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End of the Season

The NFL wrapped up its regular season over the weekend, with victories for both of my teams.

The Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills 30-10. Last year, when facing the Bills on the final weekend, Gang Green could have clinched a playoff spot with a win... so, of course, they choked and played the worst game of the reason. This year, when the game meant absolutely nothing, they romped. The Bills fired Rex Ryan after last week's loss, so you couldn't even pitch the contest as "Hot Seat Bowl," with Buffalo playing under an interim coach.

The highlight of the game came after the Jets kicked a field goal and kicked off to Buffalo. The ball bounced into the endzone, while a Bills player stood over it looking at it curiously, as if to say, "What is that? Is that the ball? Was I supposed to catch it? I forget. Maybe I should pick it up?" While he was pondering, one of the Jets rushed past him and fell on the ball for a touchdown. Maybe it was good Rex was not on the sideline, his head might have exploded.

FWIW, I think Buffalo made a mistake in letting go of Rex. They did not even give him two years, and they are not likely to find anyone better. The Bills are a deeply dysfunctional franchise; they keep hiring new coaches, but never give them time to build a winner. No wonder they have been out of the playoffs longer than any other team in the NFL.

The Jets are not much better, however. The win left them with a record of 5-11 on the season, and the sixth overall draft slot. But they still have no quarterback. Christian Hackenberg, their second round draft pick last year, finally dressed for a game, but still did not play. Ryan Fitzpatrick started and finished and played... well, okay, but everyone seems certain that he will not be back next year. Neither will Geno. Which leaves Gang Green with the broken Bryce Petty and the totally untested Hackenberg and that draft pick. Do they use that on yet another young qb? So they try to address one of their many other needs? Do they pick up a quarterback in free agency or trade for one? If so, who? I hear talk of Romo, Cutler, and Kaepernick, which seems to me just a choice of poison. Arsenic, cyanide, or strychnine, what would you like?

Meanwhile, the Jets did keep their head coach... but fired a whole bunch of assistant coaches. So I don't know if they really have much more continuity than the Bills, when you get down to it. Sigh. Sometimes it's hard to be green...

So let's go blue, and talk about the Giants. They won too, and much more impressively, defeating the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous People 19-10. (Would have been 13-10, except for a freak defensive touchdown on Washington's last desperation play). The game was not really as close as the score, since Big Blue's defense dominated throughout, pretty well shutting down one of the league's highest scoring offenses. What made the win even more impressive was that the Giants were already locked into the #5 seed in the playoffs, win or lose, and had nothing to play for, while the Redskins had everything to play for. I was glad to see that Ben McAdoo and Eli Manning played to win regardless; I hate it when teams lie down on the last day of the season. (I am looking at you, Cowboys).

The Giants ended up with an 11-5 record on the season, and their first playoff appearance since they won the SuperBowl in 2011. Can they do it again? Odds are against them, but you never know. The G-Men do have a great defense, and it is often said that defense wins championships. We'll see. The road starts at Green Bay. That should be a great game. In Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have the best QB in the game, but their potent offense will be facing the Giants' tough defense. On the other side of the ball, however, a weak Green Bay defense with a porous secondary and no pass rush will be matched against a New York offense that has no running game, an offensive line that gives Eli no protection, and only one downfield threat in Odell Beckham. So it will be strength against strength, and weakness against weakness.

The Packers are favored, and rightly so. Mr. Discount Doublecheck is red hot. On the other hand, in the past Eli Manning has played his best ball in the playoffs, the O-line has gotten a little better since Justin Pugh returned, and even the running game showed some signs of life, at least when Perkins has the ball in place of Jennings. We shall see.

Go G-MEN!

