Leftridge: The Playoffs Will Get Better Next Weekend, I Promise

This year’s round of NFL Wildcard playoffs is a little like watching Jeff Bridges eat an apple; it’s not apt to be the most entertaining thing you’ve ever seen, but goddamnit, THAT’S "THE DUDE" EATING AN APPLE. Anything that guy does is entertaining. I’d pay money to watch him trim his goatee and balance his checkbook. Similarly, you can’t not watch the NFL playoffs, even if it is the slightly wilted side-salad at the beginning of what promises to be an otherwise fantastic meal.

It seems a foregone conclusion at this juncture that the NFC will come down to the Packers and the Saints in the Conference Championship. Additionally, it’s likely that the Patriots will face either the Ravens or the Steelers in the Divisional round next weekend. In between, there doesn’t figure to be a whole lot of mystery.

The action kicks off Saturday, with a sexy-ass matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans

Bengals @ Houston, 3:30PM Saturday, NBC

Cincinnati rookie QB Andy “the Red Rifle” Dalton takes on Houston rookie QB T.J. “I’m in the NFL” Yates in a battle of… I don’t know… yawns? Dalton has had a surprisingly decent rookie campaign, and is clearly the better of the two, but the Texans, oh, those poor Texans. Never in their worst dreams did they imagine having to start Yates in a playoff game. All that changed when the Matts—first Schaub, then Leinert—went down with season ending injuries. But never fear, Houston fans! Jeff Garciayes THAT Jeff Garcia, formerly of the Omaha Nighthawks, formerly of the NFL—is your third stringer! There may just be hope for ya’ll yet.

Okay… not likely. I think the Bengals win this but probably not by a lot, and probably not in a very entertaining manner.

Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints, 7PM Saturday, NBC

The Lions aren’t as good as they pretended to be at the beginning of the season. Their rushing game isn’t great, quarterback Matthew Stafford—despite having put together a nice, healthy season—is still capable of a 4 INT meltdown, and Calvin Johnsonwell, you can’t fuck with Calvin Johnson. That is,unless you’re the Saints. Then you can fuck with him. In their previous matchup—a December 4th game in New Orleans that the Saints won 31-17– Johnson was held to 69 yards on 6 catches.

Who Dat, indeed.

The Lions are alright, but it’s just not their year. The Saints are better at virtually every position, play more cohesively as a unit, and their offensive juggernaut should steamroll an inferior Lions’ squad. Let’s just hope Ndamukong Suh (who was suspended in the first meeting, it’s worth noting) doesn’t get pissed and stomp that birthmark off of Drew Brees’ cheek. (oh, in case you’re reading about football for the first time, Suh is kind of a dickhead)

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants, 12PM Sunday, FOX

Ugh… we seriously have to watch this game? Both teams are perennially overrated, and aside from David Tyree’s miracle catch against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII (in February of 2008, for you non-Romans), neither has really done a whole lotta recent winning.

As a fan of either team, you’d have to admit that the QB play is maddening—Matt Ryan OR Eli Manning is capable of giving you a, 14-32, 0 TDs, 2 INTs at the drop of a hat—but the receiving on both teams is potentially outstanding. The biggest difference, however, is the running game of the Atlanta Falcons, where Michael Turner can explode like a barrel of dynamite at any given second. And against the less than spectacular Giants’ run defense, explode he shall.

I say the Falcons get the run going early and often and cruise comfortably into Green Bay the following week (before getting thoroughly and utterly trounced). Circle of life, my friends.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos, 3:30PM Sunday, CBS

If the media played this right, this would be a Biblical battle between light and dark, good and evil. The Accused Rapist versus the Man of God. A city of gray, industrial depression taking on the city of clean, mountain air and John Denver Christmas specials. The media is full of pussies, though, so they’ll just talk about Tim Tebow’s woeful accuracy problems and whether or not Ben Roethlisberger’s battered ankle can handle cringe-inducing dives from Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller, two of Denver’s more punishing defenders.

But more to the point, it’s uncertain whether there’s a worthy story here at all. The Broncos are quite possibly the weakest team in the field. The backed in by virtue of Oakland’s ineptitude and after a miraculous run, have started to show their true colors. And though the Steelers are hobbled—Ben’s piggies, RB Rashard Mendenhall’s torn ACL and safety Ryan Clark’s what-the-shit-sickle-cell affliction—come on… does anyone in their right mind—aside from Denver fans—think that the Broncos stand a chance here? Wait: do Broncos fans even think they stand a chance?

