Sunday, January 22, 2012

Morning-Day-Night Tripleheaders Are Tough at My Age

Hitting a bar to watch a big game with a bunch of diehard fans is an odd experience to check off the to-do list by 10 a.m., but I managed, after watching Tottenham Hotspur lose in extra time to Manchester City at the Kinsale by Government Center with the Spurs' Boston fan club. Any group which contains members who're having Buffalo wings at 9 a.m. is worth knowing.

So I need to regroup before the NFL comes on, and that will make my predictions briefer if not necessarily more accurate than is customary.

I never expect the Patriots to lose, and today is no exception. New England has more ability to win the muckers' game the Ravens want to play than Baltimore has to win the firehouse fast break game the Pats want to see. It's POSSIBLE Joe Flacco could hit two or three bombs for scores and upset that equation, but it's possible in the same sense Rick Santorum could have a major turnaround in Florida. Both are, as yet, purely theoretical possibilities unsupported by laboratory observations.

The NFC game is altogether more interesting, or rather, the forecasting I've sampled about the game is more interesting. It's as if nobody saw the 49ers-Saints game, or even knows its final score.

If I've heard one commentator babble on about the 49ers tough defense, I've heard a thousand. They're getting credit for a win they damn near turned into a loss all by themselves. Generating four turnovers is great, but it's not as great as allowing two 50-yard plus touchdown passes to lose leads in the fourth quarter is awful.

It is my belief, partially confirmed by observation, that road playoff victories are a significant indicator of success in subsequent playoff games. The Giants are the only team left, in fact the only team period, that's won a road playoff game this season. I don't see why they won't win another one, unless they too turn it over five times.

Oh, boy, a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl rematch. As far as Pats fans are concerned, that'd have to be the most annoying possible two weeks of Super hype.


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