I have finally recovered from Wildcard weekend. Now maybe everything will get back to normal. Who knew the Seahawks actually had a defense? Who thought that Eli could actually win a playoff game? I'm serious. Or perhaps they are winning because Shockey isn't there. Everyone thought they were doomed when he went down but they have looked so much better without him. They are like the Tracy McGrady-less Rockets - they have gone 6-2 since he got injured. See I do know about something besides football. Just don't tell anyone it might ruin my reputation.
I lived in Maine for three years and you know what; I absolutely loved it. I would go back there in the drop of hat - that is if I could find a job in my field up there. I'm serious. I am a native Texan but I fell in love with New England, not the Patriots of course. I learned how to ski. I went hiking in Acadia National Park. The one thing I did not get a chance to learn was ice fishing. Being a Texan I was always leery about driving your truck out onto some ice that you have no idea how thick it is. I just never trusted it, but knew tons of people who did. I loved the snow. My dog loved it. If my oldest son was old enough he would have enjoyed it (We moved back to Texas when he was 7 months old - and that's a whole ‘nuther blog). One thing that did suck was that our house had a short driveway and every time the snow plow went by our car would get covered back up. I think all snow plow drivers are sadistic. They wait at the end of the street and wait for you to finish shoveling out the driveway and clearing your car. Then when you go inside to get your coffee you hear the tell-tale scraping sound getting closer and closer. You run out of the house to move you car but you get there too late. The plow has gone by and your car and driveway are once again covered with snow. And you swear you hear an evil laugh as the plow driver continues working his way down the street just waiting for you to clear your car.
The best part of living there was watching car after car trying to make it up the snow and ice covered street on a hill by my house. Literally, cars would wait their turn to try it. One car would make it about halfway and slide back down. Then the next car in line would try. It was very amusing. What made it worse was when one car somehow made it to the top and that would just motivate the other drivers all the more - even the ones who had previously failed. It was great to watch, until I decided to try it one time. My wife still reminds me of that. Of course, that's what wives are for right? To remind their husbands of their occasional bouts of stupidity.
So how does this boring story relate to football?
Seahawks @ Packers - Well, it won't exactly be frozen tundra, just very cold tundra. I thought it was supposed to snow in Wisconsin in January. The Hawks showed some muscle last week on defense. They did a great job getting to Collins. But the question is - can they get to Favre the same way? I'm not so sure they can. How many of you remember the Green Bay - Detroit game? Favre played the dink and dunk game to perfection and if Seattle tries to blitz Favre he will eat them alive with the short game. (Oh and thanks to Dr. Z for jogging my memory about that game) I think that defensively the Hawks can hang with the Pack. I think that offense will be their death knell. Alexander is running scared and Hasselbeck has a gimpy throwing hand. This is not a good combination. I think that Seattle will try to drive their truck onto what they thought was frozen tundra only to make a fool of themselves and have to call the tow truck for a little help. It will be a valiant effort by the Hawks, but in the end, the Packers will be the tow truck escorting Seattle out of the stadium.
Jags @ Pats - This game is fairly simple to break down. The Jags are hurting in a big way on defense and that does not bode well when you trying to slow down the juggernaut known as the Pats offense. Their offense is efficient and runs quite smoothly. They have the running game to be able to sustain long time eating clocks. But they also have to be able to throw much better than last week and I just don't think Garrard has it in him. As much as most people want to think Jax will take them to the limit, everyone needs to picture the sadistic snow plow driver. Once he gets going there is no stopping it. He may toy around with some people, but in the end everything in his way winds up buried under a heap of snow. Give me the Pats in a surprisingly not close game.
Chargers @ Colts - The Chargers have a history of always playing the Colts tough. Heck they even beat them earlier this year. Granted the Colts had a M*A*S*H. unit set up on the sidelines and Manning had to use hot dog vendors for his receivers and they still almost won - but they didn't. It was the old Al Davis mantra "Just win baby" in that game. Flash forward a few weeks. LT struggled against an inferior Titans teams. Rivers, well he was his typical self. Great as long as he gets time, but folds under pressure. This time Indy is mostly healthy, (I still have a hard time believing Harrison will play), and their defense is much faster and much better than in years past. Without looking it up, where did Indy's defense finish this season? They still have a high-powered offense. What does all this mean? It means that SD will start climbing the icy hill and almost make it only to slide back down. They will try to climb it again, and again will wind up at the bottom. They may even make it to the top, but in the end they don't have the horsepower to get it up and keep it up. This will be a closer game than I am making it out to be - for about 3 quarters then the Colts will put them away.
Giants at Cowboys - This is the only game most people are saying is ripe for the upset. Here are the reasons that I have rounded up:
- Romo can't handle the playoffs
- Romo has choked down the stretch
- Jessica Simpson
- Wade Philips can't win a playoff game
- The Giants have all the momentum
- The Giants are greatly improved
- The Giants have a brutal running game
These are all mostly valid reasons, but they won't wash. The Cowboys have a decent running back last time I checked. Jessica Simpson has no effect on a game. Romo has improved overall this season. But there is one thing the Giants have that the Cowboys don't and that's Eli. I will give him credit; he did play a heck of game last week despite the first quarter. He wasn't superb because he did make some very bad throws. Eli won't lose this game by himself, but he won't win it by himself either. The Cowboys have a better pass rush - yes I said it. Ellis and Ware combined for more sacks than any other team mates in the league (26.5 combined compare to 22 for Strahan-Umyiora). In fact, Ware was only a ½ sack behind Kerney in the NFC. If Newman is healthy he is a great corner and Henry is no slouch either. The one thing Eli can't "feel" coming is a rush. He has no pocket presence. That's one reason you see them run so much play-action - to slow down the rush. Ellis and Ware are like the snow plow you hear coming down the street. You know it's coming and you know that it will have to stop at some point and get a new line. But inevitably it will keep coming and cover up your freshly shoveled driveway regardless of how fast you run out of the house. I will take the Cowboys (duh) in a good old fashioned NFC East brawl. Quick trivia question - when was the last time the Giants and Cowboys squared off in the playoffs?
See, I told I could relate a boring story to football. Sorry you had to endure that.
Here's a warning to everyone - be sure to check out my other blogs on The FanNation Community and soon to be on the Draftnicks Notepad.
Thanks for reading.