Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day 245: Week 13 and the Playoffs Loom Large for Many.

December might be my favorite time for football. With just four weeks left to the regular season, the playoffs loom huge in the not to distant future. Some are still struggling to secure a spot, while other teams are battling for position—division wins, first round byes and home field advantage. Entering this week, there are 24 teams that are either in a playoff spot or within one game of a playoff spot. The entire AFC East, AFC North and AFC West are all in the mix, and the Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks can all clinch a playoff berth this week.

After the events of the off-season with Wes Welker leaving, Aaron Hernandez murdering someone and Rob Gronkowski recovering, I wasn't sure what to think of this Patriots team. Would it just get written off as a "rebuilding" year? At 8-3 I think the Pats have surprised a lot of people and some of the things Tom Brady has achieved with very few weapons is pretty astonishing. With last week's historical comeback win over the Broncos, I'm beginning to now think they can do anything!

The Patriots are traveling to Houston to take on the 2-9 Texans. On paper New England should have no troubles coming away with a win, but these are the games that scare me. The Pats need to be ready for some serious heat on Tom Brady—the Texans blitz almost more than any other team in the league. And with a win today, New England will guarantee their 13th straight winning season.

When I was making my picks for this week, I noticed some real great match-ups. Denver at Kansas City? I'm almost looking forward to this game most of all. Both teams coming in at 9-2 and both teams coming off a loss. The Chiefs looked defensively lost in their loss to the San Diego Chargers and maybe now they're coming back down to earth after jumping out to a stunning 9-0 record. The Broncos have something to prove after that colossal upset in chilly Foxboro last Sunday night. With a high of 54 degrees expected in KC today, Peyton should do ok... his little hands won't be cold like they were last week.

New Orleans at Seattle—another tough pick. I initially picked the Seahawks but just changed it (which will most likely come back to haunt me.) Is anyone else wondering how the hell Seattle is 10-1 riding the best record in the NFL? Well, if you go back and look at the teams they've played, you kinda get the drift. The Saints will be the first real challenge since they played Carolina and San Francisco early in the season. Plus... really? Can the universe really let the 'Hawks go to 11-1?

I'm having a hard time accepting that there are only four weeks left until the playoffs. I'm not ready for the season to be winding down... but I am ready for a Pats win and we've got some crappy weather outside today that's perfect for hunkering down on the couch!

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