- Me and my buddy Rob Stache (cousin of University of Oregon kicker Rob Beard) were discussing the Jets-Patriots trash talk leading up to their game on Sunday, when I sent him the following text, "Seemed out of character for a Patriot to respond, makes me lean towards Jets." That was in reference to Wes Welker's foot-in-mouth rant that you so rarely hear from the Nazi-Patriots regime. That Patriots error was then answered by yet another Patriots error, when Bill Belichick overreacted to the situation by benching Welker for the first drive on Sunday. This was all the Jets needed to see to conclude that Belichick was bothered by the back-and-forth, and that not all the Patriots were on the same page (evidenced by Vince Wilfork speaking out after the game that he did not agree with the Welker benching). And just like that, the power had swung in the Jets favor. They beat the Patriots in a game that the Patriots had owned for the last decade, the week-long buildup to the game.
- Since I started off the write-up with some gloating, I'll counter that with what I was very, very wrong about. I have openly bashed the New Yahk Jets all season long, and most recently hated on Rexy Ryan. This dislike stems from my natural distaste of the majority's belief and of arrogance. However, the Jets have proven me wrong time and time again this season, and I suppose it's time for me to give them their due. There is no dissension in that locker room, they know exactly who they are, and they're willing to go to war for their coach. I still think there's a strong possibility for them to crash and burn, but if they win a Super Bowl, who cares?
- Sticking with the Jets and the Patriots game, Tom Brady sure did look bad. He has now lost his last 3 playoff games and is 4-5 in his last 9. The Golden Boy sure has come back down to earth. I feel like I have to ask this question: What comes of Tom Brady's career if he isn't on the beneficial end of the Tuck Rule call in the 2001 NFL playoffs, where he went on to win his first Super Bowl title? Brady is lauded for his confidence on the field, but would that be as present without all his success at the beginning of his career (it's the chicken and the egg!)?
- Also, on the topic of Brady, I don't think it was a good thing to carry a streak of no INT's like he did into the playoffs. You could sense the streak coming to an end against the Jets, and when it did, he suddenly has to rebound from something he hadn't done in 91 days. He appeared to be very rattled afterwards (rare) and had terrible pocket presence throughout most of the game (even rarer). Hopefully, this game served as a warning to those of you who try to make the NFL (or sports in general) a black-and-white affair. There's so much that goes into the outcome of a game, that it's completely unpredictable, and oftentimes doesn't make sense. That's what makes it so great.
- Alright, enough Jets-Patriots for now. On to Aaron Rodgers, who I would argue is the best player in the NFL right now, all accomplishments aside. Let me explain. If you just started watching the NFL this year, and had no prior knowledge of what has happened in the past, I believe you would conclude that Rodgers is the best player in the league. It might be his time.
- One of the reasons the NFL Playoffs are so great is because completely unknown players can play the games of their lives at the right time and can transform into stars. The example from the 2010 playoffs is Packers CB Tramond Williams. He had the game sealing INT of Mike Vick on the Eagles final drive of the wildcard game. He followed that up by effectively ending the Packers-Falcons game with a pick-6 of Matty Ice (Yea, Matt! He's so clutch!) right before halftime. I, oftentimes, develop man-crushes on cornerbacks because of how difficult it is to play the position, and Williams is just the latest example. He has officially replaced Corey Webster, of the New Yahk Giants, as my FBO man-crush.
- Big Ben's Big R-Berger's pass on 3rd and 19 at the end of the game against the Baltimore Ravens was one of the best passes I've ever seen. I don't understand how Ed Reed and the Ravens' defense could allow a receiver to get behind them in that situation.
- Jay Cutler's pass on the goalline against the Seattle Seahawks was one of the worst passes I have ever seen, and if it would've been picked, and potentially returned for a TD, the outcome of that game could've been significantly altered.
- It was great to see T.J. Houshmandzadeh blow that game by dropping the 4th down pass on the Ravens' final drive. Housh majorly annoyed me by overly-celebrating each and every catch against the Chiefs the week before. My revenge was had 6 days later when he completely gagged away the Ravens' final effort. Now go back to irrelevancy.
- One thing that has stuck out to me in these playoffs is how the best team's pass rushers are stepping up. Clay Matthews, Terrell Suggs, and James Harrison were all dominating in their games. Two things to take away from this: 1. The Chiefs absoutely, positively, MUST resign Tamba Hali this offseason. 2. Hali must develop an edge where he can dominate entire games against good quality offenses for the Chiefs to win playoff games.
Sorry for the layoff minions,