Yours truly had the amazing experience of attending the Week 17 matchup between the Vikings and Packers. Our work hit a nearly impossible goal, so our reward was the company seats in Row 5 off the 20 yard line. Huge implications, the Vikings needed to win to even make the playoffs, while the Packers needed to win to get a first round bye in the playoffs. Plus it was a rivalry game! Blair Walsh kicked a 54 yard FG on our side, and dang that seems so much longer in real life! Ponder and Rodgers combined for 7 TD’s. Vikes went up quick and seemingly had the game in hand until the Packers came back. Then Walsh hit the game winner as time expired. The main reason everybody was on edge though was to watch Adrian Peterson try to break Eric Dickerson’s all time rushing record. He got SOOOO Close! Only 9 yards shy of it! He had a whopping 199 yard game as well. Overall, one of the more exciting games I’ve ever been to, and that place was loud!
Stat of the Week #1:
Adrian Peterson fumbled 2 times all season, on 348 carries. So much for his fumble problems…
Stat of the Week #2:
Adrian Peterson’s Yards After Contact (YAC) alone would have made him the 16th best RB in the league
Stat of the Week #3:
If Adrian Peterson would have ONLY played in December, he would have been 19th in the league for rushing! He had 861 yards in those 5 games alone!
Stat of the Week #4:
There have been 6 QB’s who have ever thrown for 5000 yards in NFL history, 4 of those came in 2011 and 2012.
Stat of the Week #5:
This year, Drew Brees would have beaten Dan Marino’s single season passing yardage mark that stood for 27 years (yet nobody heard about it, his team was 7-9). This gives Drew Brees 3 of the top 5 passing seasons of all time.
Stat of the Week #6:
Denver is the only team to be in the Top 5 of Offense and Defense.
Stat of the Week #7:
The AFC QB’s have a total of 52 playoff starts combined, the NFC has only 9. Only 2 NFC QB’s have started playoff games (Rodgers and Ryan). The NFC was entirely dominant this year, but this is a crazy comparison!
Bengals at Texans:
Exact rematch of last years game (even to the timeslot), except for the fact that we’re looking at Matt Schaub instead of TJ Yates at QB for the Texans. Prediction: More of the same. The Texans ended the season slowly, but I see the Texans taking care of business at home.
Vikings at Packers:
Awesome matchup for the first round! They teams played 2 close games this year, each winning at home. This is definitely the toughest pick I will make this week because I can literally see it go both ways. The Packers have a TON of people back from injury, and if they can shut down AP on defense, this could be a 28-13 blowout. However, if the Vikings can have an offensive game like last weekend, I see the Vikes taking another high scoring 28-24 match. Prediction: With a “Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field” game expected, I see the Packers putting 10 in the box to shut down AP, and the passing game not picking it up. Watch for the Packers to win (even I feel bad saying it, sorry to all my Vikings readers).
Seahawks at Redskins:
Super matchup between rookie QB’s! Neither team really expecting to make the playoffs, but these exciting players have brought their teams to the promise-land. The league has been overshadowed by Luck and Griffin, but Russell Wilson is a franchise quarterback who stole the job from a prize free agent. The Seahawks have been awful on the road this year, but with a gimpy RGIII, I see an upset and Seattle winning it.
Colts at Ravens:
Going into this week, I was gung-ho on the Colts. But then something happened, Ray Lewis announced his retirement. Even as a limping team, I feel like this news is something the Ravens will rally around and try to win one more for their star. The Ravens either lose this week, or win the Super Bowl. But the Colts are also rallying around Chuck Pagano, and they are a hot team. Look for the Colts to upset the Ravens and end Lewis’ career.
Texans and Packers take care of business at home, while Redskins and Ravens get upset.
Super Bowl Prediction:
With the current playoff lineup, my Super Bowl prediction is:
Denver vs San Francisco!
Rematch of 1990 Super Bowl between Montana and Elway! Except this time I see the Broncos winning it all.
Literal Coaching Carousel:
The inevitable “Black Monday” hit with full force this year, with 7 teams firing their coach. Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt, Norv Turner, Chan Gailey, Pat Shurmur, and Romeo Crennel all lost their jobs. What is weird about this year is the high demand for these fired coaches. With the high quality of candidates, we are already looking at Whisenhunt to Browns, Reid to Chiefs, Smith to Bills, and Norv Turner as an Offensive Coordinator. 7 firings and 3 seemingly have a job within the week!
Quote of the Week:
“I’m happier than the first time I had sex!” Vikings fan who hugged Mickey after the game winning kick
Replacement Refs Wrath:
The Seattle Green Bay blown call cost the Packer a bye. You can argue that they still had their fate in their hands (if they won on Sunday, they got the #2 seed). The Replacement Ref era seems so long ago, but their wrath is still being felt.
Tim Tebow Benched Jersey:
Hilarious Dick’s Sporting Goods jersey display, check out the link below.
Teams to watch next year:
Inevitably, there are teams each year that finish a season strong but miss out on the playoffs. These teams are prime to make a run next year (think Seahawks last year). Panthers (won final 4), Rams (won 4 of last 6), Saints with Peyton back, Giants. I don’t see any AFC teams doing well other than maybe Steelers
Why I now love living in a city:
In a sport I am passionate about, it took me 20 years to attend my first NFL game, and another 5 years after that to go to my second. But now living in a major city, this has become easily-accessible for me (distance-wise, not necessarily financially). I can say in the past 13 months, I have seen Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick, and Aaron Rodgers. The elite of the elite. I’ve also seen Sam Bradford, Rex Grossman, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder, the not so elite (sorry Chris, I did throw Bradford in there too).