This weekend marks the second round of the NFL playoffs. I’ve got a lot of personal pride and fandom running on this weekend (no money, though) as the Chargers and Panthers both play. Here’s hoping they’re not conspiring to make this weekend one gigantic heart attack. (Perhaps I should have rented a defibrillator for this weekend.) Without further ado, here’s what I think of the games. (Yes, I’m paying more attention to the teams that I’m rooting for — this isn’t supposed to be unbiased sports journalism, after all. :) )
As you might expect, I’m watching the AFC Wild Card game between the Chargers and the Titans. I’m twittering the game. Go Bolts!
It’s official — the Titans defeated the Colts’ backups 16-10, making them the Chargers’ opponent on Sunday for the opening round of the playoffs. Maybe the Chargers can be a little more decisive in their victory this time. :)
One game to go in the regular season, and it’s pretty important for the Chargers. While their seeding is set (they’re #3 by virtue of their defeating the Raiders today), it’s unclear who they’re going to see in their playoff game next weekend. Whoever they see won’t make it easy.
If the Titans beat the Colts tonight — a real possibility, as Indy has nothing to really play for in terms of seeding — then they travel to San Diego to see the Chargers. You might recall a few weeks ago the Chargers needed a furious comeback and a LaDainian Tomlinson score in overtime to escape the Titans. However, the Chargers of late have realigned themselves and began playing the kind of furious defense that they were known for last year. They’ve also started involving Tomlinson, the newly-crowned NFL rushing champ, in the offense again, something that utterly failed to happen in the first few weeks of the season. I think the Chargers can win this rematch, but it won’t be easy. Titans coach Jeff Fisher knows what it takes to get a team ready to drive far in the playoffs and to a Super Bowl.
The Chargers would need to really rely on their defense to come through if they end up getting the Browns — they’ve got a pretty furious offense. Derek Anderson has been surprisingly good this year (except in the would-have-been clincher against Cincinnati last week). Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are both legitimate receiving threats, and Jamal Lewis is running the ball as well as he has in his career. Cleveland’s also given up 382 points this year, so their defense is suspect…that would be a pretty high-scoring affair, and I get the feeling with the way the Charger defense is playing, Derek Anderson would have some issues.
The Titans are on now…we’ll know before the day is out.
This is one of those Lousy Football Days that I will just care to forget…
- David Carr is not the answer for the Panthers. Period. He may be a warm body at the quarterback position, but there’s nothing that tells me he knows how to win. This is his second start where a touchdown in garbage time avoided the shutout. I hope Vinny gets better soon, and if not, then it’s time to call it a season and put Matt Moore in. Carr was, fairly, given a second chance outside of Houston, but he’s just rattled, porous line or otherwise.
- It’s too bad the Titans are in the Colts’ division. They’ve played all-out gritty football this year. I have to give kudos to a team that keeps its head coach around longer than three years, too. Jeff Fisher is one of the good ones.
- John Fox embodies the definition of insanity: Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. More David Carr starts will result in more near-shutouts. He is not directing that offense. Fox needs to put away his blind loyalty to his starters and put Carr on the bench.
- Whatever comes of Jake Delhomme’s recovery from Tommy John surgery, it’s time for the Panthers to think very hard about drafting a quarterback next April, just in case.
- Something’s wrong with John Kasay. I don’t know what it is, but he is not as automatic as he used to be.
- And here I thought the Chargers were making progress. Instead, they lose to a 2-5 team and give up 296 yards to one player, Antonio Cromartie’s NFL-record 109-yard short field goal return notwithstanding.
- Brad Childress had better be awful careful not to burn out Adrian Peterson now. That’s a weapon he’ll want around for years to come. There are so many great running backs that have had their careers cut far too short because of being worked too hard (Terrell Davis, Jamal Anderson, and soon, Cadillac Williams, for starters)
- The Packers are 7-1. The Lions are 6-2. No, I can’t believe it either.
- The Saints will still win the NFC South. They are most definitely back on track.
- …and yes. The Game. It was a good one, too — one the Patriots should have probably lost — but they kept plugging away. Make no mistake, they beat a good team that largely outplayed them most of the day, and yet they found a way to win. The Patriots proved today they can win ugly. This team has the best chance I’ve seen at going 16-0.
- The disgusted look on Peyton Manning’s face as Brady was kneeling to finish the game really said it all. I can’t say I blame him.