9:15am - 11 more hours until game time. Just reading the sports pages right now - I'll let you know if I come across anything you need to know about. So far a nice little article about the bond between Darrelle Revis and Ty Law, both from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
Lots of talk about Revis for Defensive Player of the Year, and yes, he's had a great season, shutting down a number of great receivers. But do me a favor and don't put Reggie Wayne in that group. Sure he only had 3 catches for 33 yards, but Revis did not look good in Indianapolis last week. He got beat by Wayne a number of times and Peyton Manning overthrew his receiver. That's what I'm talking about when I say the Colts blew lots of chances to blow out the Jets last week when Manning was still in the game. And I hope Revis has a better game this week than he did last week.
9:25am - A quick second entry to make sure I know how to work this. Looks like I'll just keep adding to the bottom of this post...you just might have to hit refresh every so often to make sure you're getting the latest update. To make this entry worth it for you, here's a stat - Jets are 102-104-1 all time at Giants Stadium, and 7-0 there against the Bengals.
10:10am - Another end-of-vacation snowstorm...seems like this happens every year, where it snows the day before I have to go back to school. Only once can I remember it resulting in a snow day. That would be sweet, though....It will end up making me mad, though, that I didn't gamble on a snowstorm and take the trip to New York to be at the Jets game. But then there would be no live blog, so I guess we all win this way, huh? I'm not sure comments work yet on this site...if they do, I don't know how they work. So if you want to make this interactive, you can use the old firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail. I'll check it throughout the day...when I'm not out shoveling.
10:40am - File this under the category: Things I Worry About That You've Probably Never Given A Second Thought To (Maybe Not Even A First Thought) - I'm a tad superstitious when it comes to watching sports. And last week in Indianapolis, I think I hit on the lucky outfit for watching the games that I've been searching for the past couple of years. So I feel good about that. But what I'm worrying about is that I have to go out to shovel at least a couple of more times today, plus I have to sweep off my car. I don't want to get the lucky outfit soaked. Do I change clothes a couple of times just to go outside? Should I even be wearing the lucky outfit so far ahead of game time...last week I only put it on about an hour and a half before we went to the stadium. Sundays are hard work.
-Good news though - I just dominated a game of 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos' with my 3-year-old. That's got to be a good omen...especially since she cheated.
11:30am - Totally agree with Jeff Fisher, quoted in today's paper wearing his competition committee hat, when asked about how the 'resting starters' issue affects the league, and teams with lots on the line. He said that teams that are complaining about catching a bad break from those situations should look at themselves and win one or two more games so that they don't have to worry about depending on others. It's so true.
11:35am - A Jets loss puts me in a funk no matter what...but today might be worse than usual. First of all, it's my last day of vacation. I have to go back to school tomorrow. That comes on the heels of the post-holiday blues, which I get every year, but wears off by January 2nd or so...but came back this morning when I had to lug the Christmas tree through the snow to the curb. So there's issue number one - going back to work tomorrow and dealing with the end of the holidays...then having to explain both to a three-year-old.
Then there's the fact that today is January 3rd, which is always a bummer for me no matter what. January 3rd, 1993 was a pretty crappy day. For a while the Houston Oilers were my secondary team (I've explained this in the past, but since the Jets were usually bad during my younger [OK, and older] years, I rooted for secondary teams that appeared in the playoffs - the Oilers and Packers were my secondary favorites). On January 3, 1993, Houston led the Buffalo Bills in a playoff game 35-3 at halftime. Then we got a phone call that one of my dad's uncles had passed away. In the second half, the Bills came back and beat the Oilers 41-38 in OT. Obviously, the game was no longer the most disappointing event of the day...but I think of both things every January 3.
So this day already starts behind the 8-ball. A Jets win will help me break even in the emotions department. A loss might take a while to get over.
