Thierry P. Nihill's Blog
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There are two teams - since the start of these playoffs - that I guarantee you the respective head coaches wanted to avoid: Arizona ... and Baltimore. The Ravens are playing like Super Bowl Champions already - especially that defence. While Joe Flacco is no Johnny Unitas, you can say this about him: He's as mobile as a pylon, sees peripherally as well as a horse with blinkers on, might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to "cutting edge smarts" and only Venus de Milo seems to have a worse arm. All this kid does, though ... is beat you. He reminds me so very much of another "yokel" with similar attributes: a certain Louisiana kid named Bradshaw ...

As for the Cardinals ... How can you ever count a team "out" that has a CONFIDANT Kurt Warner taking snaps (and not to mention a coach who believes in him and doesn't play mind games with his QB's - Wisenhut has been decisively behind Warner), one of the quietest but one of the best receiving corps to come along since the Warren Moon-led Edmonton Eskimos glory days of the 1980's (CFL football IS professional football too, you know), and an entire group of linemen on both sides of the ball that you can literally see gaining confidence with each and every play.

I wouldn't want to be Mike Tomlin or Andy Reid right now. Baltimore and Arizona in the Big One. Teams like San Diego, Indianapolis, the Football Giants and the Panthers you more or less know exactly what to prepare for. With the Cardinals and the Ravens (anyone else notice it's the Year of the Bird? Three of the four teams left with avion nicknames?), I am quite sure there's some guessing-games going on as to what the "game plans" are going to be ... I suspect the Ravens and Cardinals are going to be more prepared and will benefit with a trip to Tampa ...

 Thoughts?

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