Thoughts from the NFL playoff weekend

Happy to be back from what a very fun vacation, and a very odd time to take one!  Thankfully, I enjoyed the BCS Championship game on my cruise and left after wild card weekend and came back to enjoy the divisional round of the playoffs.

My thoughts on the NFL weekend:

Pittsburgh just has a magical spell on the Ravens.  It felt to me like this could finally be the year, especially in the first half taking a 21-7 lead.  But the Ravens absolutely self-destructed in the third quarter, and then continued to shoot themselves in the foot with a penalty on a punt return touchdown and then Anquan Boldin dropping the go-ahead touchdown.  And then giving up a 3-and-19.  And then dropping a 4-and-19 pass that was right on the money.  I thought Joe Flacco might be the reason they just weren’t ready to pass the Steelers, but he was not.  He played well enough down the stretch, although his interception in the third was a bad one.  Baltimore had health, and couldn’t get it done.  I wonder if there is any sand left in their hour-glass?

I thought the worshiping at the feet of Aaron Rodgers feet was a bit much before the game, but he has earned it for this week following his near-perfect effort at Atlanta.  He was on the money.  Mike McCarthy badly outcoached Mike Smith.  Matt Ryan is a good quarterback, who can still be great.  Atlanta will be a force to be wreckoned with for the next 5-10 years.

The Bears thumping of the Seahawks was no surprise.  Chicago was fortunate to get a bye and then to get a sub-.500 Seattle team.  If Jay Cutler is good, the Bears are good.  Their defense is solid, but not great.  I will not be surprised to see them beat Green Bay.  Seattle is going to have to do a lot of thinking this offseason where there future is at quarterback, running back, reciever, and all over their defense.  I’ve never seen a playoff team with so many issues…but then again, I’ve never seen a 7-9 playoff team before.

I thought the Jets would play New England well.  I’ve said for weeks that I thought New England was overrated and would miss Randy Moss stretching the field.  I was eating a lot of crow too until this weekend.  I thought Brady and Bellichick got the most they possibly could have out of this team.  But the Jets, like the Ravens and the Giants before them, attacked and physically beat New England up, which has now dropped their last three playoff games.  They last two at home.  Both losses followed 8-0 regular seasons.

Extremely weird that all four games were rematches from the regular season at the same venues.  And ALL FOUR LOSERS during the regular year went and avenged those losses this week.

I do not like any of the remaining teams.  I don’t know if I can develop a rooting interest for anyone.  Watching the Jets and Pats play was painful as a Dolphins fan.  Complete no win situation.

The NFL has to be pretty happy with the final four teams.  All have big followings.  I think for the TV watcher Green Bay would be the league’s choice out of the NFC, but Chicago might bring more fans to the table.  Pretty close.  Pittsburgh has more national fans, but the Jets probably bring more interest with all their mouthpieces.  My guess is the AFC winner will be favored in the Super Bowl.  I say that knowing the Packers and Bears beat the Jets already.  I think NY would be a two-point favorite over Green Bay and a 5-point favorite over the Bears.