December 28, 2008

Crazy, Crazy Football Notes

A team that's had a whole season of questionable quarterback play and a coach that everyone in town hates has finished the season 10-6 and won a division title, while a team that everyone in its town gave up on multiple times this year, also coached by a man hated locally- who happens to be the mentor of the previously mentioned hated coach- has somehow made the playoffs too. And the teams are set to play next Sunday.

Yes, with their win over the Giants on a last-second field goal the Vikings won their first-ever NFC North crown to earn their first playoff appearance since 2004- when they lost to, yes, the Eagles, led by coach Mike Tice and quarterback Daunte Culpepper. That was in the opening months of my relationship with my now-wife and we actually went to the game; things should get pretty tense again next week.

As for the Eagles, sorry Philly- it's looking like another year of Reid and McNabb. The team was given up for dead after its tie with Cincinnati, "unless they can win out"; they didn't win out, but did get incredibly lucky in Week 17- Chicago and Tampa both had to lose while favored, while the Eagles had to beat Dallas; all three of those things, of course, came to pass.

The Iggles crushed hated rival Dallas 44-6; knocking the Cowboys out of the playoffs and cementing their own spot. Can we now officially retire the "McNabb can't win big games" talking point? Today was a pretty friggin' big game, and it seems like he came through.

How crazy is the NFC playoffs? Both the Vikings and Eagles, two teams whose own fans don't believe they belong in the playoffs, have beaten the #1 seed (the Giants) in the last three weeks.

Then again, in the AFC, 8-8 San Diego is in (with a home game!) and 11-5 New England is out. I can't wait for the 10,000 Bill Simmons column on this gross injustice.

Oh, and the Lions are officially winless. Can you imagine the party in Detroit when they win their first game in almost two years?

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 28, 2008 11:21 PM

Sorry, a 1 point win over the Giants with half their starters out of a game that didn't mattter to them at the Metrodome doesn't count as beating the 1 seed, as much as you try to make it so.

The Eagles, on the other hand, were quite impressive.

Posted by: Evad at December 29, 2008 01:09 AM

I wonder if all four home teams will be underdogs next weekend. Judging from the past few weeks, the 5 and 6 seeds all look more dangerous.

Posted by: Jeremy at December 29, 2008 07:51 AM
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