January 5, 2009

Some wild and not so wild cards

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

One rookie QB lived up to his billing while one didn’t. A hot team stopped a hotter team. One explosive back outran another one. It was a weekend of guys stepping further than others with everything on the line and really, there wasn’t too much to be surprised about.

In fact, the one pick I got wrong, literally came down to a coin toss. And how many broken hearts are there in Indianapolis after that game in San Diego. The Chargers did everything they could to hand the Colts the game on Saturday. From Darren Sproles fumbling into the end zone to keeping LDT on the sidelines after only five carries to forgetting to cover Reggie Wayne on 72-yard TD reception. Then, the Colts catch some awfully bad luck by losing the overtime coin-toss and picking up some awful penalties that ultimately decided the game. Looks like those dreams of an all-Manning Super Bowl are dashed for another year.

Matt Ryan deserved the Rookie of the Year Award through and through but that’s only for regular season play and, like he’s learned now, the playoffs are a whole different brand of football. Even against a weak defence like Arizona’s Ryan couldn’t hold it together and even Atlanta’s prized running back Michael Turner couldn’t to much in the desert. Also, like I said, was the Falcons defence really expected to contain the vaunted offence of the Cardinals? Both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin showed why they’re two of the best receivers in the league. But now, against the Panthers, they’ll really have their work cut out for them (Although they should count their lucky stars that they’re not visiting Giants Stadium again).

As for the Dolphins, well it really says something about how well (read: awful) their offence played when they turned over the ball five times to Baltimore. This came after they had only 13 turnovers for the entire season. So much for controlling the ball and the clock. Miami fans have to be really disappointed about blowing this playoff opportunity — figuring that the Patriots will no doubt come back next year all fired up and that the Fins’ schedule will only get harder and they probably won’t be playing in January next year.

Welcome back Tarvaris Jackson, we knew you had it in you. As much as anyone could have loved Adrian Peterson when thinking about taking Minnesota, they should’ve been equally as scared of Jackson who reverted to his true, terrible form against the Eagles. Combine his 15-for-35 performance with Brian Westbrook’s ability to break out at least one huge gain per game and a Minnesota loss wasn’t really in doubt for most of the game. 

Now, my favourite quirk I noticed out of the four Wild Card games was this: Of the 17 quarters of football played, one frame didn’t have a score — Phi-Min’s third quarter.

And if you argue for a second that the West divisions should garner more respect because of the Chargers and Cardinals triumphs, well you’re an idiot. Two games does not a season make and two wins at home should not bring up this argument. We’ll see what happens next week when these weak squads have to travel east.

This week: 3-1.

1 Comment

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