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( 62 comments )
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bigbadbruin270
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:29 am (UTC)
It's going to be a challenge for the Giants.
It will be interesting to see how the Giants stack up to the Packers. Of the teams not called the Dallas Cowboys or New England Patriots (go Pats!) the Steelers and the Packers are the most dangerous going into the playoffs. The Giants have a great D this season, ranking 10th overall and are 2nd in points allowed at 17.8 (my Pats are first with 15.6). But Rodgers, along with Ryan and Brady, is among the best right now. I don't think the Giants will be able to hold Green Bay to only 17 points (they torched the Seahawks number 5 defense like it was nothing), so the Giants offense will have to show up if they want any chance at winning. Keep in mind the Giants offense only averages 19 points per game, and are only 25th overall. And while there is that saying "defense wins championships" you still need offense. Maybe Eli will show up and be the playoff QB that crushed my dreams as a teenager in 2007 and 2011. They can't have him be the turnover machine he's been this season, not against the Packers.

Also, why don't you like teams resting their players? I know I'd do it if I had the 1 seed locked up.

Edited at 2017-01-04 04:32 am (UTC)
Ariel Silberman
Jan. 4th, 2017 06:54 am (UTC)
I'd suggest putting Wun Wun on the field. Him and Tomund would be fun to watch. Gods, I really hope Wun Wun gets a better end in the books than he does on the show. He deserved better. Bolton bastard better get hiss just desserts too. The way the show handled it was good considering what Ramsay's dogs mean to him, but I think you can do better yourself.

Returning to football though, I bleed blue and silver pretty sure. Go Cowboys! My dad taught me well. Get a lot of crap for that being a Northerner, but a lion does not concern itself with the opinions of the sheep!
Christopher Frazier
Jan. 4th, 2017 07:30 am (UTC)
We need the Giants!
Look I am no Giants fan but I like them to a point and I especially like them when they play the Patriots. Only they can save us from the worst Superbowl match up of all time! The Patriots vs the Cowboys. What an Awful Superbowl that would be. I would rather watch ice melt than that game.
I wanna say the Chiefs or Steelers could beat the Patriots but they always seem the fall short - though I hate the Steelers as a Cardinals fan anything in better than the Patriots. I realize the Packers or Falcons could beat the Cowboys but I feel the Giants have the best shot.
Not just to beat the Cowboys but also to defeat Evil Little Bill. Eli can do it, he is R'hllor in my eyes because he always defeats the evil empire.

Edited at 2017-01-04 07:31 am (UTC)
OberynMattell
Jan. 4th, 2017 09:38 am (UTC)
It was real impressive to go out and get that win @ Washington when you're playing for nothing and they're playing for everything. That tells me a lot about McAdoo and staff. Leading the league in fewest penalties also tells me a lot about the coaching staff's attention to detail. The Giants might be running into the buzz saw known as Aaron Rodgers unfortunately, but regardless of Sunday's outcome, the season was a resounding success.
annecorvusshaw
Jan. 4th, 2017 10:19 am (UTC)
Super Bowl
Who do you think will be at the Super Bowl this year? The odds are in favor of the Seahawks over the Packers, but after the sport injuries, most notably one tibia and a tib-fib as well as Hauschka as a placekicker, I'm not certain.
boomkrashhh
Jan. 4th, 2017 11:49 am (UTC)
Who's your picks for MVP, GRRM?

Picks as in:
1. Who you want to win
2. Who should win

Feel free to add in your picks for Defensive player of the year etc.
Peter Davies
Jan. 4th, 2017 12:36 pm (UTC)
I'd like to see Arya playing as a wide receiver, skipping around their ankles, nimble as a cat. Quick as a snake, calm as still water... :)

Edited at 2017-01-04 12:37 pm (UTC)
bigbadbruin270
Jan. 5th, 2017 12:47 am (UTC)
She's too small, I think she'd be better suited at running back.
Aaron Huffman
Jan. 4th, 2017 03:32 pm (UTC)
Giants vs Packers
Hey George,


One thing Eli has going for him is experience winning at Lambeau, including issuing crushing defeats in 2007 and 2011 that still haunt my dreams.

This game is going to come down to the wire, mark my words.

