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Eric Walden's NFL Four Downs: Oh, you didn't know? Well, turns out nobody did

Published December 7, 2013 6:45 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

First down

Detroit at Philadelphia, 11 a.m., Ch. 13 • Peyton Manning's record of throwing 20 touchdown passes before his first interception figured to be unassailable for the rest of human existence. And now it may be only the second-longest of this season? On account of Lil' Nicky Foles? Who saw that coming? What we WILL see coming are plenty more TD passes. On account of two awful defenses.

Second down

Tennessee at Denver, 2:05 p.m., Ch. 2 • We pretty much know what the Broncos are about at this point, right? No further discussion needed? Good. Let's discuss the underdiscussed Titans a bit then. Ummmm … Chris Johnson is a pretty good running back. … Ummmm … Their owner, Bud Adams, just died. … Ummmm … OK, that was a mistake. Never mind. Broncos it is, then. So, that Peyton Manning is pretty good, eh?

Third down

Seattle at San Francisco, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 13 • OK, so the down-to-the-wire, back-and-forth, tooth-and-nail fight everyone expected them to wage for the division title hasn't materialized. That doesn't mean it's unrealistic to expect THIS game to be close — unless, of course, you take into account the Seahawks winning the teams' last two games by a combined 648-2 (or something like that). Whatever. I think it's going to be close, and I'm not going to let facts dissuade me.

Fourth down

Carolina at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., Ch. 5 • OK, I can buy some people really believed early on the Saints would be the division favorites, thanks to Sean Payton's return. But seriously, who's trying to convince me they picked the Panthers way back when? Show of hands. OK, I see you all. And you're a liar, and you're a liar … and, yeah, you over there — you're a liar, too. Unlike your boasts, though, the Panthers appear to be for real.