Eagles, Jets burst into the top 10 with hot streaks
Posted: Wednesday December 27, 2006 10:50AM; Updated: Wednesday December 27, 2006 6:43PM
You know that thing in the paper that says "Playoff Scenarios"? I'm going to tell you something about it that perhaps you didn't know. If you look at the very bottom, you will see in tiny type, smaller than agate, a notation that says: Made In China.
That might explain some of the confusion that accompanies this document. You know what it's like? It's like opening the instruction manual of the new TV you just bought, and the first thing that greets you is one of those huge, intricate wiring diagrams. You yell, "Aaaagggh! Unclean!" then you make the sign of the cross and hang some garlic next to it, to keep the vampires away.
When I die, hell will be covering the Giants as a beat man, and every week they'll lose, and the headline will be, "Giants still alive for the playoffs." At 0-15 they'll still be alive for what will be known as The Playoffs of The Damned. Remember the movie, All That Money Can Buy, which was an adaptation of the story, The Devil and Daniel Webster? Remember when Jabez Stone gets tried before a Jury of the Damned at the end? That's what these playoffs are, The Playoffs of the Damned, only we won't have Daniel Webster to defend us, as Jabez did.
You know, I'm just not sure how far they'll go in the playoffs. OK, they'll get through the divisional round, but I'm not certain as to how they'll do in the AFC Championship. All right, let's say for the sake of argument, they win the AFC, but I'm really not sold on them in the Super Bowl. You want to give them the Super Bowl, fine, but then how do you like their chances in the Pro Bowl?
Well, they gave Brian Griese a workout against the Lions, which makes you wonder which of these clinching teams are mailing it in late in the season, and which ones are giving it the old, ha ha, do or die. That's why I don't handicap these kinds of games. The wiseguys, as some of you know, all had the Lions over Chicago, straight up, last weekend.
If I were a bettor, I would have tapped out on the Steelers. Baltimore had something to play for, well, sort of, and they'd beaten them big last time, so when the line came up Pittsburgh minus-3 1/2, it was formula all the way. Big play on the men of steel. I was so puzzled by the comfortable Ravens win that I called their defensive coach, Rex Ryan, and asked him what the story was. "We were a lot better in Baltimore, we were a lot better in Pittsburgh," he said. Why can't I come up with simple logic like that?
Now if you were New England, how would you be positioning yourself for the wild-card round? Would you rather host the Jets, who beat you at home, or the Broncos, who did likewise? Yeah, I know, neither of those two have clinched yet, but I'm absolutely certain that they will.
OK, they might be futzing around at this point in the season, losing to the Texans and everything, but Ron Dayne, who has yet to make a cut, gaining 153 against them? C'mon now. I mean granted, he's 300 pounds and only two feet tall, but getting mushed by an O-line that's responsible for only the 24th ranked rushing offense? Don't spread this around, but I don't think Indy is very good against the run.
They came into Giants Stadium and offered the game to the home team. "Here, you want it?" They proved it by dropping 10 passes. The Giants said no thank you, it would just confuse our fans. So the Saints walked away with the 30-7 win, and here's my favorite stat, the likes of which I have never seen before: New Orleans ran 54 plays in Giants' territory. And how many plays did New York run on the Saints' side? Zero.
If I were Andy Reid, here's what I would do: I'd construct a gameplan for the Falcons that would guarantee Jeff Garcia a minimum of 39 pass attempts. That's how many he needs to officially qualify for the NFL's rating system. He is currently No. 1 among NFC passers at 96.2, after Drew Brees and Tony Romo had statistically subpar days, but he doesn't have enough passes to qualify. You owe it to him, Andy, for all he's done for you, and yes, I'm fully aware that some serious production must come from those 39 throws, but I'm not worried.
I mean is this a fun team to root for? Every week someone seems to come up with the game of a lifetime. Two weeks ago it was Laveranues Coles against the Vikings. On Monday night it was little Leon Washington, busting a screen pass for 64 yards through the Miami gloom and rain, putting on the sweetest moves you ever saw, to salvage a game that appeared to be slipping away.
Odd, that Cincinnati game in the snow at home. Why did the Bengals punish them so badly with their running game? Why did the Bengals look like the tougher team? The Broncos seem to have a hollow feel to them.
I'm looking ahead to the playoffs. It doesn't seem that the Cowboys will have to face the No. 3 seed, the Eagles, who roughed 'em up so unmercifully Monday night. Instead, they'll be going to Seattle, where all they have to worry about is noise. You like their chances? Well, I did, too, against Philly last time, but even idiots such as me manage to absorb a little knowledge if things are explained often enough.