No matter how boring the playoff races seem at the beginning of December, somehow the final two or three weekends come out dripping with excitement. Because weird shit happens. Every year.
Last week, the Denver Mannings led off by gagging away the top seed in the AFC on Thursday night. Not to be outdone, on Sunday the New England Bradys gagged that seed right back to them in Miami, where the ref crew forgot to give Tom Brady the obligatory pass interference in the end zone call on his latest Hail Mary game ender. Actually, ex-49er practice squadder, Michael Thomas, intercepted Brady and made the refs cringe at overturning such a fine play.
Monday night, the Detroit Schwartzes continued their month long gag by losing to the Ravens and going from sure NFC North winners to a team with almost no hope left. The beneficiary of the Schwartz melt downers was, who else, John Harbaugh and the Ravens, who seem to have some kind of unholy deal with the football gods. Last year, it was the ridiculous last minute victory in Denver and Monday it was a give-me-a-break 61 yard field goal.
In Minnesota, the Eagles gagged away the NFC East lead by losing to the Vikings, then watched the NFL’s premier gagman, Tony Romo, hand the East back to them with yet another of his fabled come from ahead defeats, this time at home against Green Bay. The Bengals laid down like dogs in front of Pittsburgh to cement their image of just when you think they’re good, they’re not — and vice versa. Not a team you want to wager any money on.
And in the NFC South, the Saints went to St. Louis and threw up their lead over the Panthers and quite possibly the number two seed in the playoffs. That spot will be determined this weekend in Carolina.
Not everyone gagged, for sure. Kansas City built a 25 point lead against Oakland in the first half, watched the Raiders cut the lead to four in the 3rd quarter, then built the lead back to 25 in the 4th quarter. The win clinched a playoff spot for the Chiefs. And the entire NFC West won its games, though Arizona tried mightily to barf away their game in Tennessee before winning in overtime.
Strangely enough, the Packers, who gave up on their season a month ago, can still win their division if they sweep their final two games. Ditto for the Bears, Eagles, and Cowboys. The Bengals have a chance to not only gag away the division that was theirs for the taking, but have an outside chance to miss the playoffs entirely.
And lastly, in a bit of comic relief, Rex Ryan insists, yet again, that he’s the right guy to coach the Jets. Not to be outdone, Jerry Jones also insisted he’s the right guy to be the Cowboys GM.