A satirical synopsis of the NFL playoffs…so far…

Cam Ellis | Assistant Sports Editor

Ah syllabus week, the biannual conundrum between buckling down for class or going out more that’s really not a conundrum at all. It’s a magical time on college campuses, as the risk of cabin fever brings students back ready and prepared for another semester.

College bars all over the country are once again filling up with “21 year olds” as they flock in swarms to grab a seat to watch the most exciting time in sports, the NFL playoffs.

Just to clarify, the first weekend of NFL playoff action already happened, for everyone who spent literally every moment of their Christmas break under a rock. In a string of incredibly unexciting games, (I’m talking to you, Green Bay-Minnesota) eight teams entered the weekend with a chance to move on, and four are now making tee times.

Houston beat Cincinnati, again, just in case the average NFL fan hadn’t had enough of the thrillingTexans-Bengals matchup. The Saturday nightcap pitted Minnesota against Green Bay for the 2nd time in as many weeks. All you need to know is that Minnesota’s Joe Webb, a backup who started in place for injured Christian Ponder, completed 11 out of his 30 pass attempts. 11 out of 30. The Vikings lost. Moving on. 

Sunday didn’t bring much more intrigue, with the Ravens and their face of the franchise/middle linebacker/mythical beast Ray Lewis winning a convincing game against an inspiring yet overachieving Indianapolis Colts team. The last game of the weekend featured two rookie sensations squaring off, when Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks traveled cross country to take on Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Coming out on top 24-14, the Seahawks showed the country that they might be for real, while RGIII showed the country what a definite ACL tear looks like on national television.

The action continues next weekend, with another 48 hours of must-watch football destined to push that first web-based assignment off until Monday morning. A look at next week’s action:


Game 1: Baltimore vs. Denver.

I know literally nothing about this Broncos team besides:

1.             Peyton Manning is really good at playing quarterback.

2.             They are probably the best team in the NFL.

3.             Peyton Manning owns a whole bunch of Papa John’s equity.

All of these reasons should be taken equally seriously in discussing this upcoming game. Denver is 13-3 and immensely deep and talented in all 3 aspects of the game. Their offense clicks even more with a real quarterback, (sorry Tebow “fans”) they have a top 3 defense thanks to talented playmakers with fantastic names like Von Miller and Elvis Dumervll, and kicker Matt Prater is a top 10 kicker. The Ravens, who kind of underachieved all year, are riding the emotional roller coaster that is Ray Lewis’ last season. The Lewis-effect seemed to be a real factor in the Indy game, with the vet leading the team with 13 tackles. Denver is a different beast though, and I selfishly can’t turn down a chance for another Manning-Brady AFC Championship. Denver covers the spread, winning 28-17.

Game 2: Green Bay vs. San Francisco.

This is the spot in the word document where I just stared at the blinking cursor for like, 25 minutes. I just can’t figure this game out. Green Bay has had an up and down year, but they’ve played well as of late and you just can’t really count an Aaron Rodgers-led team out. San Francisco beat the Packers 30-22 back in September, but both teams look a lot different than they did 4 months ago. The 49er’s now rely solely on QB Colin Kaepernick, who has looked great at times, i.e. tearing up the Pats in primetime, and not so great at others, circa that time Seattle waxed them the next week. It really boils down to the Packers great offense vs the 49ers’ strong defense. It’s on the fence, but I like Green Bay tight, winning 24-21.


Game 1: Seattle at Atlanta.

It’s the battle of intimidating bird mascots or quarterbacks with no personalities, depending on whichever way you want to look at it. Everyone knew the Seahawks were great at home, going 8-0 this season. What people didn’t know was how Russell Wilson and Co. would do on the road. What they did was only fly across the country and beat a Redskins team that had won seven in a row in D.C. (Well really they beat them in Landover, Maryland, but shhhh.) This team really is talented, and really could make a deep post-season run. It’s really a shame that they won’t though. Atlanta, the top seed in the NFC, is for real. Their offense moves faster than Cookout at 11pm on a Friday night and Matt Ryan is 33-6 at home. This game has the classic “feel good team of the playoffs getting smashed by Super Bowl contender” vibe to it. Atlanta handles business, 31-21.

Game 2: Houston at New England.

The Patriots clock is ticking. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are always a force to be reckoned with, but for how much longer? The last Patriots title was almost eight years ago. Brady is 35 years old and not getting any younger, so the window for a Pats title is now. Houston started off the year as the team to beat, until exactly that happened at the hands of the Patriots. Since the 42-14 loss at Gillette, the Texans have played uninspiring football, highlighted by the struggles of usually dependable QB Matt Schaub. Coming off a wildcard win should energize Houston, so don’t expect the same kind of blowout you saw from these two teams earlier in the year. The Texans can throw the ball, and the Pats secondary cannot catch, cover, or generally find the football. I think New England is too seasoned however, and any Pats team that has two weeks to prepare for an opponent should not be messed with. A close game through 3 quarters, I think the Pats come out on top 34-28.

Those are my picks and I’m sticking to them, unless I’m wrong.