Sunday, January 13, 2008
Now that that obligatory clip is out of the way...
The Patriots probably had the toughest draw of the weekend. They took care of business but did not look like world beaters. They have tons of weapons and made plays when they needed to, but they got bailed out by Garrard throwing a pick late, which they certainly cannot have been banking upon, as he threw three over the course of the entire regular season.
Ryan Grant spotted the Seahawks 14 points on the Packers' first two possessions deep in their own territory by coughing up inexplicable fumbles. Honestly, I didn't see any way they were coming back from that. It started snowing. It was cold. There was no way they were going to be able to put up enough offense after those decimating series to start the game. I was dead wrong. In blizzard conditions (and this is the same Packers team that looked absolutely lost in Chicago in Week 16 in a biting cold), the Packers scored 21 unanswered points and ended up dropping 42 on the Seahawks, largely due to a redemptive performance by Ryan Grant. They also sat on the ball for much of the fourth quarter. A 42-20 throttling of the Seahawks after spotting them two TD's in blizzard conditions makes me wonder what chance the Giants could possibly have.
As for the Giants, who would have thunk Eli would be the Manning waltzing into a Conference Championship game this weekend? Not me. They did the Packers a favor, beating the Cowboys in not-so-convincing fashion. The Cowboys stopped them twice in the last five or so minutes of the game, had chances to score, and could not capitalize. Romo still has that hump to get over, tossing a pick in the end zone with less than 30 seconds to play. Not what the kids would call clutch.
And on to Peyton... Will we be seeing a Peyton Manning commercial every commercial break next football season? I hope not. If we do, it won't be based on what he did these playoffs. Losing at home after getting that bye was something I thought was reserved for my Chiefs. Guess I was wrong there, too. Unfortunately, that means that punk Philip Rivers is still in the playoffs. I don't really hate the Chargers. As far as divisional foes are concerned, I could generally care less what happens to them. If they win, as long as it is not against the Chiefs, I'm not too bothered. If Philip Rivers wins, however, I'm not happy. Champ Bailey has it just about right:
A better illustration of why I can't stand Philip Rivers is the way he deals with his offensive players as opposed to how, say, Tony Romo deals with his. On a play in the third quarter of today's game, Rivers' center, Nick Hardwick (I think) couldn't hear the snap count and the Chargers ended up getting a delay of game. Of course, Rivers berates him in the throes of a childish temper tantrum, like any good quarterback does. In a similar situation in the Giants-Cowboys game, Cowboys center Andre Gurode was slow to snap the ball, and the entire line jumped up out of their stances, resulting in a false start penalty. Gurode had been slow to snap the ball for much of the second half, and this happened while the Cowboys were down four with 0:31 left in the game. What did Romo do? Like an adult, he walked up to Gurode and said something to him and patted him on the back. No tantrum. No arms flailing. He acted like a man, not a petulant child. It's not a coincidence that the Chargers ended up winning behind Rivers' replacement, Billy Volek. I wonder why LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't seem to like Young Philip much...
It doesn't much matter because the Chargers get to take a trip to Foxboro next weekend. I don't see them making the voyage back west to Arizona. If they do, it'll be to watch the game from the stands.