Week 15 observations

You’d think that after 14 Sundays of football, the routine would get boring – but it never does.   We spent the morning preparing the day’s snacks, got the dual TVs setup and as the clock struck 2pm, I was ready for some football.  With Christmas decorating mostly done, here’s what game day looked like this week a bit later in the afternoon (Eagles/Jets on TV on left, Pats/Broncos on right):

A really outstanding day of snacks.  For the early game, I made a black bean dip based on this recipe.  The recipe is a bit on the bland side, so I punch it up with some lime juice, about twice the hot sauce and a bit of garlic.  For the late game, we tried a new wing recipe (we used drumsticks) that we loved – super easy, very tasty and delicious looking:

As for the games, here’s what I saw this week:

Eagles/Jets:  My Eagles kept their exceptionally slim playoff hopes alive.  In the back of my head, I know it’s just so they can let me down in some sort of spectacular fashion, but it keeps things fun for another week.  Prior to their game against the Jets, to stay alive they needed a Redskins upset of the Giants (can’t remember the last time I cheered that hard for the Redskins).  The game against the Jets was sloppy by both teams – so bad in fact, that the Eagles committed 4 turnovers and still won by 26.  Aside from three really bad turnovers (2 on special teams), the Eagles played well.  The defence harassed the Jets all game and looked very physical against a normally physical offence.  Vick and the offence moved the ball efficiently and turned each of the Jets turnovers into points.  Vick has to get some self-preservation skills quickly or his career isn’t going to last much longer.  His desire to keep plays alive saw him knocked to the ground violently a few times in this game – I was surprised he got up from a couple of those.   The most enjoyable thing to watch this year has been the running of McCoy.  He had 3 TDs in this game and has really established himself as one of the top running backs in the league. 

Steelers/49ers:  The two power outages that delayed the game meant I only stayed with it until half-time before heading to bed.  This is a tough loss for the Steelers and may have cost them the #1 seed in the playoffs.  Roethlisberger isn’t the same QB without mobility and it’ll be interesting to see if he gets rested in either of the 2 remaining games to ensure he’s healthy for the playoffs.  They’ve virtually guaranteed the #5 seed and a first playoff match-up on the road against the AFC West winner (Broncos and Tebow perhaps?).

Jags/Falcons: This horrible Thursday night match-up saw me head to bed before the half.  Although I enjoy the Thursday night games later in the season, match-ups and blow-outs like this can’t keep anyone’s attention.

Chiefs upset of the Packers: The Chiefs prove the saying that any team can win on any given Sunday.  It was a great physical display by the KC defence that won them this game.  It might also have been a sign that the Packers are going to have to change some of their game plans due to injuries along their offensive line.  Even Aaron Rogers looks human if the pass rush consistently gets to him. 

Baltimore’s loss: Maybe it’s because there’s a Terrible Towel permanently on display in my living room during the season, but it was a lot of fun watching the Ravens lay another egg… almost as much fun was watching Ray Lewis pout on the sidelines.  He, in particular, looked old and slow in this game.  This team is soft on the road. I’ve said it a bunch of times this year – don’t trust the Ravens.  However, if they can get the #1 seed and play at home throughout the playoffs, they’ll have a chance.

Smart football insights on Twitter – I really love following some of the football thinking on Twitter during the games.  In particular, @MikePereira (former VP of officiating for the NFL) has incredible rules based insight on complicated rulings that come up through the day.  If something odd happens in a game, he’ll have a perfect explanation in about 30 seconds posted while the announcers on TV (usually) have no clue and/or struggle with the rules.  He’s the best thing on Twitter every Sunday for anyone who’s a football geek.

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