Bet you didn't see that clever post title coming.
I told you there would be some weird shit. Darren Sproles providing the second-most electrifying play of the day, he who was in danger of being cut in training camp? Billy Volek spearheading the eventual game-winning drive? And goddamn, the refs last Sunday levied a bushel of questionable calls against all four teams, including the godawful phantom hold that nullified the most electrifying play of the day. These are the ones who graded out the best? Poor Peyton Manning. Shot in the ass by his own teammates with their inexplicably erratic play for the second time in three years - o-line last time, defense now - though tossing a ball to Kenton Keith probably wasn't a good idea regardless of the subsequent turnover at the 2 yard line. The Colts are turning into the football equivalent of the Atlanta Braves.
I wish the Browns would turn into the football equivalent of the Baltimore Ravens. Thus, as I pour this libation of tea upon the holy ground of my front yard, I humbly proffer this meager hymn!
Ye glorious football gods!
One lousy title is all I ask of thee,
by the occasional island of decency
in a churning sea of fuckery,
as is your inscrutable and omnipotent want!
Huh? Oh, right. Thanks a lot, Art. Please live forever in mental and physical anguish. And gods? Fuck off.
San Diego (13-5) @ New England (17-0): I remember it well. The 1994 AFC title game, the Chargers a big underdog against the 'Blitzburgh' defense that was hitting its stride, having waxed my beloved Browns the previous week. I don't recall the spread, but it was easily double digits. There was no way in hell Junior Seau alone would take a bunch of nondescript never-would-bes and never-weres to face the winner of the Real Super Bowl®, the victor of the San Francisco-Dallas game. The Chargers were indeed outgained 415-266, had 13 first downs to Pittsburgh's 22, while holding onto the ball for a lousy 22 minutes and 47 seconds. Final score? San Diego 17, Pittsburgh 13. They decided to make Neil O'Donnell, Barry Foster and Bam Morris march methodically up and down the field, shutting off the potential for big plays, of which the Chargers themselves had a couple. Holding the vaunted Steeler ground game to a lousy 66 yards didn't hurt the proceedings. Sounds eerily similar to what Jacksonville attempted last week, doesn't it? Don't get too giddy, residents of the city with the most boring weather in North America. You guys will blitz more, and a fully healthy team could've kept it close - the Chargers really do have a nice collection of talent, probably second only to New England in the entire league - but that's about it. Being banged up? With Billy Beer possibly starting in place of The Motormouth? Good fucking luck. The Patriots have far too many weapons to deal with and a big edge at the most important position in the sport.
New England, 34-20.
N.Y. Giants (12-6) @ Green Bay (14-3): Wonder if Brett Favre is licking his chops at facing a injury-riddled Giants' secondary. The forecast, unfortunately, doesn't call for copious amounts of the white stuff, but it's supposed to be fucking cold, thus, Ryan Grant left, Ryan Grant right, funky Favre tosses to Driver and Co., then some Ryan Grant up the middle for good measure with head-to-toe soreness from sideline to sideline, everything lost in a Hound of the Baskervilles-esque fog of sixty thousand breaths. Hell of a run by Big Blue, especially the justly-maligned Eli who has decided to stop the insanity and make less mistakes than his brother - all with an injured no. 1 receiver, a bruiser with hands of stone and a 7th-round pick as his top complimentary pieces - but it ends on the frozen turf of Dairyland against the most complete team in the NFC, thereby setting up
1)a ratings bonanza that has corporates foaming at the jowls
2)479 quadrillion puff pieces about Favre's humble upbringing
3)a slightly less amount about Brady's hot babe horizontal shuffling
4)and one that tells the gripping origin story of Belichick's unsartorial hoodie.
Green Bay, 27-13! Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of hype! Save us, Jaws!