Awesome weekend of playoff football! The Saints/Niners game was certainly much more of a showdown than I expected. Nobody called Alex Smith pulling together a 2-minute game winning drive, but he did. God damn he did. Not even Alex Smith is sure how he did it.
The Patriots took care of business as predicted, which leads me to the theory of the reverse-jinx double-jinx. Not many people are aware of such an illusive state of karma as the reverse-jinx double-jinx, but it applies very specifically to the Tebow/Pats game. The initial jinx would be Tebow being called a flop and then having him lead the Broncos to a 6-game win streak and taking over the division. The double-jinx comes when Tebow and the Broncos lose their remaining 3 games in an atrocious manner, face one of the most daunting opponents in the first round of the playoffs, and go on to win that game in surprising upset fashion. The belief is that by predicting the Steelers to win, the collective NFL Gods, in turn, jinxed them.
This is where things get a little tricky.
The reverse-jinx came last weekend when the Broncos flew into New England to face the Patriots and all-mighty Tom Brady. Now, they were an underdog again, as expected, but not considered as big of an underdog as say the Giants vs. Packers (to which I scoffed last week.) Vegas and NFL fans were buying into the Tebow hype once again. People who normally wouldn’t even begin to think about Tim Tebow and the lowely Broncos beating the Patriots (even me) started to believe that maybe…. just maybe…. Tim Tebow could pull out another upset and advance in the playoffs. That, in turn, became Tim Tebow’s hype reverse jinxing itself.
The Broncos were in a karma shit-storm too big for one team to handle… the reverse-jinx double-jinx. A monster of epic proportions, what you saw was a drubbing almost too unbearable to watch.
The Texans/Ravens game went about exactly how I had anticipated. The Ravens offense scored 17 points in the first quarter, but was almost non-existent in the rest of the game. The Texans defense was no joke, but unfortunately T.J. Yates was. Shoulda put Delhomme in, holmes. I can’t even fathom why the Texans signed the 10-year vet if they weren’t planning on using him.
Now a lot of people are thinking: “Jake Delhomme was a bum who hasn’t played in years!” which would normally be a correct assessment if we blocked out the 2011 season. Avid theheadrush readers and well-informed fourth-string quarterback lovers, however, know that Jake Delhomme nearly led the Texans to a comeback in Week 17 by orchestrating a 80-yard 90-second drive that resulted in him throwing a touchdown. Ain’t the best sample size to base off of, but if you have the Ravens offense completely stalling, you’re down by a touchdown, and T.J. Yates just threw 2 terrible interceptions… why wouldn’t you throw Delhomme in? Doesn’t make sense to me. Ravens got a little bit lucky on a rookie QB in my eyes.
That leaves us with the Giants/Packers game which had most people blown away except for yours truly (and probably another 100,000 people) but either way, I called it. In fact, I said Giants 38, Packers 28, and the end result ended up being Giants 37, Packers 20. That looks mighty fine to me. The Packers defense was total garbage and Tom Coughlin’s rosey red cheeks knew it. The one thing that stood out in that game most notably, though, was the poor officiating. Good lord. When you have the bias announcers, the Fox “special lawyer go to guy for rulings” guy, and 50% of Green Bay fans saying it was a fumble, it was a fumble. Greg Jennings dropped that ball before he hit the ground. What gives? Then, the roughing the passer calls that either came out of nowhere or never came at all…. it’s like they do whatever they want so long as it adds more drama to the game. Get with it, folks.
Now, I feel a little gross because last week I wrote about the 76ers, and the day I published an article on their great win streak, they lose. And since then, they’ve won. Basically, they’ve won 9 of 10 games, and the day I posted was that one and only loss…. soooooooooo how about we talk about them Sixers??
Looks like the Philadelphia squad is finally getting some national love for their success. Ranked #2 in the East now, the Sixers got mention on PTI, Around the Horn, and ESPN.com. Bout time. The true test is going to be the month of February. The schedule goes something like this : Bulls, Heat, Hawks, Lakers, Spurs, Clippers, Cavaliers, Bobcats, Magic, Mavericks, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Rockets, Pistons, Thunder.
Doing a quick check, I see that only the Bobcats & the Timberwolves are below .500. And the Timberwolves aren’t even that bad! Even the Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting at 6-6 as I write this. Almost every other team is top 5 in their conference right now. It’s going to be a true test of the Sixers’ credibility.
Also, while I’m perusing the NBA standings, I notice that the Orlando Magic are 9-3. They have a better record than the Miami Heat right now. Maybe Dwight Howard just needs to stop bitching for a way out. It’s not even like the Magic are that bad. Chris Paul wanting to leave the Hornets made sense. They sucked, they didn’t draft well, they weren’t going to be good anytime soon, but Dwight Howard wanting to leave a team that has achieved a winning season the past 4 years including a Finals run is starting to look a bit egocentric. They aren’t doing a lot to build the team up, but the team doesn’t really blow donkey balls now does it? Quit yer’ whining.
I’ll have the NFL playoff picks coming later this week. Stay tuned.
This post was written by Randy Neil