Monday, December 22, 2014

Football 2014 - Week 17

My recap of the only football games that matter

The College Bowl season started this week but first there was one last Thursday night NFL game. This was a battle of the 2-12 Titans vs the 2-12 Jaguars. The loser would occupy the AFC South cellar all alone and remain tied for first place for the top draft pick in 2015. This was the last home game of the season for Jacksonville. It was one of the few Jags games I get to see on TV. The weather was fine and the old hometown looked good. There were even 61,000 fans in attendance. So, how did this battle of these cellar dwellers turn out? It started out going the Titans way. They took the opening kickoff and drove 84 yards for a TD. They held the ball 7:37. Tennessee added a FG early in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead. The Jaguars had several three and out series before finally putting a drive together to score a TD with 0:31 remaining in the second quarter. 10-7 Titans at the half. Jacksonville pulled ahead 21-10 with TDs in the third and fourth quarters. The Titans managed a FG with six minutes remaining in the game but that ended the scoring. Jags win 21-13 and the Titans have the cellar to themselves. These are two young and offensively challenged teams that are rebuilding. Amazingly there were no turnovers in this game. The Titans had better statistics including almost 10 more minutes of possession but couldn't put scoring drives together. The Jaguars improve to 3-12 and finish their season at Houston.

The first five bowl games were on Saturday. I didn't have any interest in any of the ten teams. I just saw a few minutes of a couple of the games in passing. I do love the obscure sponsors for some of these minor bowls. R+L Carriers is some kind of shipping company but I don't think they will be delivering any of the Amazon purchases to your door. Royal Purple is motor oil, Gildan makes t-shirts, Raycom Media is owned by the state of Alabama and you know what Idaho potatoes are. It is called the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. I've never figured out what is famous. Is it Idaho, the potatoes or the bowl? Besides the funny names, some of the attendance numbers are pretty weak. Most numbers are fudged too so actual butts in the seats is even lower. TV shots of the stands can be pitiful. The R+L bowl drew 34K in the 72K Superdome. The Gildan bowl had 28.7K in a 39K stadium although I have no idea where they were sitting. The Purple bowl had 33K in a 37K arena. The Potato Bowl had 18K in the stadium that seats 37K and has blue turf. As proof that many of these bowl games are just TV fillers, the Raycom bowl started at 9:15 PM local time in Birmingham and finished after 1:00 AM. It drew 20K. Don't worry if you missed these games there are still 34 more bowl games to go.

In the pro ranks, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Saints in New Orleans 30-14. The Falcons scored in every quarter. The Saints had four turnovers. This lose eliminates New Orleans from the playoffs. The Birds win sets up a winner take all in next weeks Carolina at Atlanta game. The winner of the NFC South will have only seven wins and a losing season yet they will still be seeded number four in the playoffs. Several teams with better records will not make the playoffs but if you win a division it's automatic plus you get a home game in the first round.

In the battle of the bays, the Buccaneers continued their terrible season with a 20-3 lose to the Packers. They can't blame the weather because the game was in Tampa. The Bucs only had 109 total yards, 16 on the ground. Green Bay had the ball 17 more minutes. Pathetic. Tampa Bay falls to 2-13, the worst record in the worst division, and are now tied with only Tennessee for worst record. Their last game is at home against the Saints.


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