Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week 15

Fifteen weeks are in the books and one constant remains. There are no constants in the NFC, except for the NFC West being completely worthless. In the AFC East, it was "redemption" for the Patriots who doubled up on the Jets. In Miami, the Dolphins transitioned from unprecedented futility to precedented futility. In the NFC East, actual redemption took place as the Eagles and Redskins avenged home losses against the Cowboys and the Giants, respectively. That takes us to my first point.

#1: Keep Bringing Your Significant Others, Tony Romo!

If you listened to the real media, you would believe wholeheartedly that Tony Romo never repeats a mistake twice. First of all, that was wrong prior to Sunday's shocking home defeat to my Eagles. Secondly, he brought his significant other to a home game against the Eagles for the second straight year … and his fantasy owners are cursing him as I type. Last year, it was Carrie Underwood – 2 INTs and a 48.3 completion percentage. On Sunday, it was Jessica Simpson - 3 INTs and a 36.1 completion percentage. If he had the Giants receivers, he might have dipped below 20%. All jokes aside, the home loss to the Eagles had profound implications to the Cowboys resolve last season and we may see a similar fate in January.

#2: The Two Teams in the AFC That You Don't Want to Play …

Not named the New England Patriots are the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers. Sadly, they may have to play each other in the opening round of the NFL Playoffs. Right now, both teams are simply stomping a mud hole into their opponents with regularity. If they wanted to, the Chargers could've had three 100-yard rushers on Sunday against the lowly Lions. As for the Jags, they racked up 200 rushing yards against Pittsburgh, who for years have been among the league's best in stopping the run. Not to mention, they just refuse to turn the ball over. No matter how the last two weeks shake out, absolutely no team wants to face either team.

#3: Unlikely Playoff Team

Believe it or not, the Minnesota Vikings have the inside track at the 6th seed in the NFC. It's crazy. Once at 3-6, the Vikings were shut out by Green Bay and without the services of their all-world rookie running back. Not to mention, their head coach, who bears a resemblance to Red Forman on That '70s Show, comes from the Ozzie Guillen School of Message Filtration. With his coaching future hanging in the balance, Brad Childress gathered the troops and stuck to his guns. They ran the ball. They stopped the ball. They scored on defense. That is Vikings football. And that, my friends, is why the Vikings – who we had pegged for exactly two wins – stand at 8-6. That's not a misprint.

#4: Believe-land

Three years ago, I came to the conclusion to the Cleveland Browns franchise was cursed. Being wildly tactful, I shared this with everyone who beared any association with the city that rocks according to one Drew Carey. Most didn't disagree, and if anyone followed how many centers they went through during the 2006 season, they'd agree. Three years later, I'm eating crow again and Cleveland continues to find new ways to win. In Week 11, Phil Dawson's game-tying kick defied physics when it hit the curved center support behind the crossbar and landed in the endzone. In Week 15, Jamal Lewis celebrated his second-straight 100-yard game in a wild snowstorm against Buffalo, who, off of two consecutive victories, seemed to be in pole position given the elements. Last year, Cleveland lost all of their close games. This year, the Browns are 9-3 in games that are decided by two scores or less. Why? Because Cleveland is now Believe-land.

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