The playoffs happened, and the result was a 3-1 record. Not bad, but that one loss was the Green Bay Packers losing in the final game of the weekend. How can this happen? It can happen, and when it does happen it appears to be either one team grabbing for the brass ring over the other team. That is exactly what happened in the Packers game. But I love recapping the weekend, and this is how I saw it.
Playoff Football Means To Me
A David vs. Goliath event is made up and prognostication is a fool’s tale. All week you hear that Tim Tebow is going to shock the world and New Orleans will make its way to the Super Bowl. Playoffs come down to home team advantages and disadvantages. I believe it to be very disadvantageous to be the Super Bowl team and getting their first start against The New York Giants. But I would never predict that the Packers could be that sloppy. Yet they were. So let’s look at the games this week.
It all started with the 49ers of San Francisco hosting the Saints of New Orleans. San Francisco jumped out to a 14-0 lead but it evaporated in the second quarter making the game 17-14 at half. A snooze-filled third quarter led to 10 minutes of mostly boredom in the fourth quarter. But then with about five minutes left, there were four straight “Nerf Football” touchdowns which ended with a crazy thread-the-needle pass from Alex Smith to Vernon Davis with nine seconds to go. The game was back-and-forth, very entertaining and ended with a crescendo. Football is back in San Francisco. The 49ers come out on top, 36-32. Advantage goes to San Francisco for getting a home game.
Then The Denver Broncos came in to Foxboro to play their David vs. Goliath matchup against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Denver won the coin toss! Yay! Only to defer to the second half! Boo! The Patriots promptly go for 35 first half points, and by the time the Broncos got that kickoff back in the third quarter it was 35-7. It really could have been much worse as Brady pooch kicked a 3rd-and-10 play with the team up big. The Patriots showed how Goliath became Goliath. New England smoked the Broncos, 45-10. Advantage goes to New England for creating the defensive scheme that the No. 1 overall defensive team, Pittsburgh, could not only the week before.
The first game on Sunday in Baltimore was a defensive gem. The Houston Texans came to play the Baltimore Ravens and went toe-to-toe with a team that had a tough time on both sides of the ball. When listening to the halftime comments, you would have thought that the Ravens were losing instead of being on top 17-13. Unlike the 49ers-Saints matchup which picked up in intensity, the second half scoring was only a 44-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff. Baltimore gets by and wins, 20-13. Advantage goes to Baltimore for winning a close game on home turf.
The last game saw the Super Bowl defending champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New York Giants. I declared the same New York Giants to be the most dangerous team in the playoffs two articles ago, and although I did not pick them either week, they have proven that statement to be correct. The crowd at Lambeau field was pumped, but New York was more. More pumped. More precise. More prepared. They silenced the crowd, and the Green Bay Packers proved that going 15-1 does not mean you are automatically getting to the fancy dance at the end of the year. The New York Giants win, 37-20. Advantage goes to New York for grabbing the brass ring right out from underneath the very talented Green Bay Packers. The theme this year appears to be “Defense vs. Offense.”