If bookmakers could script the outcomes of NFL games, this is how they would write it. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are going head to head, in the most dynamic quarterback duel possible, with a Super Bowl spot on the line.
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At this time of year, betting on Peyton Manning comes with a feeling of postseason paranoia, a sense that no matter how great he was in the regular season, something bad is about to happen.
In another year, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will be focused on the NFL Draft, and he probably will be the top pick. If eligible, the redshirt freshman might have gone first this year. Regardless, he’s already got a No. 1 on his resume.
Instead of finding another way to cough up a big game, the San Diego Chargers ran into an opponent who was better at choking. No need to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Philip Rivers this time.
A chilling wind will sweep across the field in Philadelphia, dropping temperatures into the teens, and history indicates the elements are the best defense against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
A Week 17 schedule that shaped up as potentially explosive on paper surpassed all expectations. Thirteen of the 16 games had playoff implications. From Chicago to San Diego to Dallas, it was as great as it gets.
It’s not easy to change a person with a losing attitude, and the same goes for turning around a terrible team. With that thought in mind, what coach Bruce Arians is doing in Arizona is just short of amazing.
In no way is Aaron Rodgers a clown, but when the Green Bay Packers quarterback was trotted out to meet with the media Thursday, circus music should have been playing in the background.
At this point, there’s not much left to like about the Dallas Cowboys, who are riding a broken-down donkey of a coach and following a quarterback, Tony Romo, who can’t shoot straight under pressure.
A sense of impending doom surrounded the Chicago Bears when Jay Cutler, who might or might not be the franchise’s future quarterback, limped off the field with a groin injury. With Cutler, it often appears to be loser’s limp, but this injury was legit.
Even when the odds are against Tom Brady, we expect him to succeed. He captains comebacks like no other quarterback in the NFL. So we expect him to succeed especially when the odds are against him.
On and off the field, the Washington Redskins are a mess. Full responsibility for that falls on the narrow shoulders of coach Mike Shanahan, a manipulator not to be taken at face value.
In the final football game of the year, Johnny Manziel will quarterback what is almost certain to be the last game of his college career when he leads Texas A&M against Duke. He’s going out with a bang, in a way.
It was not quite a blizzard, but it was bizarre. A thick white blanket covered the field in Philadelphia, and in elements better suited for a sled dog race in Alaska, LeSean McCoy seemed to run from Anchorage to Nome.
It will be a cold day in hell — also known as New Jersey — when a team shows up and beats the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. That’s the common narrative this week.
Miami 7-5 5-5-2
Truth is stranger than fiction, especially in college football. The first half of that sentence is a Mark Twain quote. The best coach in the nation, Nick Saban, probably would agree with both halves after failing to take Auburn to overtime and looking like a jackass in the process.
No hole is too grave a situation for Tom Brady. It’s almost as if the New England Patriots are digging deficits just to make things interesting, just to give Brady a chance to bring them back from the dead.
It’s that time when adversity sets in, hope disappears and some NFL teams get torn apart while facing the certainty of a losing year. But coach Tom Coughlin is not going to allow any of that nonsense to wreck the New York Giants, at least not yet.
Once famous only for being Florida State’s supremely talented freshman quarterback, Jameis Winston now has more concerns than how to read a defense.
Learning how to deal with devastating setbacks is an important aspect to the psychology of gambling. Absorbing bad beats is part of betting sports, and it helps to have a bottle of whiskey and a short memory.
After the party, the hangover is due to hit. And the better the party, the worse the headache gets. Right about now, it’s hitting quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers right between the eyes.
Not that it’s a negative, but San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has a huge ego. He’s out to win games, not friends, and does not care if he annoys people with his arrogance and combative attitude.
It’s easy to envision the Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, if only because we witnessed it five days ago. It was not pretty, and it’s almost impossible to picture them as a playoff team unless he returns before December.
Some point-spread decisions lack drama. A bet on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints was easy money, and there’s nothing better than cashing in without breaking a sweat. But it’s rarely that easy.