Sunday, January 15, 2012

NFL Divisional Playoffs Review

Well........I guess that's why don't crown anyone in November eh?

The two most dominant teams before Christmas, the Saints and the Packers went down in flames this weekend. And I'm bummed. The tantalizing re-match between those two teams was not to be and that sucks.

Turnovers were the bane of both Green Bay and New Orleans. These are very different games (and I think outcomes) if the Saints and Packers don't give the other team essentially free points. The Giants defense was tough but the Packers killed themselves. They are going to be sick about this one all winter. They were one of the most dominant regular season teams I have seen in the last two decades of  watching football. It felt like the 85 Bears, and a couple of the Cowboy teams in the 90s. .....And now they're a footnote. Like the 07 Patriots. Except these guys didn't even make it past their first playoff game. I don't care that NY is a good team and peaking at the right time. The Packers roasted teams all season long! They didn't just get a nice schedule and win a bunch of close games.....They killed their opponents.  They should not have looked this bad against anybody. Rodgers looked rusty and so did his receivers. The defense was shaky at times (just like during the season) but without turnovers of their own (which were surprisingly absent) an no offense to bail them out, the result was bad  Lambeau loss. This is the most disappointing playoff game I've seen in a long time. Well....maybe not a long time...maybe just since Saturday when the Saints lost.

On the one hand, I've been a fan of Alex Smith since his Utah Ute days so I was happy to see him do well. On the other hand Alex just tore the heart out of one my favorite teams in the league. Brees had another killer season with nothing to show for it. Stupid turnovers and a defense that can't stop anything were a recipe for disaster. It was crazy how I sat and watched the Saints last score and said to my wife (who could care less of course) "too soon.. Too soon. They left too much time on the clock for Smith. That defense won't stop em".  Those were my words and I was calm as I prophesied. Having watched this defense all season, I knew their risk-taking style worked against bad teams and bad quarterbacks but on this day they were playing neither. I know that's weird to say about Smith. But he was "on" all day. His passes were crisp and especially when Vernon Davis was manned up, he didn't miss him. I wish them good luck against the Giants. They'll need it and a lot more of the mojo they displayed Saturday with the way NY is playing.  As for New Orleans, they had better get themselves a defense or they'll waste the prime years of Drew Brees' career. It's got to be frustrating for him to sit on the sidelines knowing that he has to match another team's offense as they score on his defense at will. He knows his offense can make no mistakes or it's over. Unfortunately for him, they did indeed shoot themselves in the foot. They've got lots of time to think about it now.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..z.............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..huh...zzzzz. huh....oh, yeah, there was a game on earlier on Sunday wasn't there. As expected, this game sucked. The one watchable aspect of it was the defense of Ed Reed. I've a big fan of Ed Reed and his human flytrap hands. The guy is one those defensive backs that could have been a receiver. He doesn't drop much if it comes his way. Ball hawk!  The Ravens are the opposite of the Saints. Their offense is frustrating to watch and is something they never seem to get fixed. They have their spots. There have been games where Flacco has played very well. And Ray Rice has had numerous games where he has played like a stude. But do you trust that to happen against the Patriots? Even with a shaky defense and having watched two great offenses go down this weekend, I still wouldn't bet on the Raven offense getting it together. It will have to be the defense that wins the game against New England. As much as like the Ravens defense I'm not optimistic about it.

Some people actually believed this was going to give us some more Tebow magic. Not me. The Broncos have some comeback wins to be sure but when they were down 3 touchdowns in the blink of an eye you knew it was over. It wasn't a Tebow miracle that was needed, it was a Denver defensive show that should have been on the menu. But it wasn't and so we'll have to wait until next season to ride the Tebow train again. As much as I like Tim, I think the time in between will do us both some good.

I'm torn on who will win the NFC championship. It's a "pick-em" game for me but I'm leaning towards the Giants. They should meet the wicked kingdom of Belichick and Brady for the big game.

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