Season is wrapping up. And teams are gunning hard to make the playoff spots. Coaches and players are pulling out all the stops in the most parity-filled year in recent memory. Pregame, fans are praying that analysts will stop with the inane chatter and awkward laughter to give us our injury reports. Fantasy owners are sitting in front of the TV with laptop in hand clicking refresh every 45 seconds trying to get the latest updates. We are all cursing at FOX broadcasters to finally “send it over to Curt in the studio” for an update. It’s crunch time. And this is how its going to go down.
1) The St Louis Rams lose to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks lose to the Atlanta Falcons, guaranteeing that there will be a team with at best a .500 record making it into the NFL playoffs, prompting major discussions for a format change allowing the 6 best teams in each conference a post-season bid.
2) Joe Webb is picked up and started in almost 20% of Fantasy Football leagues, because he is a quarterback that you can play in the wide receiver position. Every single team that does this ends up disappointed with his 140 yard, 1 TD, 2 INT performance. Major points are left on the bench after they waste their flex spot on a 3rd string, 6th round rookie making his first start in the NFL on a 9 degree day, playing outdoors in Minnesota.
3) The Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the Indianapolis Colts in the Lucas Oil Stadium, clinching their first place spot in the division, something that hasn’t happened since 1999. Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts are forced to watch a division rival celebrate on their home turf. There are no jokes in Manning’s postgame interview.
4) It is the week of the forgotten running back in the NFL. Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Ronnie Brown, and Ricky Williams put up opponent crushing numbers. Unfortunately it is too late for each of their teams, but who cares, the fantasy owners are ecstatic with their sleeper victory.
5) NBC’s Sunday Night game between the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers is another laughable performance for NE’s opposing defense. With Aaron Rodger’s out with a concussion, back-up quarterback Matt Flynn fails to get anything going against the increasingly stingy Patriot secondary. Outscoring opponents 81-10 in their last 2 games, New England continues the trend, crushing Green Bay by over 28. The Packers’ playoff hopes are dashed as all Rodgers can do is look on shiveringly from the sideline.
6) The Washington Redskins are opting to start Rex Grossman over Donovan McNabb, which will send the team into even more of a nosedive. The Redskins are unorganized and confused, and the game in Dallas turns into a mess. The Dallas Cowboys win just their second home game this season, but do it in style, getting revenge for the Week 1 debacle in Washington. Expect helmets, fists and yellow flags to fly in this one, as the Cowboys take it to the battered Redskins.
7) Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson start right where they left off on Monday night by putting up huge offensive numbers in the highest scoring game of the week. Kerry Collins and Kenny Britt arise as underused sleepers in a game that turns into a major shootout. Both quarterbacks eclipse 300 yards, both running backs go for over 100, and the top receivers haul in 2 TDs each. Expect fantasy fireworks from this one.
8 ) The Denver Broncos further embarrass themselves this week against the Oakland Raiders. Talks of Tim Tebow starting come true and Gator Nation has one great big collective orgasm felt as far as Atlanta. The Denver run game is able to show up, and Tebow sneaks one in from a few yards out, but his passing numbers are less than stellar, as Tebow throws his first, second, and third NFL career interceptions.
9) The New York Jets travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in perhaps the ugliest game this week. Neither team puts up a very impressive stat line, but the league makes about 150,000 dollars in fines. The Steelers take the game based solely on their defense, as Polamalu, Harrison, Farrior and Hampton have a field day with digressing Mark Sanchez and the rest of the Jets offense.
10) The Fox NFL Sunday crew talks for roughly 45 about Michael Vick wanting to someday own a dog again. Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan make terrible “Top Dog” jokes. Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long scream incomprehensibly at each other about the issue. Curt Menafee is caught by camera 2 for a few brief seconds hanging his head in shame wondering how his life got to this. Rules analyst, Mike Pereira decides that they can find a replacement for next year. Guys at FOX, feel free to send me a rulebook, I’m looking for a job.