Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NFL 2010 Divisional Playoff Wrap Up

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh - How happy was I as this game went in to halftime?  The Ravens had driven down the field against the Steelers and scored, caused some turnovers and scored, and basically rendered the Steelers useless.  Then after halftime, a fumble by Ray Rice (12 carries, 32 yards, 7 receptions, 32 yards), an interception by Flacco, and the next thing you know the Steelers are tied, and would end up winning this game.  What a turn of events.  The biggest play was the 3rd and 19 that the Steelers had and somehow with only 8 guys rushing the Ravens allowed Antonio Brown (3 catches for 75 yards) to get behind them and catch the game clinching 58 yard reception.  I still can't believe that Webb let ANYONE get deeper than he was and throw the safety in their too.  This all came down to the Ravens offense not being able to throw (and catch) the ball.  Flacco had a pedestrian outing along with Housh (3 catches for 38 yards, and the biggest drop in recent playoff history), Boldin (1 catch for -2 yards), and Mason (0 catches).  Flacco even had time for the majority of the game, but they were just off.

Yes, the Steelers won, but the Ravens gave this game away.  Big Ben (19 of 32, with 2 TDs) had 226 yards passing and the Steelers as a team were held to 71 yards rushing (Mendenhall 20 carries for 46 yards, 2 TDs).  That tells you that there was a lot of defense when there weren't those big plays.  I saw Ray Lewis' interview after the game and you could tell he wanted to blow a fuse.  Sad way to end a nice playoff run.  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 1 for the week.      

Green Bay @ Atlanta - Whatever Aaron Rodgers had for a pre-game meal, please give me several servings of that.  Rodgers (31 of 36 for 366 yards, 3 TDs) torched the Falcons en route to a playoff high for the Packers in points (48 points).  The Falcons looked good right before halftime and then Tramon Williams' INT return for a TD sealed the deal.  Yes, it was only 28 to 14 at that time, but it was over.  The Falcons couldn't get it going.  I think there's something about getting the bye that works against the team that has it.  Matt Ryan looked lost and even the strength of the Falcons team (rushing the ball) was only able to amass 45 yards.  The Atlanta defense looked outclassed and this was a terrible showing, especially at home.  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 2 for the week. 

Seattle @ Chicago - This was the perfect game by the Bears up until that ill advised pass by, no not Cutler (15 of 28 for 274 yards, 2 TDs, 8 carries for 43 yards, 2 TDs), but Matt Forte (0 for 1 for 0 yards, 1 INT, 25 carries for 80 yards).  Why not just run the ball out of the Wildcat if there's no one to throw to?  Why even call that play?  You're handing the beatdown out to the Seahawks, but you decide to confuse them and run the Wildcat?  The best part of this was watching the Mike Martz react on the sideline.  (blank stare)  Cutler had a great game, and almost made you think that he should be in the backfield as he danced into the end zone twice.  The Bears defense kept the Seahawks at 34 yards rushing for the game and spent enough time in the Seahawks backfield to become drinking buddies with Hasselbeck (26 of 46 for 258 yards, 3 TDs). 

After the game, I happened to be listening to some sports talk radio and one caller called in saying that he was happy the Bears won, but he was upset with the play of Julius Peppers.  I almost ran off the road, because either he didn't watch the game or he just doesn't know any better.  Peppers is the one guy on that defensive line that team game plan against.  He was double teamed the majority of the game and in some cases there were 3 people that he had to deal with.  This allowed people like Tommie Harris, Urlacher, and Briggs to make all the plays.  That won't show up on the stat sheet, but I'll bet you no one in the Bears locker room will say anything differently.    Inquisitive Mind 1 - 2 for the week. 

New York Jets @ New England - The Jets talked the talk and they walked the walk by jumping on the Patriots and never letting up.  Maybe the ghost of Randy Moss finally caught up to the Pats.  After falling behind early, they weren't able to stretch the field as the Jets found ways to stop that dink and dunk offense.  Mark Sanchez (16 of 25 for 194 yards, 3 TDs) looked like an NFL QB and the Jets continued to pound the ball with both LT (10 carries for 43 yards) and Greene (17 carries for 76 yards, 1 TD).  Brady was sacked 5 times and hit numerous times.  That's the blueprint for beating the Patriots, get Brady (29 of 45 for 299 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) uncomfortable and run the ball.

There was a lot of talk going on, with even Welker (7 catches, 57 yards) sitting at the beginning of the game for his 'foot' diatribe to the media a few days earlier.  I wonder how it must feel to beat those guys, because you know it has to be something if your starting wide receiver is doing a cartwheel after the game.  The week off really effected the timing of that Patriots offense, that's all I'll say.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 2 for the week. 

It was a fun week, always fun when the Patriots lose, but I'm crying on the inside about my Ravens.  I'm still not sure how they lost that game.  We'll see what next week brings. 

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