Playoffs: Denver vs. Dolphins?
Bits ‘n’ pieces:
■ Tell me you saw this coming: If the National Football League playoffs were to start today, the Denver Broncos would be the fourth seed in the AFC and would play host to the Miami Dolphins in one of the two wildcard games.
The Broncos? Sure, we expected as much from the day John Elway started the courtship with Peyton Manning way back when. But the Dolphins? With rookie QB Ryan Tannehill at the helm?
How about the rest of the AFC playoff picture?
The other “play-in” game would have Indianapolis, the No. 6 seed (another rookie QB in Andrew Luck) playing at No. 3 New England. Only the ancient Mayans saw that one coming.
As for first-round byes, Houston and Baltimore would own those. Houston has been the best team in the AFC from the outset. Baltimore, thanks to some serious season-ending injuries, is headed south.
The NFC playoff picture is more as expected at this point with unbeaten Atlanta and once-beaten Chicago currently resting in bye slots. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants currently own the third seed and are in line to host No. 6 Green Bay, while No. 4 San Francisco would host No. 5 Minnesota.
The season is eight weeks in, with plenty of change likely on tap — particularly in the AFC.
■ So, the best team in baseball for the second time in three years is the San Francisco Giants, yet another “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” piece of information.
This is the same team that trailed the Cincinnati Reds two games to none in the National League Division Series and fell behind defending World Series champ St. Louis three games to one in the NLCS.
It goes to show (again) what some in the Colorado Rockies organization are just beginning to suspect: Pitching is a big deal, as is the ability and willingness to go out and spend a bit of money come trade deadline time.
The Giants organization gets it.
The Rockies, not so much.
■ By the way, a huge shout-out to ex-Mesa State pitching ace Sergio Romo, who was such a Giant closer throughout the playoffs.
■ While we’re at it, tell me you are doing handsprings over the upcoming hiring of the next Rockies manager, with the likes of Jason Giambi, Walt Weiss, Tom Runnels, Charlie Manual and Pete Mackanin being interviewed to replace Jim Tracy, who was smart enough to walk away from this mess (and turn down another $1.4 million) earlier this month.
A bad situation just keeps getting worse.
■ Halloween treats for NBA fans start today with the Nuggets on the road in Philadelphia.
The Nuggets started the preseason hot, but struggled toward the end as coach George Karl tried mixing and matching combinations on one of the few NBA rosters that goes more than 10 deep.
The Nuggets minute dealt with the one thing they needed to prior to tipoff, on Tuesday signing point guard Ty Lawson for a four-year contract.
■ Congratulations all around to: the Rifle and Delta high school football teams, who put on a good show in Delta on Friday night … the Grand Junction High School football team, which despite a rough stretch is still alive and well in the Class 5A playoffs … the Grand Valley football team, which gets to host a first-round playoff in 2A ... the Cedaredge and Hotchkiss football teams, which have earned berths in the Class 1A playoffs … and, yes, to the Colorado State football team, which is on a one-game winning streak.
Rick Jussel is a former Daily Sentinel sports editor (think Dark Ages) and Grand Junction High School journalism teacher who belongs in the Armchair Quarterback Hall of Fame, if only there was one.