Well, they don’t.

And thus concludes our look at the first round of the NFL playoffs. Quite a stinker, right? Tune in next week to catch me gloating about being right on all of my picks AND predicting the divisional round, once again with frightening accuracy (or making up excuses about altitude and the fight that forever survives in the heart of Texas).

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23 Responses to Leftridge: The Playoffs Will Get Better Next Weekend, I Promise

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Have another hit of clean air
    But don’t take it in Denver. Denver has some of the worst smog in the country. Pittsburgh air is now 35-years removed from being Steel City.

    Today’s games will probably be the most entertaining. Most of these teams made it by the skin of their teeth and are apt to be anything but stable and predictable. Sure it will be train wrecks but who can avert their eyes from one?

    Dame Karma will make an appearance today. She’ll smile down on Denver and give them the ugliest win the NFL has ever seen.

    Mattie Iced again melts under the bright lights. Baby Manning somehow finds his brother’s groove to carry the day.

    Saints go marching in as the Lions lay down with the lambs.

    Jeff Garcia chugs a bottle of Geritol and comes off the bench to lead Texas to a win. Dame Karma has to make up for talk of Mike Brown being the Man of the Year in the NFL.

  2. Facts says:

    The sun will come out tomorrow.. or next week.
    Yup, next week is the BEST NFL WEEKEND ALL YEAR.

    Only 8 teams left… posers/pretender teams are gone…… and it is time for highly paid athletes to play hurt, play tough, play for all the marbles….. with just 3 games from being a World Champion they play their guts out…. and you can see it on the field……

    this week, no so much…. oh well….. I will watch… but…I am waiting for next week.

  3. Facts says:

    oops… I forgot to say…… meant to say….

    Leftridge you are THE MAN….I like your style… 🙂 have a great weekend.

  4. chuck says:

    Funny stuff as usual Lefty.
    But, the Giants win.

  5. Super Dave says:

    Brandon Is The Man
    @Facts

    Of course Brandon is the man. At last someone on here who can write about sports and not have dribble of the mouth. In fact can write a good story about anything unlike a couple of others around here.

  6. Brandon Leftridge says:

    Thanks, Super Dave.

    You guys are far too kind.

  7. Orphan of the Road says:

    Eenie meanie chilli beane
    The games this week remind me of why we really weren’t a blocked field goal away from being a playoff team.

    Listen to chuck. The voices in his head are generally more informed than the ones in mine. Probabilities vs odds vs hunches vs who has the prettiest uniforms makes the bookies rich. Gambling is the poor man’s stock market albeit you get the opportunity to go to a game and let the investment know what you think of their performance.

    Usually age & guile trump youth, exuberance and a bad haircut but Brandon has the sports thing working. Information we can not only use but abuse, in a sanitary and friendly manner.

  8. Brandon Leftridge says:

    Shit….
    1 for 2. Seriously? What got into the Texans?! Yikes.

  9. Super Dave says:

    Oh Well
    Least you can come on and admit when a day doesn’t go as you wanted.

    Was just Houstons day it appears.

  10. chuck says:

    The Giants turn the Falcons into swallows today.
    Broncos beat the spread.

  11. Ideas says:

    LEFTY IS THE MAN!!!!
    Shit….
    Brandon Leftridge 01:51:13 AM – Sun. Jan 8. 2012

    1 for 2. Seriously? What got into the Texans?! Yikes.

    ==================================================
    Man,,, yikes is right….what the hell is a Houston Texan???

    Oh well….. at least you are man enough to post it, fess up..and move on.
    I suppose that is the benefit of having a sense of humor… writing a quality,
    humerous column, making some people chuckle and not taking it all too freeking serious.

    You da man Lefty…… have fun watching today…. cuz its Sunday… and “on any given Sunday”

  12. Ideas says:

    I would love to bet and be like all the cool guys…… but I just dont see a good bet here.

    I like Pittsburgh/Big Ben, but I sure as hell aint giving 9 points to Gods team….. no bet
    and….
    I like The Giants/Manning, but Atlanta looked too good last week to give them even 3….. no bet.

