I remember when I was a kid, I used to always read the capsule previews for football games in USA Today. They told you the announcers, the time, gave you the offensive and defensive rankings for each team, and gave a quick summary of the matchup. I’m sure USA Today still does that, but since reading newspapers is pointless these days, I thought I’d bring that format over here, to you folks at Blue Star.
No, the Cowboys aren’t in the mix on Sunday, and that’s too bad. But hey, there’s still a doubleheader of football to be played, the last doubleheader until September (GAHHHHHHHH!!!!), so let us sit back and savor it. Here are your matchups:
AFC Title Game
TIME: 3PM EST
ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms
OFFENSIVE RANKINGS: Colts 9th overall (pass 2nd, run 32nd), Jets 20th overall (pass 31st, run 1st)
DEFENSIVE RANKINGS: Colts 18th overall (pass 8th, run 24th), Jets 1st overall (pass 1st, run 8th)
MATCHUP: No one has solved the Jets pass defense yet. Now it’s up to the best quarterback in football to succeed where so many others have failed. Peyton Manning won’t target all-universe CB Darrelle Revis. Look for Dallas Clark to get a zillion balls thrown his way. Indy’s poor defensive rankings betray how well they played Ray Rice last week. If they can do that again, the Jets may find themselves stonewalled.
NFC Title Game
TIME: 6:40PM EST. Don’t let FOX fool you into thinking the game starts at 6, only to annoy you with 40 minutes of Terry Bradshaw guffawing.
ANNOUNCERS: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. They actually let Aikman broadcast a non-Dallas game? I’m stunned.
OFFENSIVE RANKINGS: Vikings 5th overall (pass 8th, run 13th), Saints 1st overall (pass 4th, run 6th)
DEFENSIVE RANKINGS: Vikings 6th overall (pass 19th, run 2nd), Saints 25th overall (pass 26th, run 21st)
MATCHUP: LaVar Arrington pointed out on the radio that Saints defensive captain Darren Sharper knows virtually everything about the Vikings’ offensive and defensive systems, given the extensive time he spent in Minnesota. Will this be another case of one team having the inside info on an opponent, like the Oakland-Tampa Super Bowl? If not, the general consensus is that the Saints have too much passing firepower for the Vikings, and that if Minnesota wants to win this game, they have to limit how often Drew Brees sees the field. Adrian Peterson will have to turn in better numbers than he has the past two months.
Get ready, gang. It’s gonna be a nice Sunday.