NFL · NFL TV Schedule

NFL Divisional Playoff Recap and Conference Championship Preview – Sponsored by a comeback for the ages (almost)

Man, was that ever close. To be honest, I hadn’t watched the Seahawks-Panthers game until there was a few minutes left in the first half.  To see the score at 31-0, I was quite shocked.  I was just as shocked to see Seattle dominate the second half and come within a hair of pulling into a tie and sending the game to overtime, losing 31-24.  That has to be a bit unnerving for the Panthers to allow the Seahawks to pull within a touchdown late after such a large lead.  But as was seen, all the teams don’t exactly look strong going into the conference championships.

Now for the rest of the recaps:

New England 27 Kansas City 20 – New England won but really did not look good doing it.  Especially since Kansas City looked awful and still somehow pulled within seven of the Patriots.  I am surprised the Chiefs played as badly as they did.  Saying that, once it was evident the Chiefs were playing shitty, why didn’t New England pull away with this one?  I don’t feel good about their chances in Denver.  Saying that…

Denver 23 Pittsburgh 16 – The Broncos didn’t exactly look like world-beaters in their game against the Steelers.  To be honest, the Steelers should have had a shot to win the game and basically botched their way through most of the second half.  Sloppy football in both AFC matchups.  Should be interesting to see who comes out guns a-blazin next week in Denver.

Arizona 26 Green Bay 20 (OT) – As for CoinFlipGate, that was quite the ballgame.  Easily the most exciting game of the weekend and that’s saying something since all the games were close.  The fact the Cards allowed the Hail Mary touchdown by the Packers at the end of regulation boggles my mind.  Do no teams practice this?  This thing happens way too often these days.  I don’t know what the defenders were doing when that pass came up.  I do know what they weren’t doing: defending.  So the Packers have all the momentum going into overtime and the ref somehow flips the coin without actually flipping it.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Is this ref a moron?  Who doesn’t know how to flip a coin?  What a dumbass.  See this is the kind of shit that plagues the NFL (and college football) these days.  Moronic referees (along with horrible playcalling and brutal clock management) are becoming way too much of a normal occurrence.  OK maybe moronic referees isn’t the right term.  Referees making horrible brain farts at the worst possible time is probably a better way to put it.  This is the very reason replay was put in in the first place: to protect officials from calls they may have missed so that they aren’t skewered in the media later on.  Maybe they should take it completely out and the refs would do better.  Kind of like when your computer has some sort of issue, you turn it off, turn it on, and it works again.  Or something like that.  Anyway…

This leads us to conference championship week and the NFL has to be pleased as punch with how this has all transpired. Two mega-matchups will bring a shit-ton of eyeballs and be a ratings coup for the shield.  Let’s hope at least one of the games lives up to the hype.  No need for another post later this week since both games are on CTV.  Here’s the schedule for you visual people for Sunday:

3:00 New England at Denver CBS/CTV
6:30 Arizona at Carolina FOX/CTV

Let’s get to some previews now:

New England at Denver – We start with the AFC Championship game.  This is the better historical matchup…and by historical I mean for the about the last decade or so.  These two teams have been the cream of the crop in the AFC for pretty much that entire time.  This could be Peyton’s Last Stand so expect a LOT of hype for this one.  And rightfully so.  Probably the last Brady vs. Manning showdown ever.  Depending on how Brock Osweiler turns out and how much Denver can keep all their defensive players, it could be the last we see of Denver at the top for a few years.  Hell, if Brady, for some reason, steps away after this year, expect a bit of a lull in the Patriots dominance, at least for a year or two.  A lot is riding on this matchup here and Jim Nantz (“Hello friends”) and Phil Fucking Simms will tell us all about it ad nauseum (not to mention the pre-game show which I very rarely watch).

Arizona at Carolina – As much as the Pats-Broncos is a classic matchup, this is the start of a new era in the NFC.  No Cowboys.  No Packers.  No Giants.  No Seahawks.  No Saints.  Two franchises who don’t have a lot of experience with the spotlight on them.  I am guessing this will get even higher ratings than the AFC Championship since many (probably wrongly) consider this game the true Super Bowl.  The Cardinals and the Panthers were arguably the top two teams in the league this season.  Both franchises have never won the Super Bowl and this is probably their best chance to do so.  Zona has the depth but Carolina has Cam and Luke and explosiveness on both sides of the ball.  Should be a good one.

We are getting close to the end of the season. After this week, we have the completely unwatchable Pro Bowl and then the Super Bowl a week after that at Shitty Turf Stadium.  Other than a few minutes here and there to check the score, I have not watched more than about ten minutes of the Pro Bowl in probably a decade.  It is a farce of a game and really it’s not like the NBA All-Star Game (or to a lesser extent, the MLB and NHL All-Star Games).  There is no emphasis on a skills competition or a youngsters game or a legends game or anything like that.  It’s basically an excuse for a bunch of football players and coaches to go to a place they could easily afford to go to anyway.  It’s also an excuse for Hawaiians to see actual pro football players live.  Other than that, it is pointless.  They should just do away with it.

As for me, I might do my first draft post later this week. We shall see.  The amount of posts will start to drastically reduce now until the summer when I start looking at scheduling and predictions for the college football season.  Enjoy the games this Sunday!

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