Monday, January 4, 2010
To the playoffs we go...
I don't know what the odds on this are, but three of the four Wild Card games this coming weekend are Week 17 rematches. If familiarity breeds contempt, then it should be extra interesting.
Safe to say Tony Romo has shut up some of the can't-do-it-after-November talk with his current run, even in the two losses they had to open the frame. The Cowboys are perhaps the hottest team entering the playoffs in the NFC, posting three wins and back to back shutouts including back to back shutouts after yesterday's 24-0 no-doubter over Philadelphia. They'll renew hostilities on Saturday night in Dallas, and anything other than a Dallas win will stun me. What was Wade Phillips doing leaving his starters in with the game well in hand? Romo took a nasty shot and was working through a back injury to close.
The Cincinnati Bengals laid down like a porn star in Chatsworth last night, handing the New York Jets an easy 37-0 win. Those two will get it on again in Cincinnati in Wild Card round. I suspect the result will be a little tighter the next time around.
Green Bay and Arizona will play again on Sunday after yesterday's 33-7 beatdown win for the Packers. Don't figure it'll be by that margin again next weekend, but the Packers are rolling of late.
The other Wild Card game will be a great one with Baltimore slated to visit New England. Patriots QB Tom Brady has been playing the last month or so with a broken finger and three broken ribs. The Pats lost wideout Wes Welker yesterday when his ACL and MCL blew up early in their loss to Houston.
Tennessee Titan Chris Johnson became the sixth player in NFL history to have a 2,000+ yard rushing season, finishing six yards over the mark. He also was the second youngest to achieve the number.
Only one team in NFL history - the Green Bay Packers decades ago - lost its last two games and went on to win the Super Bowl. That means you're in trouble, Indianapolis and New Orleans.
Another year, another fired Washington Redskins coach in the form of Jim Zorn. Are the Oakland Raiders really that much more of a joke? Hard to say.
Canada was never threatened in a comfortable 6-1 win over Switzerland in their half of the World Junior Hockey semi-finals. They'll face the U.S. in the finals tomorrow night after they beat Sweden 5-2. If the final approaches their New Year's Eve tilt, won by Canada 5-4 in a shootout, we're in for a treat. That one goes at 8pm tomorrow on TSN.
Bill Cowher is said to be making calls to round out a coaching staff. Sounds to me like a guy who is real close to making a comeback to the coaching ranks. With the season now over for the majority of teams, might just be a day or two before a vacancy is created and filled by Cowher. In related news - perhaps - Cowher is said to have had a secret second meeting with the Buffalo Bills last week.
To anyone looking to quit their job this year, just tell your boss you're going New York Giant. They'll know what you mean. The Giants gave up 44 and 41 the last two games in coach killing performances. The good folks at ProFootballTalk figure a change is in the offing.
Are the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox not really spending this off-season to earmark their money for Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder in the next couple years? More than a few MLB execs seem to think so, as this article notes, and hints that a run at Mauer is why the Yankees have not dealt killer catcher prospect Jesus Montero to date. Interesting theory, to be sure.
Sounds like the NHL is eyeing New York City for the next Winter Classic, with Citi Field the likely spot with Yankee Stadium tied up for a college football bowl game most likely. How can they not look at Central Park? That'd be incredible.
Seems we'll get the Rashad Evans/Rampage Jackson fight after all, next summer after Rampage's obligations to the A-Team movie - he's playing B.A. Barracus - are wrapped up. If you caught the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, these two had a serious hate on.
Can you feel the excitement, Uganda? Evander Holyfield will be fighting Francois Botha on January 16th. How boxing allows this is beyond me.
The Edmonton Oilers had their rookie dinner in Calgary on New Year's Eve and after initially asking for a 50% discount - who does that, anyways? - they then decided that paying $12,381.45 of a bill of $16,796.39 - before tip - was good enough. Stay classy, Oil. If an NBA/NFL/MLB team tried that, they'd be crucified by the media.
Posted by TB at 9:32 AM