Oh my…I managed to watch a lot of football over the past week – and it was (mostly) all good – but now we are getting down to crunch time!
The NFL playoffs are set. The FCS championship is this Saturday. The mythical major college football National Championship game is Monday night.
I write about all that and also some highlights from the bowl games, an NFL record, some impressive performances, the draft order, the FCS Championship, and much more!
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
In my NFL Pick contest, I managed to get 13 out of 16 correct last week, so I ended the regular season on a high note – but still out of the pizza.
-Back-up quarterback Matt Flynn of the Green Bay Packers completed 31 of 44 pass attempts for 480 yards, six touchdowns and one interception in the Packers’ 45-41 win over the Detroit Lions. Flynn is an unrestricted free agent after this season – so a big payday is coming.
-Former Denver Broncos QB Kyle Orton led my Kansas City Chiefs into Denver Sunday and whipped the Broncos 7-3. Orton was 15/29 for 180 yards and a 71.0 QB rating. Tim Tebow was 6/22 for 60 yards and a 20.6 QB rating.
The Chiefs victory set up the Raiders to win and get into the playoffs, but they lost at home to the Chargers. The 8-8 Broncos are AFC West Champions for 2011 and host the 12-4 Steelers on Sunday.
At the beginning of the year 32 teams focused on making the playoffs. On Sunday, the top 12 made it. The NFC teams are: Green Bay, San Francisco, New Orleans, NY Giants, Atlanta, and Detroit. The AFC teams are: New England, Baltimore, Houston, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati.
The next two weekends we get to watch four playoff games. This “Wild Card weekend” (January 7/8), NBC has the Saturday games and CBS (AFC) and FOX (NFC) will carry the Sunday games. On “Divisional weekend” January 14/15, CBS and FOX carry the games.
The Games (Saturday):
– Cincinnati (9-7) at Houston (10-6)
– Detroit (10-6) at New Orleans (13-3)
The Games (Sunday):
– Atlanta (10-6) at NY Giants (9-7)
– Pittsburgh (12-4) at Denver (8-8)
For those teams that did not make the playoffs, the NFL draft starts April 26. You can catch the draft order HERE.
Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, St. Louis, Tampa Bay are all looking for new head coaches. Indianapolis fired their vice president and their general manager.
The 2011 Oakland Raiders are the most-penalized team in NFL history – 163 penalties for 1,358 yards! They set the record on Sunday.
MAJOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The bowl games just keep coming, but be aware there are only six left. That means we have about 29 games under our belts and many of them were great to watch. Here are few that were worth watching:
-Ohio beat Utah State by scoring a TD with 13 seconds left in the Idaho Potato Bowl.
-Louisiana-Lafayette beat San Diego State with a 50 yard field goal as time expired in the New Orleans Bowl.
-Truman the Tiger (Missouri’s mascot) dropped the Independence Bowl trophy before the game started, but that was about the only mistake Mizzou made as they beat North Carolina 41-24.
-Florida State scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to beat Notre Dame 18-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl.
-In the Alamo Bowl, Baylor beat Washington 67-56 (in football). They were racking up points like they were playing pinball.
-In the Insight Bowl, Oklahoma beat Iowa 31-14, but they biggest thing was when an overhead camera crashed to the field toward the end of the game.
-In the Outback Bowl, Michigan State beat Georgia 33-30 in three overtimes. Great game!
-In the Rose Bowl, Oregon beat Wisconsin 45-38 in a game marked with Oregon wearing the ugliest uniforms ever to appear in a bowl game (IMHO).
-It took overtime, but Oklahoma State beat Stanford 41-38 in the Fiesta Bowl. Another great game!
Since #3 Oklahoma State beat #4 Stanford, it would be nice if the Oklahoma State would get to play the winner of the #1 LSU and #2 Alabama. In a “Plus One” scenario, #1 LSU would play #4 Stanford and #2 Alabama would play #3 Oklahoma State.
We can only hope for it…
The BCS National Championship game (LSU-Alabama) is Monday night (Jan. 9) on ESPN. There are five bowl games before then, you can check them out HERE.
FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION (FCS)
Don’t forget, the FCS Championship game is Saturday, January 7 (#1 Sam Houston State taking on #2 North Dakota State).
That’s the division where real national champions are crowned. You can find more information about the game HERE.
Follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord.