Happy New Year! May the New Year bring prosperity and joy to auld you acquaintance with. This time of the year I celebrate two noteworthy items. I transfer writing jobs from fantasy football to prognostication. And I now get to say we are in the teens. Next comes the 20s, 30s etc. All is right in the numeric world when it comes to generational conversation.
A Tale Of Two Cities
Out of the playoffs are the familiar teams of the New Orleans Saints & the New York Giants. New teams in are the likes of the Redskins and Colts. Welcome to the dance gentlemen, now watch how hard it is to two-step your way through this tournament.
This year's wild card story has all of the drama associated with the hot and the not so hot. In the not so hot category, you have the Houston Texans which went from having every game go through Houston to out of the bye week. That would be the Penthouse to the Outhouse for a team that was 11-1 until the Patriots smooshed them 42-14 on Monday Night December 10th. The difference between 12-4 and 15-1 is only three games but Houston is trending down.
The teams trending in the other direction all had to win to get in the last several weeks of the season. That would be the likes of the Bengals, the Seahawks and the Redskins. The only in-between but still trending upward are the Green Bay Packers. They want to win in the playoffs to get rid of the loss they had at home last year.
Let us look at the games this weekend, shall we?
I Am Hosting a Playoff Game and I am 7-9! WooHoo!
The Wildcard weekend has four games. It all begins with the trending down Houston Texans hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have a balanced team and Houston was firing on all cylinders until the last four weeks. I think that the Houston fans will rally the team and Houston will celebrate a home victory in the playoffs.
Next up on Saturday will be the Minnesota Vikings at the Green Bay Packers. These teams played the last week of the season in Minnesota and the Vikings pulled out the victory to get into the playoffs. How the Vikings do it is very admirable and old school relying on the running of Adrian Peterson. They seem to still win even though they rarely throw the ball downfield. What is up with that? The Green Bay Packers have something to prove. Look for Green Bay to move on.
The Indianapolis Colts travel to Baltimore to face the Baltimore Ravens and their new high flying offense. It has flown somewhere in the middle. Meanwhile, rookie QB Andrew Luck has guided the Colts to a very respectable 11-5 record in his first season. It is so tempting to pick Indianapolis because of the way that Baltimore defends the 30 yard pass. But I think Indianapolis is only at the beginning of their new emergence. Baltimore finds a way.
The last game of the weekend sees the Seattle Seahawks travel eastward to face The Washington Redskins led by Robert Griffin III. Due to an injury he is not so mobile. Seattle has a great new offense behind their rookie QB Russell Wilson. Seattle makes RG III throw, but RG III shows he is a pocket passer against a team that does not travel eastward. I think Washington will prevail.
What To Watch
Watch how much faster the game appears. In the games this weekend there are three rookie QBs. That makes for more dancing feet than Fred Astaire. Dancing feet in the pocket make for indecision and indecisions are tough to overcome. Playoff football is an all-or-nothing proposition and time and mistakes make you or break you. Look for mistakes and look for time management.
But at first blush, how the heck is anyone beating the 49ers in the NFC and the Broncos in the AFC? I guess that article will be next week.
M aster D.
Tim can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes your opinions on the Diary of a Fantasy Virgin Articles.