I traveled to the far-flung lands of Sacramento California where I ate actual Mexican food, In N Out and got to hang in the San Francisco offices of Bleacher Report for the Sunday games.
Also found some excellent beer—Einstock Winter Ale, Mooses’ Drool and Arrogant Bastard if you’re looking for new tastes.
There’s plenty of football to talk about but before I do that, I wanted to share something neat I saw tweeted today.
I avoided discussing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in this space after it happened for many reasons. With all the coverage I assumed you might need a place to go and not be hammered with more saddening news about it. Also, it was so sad, I didn’t trust myself to write anything coherent, much less palatable. It has been a divisive subject, and I didn’t feel like this was the space to talk about it.
I’m not changing that but I’ve been reading that several teams in the NFL are hosting students and family members affected by the shooting to their games this weekend.
Among them are the Houston Texans. JJ Watt tweeted out this picture of him and some children from Newtown Connecticut.
There’s no ‘bright side’ to any of this, but it’s nice to see some smiles from those dealing with the horrific events in Newtown, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a football practice or game.
Anyway, I thought we’d start today with some brightness.
I read an excellent piece today by Dan Levy at Bleacher Report which talks about the difficulty of pinning down what “Most Valuable” really means.
I’ve long argued for Adrian Peterson, but understand a strong case can be made for Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. A case should be made—but probably won’t be—for guys like JJ Watt.
Levy breaks a lot of numbers down for both Manning and Peterson, and it will make your head spin, just like it did his.
I still land on the side of Peterson, if comparing those two players. The Fighting Mannings have feasted on crappy AFC West teams and the team he has isn’t much different than the one which Tim “not good enough to start for the horrible NY Jets” Tebow took to the playoffs last year.
Manning has made a difference but how much is debatable.
Which is also true for Peterson. And Brady. And Watt. And on and on.
Levy is dead right that it is fantastic to have all the MVP potentials playing important games this weekend. It shouldn’t be the end all be all, but if they rise up, they can state their case loudly for MVP.
Still, that we can debate so many players this year is fun and that at least a few of those players aren’t quarterbacks is a nice change of pace.
PLAYOFFS? YOU KIDDING ME?
Let’s see where everyone is standing as we hit the final week of regular season games.
IN – AFC
Texans. Broncos, Patriots, Ravens
Wild Cards-Colts, Bengals
Some seeding might move for them but for the most part that’s locked and all playoff teams are accounted for.
IN – NFC
Falcons, Packers, Niners
Wild Card – Seahawks
Still in contention are two divisions (West and East), and two potential playoff spots. The Packers look to be getting a bye week with Atlanta who also has home field locked up.
The Redskins and Vikings are still battling for final playoff spots.
Washington wins their division with a win or tie against the Cowboys. They clinch a playoff spot regardless of outcome if both the Bears and Vikings lose.
The Vikings have a tough home game against the Packers, and will clinch a spot if they win straight up, if they tie and the Bears don’t win (in other words, lose or tie) or if the Cowboys and Giants lose or tie and the Bears lose.
Basically everyone holding a playoff spot right now (and many Green Bay fans) would be happy if the Bears lost.
The Bears need to win and have the Vikings either lose or tie. Meanwhile the Cowboys get in if they win, clinching the NFC East.
The Giants need to win, while the Cowboys, Bears and Vikings all lose.
Sunday will be a wild and crazy day.
It will be everything we love about football.
Unless the Bears win, in which case most people on this site would be pretty annoyed.