NFL Divisional Round Recap

As a football fan, the Divisional Round is always my favorite weekend. Always has been, always will be. Longtime readers of this blog know the serenades of Raiders Steelers games in the 1970s. Great stuff. For younger fans, know that the GB-DAL game was a classic, every bit as good as those fabled games. Rodgers w tempo (a lead) is sooo hard to beat. Today’s game, with the influence of the officiating, is not the same. But I won’t kid myself and think these big divisional rounds were not without awful calls historically… the Flipper Anderson catch in the ’89 playoffs was preceded by a horrible Pass Interference call on the Giants (Hill) that crushed the ending. So let’s celebrate what a great weekend of football we had.

Random thoughts from this weekend:

1) Houston exposed NE’s “serviceable” OL, but NE adjusted at halftime and it looked like they gave help to who was covering Mercilus. Crickets from that pass rush in H2.

2) When does Edelman NOT push off on his routes? He does it nearly every play and until they start calling him on it, he’s always going to look “quicker.”

3) As soon as Earl Thomas went down, we said here on this NY Giants blog (see #16 below) that that was too big a loss to recover from for the Seahawks. He was missed in a big way on Saturday. What Earl Thomas does as a Safety in today’s NFL is enormous. Missing him on patrol vs Matt Ryan’s Offense was gi-normous.

4) Yes Brady at 39 is ridiculous, but as we know (XLII, XLVI) if you get pressure on him even he has a hard time.

5) … and that’s the genius of Rodgers. How do you beat a QB who just nullifies most pressure with his planned exits? He will miss finding receivers but everyone understands that his trade-off of minding the pass rush makes him all the more lethal. It’s like Tarkenton on steroids, because Rodgers passing is sick.

6) We all knew that Prescott would make a mistake somewhere to jeopardize his team’s chances. It’s just extremely hard for a rookie QB to navigate the playoffs.

6a) Prescott is going to be a major problem for the Giants, the NFC East and the NFL going forward. If his poise as a rookie is any indication, we’ve got problems.

7) Who needs a watch when you have Andy Reid to tell you it’s the 2 minute warning?

8) Is there any team you can count out next weekend? I can’t.

9) NE -5.5 and ATL -4 are point spreads.

10) Drink up. These are legendary QBs. Brady, Rodgers, Ryan and Roethlisberger all in one weekend. The NFL is a weakened product but at least they’ve saved the best for last.

11) During preseason @MacFootballGuru queried his followers on twitter for their Super Bowl prediction. Here was mine.

Wish I was wrong last weekend. I’m still smarting from (a loss despite) how well the Giants D played to bury Rodgers in first half. They really missed DRC. Cobb Cobb Cobb nauseating.

12) Watching guys like Harrison, Dupree and Shazier …good LBer play isn’t dead, except on the Giants. The Steelers compete successfully each year, which means they have to pick later in the first Round. Invariably a Linebacker falls to them because the rest of the NFL says Linebackers don’t matter anymore. Obviously Linebacker still matters.

13) Michael Strahan after the game: “To all the Cowboy fans that criticized my picking of the Packers today I’d just like to say Goodbye and enjoy the off-season!”

14) ATL gets no respect. Until they win the Super Bowl they will not get respect.

15) Anyone have an abacus for how many points are scored in the GB/ATL game? The Over/Under is 60! That’s a memo to McAdoo and Reese to fix your OL.

16) Wonder’s review of the NFL going into Week 15 was prescient. About the only thing he got wrong was Tenn winning the AFC South. He nailed pretty much everything else, including how live the Steelers (8-5) and Packers (7-6) were.

17) Maybe there should be a rule that if a WR’s shoulder pad is above his jersey, it is Defensive Holding.

18) Who is Jared Cook and where can I get one? The thing I like best about this guy.. he makes great plays (arguably some of the biggest of the weekend), moves the sticks and goes right back into the huddle. Now THAT is old school.

19) Ticket prices for the Super Bowl dropped 20% after the Cowboys lost.

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