Thursday, December 17, 2009

Will the Saints and Colts go undefeated?

With the Indianapolis Colts thrilling 35-31 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, they now sit at 14-0, while the New Orleans Saints are 13-0. If you have been following things at all, you likely know that this is the latest that two teams have both been undefeated this late in the season.

So, of course, the question must be asked... will they both go undefeated, and eventually meet in the Super Bowl? Who has the better shot?

As of now, you have to say the Colts have the better shot, simply because they are one game further along. As the Saints showed by getting a [pretty lucky] close win against the Redskins, anyone can beat anyone in this League, especially because everyone will be giving the Colts and Saints their best shot. Every team wants to be the one that beats the previously undefeated team, which puts a lot of pressure on the Colts and Saints.

The Colts have been particularly adept as escaping with wins this year, with a bevy of come-from-behind wins in the 4th quarter. 7 of their wins have been by 4 points or less, which is really remarkable to think about. They finish with a home game against the Jets and a road game against the Bills. One thing to thing about is their tendency to rest their starters at the end of the year. As they already have clinched home field throughout the playoffs, there is a very good chance that they will pull some of their starters over the next two games, which will obviously put them at a serious disadvantage.

The Saints are just 3 games away from an undefeated regular season, and they have been by comparison the more dominant team. They have the best offense in football, and there defense has shown the tendency to be opportunistic. They play at home against Dallas, at home against the Bucs, and then finish at Carolina. If they can get by this game against a Dallas team desperate for a win, they should have smooth sailing to an undefeated regular season.

I believe the Saints will finish the regular season undefeated, and the Colts will not, because I think they will begin to rest a lot of their starters. However, in the playoffs, I like the Saints to go down to the Vikings, giving the 1972 Dolphins another deep breath and another year of breaking out the champagne.

While you're watching these two teams play, you should take a look at playing some Football Bingo, a fun game to play while you are watching the action on the field!

Football Bingo Card

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Book Review: Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants Complete Illustrated History

I had the good fortune of receiving copies of both Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete Illustrated History and New York Giants: The Complete Illustrated History, two excellent books put together by Lew Freedman.

The books document the storied histories of each franchise with great photos, going over the best players and coaches of the franchise, as well as many of the great moments in each franchise history. It brings to life to on and off the field storylines of each franchise from its inception.

If you are a fan of either franchise, then you should definitely give the books a look. Even if you are simply a fan of football, these would be great books to get to learn and understand more about each franchise. Here are the publisher previews of each book:

New York Giants:

"Purchased in 1925 for $500 by bookmaker and businessman Tim Mara, the New York Giants were New York City’s introduction to professional football. The National Football League was a mere five years old, and for almost a century since, the history of football, the city, and the Giants has been inextricably linked. New York Giants: The Complete Illustrated History is a thorough and thoroughly entertaining illustrated chronicle of the New York Giants football team, telling the full story of the seasons, players, coaches, teams, and moments that have made history decade after decade. Filled with player statistics and team records, and brilliantly illustrated with vintage and contemporary photographs, this book is a fitting celebration of a team whose name is synonymous with football in America."

Pittsburgh Steelers:

"Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete Illustrated History documents the great moments in a tradition that stretches back more than seventy-five years and offers an unmatched legacy of success. Fresh on the heels of a record sixth Super Bowl victory, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a team steeped in history and accomplishment. The roster of players who have donned the black and gold reads like an all-star team, and the 1970s dynasty alone featured nine players currently enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This book celebrates the players, the teams, the legendary coaches such as Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher, and the legions of passionate fans throughout western Pennsylvania and across the nation who cheer the black and gold. Lavishly illustrated with vivid color and classic black-and-white images from throughout the team's history, Pittsburgh Steelers brings to powerful life the on- and off-field exploits and achievements of this iconic franchise."