Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Boomer's Diamond/Gridiron Notes: MLB Winter Meetings & NFL Playoff Picture

Which MLB team(s) will make the most
notable track in the Music City?
Lets take a minute and see what's happening around the diamond and on the gridiron this week.

With the Winter Meetings (Dec. 3rd-6th) in Nashville this week, the baseball rumor mill is in full-swing, with a number of clubs looking to land a big-name (or two), to join their team(s) for the 2013 MLB season.

You can find all the news & notes from the 
Winter Meetings this week from the links below:

RG3's heroic efforts last night on MNF, have the
Redskins right in the thick of the NFC East race.
2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

For teams that had postseason goals in the preseason, it's come down to final quarter of the 2012 season, to see if they will be one of the teams invited or one of the teams that will be left out of the party come January. Congrats to the Falcons, Patriots, and Broncos for clinching their respective divisions, while the Houston Texans clinched at least a playoff spot. These four teams still have a lot to play for as they all four play for a chance to be one of the two-teams in the AFC & NFC to receive first-round byes and potential home-field advantage during the NFL playoffs.

The current Playoff Picture link, heading into Week 14: NFL Playoff Standings- 2012

As you can see, in the NFC its looking like a 6 or 7-team race for the final two Wild Card spots (as well, the races for NFC East & North crowns). While in the AFC, its coming down to two AFC North rivals (Steelers & Bengals), to see who grabs the 6th and final spot in the AFC playoffs. The Steelers & Bengals meet in Week 16 (Dec. 23rd) in Pittsburgh in a game that will probably decide who grabs that final playoff spot in the AFC. With the Steelers winning the first meeting back in Week 7 in Cincinnati (24 to 17), they currently hold the tiebreaker between the two teams.

Games to keep an eye on in Week 14: (NFL Week 14 Schedule)

Dallas at Cincinnati, The Cowboys (6-6) look for a win on the road to keep pace with their NFC rivals (Giants, Redskins), while the Bengals look for their 5th-straight win to keep pace with the Steelers (7-5) in the AFC playoff race.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, The Buccaneers (6-6) look to avoid their 2nd three-game losing skid of the season, and keep their NFC playoff hopes alive, when they welcome the Eagles (3-9) to town. Since starting 3-1, the Eagles have lost 8-straight, as they have struggled to close out games in the 4th quarter.

Baltimore at Washington, A game between the two DC area teams, this should be an interesting game this weekend, right outside of the Nations Capital. The Ravens (9-3) will try their best with their stout D, to slowdown the Redskins (6-6) rookie QB RG3, as the 'Skins are currently riding a 3-game winning streak.

New Orleans at NY Giants, The Giants (7-5) following their MNF loss to the 'Skins, find their lead in the NFC East down to one-game, and have the late-season pressure on them once again. While the Saints (5-7), this season play the role of "spoiler", in what could be a high-scoring game in the Meadowlands this weekend.

Detroit at Green Bay, The Lions (4-8), currently on a 4-game losing skid, have been bite with some bad luck in recent weeks, have seen their chance of back-to-back postseason appearance slip away. The Packers (8-4), control their own destiny in the final quarter of the season, are playing three out of their final four from in the NFC North division starting with the Lions on SNF.

Houston at New England, The MNF matchup, features the top-two teams from the AFC going at each other. The Texans (11-1) are dealing with a number of injuries and a pesky Colts (8-4) team hanging right behind them in the AFC South. While the Patriots (9-3) with a win would have the head-to-head tiebreaker, in their late-season attempt to grab the #1 seed in the AFC and home-field during the AFC playoffs. 

In unrelated news, it's Jimmy V week, all around college basketball. I thought I'd share with you his speech from the 1993 ESPY's, just months before his death, after a year-long battle with bone cancer. "Don't give up, don't ever give up!"