Central Michigan tonight in the Motor City Bowl!
Central Michigan tonight in the Motor City Bowl!
they bleed. but more importantly they pee.
By Chris Pika, AF.com / December 18, 2006
If you are at your desk or standing around the water cooler today and wondering, “How do the Falcons make the playoffs?”, we are here to help with your discussion.
The NFC Wild Card landscape is crowded at the moment (click here for conference standings). Philadelphia (8-6), thanks to a convincing 36-22 victory at the New York Giants late Sunday afternoon, has the current hold on the #5 seed. The Giants and the Falcons, both 7-7 are in a tie for the #6 seed, but New York holds the edge in a two-team tiebreaker, thanks to their 27-14 victory in the Georgia Dome on Oct. 15.
There is a large group behind the Falcons and the Giants at 6-8 (Green Bay, San Francisco, Carolina, Minnesota and St. Louis). Two division races are still up for grabs as Dallas (who has clinched a playoff berth), leads the Eagles by one game and the Giants by two in the NFC East. Seattle leads San Francisco and St. Louis by two games in the NFC West.
Four teams are completely out of the playoff picture in the NFC – Washington, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Detroit.
Identifying who is still in and who is definitely out is the easy part.
So, again the question – How do the Falcons make the NFC Playoffs?
The easiest road for Atlanta is to win both games. Then, according to the Elias Sports Bureau in New York, who is in charge of tracking all of the possibilities – ONE of the following three things MUST happen:
1. Dallas beats Philadelphia on Christmas Day OR
2. Dallas beats Detroit in Week 17 OR
3. New York loses once (to either New Orleans this Sunday or at Washington in Week 17).
In other words, two Falcons victories combined with one Cowboys victory OR one Giants loss in the next two weeks puts Atlanta into January with Miami on their minds.
Now, also know, according to Elias, a loss on Sunday does not eliminate the Falcons from the playoff chase. In that case, the Falcons would-be in a must-win situation at Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve. A victory in Philly, coupled with favorable outcomes in several other Week 17 games, would put the Falcons into the playoffs.
But, first things first for the Falcons. All focus is on the Georgia Dome this Sunday vs. the Panthers. The straightest road to the playoffs for Atlanta begins with a single step – a needed victory on Sunday.
(If you want to read how the tiebreakers are applied by the NFL — click here)
Here are the NFC Playoff scenarios going into Week 16:
Dallas has clinched playoff berth
Dallas can clinch division with:
1) DAL win.
Philadelphia can clinch playoff berth with:
1) PHI win, OR
2) PHI tie + NYG loss or tie, OR 3) PHI tie + ATL loss.
New York can clinch playoff berth with:
1) NYG win + MIN loss or tie + ATL loss + PHI win or tie + SEA win or tie, OR
2) NYG win + MIN loss or tie + ATL loss + PHI win or tie + SF loss or tie.
Chicago has clinched homefield advantage.
New Orleans has clinched division:
New Orleans can clinch first round bye with:
1) NO win + DAL loss.
Seattle can clinch division with:
1) SEA win or tie, OR
2) SF loss or tie.
Arizona, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Washington have been eliminated from NFC playoff contention
15 Game Suspension for Carmelo.
10 Game Suspension for Nate Robinson.
10 Game Suspension for J.R. Smith.
4 Others Suspended.
Not only was this very stupid.. but my fantasy basketball team with Melo and JR is in big trouble now. Thanks.
so assuming for some reason the team I of course want to Go ALL the WAY and win everything for some reason doesn’t happen to fullfill their quest the matchup I want to see is…
AFC — Chargers
backup picks– Bengals, Colts… (Titans, Jags)
NFC — Bears/Saints
backup picks– Cowboys/49ers?
Chargers are the best team overall. Tomlinson is my early pick for Super Bowl MVP! If the Bengals or Colts make it look for a ton of points.. Especially vs a team like the Saints.. I don’t know if the Bears can survive the playoffs. Basically any team has a shot in the NFC .. well, any team has a shot in the AFC too.. the playoffs are going to be AWESOME this year..
NFL ACTION Heating Up
Looks like most of my teams won too. That’s good.
BIG Matchup Tonight as Larry Johnson faces Tomlinson
In my work league it makes a huge difference in this semi-final matchup.
This is approximately results currently up to halftime. Rivers and Johnson have had slow starts. They should bench Tomlinson.
-0.12 Rivers **current** 47yds 1int
Chad Johnson — Monday Night
21.00 Plax 6-120
2 +Larry Johnson **current** 21run
5.9 Willis 79run 1fumble
11.1 Kellen 5-61
8.25 Caldwell 6-25
10.2 MattJones 3-12-1
13.2 SammyMorris 71run 5-12
12. Cedric Houston 53run 1-2-1
10.0 Robbie Gould
15 Baltimore 100 6s 2i
9.8 Miami 72 3s 2f
172.23 **current** 9:53pm
6.28 Drew Brees 8.28-2
5.48 Marc Bulger
19 Javon Walker 5-84-1
9.9 Torry Holt 4-59
10.6 Steve Smith 5-56
30.0 LT **current** 141run 1-5 2tds
13.8 Deuce 48run 1td 1-20
Shayne Graham Monday Night
14.0 Denver 154 3s 2i
153.53 **current** 9:53pm
It looks like I may skate through to the next round, but a lot can happen. Especially after adding this up and showing it prominently like this.
