Just like that, the 2012 NFL regular season is over. It seems like just weeks ago we were eagerly looking forward to opening day and now it’s all over. Except for the playoff, that is. The top 5 events from the world of sports that we’re looking forward to this weekend:
#5 QB Go-Round
What is it with green-shirted teams from the Northeast and their quarterback dramas? Both the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles are starting their demoted former first-string quarterbacks who are likely in their last game with the team and were replaced by guys who started the season as third stringers, won the starting job, and are now out for the final game of the season due to injury. It’ll be an interesting sideshow to watch how Mark Sanchez and Mike Vick will fare in their final games with their teams. On the plus side, the two once and future starters getting an audition for the rest of the league adds a little meaning to otherwise meaningless games for the Eagles and Jets.
#4 Streak Snappers
The Charlotte Bobcats have lost a staggering 16 straight games. Remember they were a respectable — at least tolerable — 7-5 before going on the long skid. Hope may be in sight for the ‘Cats. Friday night brings them to Brooklyn to face the hobbling Nets who’ve lost two in a row. On the flip side of the equation the LA Clippers have won 14 in a row but face back-to-back away-home contests against Utah. Not that the Jazz is that threatening a team, but all streaks have to end sometime and it’s tough to be a team twice in three days. The Buzzer Eagle prognosticators are officially calling for an upset here.
#3 Valero Alamo Bowl
The Bowl season is finally kicking into higher gear with the Valero Alamo Bowl Saturday. #23 Texas will take on #13 Oregon State in the first ranked-on-ranked action of the year. As if that weren’t enough, we’re going full time with Bowl games on 12 of the next 13 days leading up to the BCS National Championship on January 7th.
#2 Wild Wild NFC West
There isn’t much drama left for Week 17 of the NFL season. All the playoff spots in the AFC and most of the spots in the NFC have already been locked up. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks both know they’re in the playoffs but a home game is on the line Sunday. San Francisco just has to win to lock it up. Seattle needs a win and a Niners loss to take it from them. With both teams facing division rivals who have nothing left to play for except being the spoiler, neither has an easy road in front of them.
#1Cowboys and Indians
The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins are the other teams fighting for a playoff spot this weekend and the NFL schedule makers had the foresight to pit them against one another on the final week of the season. It’s winner takes all in the NFC East. Win and you’re in. Lose and you’re out (definitely for the Cowboys, most likely for the Redskins). As if the Cowboys-Redskins game needed any extra incentive.
(U.S. Air Force photo)