What an exciting week of playoff action. Lets get right to the games.
Green Bay 42, Seattle 20–What was I thinking last week when I wrote “On the field, I like the Packers’ defense to do enough to win the game. However, I like the Seahawks to cover the spread”? I don’t know. I mean, the Packers defense DID do enough to win the game. But I didn’t count on how horribly overrated the Seattle defense was. If you think about it, they looked good against a pretty bad Redskins offense. Yes, throughout the season, they applied a lot of pressure. But look at the stats. The Seahawks were actually 15th overall in the league during the regular season. They gave up over 18 points per game (not terrible, but by no means dominant). And they were only 12th in the league against the run. And what can you say about Ryan Grant? A lot of young guys would have folded up shop after fumbling twice in the first 5 minutes of your first playoff start, leading to a 14-0 deficit. But he ran wild, going for 201 yards and three scores. Great work by him and the Packers’ offensive line.
Then there was number 4. Its well-documented that I have a sixth sense for knowing when certain things have run their course. For example, in this season’s 2007 NFC North preview, I wrote this about the Green Bay Packers:
Brett Fav-ruh needs to go away. Listen, I like him. He’s a great quarterback, perhaps the best of all-time. But he’s holding this franchise back. If he has retired two years ago, the Packers would already know if Aaron Rodgers has what it takes to lead this team and would of either built around him or gone in another direction. Now, Favre and his 20 interceptions a year come back for a 17th NFL season. (Notice that no one talks about how Favre is a really unpredictable guy behind center who is holding his team back, even though he had a lower passer rating and more interceptions last year than Grossman).
See! I always know when its good to quit on things. I am also well-known for other statements, including:
“This whole Internet craze will die down.” (July 17, 1996)
“Britney Spears really has a good head on her shoulders. I think she’s got what it takes to have a long, respectable career.” (September 1, 2000)
“The reason pornography will never catch on is that people love to use their imaginations while masturbating.” (May 20, 1981)
“An underrated vacation destination: Hiroshima. Mark my words.” (August 5, 1945)
And so on. My apologies to Mr. Favre.
New England 31, Jacksonville 20–So, at this point, what will Tom Brady have to do to top himself in these last two games? Go 35-for-35 in the AFC Championship while simultaneously playing cornerback, then going 40-for-40 in the Super Bowl with 40 receptions? (Yes, he would just throw it to himself). I don’t know. But the guy just went 26-for-28, and the two incompletions were a drop by Wes Welker and a pass that went off Ben Watson’s hands which arguably could have been pass interference. The Jaguar offense played a fantastic game, and still lost by 11.
I’m relatively proud of myself concerning the Patriots. I knew really early on that this team wasn’t like the rest of the teams that threatened to go undefeated in previous years. And lets face it…..as much as I misjudged Philip Rivers and the Chargers, there is no fucking way that Norv’s Crew are going into Foxboro and winning the AFC Championship. Unless Brady dies this week. Thats the only way.
San Diego 28, Indianapolis 24–What a terrific performance by the Colts vaunted defense. Man, that Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders really dominated an LT-less team! And Philip Rivers sure was under constant pressure from the tough Indy front.
Really, I know it has been said ad nauseum, but how the fuck do the Colts lose that game? I know Michael Turner and Darren Sproles are nice little players, and Billy Volek is not much of a dropoff from the biggest douchebag in the league, Philip Rivers, but seriously……stop them once. Thats all you have to do. Also, this Antonio Cromartie…..holy christ. I know he’s hardly a new story–he had ten picks and an 109-yard missed field goal return this year. But I really don’t see how he isn’t the best defensive playmaker in the league. Name a defensive player that makes more plays. Do it. Name one. Hurry up. Also, the Chargers are now 14-of-25 on third down in the playoffs. 14 out of 25! Thats 56 percent! And this is without Antonio Gates for most of this time. How is this happening? How are Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers just running free on every play?
But these fucking Chargers……seriously, has there been a bigger group of douchebags ever assembled on a football field? Probably. But why does Rivers get into a shouting match with fans or refs or opposing players every fucking week? And don’t hate me, but doesn’t LaDainian Tomlinson seem like a little bitch to everyone? I mean, maybe its just that he hates Rivers, and if that is true, then I apologize. But it seems to me that LT is a bit of a prima donna. Also, can Shawne Merriman not be an asswipe for one game? Has he forgotten that we all know he’s a steroid abuser? Or that he got his ass wiped out by Maurice Jones-Drew earlier this year? Why would anyone do a sack dance when he did one yesterday: after Peyton Manning falls on his own after a broken play, Merriman comes over, taps him (so he technically gets a sack), and then he does his ‘Lights Out’ dance? What a loser. And Shaun Phillips? Great player, tremendous douchebag. I hope the Patriots beat them 63-3 next week.
NY Giants 21, Dallas 17–How demoralizing is it when you fight for a 20-play, 95-yard drive which takes over ten minutes, finally scoring a touchdown and taking a lead, and then seeing Eli Manning carve up your defense on a 46-second scoring drive to end the half and tie the game? Pretty demoralizing, apparently. I’m really happy for Eli Manning, and I think part of it is because I am a Rex Grossman supporter. They are kind of kindred spirits, or brothers-in-arms. Both are heavily criticized, sometimes unfairly, and are treated as if they are the only quarterbacks who have bad games. (Announcers saying that someone has a ‘Rex Grossman-like performance’ or that a particualr throw is ‘Eli-esque’ is my biggest announcing pet peeve). But here Eli is, one game away from a Super Bowl, without his Pro Bowl tight end and in a season where the loss of Tiki Barber was supposed to derail the New York offense.
Kudos to the Dallas coaches to realize now that Marion Barber is three times better than Julius Jones. Since they started him in the playoff game, that must mean they know he’s better than Jones and deserving of 20+ carries a game, right? So why wait until now to do it? Also, I’m not even going to comment on this whole Romo thing, except to say that if I was told by my head coach to get away from football for a weekend to relax, and I had a chance to ‘relax’ with this……..
……lets just say I would be ‘relaxing’ ALL OVER HER. God bless you, Tony Romo.