NAME: Daisuke Matsuzaka
POSITION: Right-handed pitcher
AGE: 26 (Sept. 13, 1980)
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-foot/187 pounds
(CBS4) BOSTON The Red Sox shelled out $51 million just to negotiate with Japanese pitching star Daisuke Matsuzaka.
The team then coughed up another $52 million for the contract with incentive clauses that could increase the value to $60 million.
Apparently the money wasn’t enough. According to agent Scott Boras, Matsuzaka’s contract includes a “litany of personal comforts.”
-special housing and transportation arrangements and accommodations for his wife
Such perks aren’t uncommon. Included in the $136 million dollar deal given to Alfonso Soriano by the Chicago Cubs, is a guarantee that Soriano receive a hotel suite on road trips. Soriano also gets six premium tickets for every home game during spring training, regular season, postseason and All-Star Game.
Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens was paid $22 million last season but was allowed to skip trips to cities in which he wasn’t scheduled to start so he could spend more time with his family.
Ever since waking up Monday morning I have felt like crap. My throat kills. It has been getting progressively worse all week. Last night was the worst. I couldn’t sleep and repeated attempts of trying to clear my throat by coughing ended up to blowing my nose blindly in the bathroom to try to find some relief. At last Sara woke up and gave me cough medicine and that helped me sleep for sure. I took some more this morning and am starting to think I can feel better. Hey, at least I don’t have to work today or tomorrow. It’s kinda like my weekend. I hardly ever have two days in a row off. I never work Sundays though. Anyway, so that’s good. Just have to go out at some point today and finish finding everything I need for my travel package home for the holidays. There’s only a few more items on the list. Adios. I need to restart this piece of crap.
If you haven’t seen it. You’re missing out. If you have seen it. U know.
I’m not going to sit here and try to convince you to watch a tv show. If you don’t like tv then that’s your thing. This series goes beyond a tv show for me. It’s more like an enfolding film. Just brilliant stuff.
Really old posts on the front page.
That’s really pathetic.
I should post some garbage up on here.
I look like a slob? and my handwriting sucks? I honestly just read this on a comment card. (filled out by a couple assholes of course). I can’t explain the slob comment, but as far as the handwriting is concerned, I write my name differently on every single card to try and display some personality and spice up life a little bit. I guess those days are over. Just straight up “Brian” from now on. The same way, every single time.
If 212 degrees is the boiling point, I’m at about 300. I’ve had it with being treated like shit by non-tipping patrons who seem fine with treating me this way and letting me skimp through life at 2.65 an hour. I’m trying to work out new strategies in my head to try and either wake these people up or at least display some dissatisfaction in this treatment. I’m so ready to move on with life. I’m so ready to just skip ahead about 6 months and be already moved and already starting my new exciting job that puts me in position to win.
Sorry, no blogs for over 10 days. I have no excuse. I just don’t know what I want to blog about. Don’t think that I didn’t think about this, I just never got to it. However, I’m always telling myself to just not think about subject and just bullshit post every day. I could tell you how the weather is outside, gray. I could tell you what time it is, noon. I could tell you what videogame I have been playing all week, scarface. I could tell you what the last 5 movies that we rented were: glory road, cars, accepted, thank you for smoking, and the break-up. I could tell you that only about 3 of those, I’d watch again. Not that the other ones weren’t very good, I just saw it. I could tell you the dog is begging to come in right now and that Sara is talking on the phone with her mom and letting the dog in. I’m out of here. Just wanted you all to know that I do think about you. I do care that this site is totally half-assed.
I love football. Big game vs the Ravens today. Practically a MUST-WIN.
Let’s do it.
It’s all up to you!
Here is a few pictures of Darren’s son Rhylynd. He got a haircut and this is technially a before and after mix-in.
Finally have my phone now after misplacing it Tuesday night.
Not like anyone calls me, but… there it is.
Here’s a few pics from my mom where they got a pretty good lot of snow a few weeks ago. If you scroll down further, I posted a few pics of the flurries we got that day. These pictures are much cooler.
By Michael Smith ESPN.com Archive
Updated: Oct. 24, 2006, 4:54 PM ET
Michael Vick isn’t the most accomplished passer and certainly qualifies as an unconventional quarterback but, still, it’s amusing to hear predictions that the Falcons never will win a Super Bowl. At least, not until Vick becomes more of a pocket passer. Or learns to beat teams from the pocket. Or however the doubters phrase it.
Never mind that Vick has played in and lost the same number of conference championship games as Peyton Manning. Or that Vick’s .630 winning percentage as Atlanta’s starter is better than every active quarterback not named Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb, Marc Bulger or Manning (Peyton, that is).
