Turkey day is still three days away, but like that annoying, unavoidable, over-indulging cousin that invited himself over for the feast, the media itself is snacking on the New York Jets for hors d’oeuvres and finger-swiping the whip cream topping of New York Giant pie before all the trimmings have even hit the oven.
The Jets are not only the focus of the back page in today’s New York Post, but evidently yesterday’s win over the Kerry Collins-led Tennessee Titans was colossal enough for the newspaper’s brass to (Gang) green-light a share the cover as well.
The radio personalities, as well, are rolling in the Jet vs. Giant Superbowl catnip. Mike Tirico, one of the most respected journalists in any genre, discussed the possibility of an all Big Apple Superbowl as his second biggest topic of the day. If it wasn’t for the Donovan McNabb drama, the Super Bowl proposition would have been No. 1.
My biggest problem with the Jets vs. Giants talk (besides the fact that it is now jinxed like a Sports Illustrated cover) is the idea that we’re previewing a championship football game that will be played two weeks before Valentine’s Day. Furthermore, we’re anointing the Jets as AFC Champions, with Brett Favre as their quarterback? Be careful.
Are our memories really that short-lived? Just last season we saw the New England Patriots run the table, and before they even laced up their cleats for their Super Bowl 42 defeat, we wanted to know where they stood among the greatest NFL teams EVER.
In the NFL, its not just about how your playing, but most importantly, it’s when your playing it. The Patriots and Giants both should have taught us football fans a valuable lesson about predictions: you can’t make them until after the conference championship games, and you certainly can’t make them during week 13.
In September, Sports Illustrated picked the Eagles to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 43. Need I say more?
The Jets are clearly one of the better teams in what I believe is a wide open AFC, but unless the Titans melt down and somehow lose their stranglehold on home field advantage for the playoffs, the road to the Super Bowl runs through Nashville.
One of the greatest challenges in professional football is for one team to beat another twice in one season (with the exception of Detroit). The Titans, led by one of the elite head coaches in Jeff Fisher, will have a week to correct what happened yesterday. (For starters, they can decide to show up the next time around.) As for the Jets, they’ll have a week to figure out how they are not going to play like their old self: since 1970, a franchise that always seems to let its fan base down.
There is one thing the Jets and Brett Favre have in common: they cannot be trusted in the playoffs. Like Jet fans almost expect the team to have a let down in a big spot, Brett Favre fans almost expect him to throw interceptions in the big spot.
Can Brett Favre be trusted in the big spot? Take a look at his last two playoff games. Last season, he looked great in the divisional round against Seattle (who they didn’t play in the regular season). He looked great in the regular season game at the Meadowlands against the Giants. But when the G-Men came into Lambeau Field for a rematch in the NFC Championship Game…
The rest is history, not a mystery.
You want a prediction? How about Detroit to beat the Titans on Thursday.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.