By Steven Keys

Every NFL fan knows, the most anticipated games of the season are the Conference meets, American and National title tussles. The caliber of competition is at its peak for sure.

Just as important is that it’s the last time in the run, one that began back in September, when fans will be treated (like TV today’s free (ugh)) to a normally conducted contest with a halftime that doesn’t annoy the begeebers out of the adult-minded viewers in audience.

Divisional Reflectional

Marcus Williams (Saints): Playing the devil’s advocate and assuming the Vikings closing seconds TD hook-up between quarterback Case Keenum and receiver Stefon Diggs that won their Divisional over the Saints was not clutch but fortuitous (clutch), its blame lay not with the rookie D-back but with his coaches who had him postioned too far back to make INT / PD and yet instinctually could never lay-in-wait to tackle Diggs.

In the broader sense, the National Football League’s obession with glory stats in INTs / PDs has most cornerbacks out of position to make sound & sensible tackles that in this case would’ve prevented the big touchdown play and at least made Minnesota have to kick a 50+ field goal, assuming a timeout could’ve even been had.

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Thomas Morstead: You probably never heard the name before last Sunday’s tussle and likely never will again outside New Orleans, but the spunky Saints’ punter made a tackle on a Minnesota retun that rang through the bird-infested rafters of U.S. Bank Stadium like with a Chuck Bednarik-like force that’s not been seen on the new millennial gridiron before (Just guessing on the birds). In the process, Tom sustained rib injury, but he’ll recover. His tackle, however, in opposite of so many pathetic attempts by punters and linebackers alike in this era, will remain in this writer’s mind for a long time.

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Marvin Lewis leads a charmed football life.

The likeable, soft-spoken at press-conference coach, hired by Cincinnati in 2003 (125 – 112 – 3), could’ve been fired in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2017 (7-9) (0-7 post-season). Many media had Lewis being fired by the Bengals’ ownership in the person of Mike Brown after another disappointing finish to 2017 at 7-9. But alas, the Tigers 15-year head coach will be back for a sixteenth season. He’s gonna’ have to coach a winning campaign, then finally win a playoff game, right, Mike? Mike?

That development, while former Titans head coach Mike Mularkey, achieving 9-7 marks in his last two seasons in Nashville, got the axe, by mutual agreement, so it was reported. Imagine that, agreeing to your firing. The world of contract.

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Hunting and Halasing For Silver Swag

......AFC.Hunt.trophy.A.Kirk.wc.2.4mThe Conference championships aren’t just a showcase of the best in prof’l football this side of the 49th Parallel (See; CFL), it’s also the one time in the year when the two formally separate operations celebrate, in a sense, their respective founding fathers in George Halas (NFL) and Lamar Hunt (AFL), Leagues having merged in 1966.

The celebration takes place by having each father’s name etched onto his Conference trophy. To historians of the game, this gesture might seem a bit beneath what Halas deserves, a nameplate on the Super Bowl swag itself. Halas ranks first in a tie with Lombardi and Belichick in having taken five (5) NFL titles, was an early player with Decatur / Chicago and critical in the League’s formation and survival into today’s $8 billion business and national platform for every pitch under the Sun, from cars and cola to crass sock displays (CK).

2018 Conference Cherry Picks

Jaguars @ Patriots: 1.21 CBS 3:05: Pats
Vikings @ Philadelphia: Fox 6:40: Eagles

Record: 81 – 62 (5-3)

.....Marshall.Topps.70StevenKeys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: NFL-symbol, wikiproject, 2011; PeteRozelle-GeorgeHalas, 1980s, wc.cca, Summaria; LamarHunt-AFC-trophy, wc.cca, A.Kirk; JimMarshall, Topps-Chewing-Gum, 1970
Posted: 1.20.17 @ 3:37pE; Copyright © 2018

Filed under: New England Patriots, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles

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