Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: NFL Regular Season Comes to an End Sunday

By Michael Bearak     Jan 3, 2010 in Sports
This end of the regular NFL season is one of those ho-hum well-it-all-ends-eventually feelings. One side of the playoffs is completely set, the other has some level of excitement to it...but not much.
The NFL regular season is coming to an end, FINALLY. Well, maybe that is a little over dramatic, but to a degree, who cares? Most of the playoff spots are set and in the AFC the ones that are set might be decided by other games to the fact that for some teams it won't matter what they do, they will be in before they take the field.
The NFL is talking about going to 18 games next season or in a few more years. Still, the best games and most meaningful games might have been already played. The fact that the Chicago Bears pounded the Minnesota Vikings last week, and the Saints have lost two straight and suddenly the Dallas Cowboys are .500 for December, with the New York Giants basically eliminated. The last week holds little mystery, but still there is some irony involved.
The first set of irony is that both the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets could be in the playoffs before their game even kicks off and it won't matter what they do. Both teams are in the playoffs with wins, but if they get help from some other teams losing it might become a matter of where they are seeded and or how much their opponent puts of resistance wise. This is the case with Jets opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals who have a playoff spot of could be #3 or could be #4. Still these are the later games, or in the case of the Jets the latest as they have the NBC night game.
The Saints are coming into Charlotte on a two-game losing skid after spending most of the season looking unbeatable. Carolina played them tough down in the dome early and it will be cold in Charlotte on Sunday. Could the Saints really just limp into the playoffs? This is a nothing game for them, pull the starters early? It also gives the Panthers a chance at an 8-8 season and ending the year with 3-wins. Even though John Fox has been all-but assured that he is coming back, a good strong finish will help his case.
The sloppiest game of the day could be the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Expect fumbles and interception by the wheel barrow full. Uncle Jay Cutler only had one interception last week, so he is over due to toss a few to the Lions. This game is going to be sloppy beyond anything else. Oh, and it is indoors so you can't blame the Chicago weather either. One last bit on this game, it may also be Lovie Smith's last as the Bears' head coach.
Outside of the toss up for the AFC there really are only two other games that have any real weight on Sunday.
Brett Favre
Brett Favre wearing a Vikings uniform.
The first is the New York Giants visiting the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have dropped three out of four and in the process lost their #2 seed. The Giants aren't playing for anything other than pride, which can mean a lot sometimes. If the Vikings win and the Eagles lose Vikings are #2 and stay indoors at home. If they lose or the Eagles win, the Vikings could find themselves playing not only next weekend but very possibly someplace outdoors and cold.
The Dallas Cowboys are visiting the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys won the first meeting, which is par for the course as that happens most years and then Andy Reid makes adjustments and they win the second match-up. This is winner takes all, Dallas wins they win the NFC east and you go to tie-breakers. Should Dallas win, Vikings lose and Arizona lose, Dallas is the NFC's second seeded team clean and clear. The Eagles win and they are the #2 without question.
So there is some drama but not a whole lot this week. More or less it is who is going to play where next week more than anything. A couple of wild-card teams could get in or knocked out, but other than that there isn't a whole lot to look forward to on Sunday. Also based on Indianapolis' performance last week resting their starters, expect to see a lot of more of that, especially when there is nothing left to play for.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about NFL, Football, Chicago bears, Detroit lions, Cincinnati bengals
More news from
Sports Video
Latest News
Top News