The 49ers successfully dodged a bullet this week by giving the players a few days off and Aldon Smith did not make the news for the wrong reasons. The team went back to work Thursday and began getting ready for their game a week from Saturday.
Meanwhile, the wildcard entrants to the race for the Super Bowl are set to begin Saturday and Sunday. In the Waiting to be Slaughtered conference, the Bengals face the Texans and the Colts visit the Ravens.
I find myself rooting for the Bengals for no good reason whatsoever. Ex-49ers Nate Clements and Taylor Mays are on the team, maybe that’s what makes me lean towards them. Nate is the second string LCB and second string SS, while Mays is the third string SS. (excuse me while I snicker politely up my sleeve). Good old Taylor, well on his way to Whatever Happened to Whatshisname?
This game features two of the studliest D-linemen in the league in the Texans’ all world DE JJ Watt and the Bengals DT Geno Atkins. Everyone knows about Watt, who led the league in sacks this year as a DE, which is absurdly good. But Atkins had 12.5 sacks as a DT, which is even more absurdly excellent.
The second Saturday game is a repeat of last week’s Packers/Vikings head banger. We won’t expand on last week’s zero coverage of these two teams. It seems pretty simple: if the Packers can hold Adrian Peterson to 150 yards or so, they’ll probably win. If not, they’ll lose. Another home field playoff stinker by the Packers would cast serious doubt throughout the franchise about the toughness of their team.
The Sunday games are more interesting, from the standpoint of a fan who finds them more interesting versus a fan who finds the Saturday games more interesting. Since I belong in the former more interesting fan group, I’ll point out why. Andy Dalton, Matt Schaub, Christian Ponder in the Saturday games. Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, RGIII in the Sunday games. And let’s not forget Joe Flacco plays Sunday, too!
When it comes to the playoffs, I have a simple set of rules for determining my rooting interests:
Step One: Go 49ers! Win the Super Bowl!
Step Two: Which team(s) would cause me the most excruciating pain if they won the SB?
1. Seattle: simply unbearable, jump off the bridge despair
2. Patriots: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick must die are intolerable
3. Green Bay: they have four trophies so far, one less than the 49ers, and that’s enough
The Bengals, Vikings, Falcons, and Texans have never won the SB, so go ahead, lesser franchises, win one. Washington has three, with a loss. Denver has two, with four losses. The Colts have two and the Ravens have one. None of these teams threatens to join the Holy Pantheon of Five Wins or more: Pittsburgh, Dallas, and the San Francisco 49ers. Only the 49ers have no losses. WE ARE THE GREATEST!!