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Early Games Open Thread

We're not up until 8:15 Eastern or so. Until then, enjoy the afternoon games and comment on them here, if you're so inclined. I get:

Houston Texans @ Indy Colts.

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

That assumes I don't go to a bar. Big assumption. None of the above games have much interest for Redskins fans though I'll probably catch the Titans game with a friend because he's a huge fan. Maybe the Bears/Packers game has some interest given how even-steven the NFC North is. That division could produce a wild card. The games I am interested in, which I can't watch, are:

I like watching Drew Brees so I'll probably catch some Saints @ Chiefs, though I'm optimistic the Saints won't contend for an NFC South wild card spot.

Constantly rooting against the Giants, who we need to stumble in order to have a shot at winning the beast of an East, has us supporting regional rival Baltimore Ravens. I don't like cheering on the Ravens any more than I do their chances of winning this game, but for at least one week best wishes to Baltimore.

The Eagles are a win (and a Redskins loss) away from catching us in the division, though we hold the head-to-head tie breaker. I'd just as soon they lose to anyone and everyone they play to prevent them from catching us, ergo: Go Bengals.

NFC South is a problem. Panthers are going to beat the Lions, and both the Falcons and the Bucs are in prime WC clinching position. I need one or both of them to lose, so I've been tentatively rooting against them week in and week out. Both play at home this week with the Falcons hosting the Broncos and the Bucs hosting the Vikings. Very good chance at least one of them loses.

It is alternatively treated as one of the great College Football Traditions or bains of that sport that rooting guides amongst fans are convoluted messes because the BCS system has made NCAA final destination a mess that can only be sorted out fluidly week by week. As a Texas Tech Red Raider fan, I'm blessed to support one of the few teams in College that still controls its own destiny. But that doesn't mean I've plotted out hypotheticals where we lose to Oklahoma and maybe, just maybe, we need some bizarre things to happen to win a three-way tie breaker in the Big-12 South. I won't bore you with the many permutations I've concocted where we get the nod over Oklahoma or Texas (probably won't happen). The NFL is far more cut-and-dry... Your SOS doesn't really matter. You don't need opponents to win by large margins or slim margins to compel human voters that it could've gone either way. Style points are irrelevant. The Redskins are looking like a wild card team from the NFC East that still has a shot at the division, and so rooting interests are clear: Against all division opponents who could bump us down, against all similarly situated WC challengers from other divisions, against all Redskins opponents. That isn't too difficult to manage. For those of us who write blogs, maybe 'tis better to have some broken, absolutely complicated system of human/cyborg voters that are largely irrational or unpredictable from week to week just so we can discuss the endless possibilities that can play out. For most fans, though, I think there's an appeal to the simplistic NFL postseason system that makes rooting guides so much easier to consume.