AFC Championship Tale of the Tape

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

December 10, 2008

After 10 Agonizing Years, Sansone Hopes to Extract Revenge on Eaters

Gary Anderson

The face of evil?

This weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of Gary Anderson's improbable 20-point game in the YFFL semifinals and the Eaters' 54-40 victory over the 11-3 Mexican Humping Beans. Sansone has never forgotten that game or Anderson's creepy "elf-like" photo that graced the front page of that entire off-season. The Beans, led by four Jaguars (yes, four Jaguars) Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell never recovered. They are still in search for their first Super Bowl championship.

Fast forward 10 years to this year's AFC Championship and the unlikely rise of Sansone's other team: the Market Thugs. The Thugs, who were predicted to go 4-9 this season, have been the biggest story in the AFC this year led by two unlikely MVP candidates in Kurt Warner and D'Angelo Williams. The Eaters meanwhile, have won 3 "must-win" games in a row to return to the AFC Conference Championship for the second year in a row. Led by the return of Tony Romo and Reggie Bush, the Eaters are feasting on the rest of the YFFL like it's Joanie's Thanksgiving dinner.

Kurt Warner Tony Romo

QB: Kurt Warner vs Tony Romo

Advantage: Push (16 points each)

The 2 MVP candidates should cancel each other out. Warner has an easier match-up at home against the Vikings but Romo could be playing from behind against the Giants.

D'Angelo Williams Brian Westbrook

RB1: D'Angelo Williams vs Brian Westbrook

Advantage: Push (16 points each)

Two pushes in a row! That's how close this game will be. Williams is licking his chops at facing the league's worst run defense at home against Denver. Westbrook plays on Monday night against a down and out Browns team. Both RBs will have monster games.

Ryan Grant Reggie Bush

RB2: Ryan Grant vs Reggie Bush

Advantage: Push (8 points each)

Three in a row! Both players will get 8 points with Grant having a slightly better chance at getting to 100 yards rushing against a lost Jacksonville team. Bush plays a night game on grass in Chicago and will be sharing the backfield with Pierre Thomas and Deuce McAllister.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh Marvin Harrison

WR1: T.J. Houshmandzadeh vs Marvin Harrison

Advantage: Push (2 points each)

This is getting crazy. Both players will get to 2 points but that's it. Harrison won't score two weeks in a row and Housh continues to play to the best of his ability with Fitzpatrick throwing to him.

Dwayne Bowe Torry Holt

WR2: Dwayne Bowe vs Torry Holt

Advantage: Bowe (8-0)

Phew! I couldn't take anymore Pushes. Bowe gets the nod here because he scores a TD every other week and this is his "on" week. Bowe gets 8 to Holt's 0.

Vishante Shiancoe John Carlson

TE: Vishante Shiancoe vs John Carlson

Advantage: Carlson (8-0)

The Eaters make-up the 8 points lost at WR by getting 8 points back here. Carlson has been playing well in Winslow's absence. Sansone could play Bradshaw at UT and move Gonzalez back to TE though if Brandon Jacobs doesn't play. Shiancoe will have to forget about his locker room "misfortunes" after last Sunday's game.

David Akers Matt Bryant

K: David Akers vs Matt Bryant

Advantage: Bryant (8-7)

Bryant gets a slight advantage here because he'll be kicking indoors in what should be a high-scoring game against Atlanta. Akers will certainly get his XPs but FGs will be tough on Monday Night in Philly. Bryant gets a slight edge here 8 to 7.

Tony Gonzalez Vincent Jackson

UT: Tony Gonzalez vs Vincent Jackson

Advantage: Gonzalez (8-2)

This trade raised a lot of eyebrows earlier in the season but it's only fitting that it could save the Thugs' season and earn Bobby Sansone his first Owner of the Year award. Gonzalez has been outstanding since joining the Thugs and will come up with 8 big points to Jackson's 2. Jackson won't put up two huge games in a row as the Chiefs will be watching the game film from last week.

Final Tally: Thugs 65 Eaters 60