Last night’s TNF game between the Bears and the Packers was one of the worst games so far thanks to the Bears turnover problem that made it look like the equipment manager found out he was getting fired and decided to grease the footballs, but fairly standard fare for what is typically one of the worst games of the week. Now being that the game was decided in the first few minutes I had sometime and wondered how many more times I was going to have to watch two shit teams go at it or some perennial cellar dweller get their teeth kicked in by a playoff team (i.e. what happened last night). So I checked my phone for the schedule and was shocked to see that their are some great games coming up.
Some really interesting matchups that pit young quarterbacks against some more established vets like Pats vs Bucs, and Titans vs Steelers. Jameis Winston may have had a thousand pounds of red flags coming into the league but he also has a pedigree for coming through in big moments and watching how he’ll deal with a complex Belichick D and the prospect of having to get in a points race with Tom Brady could tell us a lot about famous Jameis. Every analyst on TV who wanted to make it seem like they had some sort insider knowledge picked the Titans as a playoff dark-horse as if the door to the playoffs wasn’t wide open and off it’s hinges thanks to the incompetence of the rest of the tire fire that is the AFC South. If the Titans are going to be a serious contender and make the leap from playoff team to contender they will have to beat teams like the Steelers. Marcus Mariota has passed a lot of tests in his short career and contending with one of the top teams in the conference would go a long way in moving him from an up and comer to a legit star.
Then there is a long list of good in-division games that will probably decide playoff spots. Chiefs vs Raiders, Seahawks vs Cardinals, Saints vs Falcons, Giants vs Redskins on Thanksgiving and Cowboys vs Redskins a week later could be the death blows for any of those three teams in the NFC East.
Now it’s far from all roses, there are a few games like the Eagles vs Panthers and Colts vs Broncos which have equal chances to either be compelling or be the television equivalent to waking up with a hangover the day after you discovered your alcoholism has progressed to the point where you can chase Jameson with bud light. There is also one game so guaranteed to suck it should be sponsored by Dyson and that is Jets vs Bills. It seems both those franchises have given up after the realization that Tom Brady doesn’t age. However with the scale set to the trash games we expect out of Thursday night this year, it is an incredible improvement.
Written By: Jason MacKinnon (@oohkillemjason)