Wow. It was the Vernon Davis Show in San Francisco yesterday and The Bum was out in full force last night in Foxboro. The 49ers-Saints game was a classic. The score was 20-14 and within a matter of 5 minutes there was a see-saw battle until the Niners came out victorious 36-32. Great game. Not so for the night cap. Tebow wasn’t around all night but the bigger story was the Patriots defense trading uniforms and playing as Denver. New England busted out of the gates and never looked back, on their way to a 45-10 blowout. Hopefully, both of today’s games resemble more of the first than the latter of last night’s games. Here are the match-ups.
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 on CBS - We all know the phrase “any given Sunday”. Well, this is the exception to the rule. Houston has a rookie quarterback in TJ Yates who is coming into the lion’s den. You know Ray Lewis and Co. are chomping at the bit to get a hold of him. Yes, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels will make life a little easier for the Tar Heel but mark it down, the rookie will struggle big time. This is a big boy defense and might be Ray Lewis’ last chance to get a second ring. Another thing playing against the Texans is that this will be Baltimore’s first home playoff game since 2006. M&T Bank Stadium is going to be rocking with a chance to see their Ravens at home in the post-season. Oh yeah, and then there is history…history is on the side of Baltimore, as the Ravens are 5-0 all-time versus the Texans. This would be a totally different game with Matt Schaub playing but he’s not. Yates has done a really good job filling in for the past 7 weeks but this will be the final stop. Don’t get me wrong, these are two of the top defenses in the league this year (Baltimore 3rd in pts. and yards allowed and Houston in 4th in pts. allowed while 2nd in yards allowed). This will be an all out defensive game…think LSU-Alabama Part I. Well, I think there will be a little more scoring, but is anyone sold on Joe Flacco? I think he’s a good quarterback but I don’t know if his ceiling goes any higher. Baltimore pulls away in the end. Ravens 21 Texans 12
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers, 4:00 on FOX - Let’s be honest, outside of yesterday’s game in Foxboro-but only because of one man, this is the game everyone has been waiting for. This is old school football….or is it? Sure, we have seen many NY-GB games decide who wins/plays in the championship game. The names that have filled family’s living rooms, from Y.A. Tittle, Don Hutson, Sam Huff, Herb Adderley, Frank Gifford, Bart Starr to Lawrence Taylor, Brett Favre, Harry Carson and Reggie White. Heck, even Vince Lombardi was an offensive coordinator for the New York Football Giants under Jim Lee Howell (Tom Landry was the defensive coordinator…how sick is that?). And since we’re talking about coaches we can’t leave out Bill Parcells and Mike Holmgren. And who can forget legendary New York Giants’ QB Joe Pisarcik…I kid, I kid. These legends add an aura to this game that you just don’t get in many other match-ups. Can you imagine being in a bar watching the Saints-Lions and the dude sitting next to you saying, “Wow, this brings up memories of yore. Remember legends such as Billy Joe Hobert, Bobby Hebert, Scott Mitchell and Rusty Hilger.” I’d spit my beer out…probably all over his vintage 2002 Joey Harrington jersey! We’ve seen many mighty struggles between these two golden franchises. Most recently we saw Brett Favre try to take his Pack to the Super Bowl in what would not only be his last year as a Packer but what would become the Giants epic upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. But let’s get back to this game. This match-up is between Tom Coughlin and Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul and BJ Raji. I am going to pick the upset here (don’t tell my in-laws). If New York can play man-to-man, bump-and-run defense they should be able to slow Rodgers down. Green Bay is helped out by getting Greg Jennings back. But even if this game turns into a shoot-out, I think Manning can go toe-to-toe with Green Bay. No Discount Double Check for you Mr. Rodgers. Giants 34 Packers 31
So, enjoy the games today and we’ll meet back here tomorrow to talk about what went on.