AFC West

Go For Two: NFL Week 15 Games to Watch

What the hell, man? Week 15! The season is almost over! No!!!!!!!!!!

Thankfully the next three weeks should be fantastic.

These are the NFL Week 15 games to watch ...

Dolphins (7-6, 9th seed) at Patriots (10-3, 1st seed): I thought this would be a game of the week, and while I would very much enjoy watching it, when I researched playoff rankings, the Dolphins are currently the 9th seed. I'm not so sure they make it into the spectacular this year. So, if I am simply picking games based on playoff race, this puppy doesn't make it into week 15 games to watch. That makes me sad and that's why I am not erasing this as a slot in the game of the week. Love you Tannehill.

Broncos (10-3, 2nd seed) at Chargers (8-5, 6th seed): Everyone needs to stop with the Peyton is showing is age just because he didn't throw a touchdown pass. You know what, I take that back, he is showing his age, through maturity. He wants to win. If a rushing TD gets him that win, that's all he cares about. Dan Marino was the best of the best, never won a Super Bowl. Peyton wants the Super Bowl.

As for this game, the Chargers are barely holding onto that 6th seed. The Chargers will not take the AFC West division champs from the Broncos, so the Chargers really need to win this game by hook-or-by-crook to keep their wild card hopes alive. The Chargers, Steelers, Ravens are all 8-5. The Steelers (8-5, 5th seed), may or may not beat the Falcons, the Bengals (8-4-1, 4th seed) may or may not beat the Browns, but the Ravens (8-5, 7th seed) are going to beat the Jaguars. The Chargers still have the Niners (7-6) and the Chiefs (7-6, 10th seed) yet to go. The Chargers may be waiving bye-bye to their playoff hopes based on strength of schedule. Ravens have the Texans and the Browns left and the Steelers have Chiefs and Bengals. Ravens have the easiest schedule. Look for some movement over the next few weeks that does not bode well for the Chargers.

 

Niners (7-6, 8th seed) at Hawks (9-4, 5th seed): This will be such a good game. I hate the Niners, and I will love watching them implode during this game. I have never seen a bigger bunch of cry babies in the league -- fans and players included. The Niners should move over to the English Premier League where whining, flopping, and throwing your arms up in the air over the littlest infraction is common place. It's fine in soccer, it's been like that forever. That's not how you conduct yourself in the National Football League. Look at the Rams. People love the Rams because while they will not win the division or go to the playoffs, they conduct themselves with pride. The Vikings play every game with pride. Good for them and their fans. Niners fans are burning their Kaepernick jerseys. You know what? I bet the Niners of the past are glad that Candlestick closed. This new generation doesn't deserve to be associated with the glory of the past.

 

Cowboys (9-4, 7th seed) at Eagles (9-4, 3rd seed): This is the game of the week. Eagles (3rd seed), Hawks (5th seed), Lions (6th seed), and Cowboys (7th seed) all have a 9-5 record. That makes this game between division rivals that much more important and to a lot of teams. Clearly, the wild card is hotly contested which makes winning the division that much more crucial.

These two teams are pretty evenly matched, statistically speaking, save for passing. The Eagles come in at 8th and outrank the 18th overall Cowboys. However, some of those stats are due to Foles, and not Mark Sanchez. Cowboys already lost to Philadelphia at home and this game will be in Philly. I have no idea how Tony Romo's back is holding up, but I can't expect well. I'm sure in years to come he will be complaining of mind-numbing pain all over his body and will realize that it wasn't worth it at all. Some young punk will come on the Cowboys roster and Jerry Jones will be like "Tony who?" It's the sad state of affairs in the league, well, any profession. There is always someone there to take your place.

Just like someone very well may take the Eagles place as the 3rd seed.

 

Side note: Screw you Julio Jones for the ridiculous amount of fantasy points you obtained. You ruined my chances at a playoff spot. I hate you. Okay, not really, but come on!

