Top 5 Games of Last Week (12/30/13 – 1/5/14)
No surprise here – this week was all about football. Still, one NFL playoff game couldn’t make the cut. Guess which one? The bang-for-your-buck regular season MVP threw up a stinker, bouncing his team from the playoffs, and so I bounced Andy Dalton from this list too.
#5. Chick-fil-A Bowl: Duke Blue Devils vs. Texas A&M Aggies
If this was Johnny Football’s (aka Johnny Manziel) last college game, ummm… damn. Did Mr. Football throw for over 300 yards? Does the Pope pray? How about rushing touchdowns – did he score any of those? Well, does a bear sh*t in the woods? Yes, you fools. Of course he did. The amazing thing is that some people seem to be getting bored with his (thrilling) style of play, judging by how he fared in this year’s Heisman voting, and that’s ridiculous. Love him or hate him, he’s been the most exciting player to watch in college football the past two years. Period. What’d he do against the Blue Devils? Oh, just jump out of a tackle, run away from other defenders, and throw a touchdown. Yawn.
#4. Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat
The Warriors were flying high, riding a six-game winning streak. But six-game winning streak or not, not many teams come away with a win in Miami. See, this guy named LeBron plays there, and especially at home, he’s pretty deadly. Sure, a few teams have squeaked out wins in Miami, but that’s the most you could hope for, and you’d better be playing your best for that to happen. At least, that was the thinking entering this matchup Thursday night. Instead, the Warriors entered the American Airlines Arena and blew the doors off, winning 123-114. In a game against the world’s best player, the Warriors’ Steph Curry looked like the best player on the court, scoring 36 and adding 12 assists. Not too shabby. Miami fans: you watched your Heat get seared for an average price of $232.15 – need ice for that burn?
#3. NFC Wild Card: New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
Heading into this game at Philadelphia, Drew Brees was 0-5 in away playoff games. So naturally I picked the Eagles to win. You know, the Eagles: the surprise team of 2013, a team with plenty of momentum, the team with home field advantage – any of this ring a bell? Yeah, Drew Brees took all of that and flipped the birds the bird. Sure, his running game helped, but it was Brees that came up big on the final drive, marching his Saints down the field for the last second field goal. Poor Eagles fans; you paid an average of $237.57 to see your team lose at home. Broo-tal.
#2. NFC Wild Card: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
Any other weekend, this is the game of the week. Sub-zero temperatures, two defenses playing their best, two quarterbacks playing even better – it’s just about all you can ask for in a playoff game. But this weekend there was one game better, and that’s this week’s number one. Still, let’s take a moment to revel in what these two quarterbacks accomplished. Rodgers, in just his second game back from a broken collarbone, willed an inconsistent Packers offense to a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter. But it wasn’t enough against Kaepernick, who countered every blow with two punches of his own. The 49ers kicked a field goal as time expired, but Kaepernick’s knockout punch came a few plays before, when he rushed for a first down on 3rd and 4. This felt more like a fight than a game, and it was a great one.
#1. AFC Wild Card: Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts
The second biggest comeback in NFL history. A total of 89 points scored. Both quarterbacks threw for four touchdowns and over 300 yards. All that, and it’s clearly this week’s bang-for-your-buck winner, with the average ticket price costing just $137.90. That’s almost $100 cheaper than the Saints-Eagles game. Good God, what a great deal. Colts fans: Did you not think this would be a good game? It was played at Indy in the dome, so cold couldn’t have been the reason. Gotta admit, kind of confused on that one.