Rushville Republican

Sports

October 30, 2012

Thoughts from sports desk

RUSHVILLE — Four and done...a much quicker World Series than many may have thought. I was rooting for the Giants after San Francisco eliminated the St. Louis Cardinals. I had no idea the Series would last just four games.

The pitching and defense of the Giants was the difference. Two aspects of the game that give you a chance anytime a team hits the field.

Pablo Sandoval had a huge Series with 24 hits. The Kung-fu Panda really handled the bat against the strong arms of the Tigers.

Congrats to the Giants, champs twice in the last three seasons.

NFL powers

As the NFL hits the mid-way point of the season, the clear favorites or powerhouses still seem to be forming.

In the NFC, one has to look at the Falcons as contenders. Atlanta is unbeaten and should have a easy road to the playoffs. I just don’t buy the Falcons as the best team in the NFC, although I think they are definitely in the top four. I think they join the New York football Giants, San Francisco 49ers and the “Monsters of the Midway” Chicago Bears.

The AFC seems to be much more difficult to pick the clear cut favorites.

With Tom Brady quarterbacking the Patriots, New England has to be in the discussion, but with three losses already this season, the Patriots are much more vulnerable than in recent years.

I think the top team may be in the AFC South as the Houston Texans are 6-1. If the Texans’ main players can stay healthy (trouble point in years past), Houston can make a run this year.

The other thing those two have going for them is a weak division. I don’t see any team challenging them in the second half for the division title.

I also think Pittsburgh and Baltimore will play a role in the playoffs. The Ravens may have the biggest test as they will need to rely more on their offense than their defense, something very new to the Ravens.

As bad as the Steelers looked in the “throw-back” uniforms Sunday, Pittsburgh will be a threat by season’s end.

With Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ weapons beginning to come together, I think Denver will also be a playoff team. Denver looked very good Sunday dismantling the Saints. I also think the Chargers could make a run, but the playoffs have not been kind to San Diego in recent years.

With all that, I still hold out hope for a strong run by a team to change the playoff picture - maybe a steam from Florida in the Tampa area.

 

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