NFL Blitz: Wild Card Weekend
The playoffs began with only a few mildly intriguing matchups this year. Being as by far the 4 best teams had a bye the wild card games seemed a little lack luster and compared to previous years, not very appealing. That said, we did have one fantastic game, and a few games were interesting for a half or so. A disappointing start to the wild card weekend in this columnists opinion, and hopefully with more storylines and intrigue the divisional rounds will bring more excitement to the table.
Stats of the Week:
1. No one on any team had one rusher go over 70 yards
2. Tennessee had 6 different players run the ball
3. David Garrard had more yards rushing then Maurice Jones Drew or Fred Taylor
4. The 3 seed and the 5 seed won in both conferences.
5. Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were traded for each other. As of 1:00 neither had won a playoff game. As of 7:45 both had one on.
6. Dallas assistant Tony Sprano interviewed with 3 teams in under 48 hours, what’s the record for interviews with different teams?
7. Atlanta is interviewing for a GM and head coach using 9 different people.
8. The winner for MVP, Offensive Rookie, and Defensive rookie all received over 45 out of the 50 votes.
9. Prior to this week game Eli Manning in the post-season was 26/45 for 274 yds, 2 TD and 4 INT. This week he was 20/27 for 185 yds and 2 TD.
Thoughts and Few what were thinking moments:
Big Ben showed were the Jags were vulnerable, in the air. I’d be shocked to see if Laurence Maroney gets much more then 10 carries this week. Jacksonville better be prepared to see 3 and 4 wide receiver spreads the entire game.
Why on earth did Norv Turner blow his last timeout challenging whether LT got into the end zone. At that point they were only up 10-6 with lots of time to play. It seemed like that could have easily come back to bite them badly.
Before everyone goes and says Norv did what Marty couldn’t wait for next week. Yes Marty lost his first playoff game but he got his team to the divisonals on a bye, and then a played against a much more formidable opponent and coach with New England and Bill Belichick, and even then if McCree hit the ground on that pick they would’ve won. If San Diego can beat Tony Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts next week, then maybe firing Marty was the right move.
Jon Gruden made the right call kicking off with 5:00 to go. He needed to scores and had all his timeouts. They made the stop and minus that Garcia pick, could have easily scored the TD then onside kicked, and gotten into field goal range. Onside kicking with 5:00 to go and 3 Timeouts shows a lack of trust in your defence. And thankfully his defence backed him up, even if his Offence failed to score.
Doesn’t it just seem kind of wrong that Tampa Bay and Washington now draft ahead of Cleveland this year?
Outside of Holmgreen and Hasselbeck returning to Green Bay and maybe upsetting at Lambeau, and even that seems sketchy. Or I guess you could propose that the third times the charm for Eli and Giants against Dallas. You could grasp for straws and say San Diego beat Indianapolis in the regular season and they could do it again. But then you have realize Indianapolis was on an emotional letdown after New England missing two Offensive linemen and like half their season Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark. And who knows maybe Jacksonville punch in the mouth style will beat New England and be the upset of the ages. Though I won’t be shocked, can anyone hear name the last M.V.P to win the superbowl the year they were M.V.P….didn’t think so.
Patriot Games (The Undefeated season)
Still undefeated because of a bye week. Though Brady picked up his first most valuable player award and Bill Belichick picked up his second Coach of the Year award this week. Next up for the Unbeaten Patriots, a night time clash in Foxboro against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Saturday January 12th
(3)Seattle Seahawks V (2)Green Bay Packers – 4:30 on FOX
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars V (1) New England Patriots – 8:00 on CBS
Sunday January 13th
(3) San Diego Chargers V (2) Indianapolis Colts – 1:00 on CBS
(5) New York Giants V (1) Dallas Cowboys – 4:30 on FOX
Additional coach ramble:
Atlanta should hire Mike Martz, if he can make Jon Kitna throw for 4'000 he can do it with just about anyone
Sprano is already going to Dallas that's a sure fire thing
Won't be surprised if Lane Kiffen goes in Oakland, Rob Ryan takes over as Head Coach and brings in his Brother Rex Ryan (formerly of Baltimore) as the new Defensive Co-ordinator.
Baltimore may be the landing location for Marty Schottenheimer if they try it and they should. He's good with RB's and that's what Baltimore should be. Or maybe that's where Jason garrett from Dallas will land.
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