Go For Two: NFL Week 13 Games To Watch

The longest yard. (40 yards on a one-yard TD pass)

Here are the week 13 games to watch.

Seattle (7-4) at San Francisco (7-4) Thursday 8:30PM EST: Whoa. This is a HUGE game. Like, super-duper, out-of-control, don't turn the dial HUGE. It has massive implications not just for the NFC West, but the rest of the NFC, well, save for the NFC South. The NFC South is just utter shit. The Lions, Packers, Seahawks, Niners, Cowboys and Eagles are all in the playoff race and those 2 wildcard spots are going to be really, really tough to get this year.

San Francisco has squeaked out some very close wins, games in my opinion, they did not deserve to win. Jim Harbaugh and company barely beat the Giants when Eli threw 5 interceptions. Then, the Niners barely beat Washington (17-13). This is not an impressive team. However, with wins comes a grace period. They have the ability to turn it around and get more definitive wins. Now is the time to start doing that as the Niners will face Seattle again December 14th.

This game is at home. If the Niners want to split the series, this is their best shot.

Niners may not be able to rely heavily on Frank Gore as Seattle only allows 88.4 rushing yards per game. Seattle is number 6 overall in rush defense. That means the Niners may be forced to pass more with Kaepernick. Kaepernick got a little lippy this week stating he will pass to whomever he wants.

Um, okay.

Sherman had his most favorite rant when Kaepernick last threw to "whoever's open".

Sherman said "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you're going to get. Don't you ever talk about me."

Good stuff.

Seattle needs to be careful of the sudden explosive play of the Niners. Even when the Niners look done for, they are not, like the game against the Saints. 1:34 left in the 4th quarter, 4th and 10, and Kaepernick saves the game, if not the season, with a 51 yard play to Crabtree.

This game will decide playoffs. Expect an insane level of play from both these teams.

Too cute

Patriots (9-2) at Packers (8-3) Sunday 4:25PM EST: The Patriots versus the Lions game told us a lot about the Patriots. The Lions had the best interior line in football and Brady still had 4-5 seconds to throw the ball. When Brady has that much time to throw the ball, someone is going to get open. In fact, there were times during that game when receivers were not covered at all. The receivers know their routes and execute them well. The Pats offense has really gelled in the last few weeks. It is very hard to defend against a perfectly timed comeback route. The attack of the Patriots is the short passing game. They move the chains and take time off the clock -- keys to beating the Packers by keeping Aaron off the field.

Even cuter

Even cuter

If that isn't scary enough, the Pats can also chew up Aaron's time on the field with their run game. Blount had 2 TD's against the Lions and 78 yards. The week before, Jonas Gray rushed for 199 yards and had four touchdowns. The Patriots BENCHED HIM against the Lions because he was late to practice. Who benches a guy with that kind of production? The mother-fing Patriots do.

Yes, the Packers have an amazing offense and can totally handle this game. They just have to be on the field to do that.

That puts the game on our defense.

Oh, yeah. Crap.

Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City (7-4) Sunday 8:30PM EST: Broncos are only slightly favored for this AFC divisional game. However, let's not forget that the Broncos are still 8-3 and have Peyton at the helm. With a gun to your head, who do you pick Alex Smith over Peyton Manning. Never in the history of the world would that happen.

Yes, the quarterback is not the entire team, so it's a different scenario when one tries to pick the winner of this game.

Denver has wavered in their run defense, allowing 228 yards on 54 carries. That bodes well for Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles. With Denver's number one weapon Julius Thomas perhaps still sidelined with an ankle injury, Denver could also struggle on the offensive side of the ball.

This game will give us NFC fans a chance to look at an important AFC match up. Should be a good game all around.

SI cover don't jinx us!

 

Go For Two: NFL Week 8 Games To Watch

It's week 8 -- what games should we be watching?

Thursday 8:25PM EST - Chargers (5-2) at Broncos.(5-1): First off, like everyone else on the planet, due props to Peyton Manning. I have loved him since his first MasterCard commercial.

