In the Fuji household... the NFL playoffs kick off today at 1:15pm (PST) when the Chicago Bears visit Lambeau Field. The Chicago Bears have secured the #2 seed and have an outside shot at the homefield advantage in the playoffs if they can win and both the Falcons and Saints lose.
Across the field, the Packers' season is on the line. If they win, they're in. Lose and they're done.
Typically... this game wouldn't mean too much to the Bears, since the odds that both the Falcons and Saints lose are slim. In fact the Bears will know by kickoff whether or not they have a chance at the #1 seed.
But this isn't just an everyday game. It's the Bears vs. the Packers. It's the oldest rivalry in the history of the NFL. Today will be the 181st meeting between the two teams. And whether or not this game has any playoff implications for the Bears, there's no doubt that they'll be coming out to play. Lovie Smith's number one goal (as declared in his 2004 press conference when he was hired to coach the Bears) for the program was to beat the Green Bay Packers. And so far... he's been successful. His Bears have won 8 of the last 13 games, including a close win in week #3.
So... as Izzy Mandelbaum would say... "It's go time!". Back in September, I picked the Packers to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and I'm not backing down. Hopefully they won't either.
A few hours later, my other favorite team... the Seattle Seahawks will be fighting for a playoff spot themselves, when the face the St. Louis Rams. Originally scheduled for 1:15pm (PST), the game has been moved to Sunday night... because of the playoff implications.
It's simple... if the Hawks win... they win the NFC West. If the Rams win... then they're in.
There's been a lot of debate on the NFL's playoff structure... but I'm not going into that. All I care about is that there's a chance that the Hawks can make the playoffs. If they do... it'll be the first time a team with a losing record makes the playoffs (in a non-strike season).
The question is whether or not the Hawks have enough to beat the Rams, since they might be without the Matt Hasselbeck. Even with them, the Hawks have struggled late in the season. They have lost three in a row by a combined total of 58 points. On top of that... they've lost 5 of 6 and 7 of their last 9 games.
But... if I'm Pete Carroll, I'm telling the team to forget the past... it's about one game. If they win... then we can focus on the next game, but if they lose... everyone's going home. I'm hoping the Seahawks' 12th man can come alive and help this team survive.
There you have it... my two favorite teams: the Green Bay Packers & the Seattle Seahawks.
And they're both fighting for a playoff spot. It doesn't get better than this. By the time I go to sleep tonight... I'll know if one or both of my teams have an opportunity at holding the Lombardi trophy in a few weeks.
Today's question of the day is...
Do you think that a 7-9 team deserves to host a playoff game if their record is good enough to win their division?
Do you think that the NFL needs to make some changes?
Happy Sunday everyone... It's time to get ready for my big day.