12:15pm - Great text from the Southern Bureau (might be the first reference to "SB" on the new location - that's 200 Miles From the Citi's affiliate in Wilmington, North Carolina) - he hopes Tom Glavine doesn't ruin today's live blog experience. I'll extend that to Brett Favre. I think we're safe on both counts.
Snow looks like it's done, which is bad news regarding a snow day tomorrow...but good news because I'm hoping to get the last shovel out of the way...then it'll be lunch. I'll be back after 1.
1:30pm - First of all, Wes Welker probably just saw his season end with a knee injury. That's too bad. I was going to talk about him later, but I'll do it now. The other thing about all the Revis talk is that he shut down Randy Moss twice. He did, the first game, and he took him out of the second Patriots game...but really, is it a win when another receiver, like Welker, lights you up the way he did? I think not. Now, with Welker likely out for the playoffs, the Patriots are much weaker...they won't resemble the team they were the past few weeks.
Secondly, just so you know where I'm at this afternoon, leading up to the Jets game - I'm in the top 12 of my pool for sure, which means I advance to a playoff picks pool. But I haven't won any money this year...I'm hoping to win this week, which might also vault me into the top 3 for the season, which would end up with another payout. As it is I'm in 5th place, four picks out of 3rd, six picks out of first. I'll keep you posted.
2:45pm - Got both daughters down for naps. This will be the last uninterrupted stretch of football until they go to bed...conveniently, right before the Jets game starts.
I'm mad that I didn't consult a Buffalo weather forecast before picking the Colts. That's probably going to cost me the week.
4:10pm - Wow - an hour and a half. Didn't realize it had been that long. Update - looks like I got 8 of 9 in the early games. But someone else hit all 9. Need a huge 4 o'clock.
6:05pm - My wife's back home, so I should be able to blog a little more now that I'm not chasing around two little girls. These 4 o'clock games are not going as well, picks-wise.
First e-mail of the day is just a comment: "Do the Jets really have a losing record at home? Wow.
--Dave in Brighton"
If Dave's really surprised about that, he hasn't been paying close attention for years...they've really been a miserable team for most of my life. I'm surprised they're that close to .500.
6:35pm - They're not finals yet, but a quick end-of-third-quarter-reaction to a couple of things:
Even though I sang Dallas' praises earlier this week, I'm shocked they're beating Philadelphia so easily today. I really liked Philly heading into the playoffs (and would have loved for them to get the bye ahead of Minnesota), but this makes me re-think things.
I am not shocked that Denver will probably lose to Kansas City here at home in a must-win spot. What a couple of years for Denver - last year they lost three straight to end the season when one win would have won the division, and this year they blew a 6-0 start. Ouch. I love it, though - there aren't many teams in the league I dislike more than Denver.
7:00pm - Getting close now. Doesn't look like Arizona showed Green Bay much, with their rematch coming up in the playoffs next week. Makes me wonder how the Bengals will approach tonight - a loss and they'll face the Jets next week. A win...do they gain from the Patriots' loss? Can they get the number 3 seed now? I wonder if they'll come out guns-a-blazing. I need to watch the pre-game to see what this game means to them.
7:10pm - Al Michaels just joked that 3% of Americans were watching the early part of their pre-game show, because the other games were still on. I was one of the 3%. Word there is, if the Bengals had a chance to play for the 3 seed, they were going to. Gulp...playoff time for the Jets.
7:30pm - The one guy ahead of me in the pool for the week has the Jets. So do I. No money for the regular season...hopefully I'll get something in the post-season.
So I have to think the Bengals aren't liking that the Jets are big favorites, and I think they'd like the opportunity to knock a team out of the playoffs. Early in the pre-game the NBC guys said the Benglas don't like the way they match up with the Texans...but I don't think they're going to lay an egg tonight...I think this will be a hard-to-earn win for the Jets. Hopefully the Jets were watching and are angry at the thought that the Bengals would rather play them than the Texans in the playoffs and use that to fire them up even more (not that they should need anything to get them fired up tonight).
