Some pundits see omens in everything, but punters who like having something on American gridiron might have gained some insights as the NFL moves into its final weeks of regular season play.
One significant game was the one between the New England patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the replay of last season’s AFC Championship game. Kansas City won narrowly, 23 – 16, but the game was never as close as the score indicates.
New England have no running game and the receiving corps is sparse. Kansas City had only to keep Julian Edelman and James White in check in order to render the New England offense impotent. The Patriots currently enjoy the lead in the AFC East, but they actually have a legitimate pursuer in the Buffalo Bills and New England’s results have been achieved through a lot of smoke and mirrors.
Late in the game, 42-year-old New England quarterback Tom Brady resorted to running in order to gain a first down and keep their dim hopes alive. Even in his youth, Brady was not a running quarterback, which only demonstrates that his will to win is so great that he is willing to risk injury.
Along with Kansas City, the other AFC team that looks to have destiny on their minds are the Baltimore Ravens, who beat strong competition with a 24 – 17 win over Buffalo.
On the NFC side of the table, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints staged a shootout that resulted in a 48 – 46 win for San Francisco. Both clubs have potent offenses, but on the day, both had non-existent defenses.
Green Bay Packers won 20 – 15 over the woeful Washington Red Skins, so while they are a lock to make the playoffs, they are going to need to recall where they left the key, as they appear to have a split personality that lacks the killer instincts the club showed over the past several seasons.
Russel Wilson was average for the Seahawks, provided we can be forgiven for being generous. They went to Los Angeles to face the Rams and the only touchdown they produced was on the defensive side of the ball, when they intercepted a Jeff Goff pass and ran it back to the end zone.