 

As for what the rest of the planet thinks of the Chargers being 5-2 ...

 

That pretty much sums it up. The newly voted America's team, the Broncos, against the team most likely to be voted America's Meh team.

Let's just think for one moment if the Chargers made it to the Super Bowl, would anyone even care? Wouldn't you kinda secretly be rolling your eyes?

Fortunately, the Broncos will be standing in the Chargers way. This game is a big AFC showdown, even if it is only week 8. These two teams are in a battle for the AFC West. This game very well may define seeding for the AFC. I believe two teams will be coming out of the AFC West into the playoffs. This game will determine who gets what seed. Kansas City Chiefs aren't done by any stretch of the imagination. They lost favor with fans, like me, when they lost 5 of their last 7 games last year. It takes a lot out a fan to get over that. It takes even more for a fan of the NFL who only casually watches a team, to suddenly have their interest peeked, to then get the rug pulled out from under them. I am so much less likely to give two shits about the Kansas City Chiefs because of their debacle last year. Yet, these three will be jockeying for wins in this division.

Sunday 1:00PM EST - Rams (2-4) at Chiefs (3-3): Yes, but only to look at the score as it flashes by on the ticker. The Rams are intriguing. Yes, they lost to the Vikings - ugh, but they were also kinda sorta in it against the Niners, Cowboys, and Eagles, despite losing those game. The Chiefs? Who cares.

Sunday 1:00PM EST - Eagles (5-1) at Cardinals (5-1): This game is weird for me. I really, really like the fact that the Seahawks are 3-3 and that the Niners aren't the gods everyone thought they were. It thrills me to no end that the Arizona Cardinals are in the lead of the NFC West. It's exciting that they are winning even though they have started three separate quarterbacks. I love Bruce Arians. The guy is awesome.

Ask me to watch the game ... oooh, right. Uh, yeah. I don't think so.

Sunday 8:30PM EST - Packers (5-2) at Saints (2-4): In the not so distant past, this game would have been the game of the week, which is probably why it is the Sunday night game. Two NFC powerhouses. Well, not anymore. All you had to do was watch the last 1:48 of the Lions/Saints game to watch Drew Brees look like utter hell. What happened to the Saints? One minute and forty-eights seconds for the Saints of the past would have been all the time they needed. Not this team.

Yet, you know you will keep you eye on the this game out of respect for the past. You never know, and that's, as they say, why they play the game.

What games are ridiculous for even being aired?

The Washington Football Team at Cowboys: Ah, the streak continues of worthless MNF games. Who cares? Washington is on their 3rd string QB. Jesus.

Dolphins at Jaguars: Really? I'd rather watch Better Off Dead. One, it's an awesome movie. Two, it has John Cusack in it. Third, The Jaguars would be better off dead.

Better Off Dead Keys

Vikings at Buccaneers. Couldn't they just air another great 80's movie instead? How about Overboard. Now I'd much rather watch that than this game.

This is definitely what it would feel like to have to watch this game.

 

 

Go For Two: NFL week 3 games I'll be watching

There were a lot of intriguing games from week 2, games like the Chargers and the Hawks, the Niners and the Bears, the Browns and the Saints.

What are the games you should be paying attention to in week 3?

I'll let you in on the scoop of some of the games I'll be watching.

First and foremost, I will highlight:

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NFL Preview: AFC West

When the Eligible Receiver writers were choosing which divisions we wanted to cover for these season previews, the AFC West and South were the last two kids on the playground to get picked. I jumped on the AFC West because I’m already sad about summer ending and my rapidly approaching birthday (I’m staying 28 forever, goddammit!!), and I didn’t want to drive myself to suicide thinking about the Jaguars AND the Texans AND the Titans. Jesus. They should just give Indy the division title now. But I’ll leave those judgments for Allen’s recap. Today, we’ll look at the AFC West, also known as the "These teams are pretty good – and then there’s Oakland" division.

