I have never made a secret that Wild Card Weekend is my favorite of the NFL season.
I have always loved football season. Though I also love the baseball campaign, and even though I seem to do as much baseball work going into the holidays as during the regular season, Sundays are the one day of the week Diane and I have a little time together, as she usually is hitting the books while I am watching games and conjuring player and prospect profiles for the coming year.
Since class does not start again at Davis till today, that basically meant two days and four games worth of hanging on the sofa with the dogs, with football on, eating and hanging out.
And, the reason, aside from the food and hanging out, that I love Wild Card Weekend is the games seem a bit more wide open than over the rest of the course of the playoffs. And, this past weekend did not disappoint. So, let's make a quick review.
The fantastic Kansas City and Indianapolis game was everything any of us could ever want in a football game during the regular season, let alone a for the marbles playoff contest. Just a great game, with a great comeback, and clutch playing, and Andrew Luck showing us how prime time he is. If his fantastic recovery of the fumble in the fourth to score was the play of the game, I still marvel. That is because it is one thing to spot and catch and hang onto a loose ball, but having the presence to then recover and find a way to score is beyond amazing. I noted on Twitter that I did not think I had enough time to gather myself at the end of the contest before getting into the next game. Enjoyed with a Cheesesteak and oven fried spuds.
I picked the Saints to win over the Eagles in a contest with my cousin Richard, reasoning that Drew Brees would neither be haunted by weather nor poor performances away from home, and he did not disappoint me. Though the game was a lot slower paced than the earlier game, things got tight in the end of what became a great contest, and went down to the last play. I made homemade enchilada sauce, and poured over Chile Rellenos with Spanish rice and some slaw that was delish.
Richard and I both thought the Bengals would handle the Chargers, who slipped into the playoffs almost via the back door. I did note to my Cuz that I was a bit worried about Philip Rivers and his mates were generally excellent second half (as in the season) teams up until last year. It looked like we both called it right through the first half, but then the wheels fell off, and the Chargers took the game in the only close to romp this weekend. Breakfast was buttermilk pancakes with pepper bacon and Tazo Zen tea.
I thought the Niners would prevail over the Pack for the last challenge of the week, although the best relative QB had been the victor so far over the weekend, and Aaron Rodgers is better than Colin Kaepernick will ever be (and, I really like Kaepernick, I just don't think he will be an MVP over the course of a season). I did think the Niners had a better all-around team than Green Bay, and that the weather would not really be that much of a factor. Cold is cold, and it was cold, but as long as the guys are moving around, I think they were OK. It was the standing around between offense and defense that was probably tough. In the end, it boiled down to the last play again, in an exciting second half where the teams answered score-for-score down to the end. Great game, and since it is Dungeness Crab season, I made crab macaroni and cheese with four cheeses (Gruyere, Cheddar, Havarti and Gorgonzola) and panko crust on top, while Diane made a salad.
Next weekend, with four more games, promises to be fun, but nothing works like Wild Card Weekend, on the scorecard, or in the tummy!