The NFL playoffs are supposed to be an exposé of the best teams and players the league has to offer. Ideally this leads to classic games, complete with 4th quarter drives and heroic individual efforts. Sadly this week was more about delivering beatdowns, as the Bengals, Eagles and yes, my beloved Pats were exposed as playoff frauds. Below is the game-by-game rundown.
Bengals Vs. Jets
This was a sloppy game between two teams that aren’t very good. The Bengals offense was hindered by crushing injuries/deaths in their wide receiver corps. Amongst the walking wounded was Chad Ochocinco, out with a sore posterior from the raping delivered over three hours Jets DB by Darrelle Revis. Watching Revis was particularly annoying as a Pats fan, because he’s totally mastered Ty Law’s style, making just enough contact with the receiver downfield to disrupt routes without getting flagged. Rookie Shonn Greene was the star on offense, routinely beating Cincy’s contain with edge runs. The Jets still have no business planning Super Bowl parades, as the Bengals were a shell of their former selves and the worst playoff team. San Diego should kill the dreams of Firemen Ed and annoying Gang Greeners everywhere next week.
Cowboys Vs. Eagles
Many, including myself, were expecting the Eagles offense to awaken after laying an egg last week but Dallas shut down McNabb and company for a second straight week. Meanwhile Tony Romo put his playoff demons behind him with some help from Miles Austin and Roy Williams.
The big play though was Felix Jones 73 yard TD run, in which he simply ran past the Eagles defense. Few players in the NFL have such raw speed and his playmaking abilities should scare the shit out of other NFC fans.
Patriots Vs. Ravens
Hey Pats fans, it was a good decade for us. But what a deflating way to close it out, getting punked by Baltimore. Everyone, and I mean everyone, laid an egg for the Pats – from Randy Moss’ no show to “Pro-Bowler” Brandon Merriweather getting schooled by Ray Rice on the first play of the game on an 83 yard touchdown. And just like that the game was over. Well not really, first I had to languish through three hours of Brady two yard checkdowns and approximately 73 third and ones where Baltimore converted by flattening our front 7. The Ravens move on, although they’ll need more out of Joe Flacco to take down the Colts next week. The Pats meanwhile, have some serious questions to answer in the offseason and a long climb back to the top. How’s KG’s knee?
Cardinals Vs. Packers
At least we had one classic game. More bullets were fired than the North Hollywood shootout as both Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner were afforded ample time to sit in the pocket and pick their favorite targets. This game had a little bit of everything, including a ballsy onside kick call by Green Bay that helped them get back in the game. By the 4th quarter, both defenses were gassed and it was clear that whomever had the ball last would win. Which should have been Arizona, but kicker Neil Rackers shanked a 34 yard field goal with 10 seconds left. The game thus proceeded to OT, Green Bay won the toss and appeared to be in the driver’s seat. Then, one great defensive play from ‘Zona sealed the deal.
Can the Cards win another shootout in the SuperDome next week? Probably not. But you just can’t count this team out.