Thursday, October 2, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Looking at the NFL
Can you believe that we are already past week number four in the NFL?
No, I am not going to be trite and ask you if you know where your favorite team is. You know I almost wrote “teams,” because for the last couple of weeks, NFL fans have been indicating a second preference when discussing a favorite team. This could be called “hedging your bet.”
I am not going to point out the possibility of a loyalty factor in this premise but the more I revisit it, there could be some implications for someone like yours truly whose predictions haven’t been all that stellar lately. Hmm, could I really sell an “either-or” forecast?
Actually, week four started last Thursday night when the New York Giants fairly shellacked the Washington Redskins 45-14. The Redskins are having QB woes which are only going to be ended with time. The ’Skins are 1-3 on the season but are not the only entity with a skimpy record. Some were 0-3 (Tampa Bay got their first win over the 2-1 Steelers). Others going into the weekend without wins were Jacksonville and Oakland.
There is speculation that the Giants’ victory over Washington could be a sign that the other Manning (Eli) is about to get his groove back. And rarely, if ever, you can mention the Giants without including the Cowboys. Cowboy nation was getting a bit edgy until last week. There is one thing which can be said about the Cowboys’ followers; they might get antsy but they remain loyal – and protective. They always seem ready to defend their product.
And speaking of defending the brand, how many of you can look back over your pro football watching careers and recount the greatest comeback in your experience? For me it is easy, Johnny Unitas winning a championship in 19 seconds being two TDs behind.
Fast forward to last Sunday (September 21) during a reasonable facsimile of SB 48. The Seattle Seahawks were a TD plus two ahead of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Manning used 40 seconds to go 80 yards to tie the game at the end of regulation. To get the full impact you have to realize that with 2:25 left Denver faced a third and 11, down 17-12. Peyton was picked by a high-flying Seahawk who ran 52 yards. The Bronco defense became tenacious at their 10-yard line. Seattle had to settle for a field goal. That left Peyton and the runners-up 59 seconds and no time outs.
Manning was every bit as cool as Unitas in engineering the 20-20 tie to force the “sudden death” overtime. Further recap isn’t really necessary. Peyton did not get to touch the ball in OT. The defense, which had done so well in the last two minutes of the game, allowed Seattle to practically walk into the end zone.
This story is not over.
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