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Tuesday Morning Overreactions

For 62.5% of the league, there are only 3 games left in the NFL Season. The remaining 37.5% of the league will get to play for at least one more week as the 12 playoff teams. Some teams have already guaranteed themselves extra life. Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Eagles, and Falcons, have already clinched not only a playoff spot, but their divisions as well. 3 Teams have already guaranteed they won't be in the playoffs (Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland). So that means there are currently 24 teams still alive and fighting for survival. For those teams the playoffs start now.

Now some of those teams are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. The Chargers for example have a 2 game lead in their division and can clinch with a victory next week over Cleveland. But the real race to watch will be the race for the 2 wild card spots in each conference.

Over in the AFC the Jets and Ravens are currently in control of the Spots. The Jets are 9-4 and 1 game ahead of 6th spot holder Ravens. On the fringe, tied with Ravens recordwise, but losing out on tiebreakers is Denver. And one game behind Denver is Buffalo (who started the season out 0-4), and Jacksonville who are currently 7-6. the other teams' chances are too slim to worry about here. So 5 teams playing for two spots. 9-7 most likely will win the final spot, but there could be 3 teams with 9-7 records who don't make it, Better get to 10-6 to feel comfortable.

Now in the NFC teams most likely won't have to get to 10-6. Only 2 of the 4 division have been clinched, and there is a fierce battle, (more like a fierce battle between weak teams) for the final spots. The NFC North Green Bay (who started the season 1-4) leads the division by one game over slumping Minnesota. In two weeks this division could be decided when Green Bay travels to the dome to play the Vikings. One thing to watch, Favre traditionally has bad games in domes, and worse games in the Vikings' Dome.

The NFC West sees the Seattle Seahawks leading the St. Louis Rams by a single game. However these two teams don't play each other. The Rams have won both matchups this year, and would own the tie breaker should both teams end up with a losing record. It will be interesting to see how both teams close out.

In the Tiebreak there currently sits the Minnesota Vikings at 7-6, and one game behind them is the Carolina Panthers (who started out 1-7), and the St. Louis Rams, both at 6-7. Since Carolina beat the Rams this past week they currently sit in 6th spot. Now right behind the Panthers and Rams are Tampa Bay, Detroit, Chicago, N.Y. Giants, and Dallas Cowboys, all at 5-8. Oh I bet some of those AFC teams wish they were NFC Teams this year.

Our Fans are #1

After throwing an interception in the game against Miami, Denver QB Jake Plummer was booed by a good portion of the fans. Plummer responded by reaching his hand behind his head, and showing the fans his middle finger (I'm sure to tell the fans he thinks they are #1). This obscene gesture was caught by the TV cameras.

Plummer immediately following the game apologized. Saying he was “an emotional guy”, and that “one guy got into my head a little bit”. He also said that Denver “has the greatest fans in the league.”

Now if this was Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, or Any NBA Player, it would be blown out of proportion, and talked about on every Sports News Show, Radio Show, Sports Site for the next 4 days. Everyone would be saying it's the end of the World. ESPN would be talking about how it's the end of civilization as we know it. However the only thing that I could find on ESPN's web page regarding the incident, was a 2 paragraph blurb in the recap of the game. So where is the consistency? ESPN loves to make something out of nothing. Heck they've been talking about the Shaq vs. Kobe feud for about 3 months after people stopped caring. How many times did we hear about T.O's locker room scene for Monday Night?

Personally, methinks that for once ESPN did the right thing by not making such a big deal over the Plummer incident. I just wish they would take that same mentality more often.

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four Potato, Five Potato, Six Potato, Please No More.

During the Rams 20-7 defeat versus the Carolina Panthers, backup QB Chris Chandler, who was playing due to a sore shoulder to starter Marc Bulger, completed 16 passes for 243 yards and 1 TD. He also managed to hook up with the Carolina Defensive Backs 6 times. 6 Interceptions in what the 17 year (should have made it 16) veteran says was his worst game as a pro. Well no duh, it was his worst game. If he made it a habit of throwing 6 INT's he wouldn't have survived for 17 years.

You may ask, though, why did the Rams keep throwing? Well because their RB Arlen Harris (In for the injured Stephen Jackson, who was in last week for the injured Marshall Faulk) only managed a measly 61 yards on 19 carries. So Rams coach Martz had to throw the ball. I'm sure he didn't expect Chandler to become so enamored with the pass catching ability of Carolina's DB's that he'd keep passing to them.

