Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stretch Run for the NFL

A little extra time tonight so I wanted to take a look at the NFL games that have major playoff implications this weekend.

Miami Dolphins (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5)
The resilient Dolphins downed the Patriots last week and can really cement their claim to the wild card spot (or better) with a win against the Jaguars. The Jags have been inconsistent, but a home game that would make them the favorite for a wild card spot should be motivation. Tough game to call, but I would lean towards the pesky Dolphins.

Denver Broncos (8-4) at Indianapolis Colts (12-0)
The Broncos have quietly righted their ship and remain only 1 game behind the Chargers for the AFC West title. The Colts have won every game, and plenty of them they should have lost. This will be a real test of the Broncos defense. It is not a make or break game for Denver, they are in a good playoff scenario now, but a big game against an opponent you will likely see in the playoffs is a big one. Upset special as the Broncos pull off the win.

Cincinnati Bengals (9-3) at Minnesota Vikings (10-2)
While not a huge contest as far as playoff positioning goes, this game is a big one for the young Bengals. A tough road game at an elite NFC team will tell how good the Bengals are. I think the Viking s win here, but it would not be shocking for the Bengals to win.

Carolina Panthers (5-7) at New England Patriots (7-5)
The reeling Patriots come home for a game against a puzzling Panther team. Carolina has been all over the place this season and it is hard to know what kind of game they will bring. The Patriots have been about the same all year; streaky offense and porous defense. The game stands as a crossroads for the Pats after a week where several New England players were publicly discussing their malcontent. Wow can things fall apart fast. I think the Patriots win here, due more to Carolina than their own efforts.

San Diego Chargers (9-3) at Dallas Cowboys (8-4)
I said earlier in the year that San Diego was finished. Of course they have not lost since that time! The Cowboys are the best team I have ever seen that fail to play up to their ability. The collapse against the Giants last week was especially bad. The Cowboys need this win in a big way, but I do not think they will get it.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) at New York Giants (7-5)
The Eagles have a chance to grasp the division lead. The Giants need every win to get into the playoffs. A Sunday night game with plenty on the line! This is NFL fun at its best. Hard to pick this one, but I will take the Eagles in a close game.

Arizona Cardinals (8-4) at San Francisco 49ers (5-7) Monday Night
Another team I was harsh on, the Arizona Cardinals, have slowly played back into their form of late last year. A huge dismantling of the Vikings was about as impressive as it could be. The Cardinals can close the curtain on the 49ers Monday night and I think they will.

Observations
-Defending champion Pittsburgh is unlikely to return to the playoffs this year. When Troy Polamalu is not on the field this team is completely different. Poor defense as of late and a stalled offense plague the Steelers.
-The Baltimore Ravens have fallen apart. After a great start the defense is showing it's age and they are not running the ball enough. Another shocker.
-Will New Orleans and/or the Colts go undefeated? I think neither will. I picked the Broncos this weekend to win against the Colts, but they could win that game. The Saints now have breathing room over the Vikings for home field advantage, so that should allow them to slow down a bit. If either team really wants to go unbeaten, they can, but I think 1 or 2 losses is the best way to go. I can remember a 2007 season where the whole "undefeated" thing became a real nightmare!
-This year is going to be very competitive at playoff time.

Have a good night.

12 comments:

getyourselfconnected said...

Zero Hedge takes a look at Roubini's call to favor SPAM accumulation versus gold:
http://tinyurl.com/yd3tcqe

I love both, what should I do?

CT-Hilltopper said...

This is in reference to your last post about what you saw people buying in Sam's Club.

I see people wherever I go buying mostly staples. If people are filling shopping carts, it's with clothing, shoes...things like that.

I'm also seeing video games, but not as much as last year.

Definitely not the shopping carts full of big screen TV's like in Christmas's past.

To me, people are scaling down on Christmas, big time. Everything from putting out lights to gifts. Almost everyone around had lights and expensive displays out last year, Not this year. I don't know if it's a matter of affordability, or if it's just that frugal is the new "in".

getyourselfconnected said...

Hey C-T,
good to see you. I saw and left a comment on your post today. Sorry you have been so busy, but thats why they pay you the big bucks right?

I think scaling back is in effect, and I think folks will see that christmas is just as good, if not better, when the gifts mean more and not just cost more.

That said I am a huge sucker for christmas and tend to go WAY overboard for my friends and family, but I can so I do.

getyourselfconnected said...

from Fail blog today:
http://failblog.org/2009/12/12/name-fail-10/

Edwardo said...

I say the Colts beat the Broncos, but I would be happy to see The Mannings lose.

getyourselfconnected said...

Edwardo,
you and me both!

Dave in Denver said...

I'm staying agnostic on the Broncos chances tomorrow. Everytime in the past I've thought Denver had a chance to beat Indy, Denver has been hammered. For some reason it's a bad match-up for Denver.

I will say I think Denver has more motivation tomorrow and has an outside chance if they can establish a running game and play "defense" by keeping the Colts' offense off the field.

I think Dallas will beat SD. It's a must-win game for Dallas and for Wade Phillips.

I think Atlanta has a "puncher's" chance to upset the Saints. I remember in 1997 when Denver went into the Meadowlands at 13-0 (I was at the game and sat next to Terrell Davis' girlfriend in the Cantor Fitzgerald box - she read a book the whole game LOL) and I think they were like 7 point faves. They got beat.

I like the Birds over the Giants. I think the Birds, especially once Westbrook comes back and Vick adding another offensive dimension, could be very dangerous in the playoffs.

GawainsGhost said...

Well, the thing about the NFL is that it's not about going undefeated. It's about winning the last game, the championship. It's a long season, but if you play your best at the end, you will win.

Yeah, these Cowboys have a tough game against these Chargers. It really could go either way. San Diego can afford to lose, Dallas cannot. So I'll take the Cowboys, say 21-17.

getyourselfconnected said...

All,
I love it that plenty of us love the NFL.

Cannot argue with any of the opinions here, every game has many facets. Good luck to one and all, and hope the Patriots can give up less than 30 points tomorrow!!

getyourselfconnected said...

Well Denver almost pulled it off! Colts are a nightmare.

Patriots win in shaky fashion, they were lucky Carolina could not do anything on offense.

Dave in Denver said...

Denver could have won that game. The play-calling by McDaniels was very questionable at times. I give the Broncos a lot of credit in fighting back the way they did after going down 21-0 in first 23 minutes. Denver's defense made some incredible halftime adjustments and showed how vulnerable Manning is when you make him move around.

At 8-5, Bronco fans are playing with "house" money at this point and looks likely that a playoff berth will happen. Anyone suggesting that on Sept 1 would have been committed.

Otherwise, no real surprises so far, although the Falcons gave the Saints a run for their money.

getyourselfconnected said...

Dave,
yeah after the rough start The Broncos D really played well. Anyone thinking they are an easy playoff opponent may well be watching the rest of the playoffs after their game vs Denver.

The Falcons probably should have won that one, I wish the Saints would lose already!