Turkey/genocide day is upon us. On Thursday, those of us who are able to partake will gorge on food and drink, and before sundown forget any reason we thought of to be thankful for on the most American of all the holidays.
Since we’re celebrating gluttony and violence, why not remove some NFL teams from serious playoff consideration? Each conference now has seven playoff spots, so there is much room for average teams in a hard salary-capped sport to sneak their way into America’s winter showcase.
However, even though the NFL playoffs are single elimination, for most of the 14 participants, it would be more logical for them to plan an exquisite February vacation than a trip to the Super Bowl. Vacations only cost money and timely planning. Super Bowl trips require postseason teams to make their highest profile mistakes on a worldwide broadcast.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, now is a good time to let certain football fans know that their pie is on the table, not in the sky.
Minnesota Vikings fans, we don’t believe you
Did I enjoy Kyle Brandt’s sketch in which he and Kirk Cousins are built dad tough, absolutely. Still, it didn’t give me any confidence that the Minnesota Vikings would be able to knock off the Dallas Cowboys at home yesterday.
For a couple of years, the Vikings had lost an embarrassing number of one-score games. Not being able to flip some of those in their favor is why they haven’t made the playoffs since Kirk Cousins’ arrival.
In 2022, the Vikings’ one-score luck has been a near weekly version of the bird poop landing on your least favorite neighbors’ car, while yours glistens in the limited hours of autumn sunlight, following daylight savings time.
On Sunday, the Vikings’ good fortune was lost in a different dimension, because they were throttled by Dallas. In a 40-3 loss, at no point did they look on the same level as a team that rode Tony Pollard screen passes — and other short passing routes — to victory. Dak Prescott didn’t have to heave up any of the 50/50 balls that Cousins did in Week 10 to lead the Cowboys to a big win.
The G-Men were no match for the Grit
Daniel Jones has been rumbling, bumbling, and stumbling all year to lead the New York Giants to one of the best NFL records in 2022. With the general manager who drafted him being fired this past offseason, if Jones didn’t show something different than his at best non-explosive, at worst turnover-laden, offense, his NFL future would not look top-10 2019 NFL Draft pick bright.
The Detroit Lions came to MetLife Stadium with their own once highly-drafted, now disappointing, quarterback in Jared Goff. This former No. 1 overall pick played his way out of Los Angeles only four years after taking the franchise to the Super Bowl.
Take a look at the passing yards, and with Jones throwing for 124 more yards than he has all year — and 176 more yards than Goff — and it can be assumed that the Giants will contend for the NFC Championship.
Watch the game and you’ll see a team (whose best 2022 victory was an eight-point win against the Houston Texans) go down early to the Lions and never get back in the game. It’s one thing to lose to the Lions, it’s another to get dominated by them at home.
The back half of the AFC East, no thanks
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots was delayed because of a power issue at Gillette Stadium. Scott Hanson giving that information to the viewers was more entertaining than the actual game.
The Jets tied the score at 3-all with nine minutes and 42 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Neither team scored again until the final 26 seconds of the game. The game would have been more entertaining if Bill Belichick and Robert Saleh decided the game in the fourth quarter by going best-out-of-three in Oklahoma drills.
That punt return for a touchdown by the Patriots gave them a victory in the waning seconds. The play was both exciting and it reverberated throughout the league . Not only was it the best game-winning play of the Week 11 Witching Hour, but it also put the Patriots in the second wild-card sport.
It also did nothing to prove that either of these teams will be able to produce in the playoffs.