I haven't done much of this kind of stuff all season long, but it's never too late to try it, right? No one is more excited about tomorrow's slate of games than I (just so you know). Unfortunately, I will miss the early games due to work:( But, I will be sure to catch the 4:15 PM (E.T.) and the 8:15 PM (E.T.). Here it goes...
AFC East Showdown
The Dolphins/Jets matchup, though it may not sound so appealing to the casual NFL fan, is the "game of the week" without a doubt. Yes, there are obviously some other great games (e.g. NYG/ MIN, DAL/ PHI, DEN/ SD) but the 'Fins, Jets shoot-out is for the AFC East supremacy. Former New York QB, Chad Pennington, will be on the other side of the field under center for Miami (10-5) while the definite Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre, who has played rather inconsistently this season, will be quarterbacking the Jets (9-6). By the time the fourth quarter rolls around, New York will be out of playoff contention due to a win from both Miami and the New England Patriots, who will defeat the Buffalo Bills, 35-10.
Playoffs or Bust
Since, as we should all be well-aware of by now, there will not be an AFC wild card team from the West, the Sunday night matchup between the 8-7 Denver Broncos and 7-8 San Diego Chargers will decide the division winner. Big headed, trash-talking QB's Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers will have to leave it all out on the field tomorrow night in San Diego if they want a chance in the playoffs. Who wins? In the end, Cutler's buckin' Broncos and the rather weak defense will prevail, holding the pesky 'Bolts out of the playoffs. Maybe then Philip Rivers will finally close his damn mouth!
Wild Card, Anyone?!
There's a good chance we could have not one, but two rookie QB's in the playoffs this season. Former Boston College, current Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan has already punched his ticket to the NFC playoffs (first wild card) and with a win over Jacksonville tomorrow, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco, the former Blue Hen, could very well punch his own ticket. Tony Romo's circus will need to sneak past the Philadelphia Eagles and their rowdy fans before they can call themselves a playoff contender. After tomorrow, Baltimore and New England will be presented with the two AFC wild card spots while the Falcons and Cowboys represent the NFC wild card teams.
A Mess Out West!
I am referring to both West divisions, by the way. The struggling 8-7 Arizona Cardinals clinched their division weeks ago, but are dangerously close to finishing the season 8-8 after a very strong start to the season. The rest of the NFC West are a combined 12-33...ick!! The AFC West is more of the same. Only difference, there are two below-par teams fighting for their playoff right. Like I said above(^^), the 8-7 Broncos and 7-8 'Bolts are fighting for the division crown tomorrow night at 8:15 PM ET.
The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the AFC North a few weeks back, but the NFC North has yet to be completed. Chicago's overtime win over the Green Bay Packers last week kept them alive for the division crown, and with a win over the Houston Texans (and a Minnesota loss v.s. the NYG), Chicago can clinch the North with a 10-6 record. Even if they Vikings win, the Bears still have a shot at a wild card spot. But, that will not happen. BOLD prediction: Chicago wins, Minnesota loses. Bears clinch division, Vikings narrowly miss playoffs. Who's excited for the 0-15 Detroit Lions/Green Bay Packers game at the frozen tundra?!?! I know I am, as well as the '76 Bucs. Can Rod Marinelli make history? Of course he can, they've been losing like this all season. What makes you think all this will change against the young, gun-slinging Aaron Rodgers?!?! Detroit becomes the first team to ever go 0-16.
Don't forget your brown bags, Detroit fans!