The NFL playoffs rarely disappoint – the game we all thought – going in, was the dog, may have been the best game of all. Seattle vs. New Orleans was arguably the best game this past weekend. 3 of the 4 games I thought were incredibly compelling. So with that said, let’s go over the 4 games and here are my basic thoughts on all 4 games.
Alright, so you start with New Orleans vs. Seattle on Saturday. Listen, the better team all year…lost! It happens – rarely. But its sports, you can’t predict stuff. You know, generally when elections are coming they will tell you “McCain leads by 4% or Obama leads by…” and you an idea on how the elections will end up. But in sports it just doesn’t work that way…that’s why sports is great! New Orleans was the best team all year – if I had told you that Drew Brees will throw for 400 yards, no interceptions, 2 TD’s, you’d be like “whoa, that game was ugly…it’s a turn-it-off at half” game. Nope, the Saints got routed! That’s what‘s great about it.
My feeling on what happen in that game – Seattle is young and young teams and young people tend to be very emotional, deeper depths and higher high’s and Seattle just played with an unbelievable energy that New Orleans could never match. The Saints could never match their energy. Matt Hasselback made throws that I don’t think he’s made all year. Seattle is not a highly explosive offense, but the two times they played the Saints this year…they scored some points.
I said this about a month ago and I got some hate mail from Saints fans. I said “this is not a Superbowl winning team, they just don’t make the stops this year as they did last year” They don’t create turnovers this year…and the world – God love New Orleans , I certainly did and we all ate it. I was 0-1 after the 1st game.
The 2nd game, Jets vs. Indy…the world loved Indy, I like New York. I got even in my games at 1-1. The Colts – mostly because of injuries, I mean everyone could complain about the coach Monday morning. But mostly because of injuries, Indianapolis is not a very good football team right now. I said last week, I thought about the 12 teams in the playoffs….they were the 10th best team. I thought Seattle and Kansas City were worse. I thought Indy was the 10th best team – and that’s with Peyton Manning. They can’t defend the run, they don’t run. If you took at the Jets’ talent and the Colts’ talent and matched them up, outside of Peyton Manning, New York is pretty much better at every single spot outside of the defensive line. I thought New York would sort of grind it out, that it would be an ugly win, Sanchez makes 2 or 3 plays. By the way, Peyton Manning – this is why I’m a Brady guy, Peyton Manning all time….he’s now sub .500 in the playoffs, at 9-10. Listen, I’m not blaming him, not saying that it’s all his fault, but he’s sub .500 in the playoffs.
The 3rd game, Baltimore vs. Kansas City. You know, I think all of us liked Baltimore – the wise guys, by the way in Vegas, were heavy into Kansas City. Most of you like Baltimore, I liked Baltimore, and I was 2-1 after this game. This game was a snoozer…you know, early the crowd was into it, Kansas City had a nice drive and people were thinking “alright, we’re in the game” But Kansas City built their record and numbers, mostly on garbage teams like the AFC West and the NFC West. Baltimore finished 12-4 and they built it on quality. As I noted last week, if you go back to Week 2 in the NFL season….since that point, Baltimore has lost 3 times. In overtime to the Patriots, last 2nd play to Atlanta and late to the Steelers. This is a legitimate, viable “win the entire thing” team. They, to me, are the one team that could beat New England. I really don’t think – objectively, that my Jets match up and I don’t think the Steelers match up. I think Baltimore could go into New England and win that football game. I picked Atlanta vs. Baltimore to play in the Superbowl back in August. They are both very good, they’ve gotten better in the offseason, they are well coached, they are above average at almost every position on the football field and I think Kansas City is a year away – I think people in Kansas City, I think they kinda knew that. I don’t think that Charlie Weiss thing mattered much…but boy, it looked like Charlie Weiss was paying more attention to his new Florida job than his old Kansas City job.
The 4th game, the nation liked Green Bay yet I liked Philadelphia. You had Andy Reid, at home, I thought it was a coin-flip game, but I’ll take the home team. Green Bay wins – obviously. I thought the 2 keys Dom Capers – the defensive co-ordinator, he’s a classic Wade Philips type of guy, not a great #1 but a tremendous #2…he’s basically a Norf Turner. Tremendous assistant & co-ordinator…not necessarily a #1 guy, but he basically gave the NFL – and this is why I’ve always thought that Vick is over-rated. He gave everybody a blueprint “alright, here is how you beat Vick”
Make Michael Vick make tough, intermediate throws, over the middle and eventually force Michael Vick to think quick and often, take away the deep ball as much as you can and the home run play, and make Michael Vick grind it out, be patient, one play at a time and Michael tends to get greedy, his whole DNA is “look for the home run” and he makes some mistakes.
I thought his last throw was a mistake because he got greedy and ultimately, I believe that Michael Vick is a very limited QB – I mentioned this in my last rant. If you said “Aaron Rogers and Michael Vick…who you built your franchise around” I’m personally going with Aaron Rogers. Now, I don’t think Aaron is as good as the rest of the world does but, Michael Vick to me – 6 or 7 weeks ago, this country went absolutely gaga because of a Monday Night Football game.
Okay, Green Bay shut him down, the Vikings shut him down, and the Giants mostly shut him down….Folks! People have been trying to figure out how to shut down Peyton Manning for 10 years and they can’t! People, after 5 starts, figured out how to slow down Michael Vick. For the record, he seems to be getting a little dinged up, a little slower every year.
In turn, who knew Green Bay had that running game? Honestly like, who knew? James Starks rookie? I mean, I watched Green Bay 12 times this year…alright! That’s certainly interesting. I really didn’t think they’d run the ball like that. I still have my doubts with Aaron Rogers as I said – I don’t know when it happened in society, when you call somebody “very good” and that’s a criticism. That is what has happened with me and Aaron Rogers because I always say “I think he’s very good…good /very good” That apparently isn’t very good in Milwaukee, where they want to be told that he’s Tom Brady and where every announcer in the US has anointed him as Tom Brady…folks, he’s NOT Tom Brady.
He had an oppourtunity on 3rd down with 4 minutes left to make a play – and not give Michael Vick the ball back, or at least not give him some clock. But at the end of the game, Aaron was sitting on the sidelines, last 7 minutes of that football game, the QB you saw playing was Michael Vick. He took the game over and the game was in his hands, it should’ve never been that way.
But when the dust settles, Aaron Rogers get’s a win and Dom Capers really deserves a ton of credit and he may be the reason – my gut feeling is, Dom Capers will be the reason Michael Vick doesn’t get a 5 year deal. I think people looked at Dom Capers and they start putting that, and the Vikings game and the Giants game and people start saying “maybe we need to slow down on Michael Vick, the MVP, on building the future around him” Dom Capers did Michael Vick no favours this past weekend…he did him no favours!