Monday, January 15, 2007

A look ahead to the Conference Championship Games

Today, we'll take a look at next week's AFC and NFC Championship games. But first, let's take a look back at last week's games.

Indianapolis 15 - Baltimore 6


For some reason, I was pretty confident Indianapolis would win this game. it was the only one I was truly sure of. I thought Peyton Manning and the Colts rushing attack could drive the ball on the Baltimore defense. In the end, I wasn't completely right, nor was I completely wrong. While the Colts failed to score a touchdown, Manning was continuously able to convert on third downs. I thought he played an extremely gritty game, and while his stats weren't very good, he was clutch when he needed to be. And with the game on the line in the 4th quarter, the Colts shoved Dominic Rhodes down the Ravens' throat, and there was nothing Ray Lewis and company could do about it. On another note, Steve McNair should be ashamed: in the playoffs, the time when he needed to be good, the reason why his new team signed him, he failed to generate any offense whatsoever. Worse yet, he followed Manning's 2 interceptions with 2 interceptions of his own, on the very next drive. Very un-clutch, and very unlike a veteran quarterback of his stature.

New England 24 - San Diego 21

I should've seen this one coming. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady just don't lose in the playoffs. But as much as it is a rule to not bet against them, it is an even bigger rule never to bet Marty Schottenheimer's teams in the playoffs. The Chargers multiplied mistakes in this game. Fumbles, dropped balls, stupid penalties: they were out of control. Not only that, Marty's play calling was out of control too: the man who has become known as ultra-conservative seemed more interested in shedding those labels than winning the game. He gave the ball to LT, their MVP as well as the league's, only 23 times, even though Tomlinson was averaging over 5 yards per carry. The Patriots seemed to not know what to do when he had the ball. Yet, Marty put the ball in Rivers' hands, and the youngster couldn't pull out the victory. Furthermore, he called a challenge on a play where there was no doubt the call on the field was the right one. He decided to go for it on 4th-and-11 instead of kicking a 46-yard field goal. In a word, he was awful. On the Pats' side, like Manning, Brady had a shaky game. But when it came down to crunch time, like at the end of the first half and in the 4th quarter, he made plays. I thought Belichick made a great call on the 2-point conversion. The Pats have been there, and in this game, it showed. They let the Chargers beat themselves and made enough plays to prevail.

New Orleans 27 - Philadelphia 24

What a game! That was a great one, surely the best one this weekend. On one side, you had the Saints relying on their workshorse, Deuce McAllister. On the other, Westbrook was hitting big runs, and Garcia was killing the Saints with the deep ball. I thought one of the turning points of the game was Shawn Andrews, the all-pro guard of the Eagles, injuring his neck. His replacement, Scott Young, wound up making a couple of key mistakes. The other turning point? Andy Reid making an atrocious call to punt on 4th down with less than 2 minutes left. Even if the Eagles didn't make it, they would've at worse probably surrendered a field goal and at least gotten the ball back 6 points down. Bad call. Otherwise, I salute the Eagles for a strong effort. Their defense, I thought (and I know Huy will strongly disagree) showed a lot of heart at the end of the game. They tried hard. But they were tired. And McAllister was on fire. But again, great game.

Chicago 27 - Seattle 24

Unlike the other NFC matchup, this one was a sloppy affair. Botched punts, broken coverages, fumbles, interceptions. The Seahawks shot themselves in the foot on more than one occasion. The vaunted Bears defense looked awfully human, surrendering big drives to an offense led by Shaun Alexander and Hasselbeck, neither of whom was at 100%. Rex Grossman threw some beautiful passes, really beautiful. But he also made plays that made you wonder if he belongs in the NFL. In the end, it was one of his beautiful passes, to Rasheed Davis in overtime, that won the game for the Bears. Like the Patriots, the Seahawks watched their opponent hand them the game on a plate. Unlike the Pats, they just couldn't grab a hold of it.


AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: NEW ENGLAND AT INDIANAPOLIS

The rules say Brady beats Manning. The rules say Belichick beats Dungy. The rules say Manning will choke and Brady will pull it off. I migh be making a mistake, but I'm gonna go against the rules. I think the Colts will run the ball down the Patriots' throats. Watch Joseph Addai on the stretch play. Watch Dominic Rhodes pound it inside. The Colts will put 150 yards rushing on that defense. Manning will throw 1 or 2 picks, but he will pick up huge 3rd downs, like he did against the Ravens. And he will hit Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrisson for a big one each. On the other side, the Colts will stack up 8 men in the box, like they've been doing. The Patriots will respond by throwing a lot. They'll put up some points, but it's gonna cost them a couple of turnovers. And when Brady is on the sideline, with 4 minutes left, waiting to get his offense back on the field, he will watch Addai and Rhodes eat up the clock and score the field goal that puts Indy on top by 10 points with just over a minute left. (Indy 30 - NE 20).

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: NEW ORLEANS AT CHICAGO

First of all, Grossman will probably serve us with another couple of beautiful deep passes. The Eagle showed the Saints' secondary can be exploited. But unlike Garcia, he will throw a couple of picks as well. And in a game where the Saints will march up and down the field on the Bears' defense, that will prove to be the difference. McAllister will pound it. Bush will bounce it outside. Brees will exploit the weak safeties and throw it over the top. The Saints offense is much better than the Seahawks', and that will translate into a flurry of points. (NO 31 - CHI 17).

Make no mistake, whoever wins the AFC Championship game will win the Super Bowl. Now, let's see what my bros think.

See ya!

Dwarf out.

6 Comments:

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Sweet LP said...

En passant, je suis 4 en 4 pour la fin de semaine derniêre.

se rendront au superbowl pats et bears.

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Sergent Dwarfoun said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, our very good friend, the leader of 'The Dwarf's Musings Blog Comment Army', has been sent to blogger comment exile. Resourceful as he is, he was able to foward me these few words. Read on...

"Chers compatriotes,

Les temps sont durs a UBS. C'est completement BlackHawkDown, c'est du no joke!
Je en peux plus poster directement mes commentaires, UBS a bloque ma ligne de commmunication…
Latraille, bombe! Pardon, Latraille a ete touche (et il a dit: "Je suis tombe par terre, c'est la faute a Voltaire")
Mais ces cons ne m'auront pas - Dwarfoun va des maintenant poster mes commmentaires (merci, sergent Dwarfoun)

NFL Thang, les Saints vont gagner le SuperBowl. ET ca, YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK.
Je suis malheureusement du meme avis que Marc, j'ai peur que les Colts se rendent a al Big Game. Maintenant que toute l'equipe sait que Manning est une grossfesse sur le terrain, ils ont pris leur equipe en charge. Remarque, si les Saints ne gagnent pas le SuperBowl, ca serait cool que Brady devienne le nouveau Joe Montana…

Mais selon, moi, le SUperBowl sera Saints 27, Colts 17
Peace Out"

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger Nick the Dick said...

Bon si Brady est capable de gagner en lançant 3 interceptions... les colts peuvent se mettre leur fer à cheval où je pense... le seul hic est que je serai à Buffalo dimanche soir (histoire de passer la frontière sans passeport) et que mon passage dans cette ville historiquement loser pourrait influencer l'issue du match!

Anyway, je prédis une finale Patriots-Saints!!!

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Nico, j'espere que Jim Kelly et Marv Levy vont va te casser la gueule lors de ton sejour a Buffalo

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

oh yes, I'm back baby!

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

the blog is dead

 

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