Hope you had a nice holiday season.
teamomas12
Jan. 4th, 2017 03:45 pm (UTC)
Pack
Huge packers fan and huge asoiaf fan. Good luck to your New York football Giants this week. I hope we mop the floor and run the table but the Giants have had our number the past couple of playoff meetings. Always great hearing NFL from you

Thomas
Stringer Bill
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:14 pm (UTC)
Hope Giants make it to Superbowl
That way the Patriots victory will have more meaning. No lucky helmet catches this year George. It's going to be like Ivan Drago and Apollo Creed.
The Commissioner is going to have to place the Lombardi (Belichick) Trophy on Tom Brady's massive erect penis, which will hold the trophy perfectly in place.
Take solace that you hating him probably bothers him more than anything in the world. There is no doubt in the several experts I have asked that your face has popped into his brain while having sex with his super hot wife.
tandis5
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:39 pm (UTC)
Steelers vs Cowboys
Who wouldn't love to see a rematch of this classic battle?!?! With the Steelers winning this time! Although I'd love to see my Steelers take on the Giants too! Would be fun to see the Steelers offense go against that defense!
Dan Mcreedeez
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:42 pm (UTC)
Hey! The Cowboys didn't lay down, my Iggles are just that good!! Ugh, what a miserable season for me, but glad to see your Giants in the playoffs, I REALLY need them to take out the 'Boys, so good luck to them this weekend against Green Bay. Eli remains a mystery to me, during the middle of the Regular Season, there is always a stretch where he looks like maybe the worst player in the league, it might be a couple of plays, it might be a couple of games, but it always happens. And then, right when it seems like maybe they should just get rid of him, Eli, Hero of the Republic emerges. Hoping he can channel good Eli during this Post Season run, I can't handle a Cowboys or Patriots Superbowl.
justanidea123
Jan. 4th, 2017 05:27 pm (UTC)
New Years
Hi Mr.Martin,

I'm a huge fan of your books(though not of your NFL fandom. Go Eagles!) and I enjoy your take on most things, even if I don't agree with them sometimes.

I know you're most likely sick of getting questions about ASOIAF if they relate to production/release.

This will be my first and only question.

Would you be open to a kind of "tell-all"?

For example you could state how long you would like The Winds Of Winter(or maybe the series) to be, how much you currently have(though obviously not what POVs or the content of the chapters), and a general outlook, but no time-line. You won't have to put your name on any sort of "release date expectancy".

This would also trigger a moratorium from your fans on asking about it, as you could just simply state "read this link" or just ignore them.


Either way.

Thanks,

Jake
grrm
Jan. 7th, 2017 11:46 pm (UTC)
Re: New Years
If you think a "tell all" or update on WINDS OF WINTER would stop fans from asking about it... well, I love your optimism, but my own decades of experience suggest otherwise.

There are only two things that will stop people asking me about WOW:
(1) my finishing and delivering the book, or (2) a giant asteroid hitting the Earth and destroying human civilization.

As I have no control over (2), I am working on (1).

However, I know perfectly well that the moment I announce the completion and delivery of THE WINDS OF WINTER, I will start to get emails demanding to know how A DREAM OF SPRING is coming.

So it goes...
WilliamCastro
Jan. 4th, 2017 06:41 pm (UTC)
Fansite - Characters of Ice And Fire
Hello GRRM, I created a fansite with all characters of A song of ice and Fire up to A FEAST FOR CROWS.

It would be a great honor if you like this.

The link is: http://coiaf.com.


Thank you!
Dan Mcreedeez
Jan. 5th, 2017 09:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Fansite - Characters of Ice And Fire
So I know I'm not GRRM, but dude, this is impressive! Good site!
gman109
Jan. 4th, 2017 07:04 pm (UTC)
Gmen receivers partying with Justin Bieber this week
Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz were allowed to skip the charter flight in order to party with Justin Bieber. Where are the coaches, and wtf are they doing? This is NOT the week to let the guys off the chain to go party with the likes of Justin Bieber et al, not with Green Bay this week.

Insane.

Oh well, if my Gmen win, it'll look like not a big deal, but should these receivers play like crap, them partying all night out on boats and not being with their time when they should be all week, isn't going to look good on anyone.
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