Sorry, I hardly miss a week, but I took a couple off, but now I am back. A rivalry showdown on the basketball court and the NFL playoffs start this weekend.
East Rutherford at R-S Central
The girls will play first at 6 with the boys to follow on Friday, December 5.
Central's girls (6-8) have won four of the last five meeting, but East took the last meeting in a close one. Central is led by Aliyah Whiteside, while East (10-2) has an array of players who can step up at any time. Paris Baker has played much better this season, but they are led by Kendra Ross and Osha Makerson. Central is still without Jada Logan, but maybe Logan will be back by the second meeting.
The current rivalry on the basketball court in the boys reminds back to the old days as East Rutherford (8-4) won both meetings last year, but they were close. The Cavaliers are led by Josh Searcy and Christian Walker.
Central (10-4) has the most depth they have had in awhile and already have 10 wins before conference play even starts. Zyrion Wilkins, Arnie Twitty and Jacob Knox lead this experienced group. Defense and foul trouble are my worry for both teams, but we'll see how it shakes out this weekend.
NFL Wildcard Playoffs
Tennessee at Kansas City
The Titans have the better defense with the biggest wins coming against Seattle, Jacksonville (twice) and Baltimore. Tennessee's strength is to run the football on offense, but can they make plays down the field. Kansas City defense has been suspect at best this season, but I think they find a way to outscore Tennessee in this one at home.
Kansas City 37, Tennessee 23
Buffalo at Jacksonville
Both teams have been banged up by injuries and now that LeSean McCoy is likely not going to be anywhere near 100 percent, Jacksonville looks like the best pick. McCoy is 1/3 of Buffalo's offense, but quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the Bills defense have played well as of late. The Bills have also seen a lot of injuries on the defensive line as well. The Jags wide receivers have been nursing injuries for the last few weeks, but running back Leonard Fournette is okay now. Jalen Ramsey leads the Jags defense and they are at home. Jacksonville 20, Buffalo 10.
Atlanta at Los Angeles
Defensively, the Falcons are getting much better, but they still have been out of sync offensively at times considering it's prolific. Matt Ryan, Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones are solid offensive players to find Atlanta averaging in the 30-point range every week, but they aren't. The Rams on the other hand are doing that with Todd Gurley, Goff, Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins and Copper Kupp. The Rams have lost five games this season and three of them have been at home, but the Rams are well-rested coming into the Wildcard. Rams 35, Atlanta 24
Carolina at New Orleans
This was the one match up Carolina didn't want to have in the first round as New Orleans swept them in the regular season. Despite showing strength in the NFC South with three of the four teams in playoffs, the Panthers have struggled against division foes and are not playing the best offensively as of late.
Drew Brees, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara and Ted Ginn have been able to do whatever they want against the Panther defense. Even worse, Carolina has no answer for the Saints best defensive player in Cameron Jordan. That is the X-Factor. If the Panthers control the clock with the run game and get a passing game going with Olsen and Funchess in the mix, then they still have a shot.
New Orleans 30, Carolina 20