Tony likes to wear this pink #9 jersey at home so I wore it for good luck at the game. Maybe he was thrown off since my panties were not on his head. I guess that did not pan out.
~ Jessica Simpson on Tony Romo's really bad day
Welcome to the Big Dance
For the first time in ROTC history, the two #1 seeds have made it through to the final week. Their roads have been very different, but the results are the same. Both carry a huge win streak into the final game thanks to their ability to play strong when it counted down the stretch. Angels went from one of the lowest power rankings at the start of the season to a top five mark, whereas Jeepsters stayed in the top three all season. Now the true test of merit lays ahead, offering both teams one final chance to win it all.
Breaking down this match up is a challenge. Both competent managers have their strengths, and rely heavily on them. One miscue could humble either one in a hurry. That means that match ups will come more into play in this Super Bowl than ever before. How do they fair? Let's see:
Peyton Manning is a work horse. Not the #1 QB he was in years past, he consistently performs and scores big with the help of a great supporting cast. Manning could drop 10 points, or 50. You just never know. His match up with the Texans could be huge. A middle of the road pass defense will not bode well against this stud performer.
Drew Brees started this season with high hopes. Through week six, he looked like Joey Harrington. A sad display created very low hopes for this team, but then something snapped and created a huge boon for Brees which looked more like 2006. This also affected Colston's trade value tremendously. Brees has a tough match up this week. Watching what Romo did against the Eagles is a bad sign for the defending champions. A lot is riding on the back of Brees to keep this season going.
Running back has been an aqful position for this team. Start with a true bust in Cedric Benson, who has never performed...period. Jeepsters rode it out with him as long as he could. Starting Maurice Morrise or Garrett Wolfe is a throwaway for this powerhouse team. Any points at all are a bonus in the coach's eyes.
Another team heads to the finals on the back of poor RB. The difference here is that Angels worked hard in trades and auction moves to repair the situation. Still a subpar group, Angels will depend on Dayne, Taylor, Norwood and whoever else they can scrounge to take the field. This is a serious problem, as Taylor is losing touches, Dayne and Norwood are hurt, and Ladell Betts is....Ladell Betts. All of these players have horrible match ups in week 16, and most are hurting.
Wide receiver is like a Pro Bowl list for this team. It's power and potential would make any opponent wince. Many say you need a RB to win in fantasy. Jeepsters flips the bird at those losers. When you have a perfect, cheap, keeper in Randy Moss, Greg "Long Ball" Jennings, and Anthony "Harrison Quien?" Gonzalez, you do not need a stinking RB. Greg Jennings has the best match up this week. Look for him to light up the scoreboard thanks to his Pro Bowl snubbing (purely ridiculous). Randy Moss is looking to redeem himself from his lazy week last week. Believe it or not, I think it will take some work against a good Miami pass defense, but it will get done.
From high potential to prayer on Sunday morning, this corps has changed considerably. Chad Johnson has been inconsistent and Crayton has been worse. Stokely is hurting and Vincent Jackson is barely worth the paper the lineup is printed on. The match up for Johnson is promising though looking at the Browns this week. If all fairs well, he could be the highest scorer on this offense.
TE is another throwaway for the off roaders. Not that Olsen is no good, but he is not consistent. Wait a minute. This is TE we are talking about, they all are. Olsen has a tough match up this week in the Packers defense, and Orton is still a bit wobbly from his first start in two years. Olsen could be a nice sleeper pick for putting a dagger in the winged fiends.
TE is one position that Angels excels at. Two top five tight ends in Cooley and TG is stupendous. One major issue is the connection between Collins and Cooley. It is not there yet. A new repore is not what the Angels need to wrap up a season. Fighting for their playoff lives and a horrid pass defense in the Vikes may be just what the doctor ordered.
Defense and special teams are another strong point for Jeepsters. Demeco Ryans is one of the best LB alive today. He will give Manning fits in the middle of the field on Sunday. Dansby is also a great play against the hapless Falcons. He will outscore even Ryans. How can the Cards have such great IDPs (Pace, Dansby, Rolle) and be so bad? A solid DB squad in Knight, Clements and Hall will all produce solid numbers as well. Another huge X-factor is actually Janikowski. Yes, Sebastian has a real opportunity this week. PLaying the Jags, Oakland will struggle yet again to make the end zone. If they can get in range though, it could be a big booty day for SJ. I am looking for him to be a difference maker in the finals.
An amazing pair of DE has played well all season. Remember that Allen was suspended the first two games, so his monster season is a short one. Liv Tyler is hurting, so his recovery will be key for them this week. Can he get to Tom Brady though? This will be a non factor this week. Urlacher highlights a decent set of LB and DB. Not outstanding, they have scored well as a whole and can put up points on occasion. Sean Jones is a stud, as is Brooking when they get a chance. They need to put out this week. Gostkowski will light up Miami, but most likely in XP. In the cold of Foxboro, he will score less than five points as this will be a low scoring game...yes...low...scoring...
I want to thank everyone for yet another great season of ROTC. You are all special to this league's character and strength. This was an exciting season with great play, a lot of trades, and amazing games. Even if it did not come together in the end, you all played well and I appreciate you. Some rule changes and other adjustments for 2008 will continue to make this the best league around.