This one goes out to the true ballers. The teams and players that never say die. The stats and odds may be stacked against them but they laugh in the face of fear and pull off the impossible. But if you routinely pull off the impossible can we really call it impossible? Woah, intellectual brain freeze. Let’s get to know the NFL crews that are pure clutch.
The New York Giants
Coming off a 1 point win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, the G-men are now 6-3. Not bad, still chasing Dallas, even though they did beat them in week 1, but that seems ages ago. All 6 wins have been within 7 points. So the games they are winning are all being won in the fourth quarter. That takes guts. Giants are last in the league in rushing. So Eli Manning has t0 get some of the credit here. We all jump on him when he throws the pick but he is leading them to wins. And looking ahead they have Chicago and Cleveland. Both seem like very winnable games. The schedule after that gets brutal: at Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit, at Philly, at Washington. We are going to learn a lot about New York in those last weeks.
The Detroit Lions
Matt Stafford is the new comeback kid in the mold of Favre or Elway. In all 5 wins, the Cardiac Cats were trailing in the 4th quarter and Stafford led them back. The arm of quarterback and the leg of kicker Matt Parter have been clutch all season. All these two need is 40 seconds (with or without time outs) to get down the field and boot the game winner. The world is finally taking notice of what fans in Detroit have seen Matt do this his whole career. Stafford currently has 25 game-winning drives in just 102 games played. That’s all fancy stat talk meaning don’t give him a last chance with the ball unless you are ready to lose.
Detroit can add some wins in their next four games where they play Jacksonville, Minnesota, at New Orleans and Chicago. After that it gets wild with all road games starting at New York, at Dallas and at Green Bay. Wow, who at the scheduling office hates the Lions? If Detroit is going to make the playoffs, it is because of Stafford and his killer instinct.
The Kansas City Chiefs
KC is 7-2 and winners of 5 straight. Unlike the teams mentioned above, the Chiefs have been winning late but not necessarily because of QB Alex Smith. Don’t get me wrong, he has been vital in the victories but they have found different ways to win each week. In week 10, Kansas City was down 17 to Carolina before they finally woke up. A few field goals, a pick six, a touchdown and a forced fumble led to a game winning kick that stole Christmas from the Panthers.
The AFC West is tight and KC plays 2 divisional games in the next 4 weeks. First it’s Tampa Bay, at Denver, at Atlanta, Oakland. The regular season ends for them with matchups with Tennessee, Denver and at San Diego. This crew will make the playoffs either as the division winner or a wild card.
No one wants to play these types of teams. They keep hanging around all game and it almost seems over until something crazy happens. It’s a powerful x-factor that swing the fates of the postseason.