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Playoff Watch: Ravens defeat Cowboys, 33-24

Our destiny is not in our hands.  By now, we New England Patriots fans are getting sick of hearing that.  And it seems it's gonna go down to the wire.  In what was a very close game at the half (9-7 Ravens), the Boys' defense absolutely fell apart in the second half.  3 TDs were very preventable: 1) Place holder, Koch, takes the snap and runs for a first down, setting up a Flacco to Mason TD.  2) McGahee runs for a 77 yard TD.  3) To add insult to injury and sealing the deal, McClain bests McGahee's TD with one of his own...for 82 yards!!  Sure, there was some stuff in between, but those 3 plays are the ones that stick out in my mind as major league defensive breakdowns.

Dave Halprin, at Blogging the Boys, had this to say:

The defense played brilliantly for most of the game, then came up with two of the worst plays in recorded history. They kept the team in the game and were a terror for 3 ½ quarters, then folded. Get a stop late and Dallas is still in the game even though the odds were getting long. But they couldn't get it done. It's hard to complain too bitterly about the defense but the ending of the game was some serious gallows' humor - only we weren't laughing. And Ken Hamlin? I can't even talk about that, it's too bleak.

Our BFFs for Saturday night (Marima's term, she's been spending way too much time with a teenage daughter ;-)) let us down.  So, what does this mean to us?  It means Baltimore is one step closer to shutting the door on 1 of our playoff options.  With the 5-10 Jaguars the last game on their schedule, Baltimore has all but locked up WC2.  If, by some miracle, Jack Del Rio can pull his hapless kitties together and leave the Ravens slack jawed at 10-6, we could grab that playoff spot.

In the divisional race, Miami and NY play each other in Week 17; someone's going to lose.  Working backwards, we need the winner of the week 17 matchup to lose today, putting both teams at 10-6.  Ok, they could tie next week, but that's less of a possibility.  Of course, we need to win out.  Games to watch today:

Miami (9-5) vs. KC (2-12), 1:00PM CBS - You think KC could throw us a bone and play like the fate of the world is hinging on their win?  After all, they did knock out our starting QB and the NFL's MVP.

NY (9-5) vs. Seattle (3-11), 4:15PM CBS - The struggling Bills nearly ended his Favre-ness' playoff hopes this past Sunday.  We were one Dick Jauron step closer to the playoffs when BAM!!  Hopefully, NY is tired from traveling to the left coast.

Arizona (8-6) vs. NE (9-5), 1:00PM FOX - Arizona has the NFC West division title, so they could decide to rest some starters, but I don't think so.  Granted, they're a warm weather team and we have what looks like another snow bowl on our hands, but I never put much stock in warm weather teams vs. cold weather teams in bad weather.  The only advantage is when Hoodie puts the team on the outside practice field.  It's a small advantage, but I don't think it's that big of a difference maker.

There's lots of football to watch, gang.  Wear your favorite shirt, eat your favorite snack, and keep your fingers crossed.  We're in for a ride.