In just two days we will be subjected to a slightly-less-than-full 13-game schedule of NFL games for the first time in, well, more than a few months. And really, who could wait to yell at all the replacement referees, you know, like you never did with the real ones?
Off topic. Regular readers (hi Mom!) might recall that towards the end of last season I started writing the Seder Slate, previews for a few contests each week centered around the whole Passover Seder Four Questions thing. Well, except that the questions were one word long and had nothing to do with dipping anything in salt water. Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights we watch ESPN for erroneous Tim Tebow coverage. On this night, you get it right here :-D
What? Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Why? I'm going to preface this answer by saying that by no means do I think that Mark Sanchez is a good NFL quarterback. However, people should watch this game so they can realize that Tim Tebow is no savior for this offense. Sanchez had the highest completion percentage, most yards, and most touchdowns of his career last year, and even ran for 6 touchdowns (as many as Timmy, in a year where Tebow ran the ball 85 more times than Sanchez). The Jets didn't make an epic draft-day trade and watch Sanchez flail for three years to replace him with a guy who's even worse who they have nothing invested in.
Who? I'll be checking out the duel between Stevie Johnson and Darrelle Revis. While pretty much every good receiver that's played the J-E-T-S has spent a 3-hour tour on or around Revis' Isle over the past few years, Johnson has managed to (to some extent) swim away, averaging 4 catches for 65 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game over their past four matchups. The tag-team of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller should keep the Jets honest while Johnson makes a play or two that could swing the game.
How? Where better to watch this bad boy than from the AFC East's proverbial throne? Don't get too comfortable, though, you're just keeping it warm for the Pats.
What? San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
Why? Because this is what the NFC Championship game should have looked like, and it would have been glorious. Hi, I don't believe we've met; I'm Unstoppable Force. Immovable Abject, you said? Oh, Object. Got it.
Who? Washed-up-questionable-character-guys, ahoy! Cedric Benson, the guy who has averaged 4 yards per carry just once since 2006, has fumbled 12 times in the past two years, and has just 106 receptions in 91 career games, will totally fit right in with the high-flying spread attack of the Packers, right? And Randy Moss, who when we saw him last was warming the bench for a 6-10 team and catching 28 passes for 393 yards in 16 games, is going to pay big dividends for an Alex-Smith-led passing offense that was 31st in the league last year in attempts, right?
How? Step 1: Pick up a sandwich somewhere. Step 2: Find Terrell Owens' house. Step 3: Hand him the sandwich. He could use a lift. Step 4: Find a clip of his catch against the Packers in the 1998 (?) playoffs. Step 5: Watch it with him. Step 6: He'll let you stay and watch this game.
What? Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
Why? Duh, because we want to see the Steelers' D beat the snot out of Tebow as revenge for beating them last year in the playoffs! Oh, wait. OK, I guess I'll settle for the first real game for Peyton Manning since the end of the 2010 season at home against one of the other "teams of the 2000's."
Who? Mike Wallace, of course! What, you thought I was gonna say Manning? Whatever, dude's like 35. Wallace caused all sorts of hoopla over his holdout and got the guy on the OTHER side of the formation a 5 year, $40 million contract, and returns just in time for the regular season and a matchup with "is he off the cliff yet?" Champ Bailey.
How? Watch it while working out some Punnett Squares in an attempt to understand the high school genetics explanation of Ryan Clark sitting out the game because of his Sickle Cell trait.