Friday, January 22, 2010
This year, the NFL is lucky enough to be in a win-win scenario in terms of what kind of Super Bowl matchup they will have after this weekend's championship games. Let's examine:
Colts- Saints: Everyone wanted this from the beginning of the year. This would pit the two best teams in football against each other, and would guarantee a lot of excitement and points scored for the casual football fan.
Colts- Vikings: BRETT FAVRE, BRETT FAVRE, BRETT FAVRE....PEYTON MANNING, PEYTON MANNING, PEYTON MANNING. Two Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, the two most popular quarterbacks in the league, and the winner gets their second Super Bowl ring. Who's not on board with that? Did I mention, Brett Favre might or might not retire after this season?
Jets- Saints: Two punished teams and fan bases, with one finally get over the hump (this also works for a Jets-Vikings match-up). This would also be a rematch of a closer than what the scoreboard indicated regular season matchup, in which the Saints won 24-10.
Jets- Vikings: Favre's old team vs. his new team. Oddly enough, the Green Bay Packers aren't involved in that sentence.
Win-win for everyone!
Friday, January 15, 2010
Four teams in particular will have some added pressure to an already pressure filled weekend of football. Here they are In reverse order...
4) San Diego Chargers: Not only a Super Bowl favorite, but the window is closing for both LaDainian Tomlinson and Norv Turner. For Tomlinson, his Hall of Fame career is coming to an end in a hurry. He's clearly lost a step or two (or three or four), and this will probably be his last chance of winning a Super Bowl, while still getting meaningful carries. For Norv Turner, this could be it. Let's face it, Turner as a coach, is probably San Diego's biggest weakness. If Turner once again fails to lead this very talented team to the Super Bowl, he could very well be fired (especially with a loss to the Jets).
3) Dallas Cowboys: Even after getting the monkey off their shoulders this month, both Tony Romo and Wade Phillips still have a great deal on the line. This pair has probably the most to gain out of this year's playoffs, but a loss vs. Minnesota would give their critics reason to continue their doubt.
2) Minnesota Vikings: Is this Brett Favre's last year? Are we going to ask this same question every year? Like it or not, if Minnesota loses, the Vikings future would be very much up in the air. Let's face it- Minnesota clearly wouldn't be this good with Tarvaris Jackson as their starter. Also, like Turner in San Diego, Brad Childress is Minnesota's weak link. A playoff loss would make his recent contract extension even more perplexing.
1) Indianapolis Colts: After forfeiting their chance at immortality, all eyes will be on the Colts to see if their "strategy" will pay off with a Super Bowl victory. Personally, I think bad karma will follow the Colts for letting down their fans and the league for essentially giving up a chance to go undefeated. As Michael Irvin said, a team wins the Super Bowl every season, but only one team has gone undefeated and won the Super Bowl.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Jets have been the most misunderstood team of the playoffs. Experts have noted that other teams may be better than their records dictate, with many suggesting that the Jets never belonged in the playoffs in the first place. As a Jets fan, I would be the first to admit that the Jets did get gift-wrapped a would-be loss to the Colts, in the Colts' Week 16 forfeit. However, as the Jets stand in the final 8, I could easily make an argument that the 9-7 Jets could have easily been 12-4 and considered in the "elite" class in the NFL.
Remember, the Jets lost 5 games on the last possession (Miami twice, Jacksonville, Buffalo in overtime, and Atlanta)! In fact, the Jets only lost one game this entire season handily. If a few bounces went their way, people would see the Jets in a totally different light. On top of that, the Jets also own the #1 defense and running game. They also have a shut-down corner who can erase future playoff opponents such as Vincent Jackson or Reggie Wayne.
Rex Ryan has instilled a definitive swagger to the organization, and Sanchez has shown signs of greatness (despite what the stats show) sporadically throughout the season.
So why not the Jets?
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The regular season is in the books. Here are my post-weekend notes:
Up 27-24 with 6:10 remaining, an injured Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh on a time-consuming 83 yard drive, which led to a field goal to go up six points with under a minute to go, to essentially put the game away.
Down 13-10 with 6:59 remaining. Vince Young took advantage of good field position, leading a 28 yard touchdown drive to go up 17-13 with under 5 minutes to go, for the eventual win.
Down 20-16 with 4:33 remaining, Billy Volek led the Chargers on a 58 yard touchdown drive, capped off by a two yard touchdown pass by Volek, to go up 23-20 with less than a minute to go for the victory.
Down 27-24 with just under 7 minutes remaining at the Steelers 16 yard line, back-up Tyler Thigpen threw an awful interception, which cost the Dolphins the tie or possible lead. Thigpen got another shot with a minute left, down 30-24, but threw another interception to end the game.
Tied at 27 with 4:43 left, Tom Brady threw an interception in their own territory after a rough hit which injured Brady, which led to a Houston touchdown to go up 34-27. Brady did not get a chance to redeem himself because...
Down 34-27 with 1:54 left, back-up Brian Hoyer drove the Patriots 32 yards before throwing two consecutive incompletions for a loss of downs and loss of game.
Down 17-13 with 4:33, Matt Hasselbeck drove the Seahawks 53 yards before throwing two straight incompletions and then the game-losing interception.
Down 21-13 with 3:43 left, JaMarcus Russell threw two bad incompletions, which forced the punt back to Baltimore with 2:54 left. Oakland never got the ball back.
Did You Know:
Tony Romo's career record is 38-17
2) Jay Cutler: 276 yards, 4 touchdowns
3) Ben Roethlisberger: 220 yards, 3 touchdowns + clutch performance
4) Tony Romo: 311 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
31) Mark Brunell: 102 yards, 1 interception