Thursday, December 30, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Sunday was week 16 in the NFL and it has long been do-or-die week.
Clubs look to the week’s end to be the final indicator of who goes on and who goes home to watch in woeful silence. That’s from the players’ standpoint. For coaches it takes a little different slant. It just might mean the appearance of a moving van in the very near future.
But before we load up the family properties, let us look at some of the front-runners who were expected to carry the mantle for this season. One has to always put the defending champs first. Those Saints who went marching into the history books last season are having a time keeping the halos on straight. As a matter of fact, the Saints met the rival Falcons and NFC South leader on Monday night in a, well, “do-or-die” game. Should the birds win, they will push their record to 13-2, lock up the top spot in the NFC and gain the South title. The Saints have to beat the Falcons if they want to keep “marching on” in the upcoming playoffs.
It has been said before that whenever one starts talking playoffs, the names New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts are almost synonymous. The Patriots, spygate notwithstanding, have a reputation for coming on strong at this crucial part of the season. They were the first to rack up a home field advantage throughout the AFC, win the division (helped by a Jets’ loss) and moved to 13-2 on the season.
The Colts had a low record (8-6) going into the game on Sunday which had them tied with Jacksonville in the AFC South. However, the Jags lost and the Colts beat the Raiders. This didn’t bring the Colts all the way to the finish line. They have to win just one more to guarantee that playoff spot.
Yours truly has to gloat a little, being somewhat elated that the Kansas City banner was not removed from the family room wall after last season. The Chiefs are really looking like chiefs. They went 10-5 on Sunday and clinched their first playoff since 2006 (I believe that was the year yours truly picked them up).
And for the first time in over six decades, the NFL played a game on Tuesday night this week. The inclement weather from North to South and East to West derailed the game between the Eagles and the Vikes which was supposed to have been played in Philly on Sunday. The NFL, in making the decision, cited public safety for the postponement. That is a rare occasion, indeed, when a pro football game is called because of weather.
What if this had been Super Bowl XLV?
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