So, the Australian Open started yesterday. Tennis season has officially started and we have so much to cover. First things first, Rafael Nadal called Roger Federer…. Have I lost anyone yet? Yeah, I feel the same way. Ok, so let me be serious. On to football…
What a day, what a day! I told you it would blow your mind away!!! So much to get to, where do we begin? First off, we have a team in the Baltimore Ravens that beat an inferior team in the Houston Texans. And when I say inferior, I mean a rookie quarterback going up against a great defense. When it came down to it, TJ Yates just couldn’t make the plays. On 4th and 1 at the Bal. 43 with :11 sec. left, Yates decided to air it out deep for the touchdown. Seriously?? No out pattern? Get the 1st down and get out of bounds? This was his 3rd pick of the day and ultimately the end of the season for him and his Texans. I told you it would come down to him and Baltimore’s defense and I was right (just in case you forgot I said that, tic). After watching this game yesterday I couldn’t help but think if Matt Schaub had been in there as the QB the Texans would have won this thing. Not to pour on Baltimore’s parade but if they want to get further than the AFC Championship Game, they are going to have to get a little more out of their offense. I still have questions as to whether or not Joe Flacco is an elite QB in this league and this game didn’t answer them. Sure, his numbers looked pretty good but if you watched the game you could tell he was not anywhere near the level he will need to be to advance any further.
Next up for the Ravens, they will head into Foxboro to face the #1 New England Patriots. Luckily for the Ravens, Bill Belicheat will not be able to tape their walk-throughs. Another plus on Baltimore’s side is that they will be playing against the 2nd worst defense in the league. Never, since the beginning of the Super Bowl-era in 1966 has a defense that has ranked that low go on to play in/win a Super Bowl. After all of the records that are falling by the wayside this playoff season, we will see if that is another one that does. Both Baltimore’s offense and New England’s defense will need to step up. Which one will? Which one won’t?
The second game yesterday was the Giants walking into Lambeau Field and embarrassing the Green Bay Packers. I have never seen a team come into Lambeau and just take it to a Green Bay team like this, well at least when Green Bay is as talented and good as this 15-1 team was. Green Bay becomes the first 15-1 team in NFL history, since they started playing 16 games in 1978, to lose in it’s first playoff game. Green Bay really never showed up. Rodgers, though he had a decent game, was never the Aaron Rodgers in the regular season. It felt like everybody on the offense had a fumble. And the defense showed why it was the worst defense in the league this year. Eli Manning showed again how great of a QB he has been this year. Here is another QB I never thought would reach the elite status but it seems that he has, especially if they so happen to win another title. Green Bay was in it
because of some of the worst officiating I have ever seen until the Giants pulled away in the 4th quarter, but it never really felt like they had a chance at winning it. New York came in hot and ready to play and Green Bay was as cold and lifeless as the Lambeau turf was some 44 years ago in the Ice Bowl. I thought New York had a really good chance at winning this game but I never thought Green Bay would come out like this. Disappointing. I was hoping for another classic like we got 4 years ago in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.
Next up for the Giants, they will head to San Francisco to face the #2 San Francisco 49ers. This feels like it did 21 years ago in the 1990 NFC Championship Game. The difference, other than team talent being greater before free agency, is this time the Giants come in with an elite, Super Bowl champion quarterback and the 49ers bring in a quarterback that has done well but isn’t thought of as a great QB. We’ll see if the same fate awaits these two teams. They’ll be playing just 2 days later than exactly 21 years ago in January of 1991. Good news for me is that the Redskins won the Super Bowl the following year. Bad news is that unfortunately, I don’t believe history will repeat itself.