NFL Heads Toward Playoffs

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Sheilah Kast speaks with Mike Wise, a Washington Post sports columnist, about what games to watch today as we near the playoffs in the National Football League.


Thanksgiving Day was a turkey for the two NFL teams that make regular appearances on the holiday. The Detroit Lions dropped their traditional game to the Atlanta Falcons, and the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Denver Broncos. There's lots more on television today. Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise will be watching. He joins us now.


Mr. MIKE WISE (Sports Columnist, The Washington Post): Thank you.

KAST: So, Mike, what game will you be most interested in watching?

Mr. WISE: I gotta think the "Monday Night Football" game, which is going to be the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers, could be a profile of the AFC championship. I know it's a little early in the season for that, but I gotta think that those are two teams that got a shot.

KAST: And so how's it going to turn out?

Mr. WISE: I like the Colts. I think they're 10-and-0 now; they may be 11-and-0 by then, and I just--I like the Colts. I think they're a little stronger, a little faster. And Pittsburgh, nah, I just--they fold in big games.

KAST: So that's what you'll be watching for early in the game?

Mr. WISE: Early in the game, yes. And then there's a wonderful matchup Sunday between the San Francisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans. This is a long, traditional, storied rivalry in the NFL that's dated back about five years. The Tennessee Titans weren't even in existence then. They're both 2-and-8, and I think around Thanksgiving people want a--people--I don't know; they relate to losers, portly losers, and both those teams are awful. They're two of the worst teams in the NFL, and I think that one of them is going to spiral into the abyss even further. And eating during the holidays, I think we all feel that. We can relate to that.

KAST: OK. What else is of con--what other games are of particular consequence in the closing weeks of the regular season?

Mr. WISE: I like the--I really like the New England-Kansas City matchup for only one reason: Tom Brady. Nobody wants to see Tom Brady get hurt. He's a good-looking quarterback, and personally, I'm worried that his modeling career after football may be in jeopardy if he gets hurt or should he choose to join a boy band after that, and I think that's what people are really worried about when it comes to the New England Patriots.

KAST: So you're saying, on the one hand, we like to see losers, but on the other hand, we want to protect...

Mr. WISE: We want to protect the guys that we've put on a pedestal, and we can take them off and beat them later.

KAST: (Laughs) How much football do you intend to watch today?

Mr. WISE: I wouldn't go--I mean, you know, I'm like any other fan: about 18 hours.

KAST: Gotcha. OK. Mike Wise is a Washington Post sports columnist. Thanks very much.

Mr. WISE: Thank you.

KAST: It's 22 minutes before the hour.

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