Remember when wild card Saturday used to start just after noon, and you’d roll right from bed to the TV in the living room?
Of course, things change with time. 1: If I’m rolling out of bed anywhere near noon these days, I had better have caught the plague of 1476, or there will probably be words waiting for me before I even descend the stairs. 2: The NFL caught onto this thing called “ratings” apparently, and understood that later starts likely meant a bigger audience since those west coast slackers wouldn’t have to roll out of bed at the wee hour of 9:30 a.m. David Stern was involved somehow. I am sure of it.
And thus, we now have to wait four more hours to see if the Houston Texans are coming to Foxborough next Sunday for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. Not many prognosticators think they are. I would say that they are, but I’m 100 percent wrong about that whole “they’ll bounce back in the playoffs” thing 100 percent of the time it seems, and the Texans have looked like a Christmas tree discarded at the side of the road in January – a forgotten shell of beauty – since getting whooped by the Patriots last month.
So, they’re out and the Bengals play the Broncos then, is that what we’re agreeing on? Because I still kind of like the Texans. Ah, heck: Texans 28, Bengals 14. Texans-Patriots next week.
Then again, I’ve been saying all week that Baltimore was the team coming in, and that, frankly, the Ravens scare me the most of the remaining four possibilities. Remember, they were a Cundiff away from facing the Giants in the Super Bowl last season, a Lee Evans special from keeping the Patriots home from Indianapolis. The Colts are a nice story, and you know Jim Nantz has his boxers twisted in all kinds of anticipation of calling a Colts-Broncos matchup, with Peyton on the other side. Heck, MY boxers are a little twisted by the thought of it. Manning-Colts, followed by Manning-Brady in the AFC title game? Ah, heck again: Colts 17, Ravens 10.
In the NFC, it's all about Adrian Peterson. But, remember this?
Packers 20, Vikings 7.
Meanwhile, everybody’s all jacked on Seattle and Washington, where a rookie quarterback is going to win a playoff game by default. On the one hand, I’d like to see Robert Griffin III continue his success this season, but on the other … Dan Snyder. Besides, don’t Patriot fans really want to root for Pete Carroll this time around?
Oh, Richard Sherman. Right.
Let’s call it, Seahawks 16, Redskins 10. Back to the '90s with San Francisco-Green Bay going at it, while the Seahawks go and do what every visitor does in Atlanta in January.