I can’t believe it’s already the final week of the 2007 season. It seems like only yesterday I was full of hope for another NFC East title and another trip to the playoffs. Now I'm just hoping to finish at .500. Where does the time go? Sigh…
Eagles/Bills: I sure would like to see us win this game and, as I mentioned above, finish the season at .500. I’d also like to see Kevin Kolb get a little time in a Real Game during the 4th quarter. But I’d give that up to get the win. We have identical records, which should give the AFC Bills the edge, except for the fact that the Bills play in the AFC East which, aside from the Pats, is a truly lousy division. So it could go either way. Let’s finish strong, Iggles, and launch ourselves into the 2008 season on a positive note. Eagles.
The following games have playoff implications...
Pats/Giants: OK, this doesn’t really have playoff implications. But it does have Greatest Team in the History of All Sports History, Past, Present, and Future (and boy am I sick of hearing about how great the Pats are. ESPN has resorted to setting up these totally hypothetical – and redonkulous – matchups. Like "What if the 2007 Patriots faced the 1985 Bears?” Um, WHO CARES? This is exactly what’s wrong with fantasy football. Other than that people like Lil’ Danny Snyder think it’s real, of course. But I digress…) implications. I really hope the Giants win. (In other news, I think God’s going to strike me dead for writing that sentence.) But if they’re smart, they’ll keep their starters out and try to get healthy before the playoffs. Stupid Patriots. We all already know Belichick won’t back off. Say it with me: "I-N-J-U-R-I-E-S! INJURIES! INJURIES! INJURIES!”
49ers/Browns: OK, given the fact that the final AFC wildcard spot comes down to the Browns, who get to end their season against the 49ers, and the Titans, who have to face the Colts, it should be obvious who will go to the playoffs. Should be. But the Browns look to me like they could blow it, and lose to the 5-10 49ers (how humiliating). I see this game going to the 49ers, but the Browns squeaking into the playoffs anyway on a Titans loss to the Colts.
Saints/Bears: The Bears screwed up hopes of home field for the Packers last week. Think they can make it a two-fer and knock off the Saints? Probably depends on the weather in Chi-town. Right now, weather.com is calling for mostly cloudy and 35 degrees. That’s probably not enough to stop the Saints. I predict a Saints win, but it won’t be enough to take the final NFC wildcard spot.
Cowboys/Redskins: This game is meaningless for the Cowboys, which should make it a relatively easy win for the Skins. Except for the fact that this is one of the most heated rivalries in sports, so the Cowboys will probably bring their A game out of pride, and a desire to finish a franchise-best 14-2. A Skins’ win is certainly possible, but they’re going to need some good luck. Skins, on a hunch, which would earn them the final NFC spot, thus firmly re-establishing NFC East as the platinum division in the conference, which is as it should be.
Vikings/Broncos: The Vikings screwed up a chance to lock in the final wildcard spot against the Redskins last week, and Champ Bailey should be able to exploit Tavaris Jackson’s weaknesses even better than the Skins secondary was, particularly as the Broncos are strong against the pass. But if the Vikings are smart, they won’t pass. They should – and I think they will – hand off to Adrian Peterson about 96% of the time, as the Broncos are 30th in the league at defending the rush. That translates to a Vikings win, but again, it won’t be enough to secure the final wildcard spot.
Titans/Colts: You know, if the Titans can win this, they’ll steal that final AFC spot right out from under the Browns. And the Colts certainly have plenty of reasons to rest a bunch of their starters. But it doesn’t look like Egghead Dungy’s going to. Which probably means the Titans’ playoff hopes are in the crapper. Of course, the Titans will know the outcome of the Browns 1 pm game by the time they face the Colts at 8 pm Sunday night, so who knows?
On to the meaningless games…
Seahawks/Falcons: Seahawks, even if they rest all their starters. Yes, the Falcons really are THAT bad.
Lions/Packers: Bet Vicodin Boy’s eager to wash the taste of that ugly loss to the Bears out of his mouth. Look for the Pack to whup up on the hapless Lions, who after starting the season strong had a second half fade of NY Giants-level proportions.
Jags/Texans: The Jaguars are cruising into the playoffs and should probably take a rest Sunday. But they won’t, and as a result will very likely crush the Texans.
Panthers/Bucs: Now, the Bucs probably will let up Sunday – hell, they let up last Sunday and lost to the 49ers. Which probably indicates a loss to the Panthers is in the offing. Anyone know if Vinny’s playing?
Bengals/Dolphins: The Fins have already locked up the #1 pick in the 2008 draft, so neither of these teams has ANYTHING to play for at this point. Maybe Ocho Cinco will do something funny! The Bengals will win, not that it matters, and the Dolphins will finish 1-15, which is awesome in its nearly perfect awfulness, if you know what I mean.
Chiefs/Jets: Oh the humanity!
Rams/Cardinals: My eyes! My eyes!
Chargers/Raiders: I’m betting that the rest of the Raiders veterans were paying attention last week and will follow Warren Sapp’s lead in getting bounced from the game. I’m also betting those same wily vets will have arranged to have at least one of the Gatorade coolers stocked with margaritas instead. Guys, the fine you’d pay for forfeiting will be far less painful than actually playing this game. Trust me on this one.
Steelers/Ravens: Maybe the Steelers will be nice to the Ravens and not totally demolish them in a season finale that’s meaningless to both teams? Mike Tomlin seems like a reasonable guy. Yeah, I don’t buy that, either. This promises to be another ugly game to round out a truly ugly season for the Ravens. Steelers.
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