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Sibling Rivalry! Harbaugh Versus Harbaugh, Fresco Style.

My thoughts on the Super Bowl?

Yaddaa-yadda-yadda. There are two teams, neither of which are the Packers, in the Super Bowl.

Want to ask me what it's like to be in San Francisco as a Packers fan? I'll tell you -- it's extremely annoying to be surrounded by unintelligent, know nothing about football, bought my 49ers hat just yesterday, fair-weather fans. It's rare to find the true fan in San Francisco.

So instead, in honor of siblings playing against each other in the Super Bowl, I post these pictures of my brother and I with what I can only assume are some of the things that the Harbaugh brothers would say to each other.

Enjoy.

So,-we're-in-the-Super-Bowl-Recovered

Niners-are-going-to-win-Recovered

cough-cough-Recovered

Wait,-you're-pretty-good-Recovered

seriouslytwo

 

Here-Recovered

Don't-be-an-idiot-Recovered

I-know-I-know-Recovered

Good-luck-John-Recovered

 

Screw-you-Jim-Recovered

John-and-Jim-argue-Recovered

Dad-Recovered

Green-Bay-Recovered

Go For Two: Playoffs! NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco at Atlanta Sunday 3:00PM ET

image courtesy of hinterlandgazette.comColin Kaepernick. Matt Ryan. Michael Crabtree. Julio Jones. Frank Gore. Michael Turner.

If you're not already excited about this game, there is no hope for you. Everyone wrote-off Atlanta, even this gal. But, some how, some way -- they got it done. Yet, that statement will be the focus of many questions going into this game for Atlanta. Why can't Atlanta get it done sooner in a game? Why is it always down to the wire? Why do the Falcons let teams creep back in?

Atlanta better have an answer to those questions this week. San Francisco was on fire during the entire regular season, but now? They are going nuclear. I know it first hand, I'm a Green Bay fan. Colin Kaepernick was clearly the right direction to go in for San Francisco. No hindsight needed. Green Bay could've beat Alex Smith. But Colin? Clearly not. Green Bay couldn't keep their heads on straight against Frank Gore, a hot passing game, plus Colin Kaepernick running all over us. The biggest insult? Oh, just a 56 yard run by Kaepernick for a TD.

Image courtesy of deadspin.comThis is what the Falcons get to look forward to. I only hope that Atlanta learned from our mistakes. We were actually doing pretty well until a muffed punt and Rodgers throwing an interception. Atlanta needs to keep the turnovers at zero. They need to keep Colin Kaepernick in the pocket and make him throw instead of run. The Falcons need to play an entire game, and not take a nap during the third quarter.

Good luck Atlanta. I hope you win.

 

AFC Playoff Preview

Baltimore (4) vs Denver (1) - Saturday January 12 - 4:30 p.m.

This match is between the AFC North and AFC West champions. After coming off of an easy win last week versus Indianapolis, the Ravens appear ready for another playoff run. However, coming into Denver isn't an easy task and I suspect they may falter.

polamalu-sacks-flaccoThe Broncos are one of the hottest teams in the playoffs winning 11 straight games that landed them the #1 playoff seed in the AFC. Peyton Manning is having one of his best season following neck surgery. They seem to have it all together right now. Winning NFL games is quite a feat and winning 11 in a row is certainly nothing to ignore, however that stretch was a little padded. In that span they beat two playoff teams: Baltimore and Cincinnati. The rest of the teams were pretty much duds.

Keeping that in mind... I still pick Denver to win this game. Denver's defense is one of the best statistically in the league. They are ranked higher than Baltimore in nearly every category. The Denver D are tied with the Rams for the most sacks this season at 52.0. Already looking forward to Flacco eating some dirt.

Denver's offense, as you would suspect, is second in the league for total offense. Baltimore's is... not. They aren't terrible, but they aren't putting up the numbers Peyton and his Broncos have been all season.

manning-face

Pending any catastrophic special teams play or an excessive amount of turnovers, I believe Denver runs away with this game. Not a blowout, but they win by a touchdown.

