Unlike some other, lazier blogs, The FynalCut does not sleep – or break for egg nog and 24 consecutive hours of “A Christmas Story.”
Which is why we are able to bring you a complete wrap of NFL playoff “action” from Sunday – a day that seemed to crush more playoff dreams than it helped come true. (the photo to your left is about as symbolic as it gets).
Browns 14, Bengals 19: Well, no one knows better than Cleveland that it’s hard to shake a recent history of suck. The Browns (and Derek Anderson’s four interceptions) showed no team is better at being a perennial disappointment than that the one that hails from the Mistake By The Lake. A season that started with high hopes (51 points against the rival Bengals in the teams’ first meeting) is all but over. When the Titans beat the Colts next weekend (a Cut guarantee), things will be back to normal in Ohio.
Redskins 32, Vikings 21: You’ve heard it from the Talkin’ Heads for weeks – “You don’t want to play the Vikes in the first round.” Why? Because of that killer run game they hone up north. Turns out, all you need is a mediocre defense and a quarterback who’s been on the bench for the past decade. Washington held Minnesota’s Purple Saviour Adrian Peterson to 27 yards on the ground and can clinch a playoff spot by winning next weekend against Dallas’ B-Team — assuming Jessica Simpson doesn’t distract them.
Giants 38, Bills 21: Everyone knows Eli isn’t Peyton. He at times makes horrible decisions, worse throws and can be an inconsistent part of the Giant’s playbook (7 completions against Buffalo). But, all that said, the Giants are in the playoffs for the third time under the younger (and much better looking) Manning. What they do (tank) once they get to the dance can’t be put solely on Eli’s shoulders, but a first-round matchup in Tampa is about as easy as it’s gonna get this year.
So, as it looks right now, Jacksonville at San Diego in the first round is probably going to be the most intriguing matchup. If Cleveland wins next weekend and Tennessee loses, a Browns-Steelers showdown could also be pretty entertaining.
Once the playoff picture is a little bit clearer, we’ll hit you with our complete playoff preview. Until then, you can always try and figure out what’s going on here.