Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Boomer's Diamond/Gridiron Notes: Hamilton goes Hollywood & Two weeks left in the NFL

Josh Hamilton chose the bright lights of LA, to
become "bash brothers" with Albert (Pujols).
Similar to last off-season, when the Angels landed slugger Albert Pujols, they lucked out once again, landing yet another big-time slugger for their already stout line-up. Josh Hamilton joins the Angels, a team who made a number of big slashes all off-season a year ago, ended up finishing 3rd in the AL West, with a record of 89-73. Will the signing of Josh Hamilton be the missing piece in getting them into the MLB playoffs for the first time since 2009. We shall have to wait and see.

In other news around the diamond:

Games to keep an eye on in Week 16: (Complete Week 16 Schedule)

Atlanta at Detroit (Saturday, 8:00 PM ESPN)

  • Due to the holidays next week, the final MNF game of the season will be Saturday Night, when the Lions host the Falcons in the Motor City. The Lions (4-10) have been sort of a disappointment this season. Following their 4-4 start, have dropped six-straight, will play the role of spoiler when the Falcons (12-2) come to town, looking to wrap up the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs with a win. Bright side for the Lions, All-Pro WR Calvin "Megatron" Johnson, is eyeing Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record from the mid-90's. Johnson, just needs a shade under 200 yards in the Lions final two games to become the new record holder.
New Orleans at Dallas
  • Two teams that were in the spotlight for most of the year, for two different reasons will clash down in Jerry's World Sunday afternoon. The Saints (6-8) played all-season long without their Head Coach, due to the Saints bounty scandal, that was an ongoing thing all year long. While the Cowboys (8-6), seamlessly, are always in the news just because, control their own destiny, can win the NFC East with wins in their final two games of the season, including a divisional battle in Week 17 on the road vs. the Washington Redskins. The Saints will try to play spoiler as they still have a shot at finishing this lost season at the .500 mark.
Washington at Philadelphia
  • Speaking about those Redskins (8-6), following a 3-6 start to the season, have ran off five in-a-row, they too control their own destiny in regards to the NFC East division. Starting this week, when they travel to Philly to take on the Eagles (4-10) in what will most likely be longtime Head Coach Andy Reid's final home game in the City of Brotherly Love. If the Redskins can win this game, then beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17, they will punch their ticket to the NFC playoffs and a NFC East division crown. It's been a long time since the Redskins have played meaningful games in December, and it could all come down to the health of rookie QB RG3, who missed last week's game vs. Cleveland, with a knee injury.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
  • An AFC North match up with division & AFC playoff implications on the line, when the Steelers (7-7) host the Bengals (8-6) in the Steel City. If the Bengals, win this one, they will lock-up a playoff berth, and could play for the AFC North crown, in Week 17 vs. the Ravens, if the Ravens were to lose to the NY Giants this week. A Steelers win, and that would give them the season sweep vs. the Bengals, and all that would be between them and the AFC playoffs would be a home game vs. the Browns. This one should be interesting to watch, as both teams have not played up to par the last couple of weeks.
Minnesota at Houston
  • Adrian Peterson! What a storyline he has been all season long. Suffering a horrible knee injury last Christmas Eve, "All Day" did not miss a single regular-season game this season, and he has his eyes set on the single-season rushing record set by Eric Dickerson (2,105 in 1984). Peterson, needs to average 147 yards on the ground in the Vikings final two games to set the mark, will face a stiff test on Sunday afternoon. The Texans, a dominate defense all season long, ranks 5th in the NFL in rushing (142 ypg), can lock up the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a win over Minnesota. The Vikings are currently sitting in the 6th and final spot of the NFC playoffs, but have two-tough games to finish the season with, at Houston, and vs. Green Bay. Can AP "AD" whatever...put the team on his back and carry them into the playoffs, while chasing history?
NY Giants at Baltimore
  • This game basically comes down to, "who wants it more". The defending Super Bowl champs, the NY Giants (8-6) are 2-2 following their Bye Week, are in serious jeopardy of missing out on the NFC playoffs altogether. The G-Men, need to win their final two games, and hope the Redskins & Cowboys lose at least one of two, to win the NFC East division. On the other hand, the Ravens (9-5) have lost their last three-games, and have allowed the Bengals & Steelers back into the conversation for the AFC North crown. Already, holding onto a playoff spot, the Ravens would benefit in winning the AFC North and starting the playoffs at home, rather then on the road. Both teams are in playoff mode, for the final two games of the regular season.
San Francisco at Seattle
  • The final SNF game of the year, should be an excellent one between two NFC West rivals. The Niners (10-3-1), are coming off a big win over the New England Patriots on the road, will play in primetime for the second straight week (thanks to the NFL "Flex" scheduling. The 49ers, have relied on second-year QB Colin Kaepernick the past 5 games to start, and he has not disappointed winning four of five in the Niners starting QB role. The Seahawks (9-5) have looked like a juggernaut the past two weeks, scoring 50+ points in each game (108 total points), becoming the 1st team since 1950 to do so. The Seahawks put their perfect home record on the line Sunday Night, when they host the 49ers, looking for a season split, after losing in SF, back in Week 7, 13-6. This one has all the hype of being a entertaining game, to finish off the primetime schedule of this 2012 regular season, will it live up to it?