What a week it was in the NFL. Usually the divisional playoff round is where we see blowouts but we got the opposite of that. We have two barnburners, one fourth quarter eruption by Seattle, and an Upset by Indianapolis. Not to mention that for a second straight week there was some controversy with the refs destroying a team’s playoffs hope. With all that said, there had to be winners and there had to be losers in the week’s playoff edition of the Weekend Warriors aka Playoff warriors.
Best Team of the Week
I know that the Indianapolis Colts had a dominating performance but with that being said, New England Patriots were most impressive against the Baltimore Ravens. Coming back from a 14 point deficit, not once but twice, not only made for a good game but it showed that New England can play any type of game and still win because they are that good. It was fun to watch, and if I am the Indianapolis Colts, I am swearing at my television screen because of the result. Granted some can see the fact that the New England Patriots being down as a sign of weakness, however I usually see that as a sign of resilience if the team that is down comes back and wins the game.
Worst Team of the Week
The Broncos were not good this week. Peyton manning was hurt (reportedly with a torn quad), and as a result, the offence suffered despite a gutsy effort from Running back C.J Anderson. The Defense could not get key stops when they wanted, giving the Indianapolis Colts the advantage in time of possession. Not to mention that the receivers were not open very much, and the few times they were, they were dropping the ball (looking at you Demaryius Thomas). Overall the Broncos had a bad performance and it spelled the end of their season. Honorable mention to the Carolina Panthers who would have been worse team of the week but I did not expect them to be in the playoffs let alone the divisional round.
Best player of the week
Aaron Rodgers on one leg turned it up in the second half. Granted while watching the game, I thought that the Fox channel team overplayed the Aaron Rodgers’ “bad first half” angle because one it was cold (not Ice Bowl cold but cold), and two, both teams were moving the ball offensively, thus Aaron Rodgers did not have to do much. With that being said, it was Clear Aaron Rodgers stepped up in the second half and gave them the lead with a somewhat funny Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers connection. Aaron Rodgers finished with 24/35 316 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, much of which was in the second half.
Worst player of the Week
I would say Peyton Manning would be the worst player of the week if he was healthy, but the fact is, if it was a Torn Quad and not a measly thigh injury than it's not exactly easy to play with a “thigh” injury. If you look at the torn quad injury it takes people months and in extreme cases years to come back from the injury. So the fact he played shows grit and I cannot give him the worst player of week. Thus by process of elimination, Aqib Talib is your worst player of the week. I do have to say this really sucks because it is not often that a cornerback gets much press for doing well, but will get lots of press for doing bad. Aqib Talib all season long was good. In fact, in my mind he was a top five cornerback this year, however on this particular week he was not great. He was no match for T.Y Hilton and that caused the defense to neglect other receivers and the Broncos could not get a key stop when they needed one. At least one receiver was open on almost all of the passing plays. It was just not a good day for Talib but he is still a good cornerback.
Game of the Week:
If you are a casual football fan and you did not like the Dallas Cowboys versus the Green Bay Packers that took place on Sunday, then I do not know what to tell you. Often times when teams are moving up and down offensively like how those teams were, it is a product of bad defense. However, the defense on both sides made great plays as well. It was a game of good D, better O and to have it end the way it did may be a tough pill to swallow for Dallas Cowboys fans but for observers like me who had no quote unquote “horse in the race” it was such an intriguing ending and one we will remember for many many years.
Surprise of the Week:
In both the Ravens vs the Patriots, as well as the Cowboys vs. the Packers, I felt that both teams didn’t deserve to lose but unfortunately someone had to lose. Granted the result that happened was expected but how the result was obtained by both the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers was not gained without a hard fought fight.
Last week record 4-0; current record overall 7-1
AFC Championship: The Indianapolis Colts vs. The New England Patriots
I think the Patriots are a better team. I think the connection between Gronkowski and Brady have on the field is scary, however, Andrew Luck’s accuracy is getting scary as well. Yes the patriots defense in theory should make life hard for Luck but I am seeing the Colts out gun the patriots in the AFC championship, weather permitting. It is a bit of a stretch but I think that the Colts can win this game.
Prediction: Colts win by a field goal
NFC Championship: The Green Bay Packers vs. The Seattle Seahawks
I think this game will be much closer than the week 1 opener. I also think that Aaron Rodgers will not shy away from Richard Sherman and will not have half of the field cut off from the Packers just because Richard Sherman is on that side. I also think Eddie Lacy will make the Seahawks’ linebackers suffer if they get in his way. With that being said, Seattle is winning this game only for the simple reason that they are at home. Noise is very hard to overcome from an opposing offense standpoint, and it helps momentum to run. It will be close but I think the Seattle Seahawks will pull this out.
Prediction: Seahawks win by a field goal, maybe a safety