In fact, the top five quarterbacks in career passing yards have only two titles among them. Take it a step further: Among the top 20, only five have won a Super Bowl. Point is, just because a primarily scrambling quarterback hasn’t won the Super Bowl doesn’t mean it can’t happen, especially considering Vick and the Falcons already have come within one win of reaching the Super Bowl. You can doubt whether a running QB like Vick can win the Super Bowl, but acknowledge that doing it the other way doesn’t guarantee ultimate victory, either. If it were that simple Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts and Jim Kelly each would have a title to show for all those yards they passed for from the pocket. There are plenty of conventional QBs who didn’t win it all.
However he does it, Vick just gets it done. His head coach, Jim Mora, has said it time and again: You can’t judge Vick the way you do other quarterbacks, you have to focus on the results. Vick on Sunday improved to 35-21-1 as a starter. I’ll take the odds that if he stays healthy, one year Vick will win a few games in succession in the postseason.
For now, though, Atlanta is 4-2 and 2-1 in the NFC South with New Orleans and Carolina still having to visit the Georgia Dome. I’m not sure whether Vick’s doubling his career high with four touchdown passes in the Falcons’ 41-38 shootout win over Pittsburgh means that he’s turned the corner as a passer. We’ve jumped the gun and believed he’d done that before, so we’ll wait and see. But what I’m sure I saw Sunday was a leader. That’s an area in which Vick has seemingly been lacking in the past, especially in terms of work ethic, and he’s been criticized for it. But I don’t know how anyone can say Vick isn’t a field general after what he did against the Steelers.
As if Vick isn’t scrutinized enough, he shone the spotlight even brighter on himself last week by saying in an HBO interview that he wished the Falcons’ coaches would show more trust in his passing ability and allow him to throw more. He also acknowledged that he sometimes wished, if even for a day, that he played with an elite wide receiver, such as Marvin Harrison.
Tight end Alge Crumpler told me it was a very quiet — and not in a good way — week in Flowery Branch, Ga.
Perhaps Vick’s comments qualify as throwing one’s coaches and teammates under the proverbial bus. But when it came time to play, Vick drove the bus. And his teammates got on. That’s leadership.
Juxtapose that with Edgerrin James of the Cardinals. Two weeks ago, after a last-minute loss to the Chiefs, the Arizona running back complained publicly about not getting the rock more in crunch time. The following week, with his team trying to hold on against Chicago, James had a fumble returned for a touchdown and apparently blew a pass protection assignment that led to a sack and another fumble returned for a touchdown.
With the onus squarely on him, Vick backed up his demands by tossing three touchdowns to Crumpler and another to wideout Michael Jenkins. Vick’s best play, though, was an improvisation on the game-winning drive in overtime that saw him elude Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu and find Crumpler for a 26-yard completion.
Leaders don’t always do so from the lectern, the podium or “Inside the NFL.” Not all leaders say what’s politically correct all the time. But leaders show up and sometimes just will their teams to wins on game day. That’s what Vick did Sunday.
I spoke to Vick the day after Atlanta’s season-opening win at Carolina, when he was efficient in passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns. He talked about how he was beginning to understand not only what he was being asked to do, but what defenses were trying to do in terms of coverage. He acknowledged being a little too happy with himself after his 2002 season, when he passed for nearly 3,000 yards and rushed for nearly 800. He admitted to not applying himself to learning Greg Knapp’s offense the way he should have. So he and his receivers worked hard together in the offseason. It sounded like Vick had come to understand his responsibility as the quarterback.
He had a responsibility to hold up his end of the bargain Sunday after he pleaded for more opportunities to throw, and he delivered the way a leader should.
Vick deserves more props than skepticism after his career performance. The same teammates he dissed earlier, he encouraged when they weren’t playing well or when things weren’t going well against Pittsburgh.
Give credit to Knapp, too, for putting Vick in the best position to succeed against the Steelers. What Knapp did was get Vick out of the pocket and have him throw from the perimeter. It’s called “moving the launch pad.” That way Vick wasn’t as much of a sitting duck and had more of an opportunity to set his feet.
“When Mike sets his feet, he throws balls better than any QB out there,” Crumpler said. “He was throwing darts out there.”
I’m certainly not ready, after one outstanding performance, to say that all is well with the Falcons or that they should change their identity from a running to a passing offense. But Atlanta with a passing game is scary. It already was difficult enough to stop the run without the threat of Vick’s throwing for four scores. Still, teams will continue to try to force Vick to beat them by throwing the football. If he can keep making them pay for that strategy there are sure to be more 40-point games in the Falcons’ future.
We have to remember that Vick is just 26 years old. Manning likes to tell his critics to wait until his career is over before we put it into the context of what he didn’t accomplish. Same with Vick. Maybe he doesn’t do it the way we’re accustomed to, but he’s a quarterback. Sunday he did what quarterbacks are supposed to do, what Vick does a lot for the Falcons. He led his team to a victory it desperately needed.
Michael Smith is a senior writer for ESPN.com.