Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NFL Week 16 Recap

Now that's what I call football. A Saturday on the eve of Christmas watching game after game with playoff implications and wild plays - including this gem from Jerome Simpson. Arguably the play of the year to this point in the season. After the Giants finished dismantling the Jets and made Rex Ryan eat his own words - the rest of the weekend became about the Saints' Drew Brees - both for historical passing record purposes and for Fantasy Football purposes. He came through in both regards. Check for more insight and thoughts after the jump...

I went a respectable 9-6-1 this weekend - not bad to open up the cushion for week 17 as we make a push to stay over .500 for the entire season. The season record is now 119-112-9 coming into the last week of the season which means that 5-11 still gets me to above .500 for the year. Although I wouldn't count out a 3-12-1 finish to offset my 12-3-1 start. Just feels right.

The most memorable play of the weekend had to be Saints' QB Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino's 27 year passing yard record. On a drive late in the fourth Brees needing only 30 more yards led a 32 yard TD drive all through the air to break the record after hooking up with RB Darren Sproles on a pass over the middle of the field. As Dan Marino tweeted, great job by a special player. Brees will have another week to add to his all-time record and has truly been a class act all year. One thing that has never made headlines all season or among this record setting run has been the fact that Brees is not under contract to play football next year. He does not know where he will be employed and for how much. In this day and age - that's unheard of. A star athlete realizing that his contract is coming to an end usually results in a hoopla of "eff you, pay me" interviews and talks. Not Brees though. He truly is a class act - and in my book has been the most valuable player to his team right up there with Aaron Rodgers. Couldn't have asked for a better way for an end to week 16.

For those of you reading for the first time - I've been dominating fantasy leagues and advice all year. Not actually - but I did make the championship game in two of my three leagues - and was able to ride the coattails of Drew Brees, Calvin Johnson, and LeSean McCoy (an unfortunate no show this week) to a come from behind win in my big money league. Down by 70 points after the Saturday games with only three players left (Brees, Jones, and Khalil Bell - who?) playing against the Packers Defense - I thought I was doomed. Then Bell got me an improbable 25 points - rushing for over 100 and catching a few passes as well to get me within striking range (down 38 heading into MNF). We all know what Brees did, but the bigger story for my team was Julio Jones showing up to the tune of 8 catches, 128 Yards and one huge TD. I ended up cruising to the victory - but couldn't have been in more doubt. I'm not sure if it's because I had the opportunity to share with all 3 of my followers my fantasy experience - but I felt like this year was the most fun I've had playing in a while. It obviously doesn't hurt that my players performed well, but the amount of trash talking that took place from week to week felt like it reached an all time high. 

Looking ahead to next year - an unfortunate injury to one of the best all around talents the league has offer. Adrian Peterson - who tore his ACL and MCL and will be out for a considerable amount of time and will be challenged to return for the beginning of next season. It's truly a huge loss for the league and would be really sad if AP is never the same after this. 

On to a better note - the Cowboys/Giants game in week 17 is for all of the proverbial marbles. One game. One Winner. One playoff spot. Couldn't have scripted it better myself. This will definitely be the best game of the final week in football. The playoff picture is virtually set at this point - the Bengals and Broncos win, and they're in. 

On a personal milestone - I was able to surpass the 10,000 page view mark this past weekend - which doesn't mean much since about 8,000 of those were probably just me trying to click back and forth to see what I predicted and if I was anywhere in the vicinity of being right. But seriously, thanks to those that read - I really don't get anything out of this, just something that I've enjoyed doing for the entirety of the NFL season. I'll try to keep up with it into the playoffs and such - but we'll see how demanding the first semester as an MBA student is. See you out there. 

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