January 14, 2013

What an exciting weekend of football

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

I can’t remember another weekend of playoff football that was nearly as exciting as the one we just witnessed. When have there ever been four games that were so high-scoring, back-and-forth and generally down to the wire? When was the last time that we saw an NFL first in one game and then an NFL single-game record in the next? The conference semifinals were essentially the exact opposite of the boring wild-card weekend that we endured.

After a week when we saw all four games go “under,” this week saw four resounding “overs.” We also saw some underdogs finally cover after the favourites went 4-for-4 last week.

The first game of round two was also the first time that something ever happened in NFL history: We saw a game go to double overtime. It was a fitting end to a game that was as thrilling as its 38-35 final score suggested. The Broncos and Ravens traded touchdowns, defensive stops and momentum shifts. We were witness to three return TDs and some of the worst pass defending I’ve ever seen on the biggest play of the game. And kudos to Ravens coach John Harbaugh on knowing the rules for double overtime that the sides would switch ends, giving him the wind advantage – I sure didn’t know what would happen, we were in completely uncharted territory here.

The Saturday night game was the official Colin Kaepernick coming-out party. His 181 rushing yards were the most ever by a quarterback in a game. Not just in a playoff game – in any game. In terms of fantasy points, Kaepernick would had a total of 47 – which is the second-highest total of the season next to Doug Martin’s 52 in Week 9. It was a phenomenal performance that completely justified the Niners’ move to bench Alex Smith.

Sunday afternoon we almost saw another rarity in the NFL. If Seattle had held off the Falcons to complete its comeback, the Seahawks would have become the second team to ever come back from a 20-point deficit at half. The other team to do it was the Buffalo Bills during The Comeback. Instead, Atlanta will host another game and the Seahawks join the list of 56 other teams that failed to make the comeback.

The black sheep of the group was the weekend’s last game, which saw the Patriots somewhat easily handle the Texans. And this was without Rob Gronkowski – who re-broke his left forearm – and Danny Woodhead. They’ll now be 10-point favourites against the Ravens and there are many reasons why you’d think it’s a great idea to take that many points.

This week: 2-2
This playoffs: 5-3

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