    ATLANTA FALCONS
    NEW YORK GIANTS -3

    PITTSBURGH STEELERS -9
    DENVER BRONCOS

  13. What?! says:

    You are wrong
    ‘Additionally, it

  14. chuck says:

    John Fox is overthinkin things with Brady Quinn
    But…

    Ya gotta bet on expected the emotion of a team, even if they are clearly inferior (Cough, cough Buster Douglas, cough…).

    There has not been one sports guy, locally or nationaly that I have seen, who give the Broncos ANY shot at winning this game. This really is embarrassing, I mean really. The Broncos have some players, Von Miller, Elvis and a decent defense. I gotta believe the locker room is quiet and those fuckers are seething.

    Big Ben Rapeslesburger is hurt, the safety isn’t traveling with the team, Pouncey is out, Mendenhall is out for the year, it is IN Denver where no one can fuckin breathe even when the air is clear.

    The Steelers have been the luckiest team in the NFL during their Super Bowl runs and Super Bowl Games.

    The refs gave them the Seattle game and that year, the Bengals were clearly the best team in the NFL. Thats right, the Bengals. First they get lucky rollin up on Palmer’s knee (He was busy throwing a touchdown.) and then the Refds KILL teh game.

    The Cardinals were in no way a better team than the Steelers all year long, but they were better the day they played them. Harrison’s return for a touchdown was a fluke. I think he and Ben sold their souls to the Devil.

    Well, ya only got one soul, and the devil gets his due today.

    I’m pullin for the Donkeys.

    Donkeys cover.

  15. chuck says:

    Little clarity
    Thge refs killed the game with Seatle and the Steelers, the Steelerw were lucky to be there, they should have, and would have lsot to Cincy in the first game if Palmer does not get hurt.

    Sorry

  16. chuck says:

    By the way
    I heard those interviews with the girls Ben raped.

    He should be doing hard time in prison.

  17. chuck says:

    @ Ridley
    I listened to the tapes of the girls who accused Ben Rapelesberger of rape. He is, in my opinion guilty. He overcame with money and postion and the fact that he is white, the rape charges that he was accused of.

    I will always tell ya the truth.

    I do not now, nor have I ever believed that Mike Tyson was guilty of rape.

    Its a crazy world. Black on white rape is 565 to 1. Per capita, it is 2500 or better to 1. Mike Tyson was convicted wrongly of rape and Ben Rothslesberger was let off from his charges, because of those stats.

    It is what it is.

    In the meantime, I hit on 3 outta 4 (The Bengals are the youngest team in the NFL and the stage was too big. Next year, they are the best longshot bet in the NFL to WIN the Super Bowl.

    Ridley, not only did I hit on 3 outta 4, I told ya why and assessed the variables.

    You, on the other hand, are, I am sure, in your own mind, subjectively justified with ad hominum insults, which relate to neither sports nor current issues.

    If you want ot pick the teams next week that you think will win, it would be interesting to read about it.

    I may indeed be a fucking idiot, but I do have something, that so far, to the best of my knowledge, you don’t have, balls.

  18. Ridley says:

    LMAO…. and now Chuckyboy has glazer’s disease, mistaking luck for brains. Please shut up Chuck.

  19. chuck says:

    Ridley me this.
    Its ok, you don’t know jack about sports.

    No big deal.

    Pick a subject, and cast some pearls.

    You are probably good at something.

    Thats cool.

  20. Wow! says:

    Pretty bad
    ‘Wait: do Broncos fans even think they stand a chance? Well, they don

  21. Brandon Leftridge says:

    I like the part where you conveniently left out the very end of my story- the part where I readily admitted I have no idea what I’m talking about:

    “(or making up excuses about altitude and the fight that forever survives in the heart of Texas).”

    That was very selective of you.

    And you’re right about the match-up error. That’s totally on me.

    Thanks for reading!

  22. Facts says:

    Lefty IS THE MAN!!! …He is genius enough to know NOT take this all too serious (and he is F U N N Y), and for that…he gets a pass…. maybe from Tebow … wow!! that would be cool.. a pass from from the hand of the hand of God…. if one believes in that stuff..and more and more are.

    Tebow… setting the athiest movement back 20 years

    PS
    geeeeezz is this the lamest national championship game in memory…OR WHAT?!!

  23. Hearne Christopher says:

    Agree. Would like to see how Alabama would have fared against OK State

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