Baltimore 20, Denver 27

Houston (3) vs New England (2) - Sunday January 13 - 4:30 p.m.

I was excited about this matchup when it was played on December 10th. Then the Patriots blew out the Texans ,which Alabama mimicked Monday night versus Notre Dame. Houston didn't look like it belonged on the same field as New England in their last game. I don't expect a change, but I am going to naively say that it won't be quite the blowout as last time.

brady-lose

The Texan's skid into the playoff still worries me. It may have been enough momentum to beat the Bengals, but not this Patriots team, not in Foxboro, not this year. This team is out for blood after losing the Super Bowl last year and they aren't going home in the first round of the playoffs.

New England 31, Houston 20

Go For two: Playoffs! Green Bay at Niners.

Image courtesty of aol.sportingnews.com

Come on Matthews, I want a win!

 

GB at Niners 8:00PM ET

Okay, here's the deal. I don't want to play the Niners. Atlanta? Absolutely. Seahawks? Hell, yes. The Niners? I don't like the way that cookie might crumble.

Green Bay has some flaws. One big one, protecting against the run, was taken care of last week. But it was taken care of because we didn't have to worry about the Viking's quarterback, Webb, at all. We won that game, and I'm pumped. The only problem is, the match-up that it now presents. The Packers now get their second, or maybe first, biggest flaw exposed -- our inability to protect Aaron Rodgers. Our offensive line is disastrous. Aaron Rodgers is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league. Not the distinction the current reigning league MVP was hoping to achieve this year.

Image courtesty of csnbayarea.com

Not these guys again!

So, I know! Let's play the third best team in total defense -- the Niners. Yay (insert sarcasm)! Let's play against the Smith brothers! Yay! Justin Smith will be active for the game, but we can only hope, that after a month off, he's a little rusty and a bit overwhelmed.

Green Bay needs to hope that Mr. Kaepernick is in awe of the playoffs and is stuck looking at the grand scale of it all instead of putting in a good performance. The Packers also need to be hoping that they got a little practice against the read-option when playing Webb last week. PLUS, one can only hope the ability to stop the run can carry over from the Vikings playoff game to Frank Gore this week, because the Packers won't get the privilege of playing against such a weak quarterback this time.

Image courtesy of mydualities.wordpress.com

Me, except I have brown hair, and I'm not a cartoon.

 

Ah, the playoffs. The time I pull out my hair, take tums, and can't decide between sitting, standing, and pacing during the game. I usually do all three.

As always, GO PACK!



 

 

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Water Cooler Topics For Week 17

Week 17! There is no need to talk about players, or team personalities, it's the time of the year of win or go home, win and get a bye, and still for the sorry few -- playing for some trace amount of respect.

courtesy of thecensus.wordpress.com

Somehow, the Cowboys managed to do it again. They are like the annoying little brother you have to take everywhere with you, because Mom said so. Why, oh, why do the Cowboys have to be considered the game of the week! Why do they get the prime time slot? Ugh. It's because it's win or go home for the Cowboys. But if you don't like the Cowboys, which a lot of people don't, we have to watch this game. This is why a lot of us hate the Cowboys -- because they are shoved down our throats. I know this is one football fan who hopes they do the latter, and GO HOME!

 

 

courtesy of totalpackers.com

Also, I like Washington. I like RGIII. He's like Aaron Rodgers, you're happy he's your quarterback, not just because he is an exceptional athlete, but because you would want to hang out with the guy. Sorry Andrew Luck, you look like a psychopath. In fact, if I saw Mr. Luck walking on my side of the street, as a woman, I might cross over to the other side of the street as soon as I got a chance. Tony Romo, I wouldn't cross over to the other side of the street if I saw you, I'd take the opportunity to punch you in your face and wipe away that stupid grin of yours. But I digress.

 

The real game of the week to watch is ...

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