A year ago, Vikings fans everywhere were picking up supplies for their NFCCG parties. Most Vikings fans thought we would win and go on to our first Super Bowl appearance since the 70’s. In the darkest corners of my brain, I knew that we would not win that game. In the way that I knew that we would pummel the Cowboys, my intuition told me that we wouldn’t be moving past the NFCCG. That nagging sense of doom made the game very tough to watch. Unfortunately, the sense of doom was well-founded.
This year, two of our divisional rivals are battling in the NFC Championship Game. What a terrible time for Vikings fans. I’d much rather see the Eagles and the Falcons battling for the NFC Championship. But a bird fight was not to be. Instead we have mammals who hibernate in the winter and people who pack crap. Gee, that sounds super exciting!
Here are my picks this week:
Jets vs Steelers: The Jets are angry. Very, very angry. Apparently that’s a great way for them to play because they certainly put the nay-sayers to shame last weekend when they beat the previously referenced “unbeatable” Patriots. After the game, Tigger Brady needed surgery for a stress fracture in his foot. Gee – didn’t #4 play with one of those and an avulsion fracture for most of the season? These newer models of QBs don’t seem as durable, do they. I don’t like either of these teams. In fact, the reality is that the Super Bowl Champion this year will be a team I hate… and we’ll be forced to watch all of those terrible commercials with their stupid fans jumping around as their damn team wins the game. Great! But I digress. Jets 28, Steelers 24.
Packers vs Bears: Sweet babies Odin & Thor. This is a horrendous turn of events. The last truly fabulous thing that happened in the NFC this year was the Seahawks beating the Saints. Let me marinade with that delicious outcome for a moment……… and I’m back. I’m back to the harsh reality that either the Packers or the Bears will be going to the Super Bowl this year. Personally, I can’t think of a team that deserves it less. Oh, well… maybe the Saints. But let’s look at the truth: The Bears played against back-up QBs for 37.5% of their games. That’s right: 6 times out of 16 games the Bears faced the aerial stylings of these elite QBs: Drew Stanton, Joe Webb, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shaun Hill, Jimmy Clausen and Tyler Thigpen. Yes, indeed, you’re right – there are three THIRD string QBs in there. The Bears’ record in those games? 6-0. The Packers, of course, wouldn’t even be in the post season were it not for the officials awarding them a TD for a Quarless “catch” against the Vikings… that clearly was not a catch. In that same game, the officials ruled a Shiancoe TD a NON-TD, thereby handing the Packers the game… and then called on Monday to say, “Oops… you know that actually WAS a TD. Sorry boys!” So… if not for the horrendous officiating in that game, the Packers would NOT have made it to the post-season. Which is how it should have been. Bears 24, Packers 19.