January 15, 2007

Division Wrap-up

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

In a fairly unpredictable weekend of playoff football, I’m happy with the fact that I didn’t lose any money by entering a playoff pool or putting down (too many) bets. For some reason, I managed to forget the one constant of gambling on the NFL this season. Take the underdog and reap with rewards. All four dogs covered the spread this week and in case you didn’t notice, the Patriots and Colts won outright. 2-2 isn’t something to be ashamed of. Alyssa had her streak of unprecedented luck snapped by going 1-1 straight-up and 0-2 against the spread.

A few things of note from the weekend’s slate of games:

It turns out that Marty-Ball did effectively kill the Chargers, just not in the most obvious way. On a fourth-and-ten, the Chargers went for the first down instead of putting up a field goal attempt. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be writing about this if they made the first down. Perhaps the entire week of hearing about how his conservative tactics have cost him games in the past and Schottenheimer decided to over-compensate by making that move.

Just to prove that I’m nearly clairvoyant, note that I proclaimed that the NE-SD game would come down to a missed field goal. Nate Kaeding missed a long attempt with time dying to give the Patriots the win. Too bad I had said that San Diego would win because of the miss.

Oh, and in case you missed it, that LaDainian Tomlinson some guy? He’s pretty damn good.

Apparently, you don’t need to score touchdowns to win. Just ask the Colts, winners of the kicking showcase that took place in Baltimore. Finishing 15-6, Saturday’s game was the first playoff contest since 1979 in which no touchdowns were scored.

In a touch of irony, the Ravens-Colts game, which had seven field goals kicked, was the only game that wasn’t decided by three-points.

It’s actually a fact that being too good can only hurt your team. Super-linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher played so well and were so quick, they both unknowingly swatted down balls about to be caught by their teammates. Lewis, in fact, did this twice. Being good can be a curse.

After getting absolutely jacked early in the game by Sheldon Brown, Reggie Bush fired back the only way he knows how: breaking off huge plays and slicing through the Eagles D. Deuce McAllister came through huge as well tallying 143 yards on the ground.

Too the woman wearing the “Fuck Da Eagles” cut-off shirt, I give you a thumbs-up. Acknowledgement must also be given to the cameraman who found this woman and decided to put her on television. He’s probably been fined or suspended by now.

The surprise of the week turned out not to be the Patriots winning in San Diego, or Indy’s high powered offense not scoring a touchdown or even the Eagles hanging around in a close game in New Orleans. What really shocked me was that Rex Grossman didn’t single-handedly kill his team like everyone expected. Next week against the Saints it should be a different story.

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