Skip to comments.Are you ready for some football?
Posted on 01/07/2011 8:25:22 AM PST by jpf
Today on the blog, as promised, we're going to talk football. No issues of war and peace, no making cruel fun of a second rate American President, no water-boarding the Treasury Secretary today. Its Friday, its playoff time, and it's my blog so there's no one to stop me.
This weekend is wildcard weekend, which traditionally means none of these teams are going to the Super Bowl. There have been exceptions, but sometimes exceptions only prove the rule . The Steelers, Patriots, Bears, and Falcons are watching the other 8 playoff teams beat the hell out of each other from the comfort of their living room this week and that's a huge advantage. This is why you want that bye week.
But there's always a chance, especially in the NFC where all the teams except for the Seahawks are evenly matched. Wildcard weekend is really weird this time since all 4 road teams probably should be hosting these games. In three games the team with the better record is playing on the road. It seems hella strange that the Saints (11-5) are on the road against the Seahawks (7-9), but that's the division format the NFL wanted, so.
I was joking the other day with a friend of mine that the Seahawks beating the Rams meant they got a BCS bowl. The Seahawks are a 10 point home dog against the Saints making the Saints, I would have to think, the largest postseason road favorite in the history of the league. Vegas seems to think that Auburn would have a better chance than the Seahawks.
The Saints maybe the best team in the NFC right now and the Seahawks don't even deserve to be in the playoffs. However, installing a team as a 10 point road favorite is a little like declaring a ship unsinkable before her maiden voyage. That game is Saturday 4:30 PM ET on NBC.
Saturday night at 8 PM ET on NBC is the Jets @ colts. The Colts still have Peyton Manning, so that's worth something I guess, Vegas has them a 2 ½ point favorite. Is it me or does it seem like the Jets are one of those teams that's ALWAYS on the rise but never ever gets there? The Colts are another vulnerable home team.
On Sunday the Ravens travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. Vegas isn't buying the Chiefs action, the Ravens are a 3 point road favorite. That seems like the most solid bet of all to me. That game is 1 PM ET on CBS.
Last but not least, the best game of all and I'm not just saying that because I'm an Eagles fan, at 4:30 PM ET Sunday on Fox the Eagles host the Packers. Frankly I'd rather have my Eagles playing any of the other playoff teams in the NFC than face the Packers right now.
The birds are home, Vick has something to prove, I hope that's enough against Aaron Rodgers. The winner of this game actually could make it to the Super Bowl, which is more than I'm willing to say about the other 6 wildcard teams.
I think 3 road teams win this weekend and I'm hoping Philadelphia is the lone home winner.
Wildcard weekend is usually some pretty good football, so enjoy... unless you're rooting for the Pack.
I'm going to put 4 poll questions down at the bottom of this page so you can pick the games.
I have no patience for watching anything on television that includes commercials. I got XM radio just because I couldn’t stand all the commercial interruptions on regular radio.
The Saints haven’t actually been that good this year, and their top two RBs are on IR. I won’t go so far as to predict a Seahawks win, but I will predict a 1 score game and I won’t be surprised if the Hawks pull it out.
That didn’t take long.
I love football but I despise the commercials. The best move I ever made was to set up my DVR to record the games, and then start watching them only after about 90 minutes have elapsed. So--for a 4 o'clock game, I start watching the recording at 5:30 or so, and I fast-forward through all of the commercials and most of the huddles.
Suppose a team is stopped on third down in the Red Zone, and sets up to kick a short field goal. The sequence goes: field goal made, commercial, kick-off return, commercial. By the time they are ready for first and ten at their 25 or 30 yard-line, about 10 minutes have elapsed since it became apparent that a field goal was going to be attempted. If anything weird happens (a blocked kick, a long-runback, etc.) it's a simple matter to rewind for a few seconds to view it. If the timing is close to okay, I watch the last two or three minutes live. This technique has saved me hundreds of hours that would have been annoyingly wasted while watching car and beer commercials.
So you can watch a 3 hour game in what, about a half hour?
I predict all four road teams will win this weekend.
As a N.O. Saints fan, I’ll drink to that. But, I do agree that they are not at the same level they were last year. Too many injuries and turnovers. They may win this one, but I don’t know if they will make it all the way to the Super Bowl this year.
Go Packers - beat the conVick! ;^)
Atlanta isn't all that flashy, but they've gotten the job done. That said, they're either getting Green Bay or New Orleans next week, both teams that are capable of beating them.
Chicago, I think, simply isn't good enough to get past all of the good teams (read: everyone but Seattle) in the NFC playoffs. Yes, they're capable of it, I just doubt they can do it.
Philly, with a healthy Vick, is very, very dangerous. I just don't know if they can put together three good enough games (Green Bay, Chicago, and Atlanta/New Orleans) to run the table without stumbling.
New Orleans may be the best team in the NFC, right now. They have a fairly easy game in Seattle and they have to feel confident about their ability to beat Chicago or Atlanta to get into the NFC Championship game.
Green Bay hasn't been consistent enough to give me confidence that they can beat the Eagles, Falcons, and Saints (or Bears). Not saying that they can't, just that they won't.
As much as it pains me to say this, New England has to be the smart money favorite to win it all. The AFC teams with the experience and know-how in beating them (Colts, Steelers) are battling health issues, and Brady is playing in that special zone that usually ends up getting a Super Bowl ring.
The Steelers managed a very good record despite key personnel absences for parts of the year, including a very impressive 3-1 start (just missed 4-0) without "Big Ben". If they're healthy enough (a big question mark, especially with regards to Polamalu), they have the potential.
The Colts struggled their way into the #3 spot with a good finish. They are very, very banged up, however. They need the bye week more than anyone, and they didn't earn one. They may get past the Jets (and the Steelers have to hope so, since they don't want to face Baltimore in the next round), but unless Polamalu is out or ineffective, their road ends in Pittsburgh the following week.
No one started the year hotter than Kansas City, but they cooled off a lot, especially in the middle of the schedule. Despite their record, they're the Seattle of the AFC. They might be able to beat Baltimore, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Baltimore is probably the third-best (and arguably, tied for second-best with Pittsburgh) team in the AFC. They're capable of beating Pittsburgh and playign New England tough. Can they beat both of them in successive weeks, though? Probably not.
The Jets fall into the "not consistent enough" camp. Yeah, they can beat a weakened Colts team, but that would just set up little more than a scrimmage against new England, who will pummel them with one hand tied behind their backs.
More like 90 minutes. It depends on how much interest I have in what the announcers are saying and what's going on before the snap. If I really care about which two receivers are wide to the right, or I want to see the eleventh angle on a replay to determine if a ball was caught or trapped, I'll watch the broadcast and just zip through the commercials. If I just want to see the plays themselves, it could probably be done in 30-45 minutes.
Each team runs an average of 75 plays per game. That's 150 plays at, what? maybe ten seconds per play. That's 1500 seconds of actual football action, or 1500/60 = 25 minutes. Of course, you'd need to have hands like a surgeon on the remote control, and it does take some physical time to fast-forward from play to play, and through the commercials. 45 minutes is a realistic minimum.
My DVR has a “skip forward” button that moves 30 seconds ahead. That is about the time it takes from a tackle till the next snap, unless a team is running hurry-up.
About 90 minutes to watch a game. Zapping through all of the commercials and official reviews is priceless.
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