The NFL has been almost unwatchable at times this year. We have lamented how poor the quality of play has been.
But Sunday we saw what happens when good teams play each other. The Seattle-New England game was everything your could hope for in terms of good football and a great finish. (Although what the hell was Pete Carroll thinking with that two-point conversion attempt?). Big plays, turnovers that were forced not given (except Brady’s interception), and a solid preview of what a Super Bowl could be in Houston.
Unless it involves the Dallas Cowboys, who also played one hell of a game in beating the Steelers, who also played well. We also saw a gritty win by the sneaky good Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots are clearly the class of the AFC, but don’t rule out the Chiefs or Raiders just yet. As far as the NFC? The Cowboys and Seahawks are separating themselves from the field.
Speaking of the Cowboys: Really hard to make a case to change quarterbacks at this point. Dak Prescott is 8-1 as a starter and 5-0 on the road, including wins in Green Bay (suddenly not looking so impressive) and Pittsburgh. And the Cowboys are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Despite the 4-5 record, I think the Steelers are pretty good when healthy, which they were yesterday. So there are some good teams in the NFL.
Where do the Texans fit? Hard to say. Here is yesterday’s recap. And for a fun, no holds barred look at the rest of the league, check out our good friend Holly’s view. (She is in a good mood since her Eagles won).
College shakeup: So the great implosion at the top of the polls happened Saturday, with the No. 2, 3 and 4 teams all losing. Shocking. Stunning. Chaos. Or maybe not. While it was fun to see some shakeup, the reality is those losses might not mean a thing. If Michigan, Washington and Clemson all win out, they still make the playoffs. Michigan-Ohio State was always going to settle a spot. A one-loss ACC champ Clemson is a lock. A one-loss Washington is, too. So it was a bizarre week, but it might wind up being meaningless.
Where it gets interesting is if Washington or Clemson lose again. The Huskies still have to go to Washington State at the end of the season. Clemson has a free square with Wake Forest, then plays an improved South Carolina. But in reality the Tigers should roll through those two and the ACC title game. So in the end, none of this may mean anything, no matter what the polls say.
Another Washington loss? Watch out for sneaky Oklahoma, which has quietly played its way back in the mix.
Gambling recap: Add a 1-1 NFL day to a 4-4 college day for a right down the middle, nothing to see here weekend. An 0-1 on the CFL did not help. Some bad luck in there, but that’s the game. Wound up down slightly but salvaged things with a money line on Marshall and a late add of the SMU game (sorry, did not get to put it on the site — was enjoying Jacksonville). The good news is this is the kind of bad week we usually have, not 2-8 disasters. Expecting a bounce back next week, plus a big race card at Delta Downs. Stay tuned.
Speaking of Jacksonville: Had a blast on my trip there. I had not been in over a decade, and really did not remember much about the city. But I had an incredible time, especially Saturday night in Five Points. And it was a great place to be active; the running trail along the river dares you to get out and do something. Highly recommend a getaway there and will be doing this trip again next year. What surprised me was how amazingly friendly the people were, even the Jags fans. Can’t say enough nice things. And yes, there were some funny encounters. You will have to tune in to the Blitz today for those.
Holy bat, man? The world’s fastest mammal is a bat capable of flying 100 miles an hour. Which is pretty much all this story is about, so you probably don’t have to click on the link. Imagine if these suckers ever get blood thirsty. None of us will be safe.
Breaking up is hard to do: Unless you do it by text, like this guy. Surprised he could get a woman to date him at all. But hey, the cat comes first, right?
QUOTE OF THE DAY
In honor of the college “madness.”
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
— William (I call him “Willy”) Shakespeare, Macbeth