Sportress of Blogitude

S.O.B.’s Super Terrific Happy Fun Time NFL Wild Card Weekend Playoff Preview

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Here we are, face to face, a couple of silver spoons folks, NFL Wild Card Weekend, arguably the best weekend of the year – at least as far as super terrific sports viewing is concerned. Sure, it could be argued that the Divisional Playoffs are just as good – and they might be – but in my book, Wild Card Weekend is the tops. Four big games are on tap, so I hope you have cleared your calendar and created the necessary contingency plans, so no matter what is thrown at you – birthday parties, family reunions, baby showers, surgeries – you will have an iron-clad excuse which will help you sidestep them and any annoying, non-NFL-related responsibilities with the greatest of ease. Appropriately planning your Saturday and Sunday around the playoffs is crucial but execution of said plan is of the utmost importance. Do not – I repeat, do not – allow anything to deter you in your quest for NFL Playoff-viewing perfection. This weekend only comes around once a year, don’t blow it.

Moving right along, how about we cut to the chase and take a gander at one game in particular which catches my eye on this holiest of holy NFL weekends.

New York Jets (11-5) at Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
Lucas Oil Stadium
8:00 ET (NBC)

In an odd statistical twist, this is one of the three games on the docket this weekend where the visiting team had a better regular season record than the home squad (and the only one that doesn’t is Green Bay at Philadelphia and both those teams had 10-6 records). But that oddity pales in comparison to the other compelling aspects of what I believe will be the most intriguing and entertaining game of Wild Card Weekend. How can’t it be with the likes of Rex Ryan and Peyton-Manningface involved?

Rex Ryan, love him or hate him, has turned into the most talked about head coach in the NFL this side of Belichick due to his provocative nature, something which has appeared to trickle down to his entire team. When he isn’t paying Manning a compliment while taking a shot at Tom Brady, he is prone to saying outlandish things which only seem to pour fuel on an already all-consuming fire. But my favorite thing Ryan has said this week was how bad he would like to win on Saturday – his teams have fared notoriously poorly against Manning – so that he can “put the shoe on the other foot.” Hoo boy, indeed.

The Colts, on the other hand, are about as bland and vanilla as they have ever been, and that begins and ends with Peyton Manning. While a fiery competitor and the epitome of focus, precision and execution, Peyton is boring. I wouldn’t be surprised if his favorite sandwich is mashed potatoes on white bread.

But things have been different in Colts Land this season. The team had to struggle and scrape their way into the postseason this year and it will be interesting to see how having to fight until the end will affect the Colts, who typically have a playoff berth in hand early on and are usually putting the regular season on auto-pilot not long after Thanksgiving.

Weed’s Call: Colts 35, Jets 17. The Jets’ defense has been suspect at times this season, Peyton has always had Rexy’s number and they’re playing the game at the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. I wonder if this kid secured himself a ticket.

Enjoy the games, everyone. On second thought, don’t only enjoy the games, treasure them.