 3 of their last 5 games. I guess this will be the perfect year to determine whether momentum really comes into play in the NFL.
- You have to feel for Wes Welker, who blew out his knee in the first series on Sunday. It’s a crushing blow to the Patriots chances of advancing deep in the playoffs. I guess that’s the proof that the Colts need to confirm they did the right thing last week against the Jets.
- One last hate - the weather. It has been nut-rattling cold in the Northeast the past few days. Miserable.

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