(American) Sportstalk Sunday #2
It's another Sunday and the NFL is definitely still the number one topic in American Sports. It's playoffs time! Six games on tap this weekend with the first two happening yesterday (I'll get to those in a second).
In the meantime, the NBA and NHL seasons have reached their halfway points and, other than the Boston Bruins-who finally lost their first home game in regulation of the season the other night- no team has really run away and become a heavy favorite for a title and most of the teams are still within shouting distance of a playoff spot. Now that that's out of the way, on to the meat of this weekends action.
As I said, the first two playoff games were played yesterday with Seattle at San Francisco and the LA Chargers at Jacksonville. Now, if I would have told you the underdog Seahawks were up 17-16 at half and the underdog Jaguars were down 27-0 late in the 2nd quarter, which of the two would you bet on to win? In a season filled with crazy finishes, Jacksonville added another to the list by kicking a go ahead FG with 3 seconds left to beat the Chargers 31-30. Seattle on the other hand proceeded to get blown out 41-23. It's not how you start, it's how you finish.
Four to Go
The smorgasbord continues on Sunday with three more matchups.
First, it's Miami heading to Buffalo to play their division rivals for the 3rd time this season. Miami won the first in Florida 21-19 while Buffalo came back late to beat the Dolphins 32-29 in New York. Unfortunately, the Dolphins QB, Tua Tagovailoa, has already been ruled out with lingering affects from the concussion(s) he suffered earlier this year so it's going to be an uphill battle for them to beat the Bills in the cold. Temps are supposed to be right around freezing at game time.
The second game features the cardiac Minnesota Vikings hosting the NY Giants in a rematch from Christmas. The Vikings somehow gave up more points during the season than they actually scored and yet still found a way to go 13-4. Helped by an 11-0 record in one score games, they have either kept it close and found a way to win at the end, or gotten blown out. Although, that said, even if they do get down big, they can't be counted out as they set the NFL record for biggest comeback in a game when they beat Indianapolis in OT after trailing 33-0 at half.
The Giants are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and though they struggled down the stretch (losing 6 of their last 8) they have gotten healthier at the end of the year and look to pay back the Vikings for their last-second loss over Christmas. It's the NFL, this game could go either way.
The nightcap features another inter-division matchup at Cincinatti between the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens. The two teams just played last week with the Bengals winning 27-16 to split the season series, but the Ravens rested some key players with their playoff spot already locked up. Unfortunately, the rest wasn't enough to heal Raven's QB Lamar Jackson's knee so he will be out again. This one heavily favors the Bengals but, when two teams know each other as well as these two do, anything can happen.
Tomorrow night tops off the weekend with a rematch between Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers home against the mercurial Dallas Cowboys. Dallas, at 12-5, would seem to have the edge against the Bucs, 8-9, but Tampa has this little-known player named Tom Brady at the helm, and the Cowboys as a franchise have never beaten him. In fact, they're 0-7. The game is in Tampa by virtue of the fact the Bucs won their lowly division while the Cowboys finished 2nd to the Eagles thus having to make the playoffs as a wild-card. The pressure would seem to be all on Dallas. They should win, but if they don't...? Should be a fun one to watch.
So, that's what's on tap today and tomorrow. Quality teams playing each other in win-or-go-home, high-pressure games with the eyes of the entire NFL and their fans glued to their screens. Everything is under a microscope and, as last night's game showcased, you never know what's going to happen.
Belly up! It's going to be fun!
PS. The Georgia Bulldogs won their 2nd consecutive National Championship in the worst blowout in Bowl game history. Enough said. Next year they'll have the chance to become the first team to three-peat since the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the 1930s. I'm sure that will be a big story next year so now you all are prepared with the answer to that trivia question. :-)
See you next week!
Posted using SportsTalkSocial
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