7:50pm - OK. Last update until game time...I haven't talked about Mark Sanchez and weather in a while, but they brought it up a few minutes ago on the pre-game show. This is something that worries me. The worst weather game Sanchez faced all year was the Buffalo game at the Meadowlands, and it was his worst (remember 5 interceptions?). So it's definitely something to watch. For those of you who didn't catch the stat, Sanchez has never played in a game below 50 degrees. And that day against Buffalo (if it was 50 degrees, which I doubt) was really windy - it's windy and cold tonight.
8:20pm - It's been a long day of football...I won't care if the Jets pull this one out. I'm a little nervous. Let's get going.
8:36pm - Wow. Since Leon Washington went down, I can't remember the Jets' version of the Wildcat getting anything. That was awesome.
8:40pm - Excellent first drive. Heavy on the run, but Sanchez looked good throwing a couple of short passes...I'll take that all night.
8:43pm - These are the kind of nights it pains me to live so far away from New York City. I wish I could be at this game.....Then again, it sure is warm here.
8:45pm - That's the kind of start we want from the defense too. And Revis is one-for-one one-on-one.
8:47pm - Every time Shonn Greene carries the ball I fear he will fumble. But he doesn't. He's under six feet yet he runs right over defenders.
9:04pm - That was about the most dominant quarter of football in Jets history. And Cincinnati's not laying down, right? I mean, you can't even tell - the Jets have been all over them. Keep it up. And please punch it into the end zone here to start the second. One run is fine - no more than two. Try the little play action they did on the two 2-point conversions last week in Indy.
9:13pm - That's a disappointing three points right there - should be 14-0. I guess I can say at least they didn't give away their great goal line secret top play in case of a rematch next week. Oh wait...they did - two straight runs up the middle. I guess the secret plan is three straight...but the Bengals have probably seen that on tape.
9:20pm - This is ridiculously dominant so far. Can't tell too much because it's been only two offensive possessions for Cincinnati, but the crowd is loud too.
9:23pm - Braylon Edwards should have had that for a touchdown. Like 90% of his drops (this probably doesn't qualify as a drop but it might as well), it involved an unnecessary jump. He should just keep his feet planted on the ground at all times.
9:30pm - For what it's worth, and I think I mentioned this somewhere before, I don't love Jerricho Cotchery returning punts.
9:35pm - There goes Brad Smith again. MVP of the season based on his performance the last two weeks (the kick return last week and the two long runs this week). OK. I'm feeling pretty good about things right now - I'm already looking forward to when they throw up that graphic showing when the games will be next week.
9:52pm - I like that play a lot - I feel very good now with the Jets up 24-0 heading into halftime.
9:55pm - Interception! I'll take a few more points in these last 20 seconds. Then it's time for the Jets to call off the dogs. And NBC might as well announce the playoff matchups at halftime. Saturday night in Cincinnati, rematch?
10:00pm - 27-0 Jets at halftime. This couldn't have gone much better. I don't envy Houston Texans fans right now.
10:15pm - More of the same to open the second half. I'm going to have to start looking ahead here...I'll start with this - The Jets can absolutely beat this team in the playoffs.
10:23pm - 30-0. I say take Mark Sanchez out of the game. Even Kellen Clemens can't mess this up.
10:35pm - Saturday at 4:30pm. Just talking to my dad about these times - the last time the Jets were in that slot, it was Jets 41, Colts 0. Already can't wait.
10:40pm - This is really amazing. All I wanted after that 3-0 start was for the Jets to get bonus playoff time for their rookie head coach and quarterback, and here they are winning their way in. And now they haven't just made it - they might just win a playoff game (or two? or three?). Really, after so many disappointments this season, the 2009 season goes in the books as a tremendous success.
10:45pm - I've never written a live blog for a game that turned out the way I wanted it to. This is pretty fun...but I think I'm going to call it a night. I'm going to change into my PJs, watch the rest of this game in bed, and then dream about the post-season!
Thanks for reading...We'll start looking ahead to the playoffs Tuesday morning.