Can The AFC Playoffs Get Any Tighter?

Week 16 of the NFL season is upon us and the races are incredibly close.  

Photo Courtesy of AP

 

Historically close.  

The San Diego Chargers blew out the Tennessee Titans on Friday night to clinch the number two spot in the AFC behind the Indianapolis Colts who continue their pursuit for perfection Sunday against the New York Jets. Besides the Chargers and Colts, the rest of the AFC is effectively up for grabs.  

Here is the current playoff situation:  

Division Leaders
1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0)
2. San Diego Chargers (12-3)
3. New England Patriots (9-5)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)  

Wild Card Leaders
5. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
6. Denver Broncos (8-6)  

In the Hunt
Miami Dolphins (7-7)
New York Jets (7-7)
Houston Texans (7-7)
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7)  

The Patriots and Bengals are in the best place  as if either wins, they clinch their division. The Ravens and Broncos control their own destiny as well, but any slip up by them opens the doors for any of the Dolphins, Jets, Texans, Steelers, or Jaguars. So many things can happen, but let’s look at some of the games this week  

Jaguars at Patriots – The Jags travel up North into the Cold to face Bill Belichick’s Patriot team. After a couple of turbulent weeks, New England enjoyed its first real home win of the season last weekend and have put the Randy Moss saga behind them. Meanwhile, Jacksonville fought valiantly against the Colts last week, but came up four points short of the upset. This should be a great game, but I’m giving the Pats the edge mostly because New England excels in cold weather and Florida teams don’t. New England Continue reading “Can The AFC Playoffs Get Any Tighter?”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/6/08

Sunday is always a pretty slow day in sports, but there are a couple of interesting stories that made news today. Here they are:

Wild Card Games: The final two wild card games of the NFL Playoffs are today. The New York Giants visited Tampa Bay while the Tennessee Titans travelled to San Diego. In the first game today, the Giants defeated Tampa Bay 24-14 behind a strong outing by Eli Manning. The Buccaneers stadium was rocking, but three costly turnovers helped Eli and the Giants escape with the win. Manning completed 20 of 27 passes for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns while Bucs’ quarterback Jeff Garcia completed only 20 of 39 pass attempts for 207 touchdowns while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. The Buccaneers chose to shut down the Giants’ running game, which they did as New York averaged only 3.3 yards per rush. Unfortunately, in shutting down the run, Tampa gave Manning the opportunity to pass. He took that opportunity and made the best of it, leading the Giants to the victory. New York will face Dallas in the Divisional Playoffs next weekend. The AFC Wild Card game takes place tonight. Vince Young will need to play a great game to overcome the Chargers’ balanced attack. If the Chargers win, they will face Indianapolis in the next round, but if the Titans win, Tennessee will face New England.

Arenas Hopes To Return This Year: Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is hoping to play basketball again this year, but doesn’t want to risk further injury. Arenas had surgery last April and then another surgery in November to repair his knee. Though he is progressing, Arenas is still months away from returning. He wants to get back this year, but realizes that it may not be in his best interest to do so. “I have to protect the rest of my career, too, so I won’t jeopardize that for just 15 games if I’m not 100 percent,” he said Saturday “If it’s aching, if I’m out here practicing and it’s swelling up then, I’ll see you next year.” Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/6/08”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08

It has been a pretty big day in sports so let’s get to the stories:

Penguins Win Winter Classic: The Pittsburgh Penguins won the first ever NHL Winter Classic 2-1 in shootout over the Buffalo Sabres. The game was held outdoors in the Buffalo Bills football stadium. This was the first ever pro hockey game held outdoors in the United States and the weather did not agree. A mix of snow, sleet, and rain covered the ice for almost the entire game and forced Zambonis to redo the ice during the middle of each period. The puck moved slower and players had to battle the wind, yet the event was a huge success. Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout to give the Penguins’ the win and jumped towards his bench in celebration when the puck hit the back of the net. 71,217 people braved the elements to see the NHL’s first ever Ice Bowl. Fans loved the game and created an energetic atmosphere that players loved. Watching it on TV, the ice looked small in the huge stadium, but it was a great game and I could feel the energy in the air.

Non-BCS Bowl Games: New Years has brought plenty of great bowl games today including the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. First, though, was the Capital One Bowl where Michigan defeated Florida 42-35. It is a sweet ending for Michigan who lost to Appalachian State earlier this year, erasing any hopes for a National Championship. The Wolverines came out on top in Lloyd Carr’s final game and will hopefully move back into the Top 25 after beating number 12 Florida. In the Cotton Bowl, number 6 Missouri destroyed Arkansas in what could have been Darren McFadden’s final collegiate game. McFadden ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, but was not happy with the result. “We had a bad game. You don’t want to lose a bowl game. You only have fun when you win a bowl game” McFadden said. He has not stated whether he is going pro or not, but most scouts expect McFadden to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. Also today, number 16 Tennessee faced off against number 18 Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. Tennessee finished the year at 10-4, the Vollunteer’s first 10 win season since 2004. Led by Quarterback Erik Ainge, Tennessee had 365 yards passing with Josh Briscoe receiving 7 of those passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08”