Home Field Update

In the NFC the Philadelphia Eagles can clinch homefield advantage with a win this week. However in the AFC the race is still tight. The Steelers and Patriots both only have 1 loss this season, and since the Patriots loss came at the hands of Pittsburgh, the Steelers hold the edge.

Lose or Rue

Though a loss could very well mean they wouldn't get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, the Steelers might still want to think of losing soon. Actually Ben Roethlisberger might want to think about losing soon. Big Ben is currently on a 26 game win streak (11-0 in the NFL, 15-0 before the NFL). That is quite the streak. The fates in charge of the NFL don't let streaks go on forever, and should Ben still be on the streak once the Playoffs hit, would be a prime target for the fates to strike and end the streak.

After all one only needs to look at Gary Anderson in 1998 to look at how the fates handle streaks. Gary Anderson had the only perfect NFL season for a place kicker, he didn't miss a fielgoal or an extra point for the 15-1 Minnesota Vikings. In the NFC Championship Game, with his team leading 27-20 Gary Anderson lined up for a 39 yard fieldgoal. The fates determined it was time to end the streak. He missed the field goal Atlanta ended up scoring the tying TD and winning the game in OT.

Last year Colts Kicker Mike Vanderjagt hadn't missed a field goal in over a full season. I said then that he would rue the day he didn't miss, as he would miss a huge fieldgoal in the Playoffs. However Vanderjagt never got the chance to attempt an important kick in the playoffs. The fates don't forget though. On the season opener, his Colts were playing against the Patriots. Down 27-24 with under a minute to go Vanderjagt lined up for a game tying field goal. He missed it. His first important kick and he shanks it.

If Big Ben enters the Playoffs on his current streak he will rue the day he didn't lose. Even though all the games are important right now for the Steelers as they battle for home field, a loss in the next 3 games still means they will play again, whereas a loss after that means it's over.

Sideshow's Top 15

Rank (LW)



Last Week's Results


1 (1)



Won 17-6 vs. N.Y. Jets

Still #1 because of victories over Patriots and Eagles.

2 (2)

New England


Won 35-28 vs. Cin

Pats clinch Division title, something they failed to do after first Super Bowl victory.

3 (3)



Won 17-14 vs. Was

As games become meaningless could Eagles let their guard down?

4 (4)



Won 23-14 vs. Hou

Defense starting to make it's playoff push and show it doesn't need 5 td's from Manning every week.

5 (5)

San Diego


Won 31-24 vs. T.B.

Chargers survive what could have been a classic trap game.

6 (7)



Won 35-10 vs. Oak

Only 176 total yards for Vick, and Falcons still win, This season beginning to look magical.

7 (6)

N.Y. Jets


Lost 17-6 vs. Pit

Jets can now only tie for division, but would have to beat N.E. in two weeks.

8 (9)



Won 37-7 vs. Cle

Despite fact that they probably won't make playoffs, Bills still a better team than Baltimore, or Denver. They just started a little too late. Watch out next year.

9 (11)



Won 37-14 vs. N.Y. Giants

Ravens D introduced themsevles to Eli Manning.

10 (8)

Green Bay


Won 16-13 vs. Det

Last second fieldgoal keeps Packers up by a game in division. Could be needed when Favre goes to Metrodome.

11 (NR)



Won 20-3 vs. StL

This just in Carolina has intercepted another Chandler Pass. 5 Straight wins for Panthers.

12 (13)



Won 20-17 vs. Mia

Wonder if Denver is beginning to fill snake bitten by Jake the Snake.

13 (14)



Won 22-3 vs. Chi

Jags will probably miss playoffs this year, but lessons learned will be big next season.

14 (NR)



Lost 35-28 vs. N.E.

120 points over last 3 games, and continued development of Carson Palmer could mean a big 2005.

The Cellar Watch

Rank (LW)



Last Week's Results


30 (30)



Lost 37-7 vs. Buf

79 points given up in last two games. Not exactly great stat for interim coach Terry Robiskie.

31 (31)



Lost 20-17 vs. Den

Dolphins yet again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

32 (32)

San Francisco


Won 31-28 vs. Az

Bad news for the niners: no more games against Arizona.