Monday, January 7, 2008

Recapping Round One

The First Weekend of the Playoffs are over, and it's time to suck it up and admit that my picks were a little Bi-Polar. A little Gary Busey if you will. I mis-fired on both of the Saturday Games, but nailed both of the Sunday Contests.
Overall, it was a good weekend of football. Let's first see how the rest of the GDB staff did.

Cicero- 3 for 4
Porque- 4 for 4 (BN)
Swole- 3 for 4
Knuckleballer- 2 for 4

So apparently, my picks were more pathetic than Fred Claus. Don't worry I'll bounce back next week like Rocky. Ok so let's take a look a closer look at the four games.

Seattle 35 vs. Tampa Bay 14

GAME CHANGING PLAY...Midway through the 4th, the Redskins were up 14-13 and had the chance to extend their lead after they recovered a kickoff that went right between two Seahawks. A combination of a bumbled catch by the normally sure-handed Chris Cooley that would have set up a first and goal, and a botched Field Goal by Shaun Suisham kept it a one point game. From there the Cream rose to the Crop.
IT WAS OVER WHEN...Marcus Trufant caught the dead seagull that Todd Collins lofted up and returned it to the house. Not only was the pass miserable, but Santana Moss made no effort to position himself anywhere near the ball leading to an express lane for Trufant to complete the Pick 6 and put the Hawks up 14. Collins has to be one of the worst quarterbacks to ever start a playoff game...then again Trent Dilfer won a superbowl with the Ravens about 8 years ago.
HERO OF THE GAME...Not many great performances from this matchup...this is like going on a date with the hottest woman in the Nursing Home...I'm going to go ahead and copout and give this one to the Seahawk's defense. Not only did they come up with 2 INT House Calls, but they had 3 sacks and put great pressure on Collins all game. Credit Julian Peterson and Patrick Kerney for forcing Collins to make bad decisions all day.
GOAT OF THE GAME...It'd be easy to give this one to Collins, but everyone knew he was going to play like Britney Spears on Crack before the game started...and he did have 2 Touchdowns, so we'll shift over to what should have been Washington's bread and butter...the Run Game. Clinton Portis had been dominating defenses over the past 2 months, but he didn't show up today with only 52 yards rushing. I guess you can fault the play calling a little bit too. It's not like they were down the whole game though.
FINAL THOUGHTS...This game was sloppy and fairly boring until the fourth quarter. There was still sloppiness after that, but it became a lot more exciting. The better team won this game, and I like many others were blinded by the emotional run of the Redskins. I mistaked it for talent. The Seahawks need to play a more complete game next week, but they match up well against the Packers.

Jacksonville 31 vs. Pittsburgh 29

GAME CHANGING PLAY...Clearly it had to be David Garrard's 4th and 2 Bootleg run into the redzone. The game would have been over with the Steelers leading by one and less than 2 minutes left in the game.
...That run set up the game winning Field Goal and finished off the best contest of the weekend. Pittsburgh could have won this one if they could have kept their previous drive going long than a three and out.
HERO OF THE GAME...This is tough, but I gotta give it to Garrard, sure other players on the Jags had better games fact this was Garrard's worst QB rating of the year, but they would have lost this game if not for his leadership. He really reminds me of a young Steve McNair. I'm not saying he's going to win an MVP, but the fact that he is a dual threat and doesn't many mistakes makes him a great Centerpiece for this Jags team. Still though, he needs to play a hell of a lot better against New England if they want to stay in the same galaxy as the Patriots.
GOAT OF THE GAME...Unfortunately, I gotta give this to Big Ben Roethlisberger. Although the run game was horrible for the Steelers, despite the 2 Touchdowns they averaged under 2 yards a carry, you can't look pas the 4 turnovers by Ben. The QB made too many key mistakes throughout the course of the game that ultimately doomed this team. If this were fantasy, Big Ben would have outscored Garrard, but that doesn't mean shit in real life and that's why Garrard and the Jags are advancing. Ben took complete blame for the loss after the game. It wasn't all his fault, so that was a classy move by the team leader, but in the end the weight has to rest on his shoulders.
FINAL THOUGHTS...The Steelers would have probably won this game if Willie Parker was still healthy. They attempted almost twice as many passes and rushes, and that is not Steeler brand football. They had to do this though, because Najeh Davenport was mostly ineffective. Overall, it was an outstanding game and I think Pittsburgh put up a better fight than most people expected. The Jaguars are the first team to win back to back games at Heinz Field.

New York
24 vs. Tampa Bay 14

GAME CHANGING PLAY...The Giants didn't have a play that really defined the game, but they did look horrible in the first quarter. So I guess we can say when Brandon Jacobs got the Giants on the Board at the beginning of the second quarter. From there, it was all G-Men all the time.
IT WAS OVER WHEN...The Giants defense limited the Tampa Bay offense all game. Wasn't the Tampa Cover Two supposed to be the better unit? Well maybe on paper, but the Boys in Blue showed up big today. The best was Corey Webster who was only playing because Sam Madison got hurt against the Pats last week. Webster had a key INT in the end zone and a fumble recovery that pretty much doused any hope of a comeback for the Bucs.
HERO OF THE GAME...Eli Manning. Wow, I never thought I would list Eli and Hero in the same sentence, but then it hit me. Is it really because Eli is a bad QB, or is it because the media has made Eli seem awful. I think it's a little of both, but the younger Manning should shake off some of the haters with his performance here. Not only did he have 2 TD's, but he also had ZERO turnovers. Everyone thought he would be the Goat here before the game started, but Manning stepped up in a big way when it mattered and with another good performance next week, maybe the media will give him a break...or not. One crazy fact that I found. Eli won his first playoff game in his third took Peyton four tries to get his first win in the postseason.
GOAT OF THE GAME...Joey Galloway. He was just completely inept in this game. 1 Catch?! Are you kidding me. This is one of the premier receivers in this league and he has 1 Catch. That just can't happen. He's the best player on the team and because he was invisible, the Buccaneers had no chance to win.
FINAL THOUGHTS...This was New York's third straight year in the playoffs as a Wildcard, and it was their first victory. All of these playoff teams were helmed by Eli, and he had typically been Boo-urns. This time around, it was just a better overall team. One important note, the Giants are now 8-1 on the road this year. Their only loss was to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1...guess where they play next week.

San Diego 17 vs. Tennessee 6

GAME CHANGING PLAY...When the Chargers decided to play like the Chargers. Philip Rivers connected with Vincent Jackson for a 25 yard TD. It was late in the third quarter and the Bolts were down 6-3 at the time. This put them up four and they never looked back.
IT WAS OVER WHEN...LT dove over the Titans Defensive line and originally ran into the brick wall known as Keith Bullock, but the play was never whistled dead and Tomlinson just reached his orangutan like arm over the white line for the Touchdown. It was reviewed, but there was no way they were going to overturn this call in San Diego. That made the score 17-6 midway through the fourth and that was all they needed.
HERO OF THE GAME...I'm going to give this to Vincent Jackson. Rivers is like a 5 year old girl and can't keep his emotions in check when it matters and that's going to eventually kill this team, so I'll let the receiver who had 114 yards and Touch have it. Jackson had been pretty weak sauce this year. He was a popular sleeper in fantasy drafts (I fell for the hype), and was a huge bust. This was a statement game for him. Chris Chambers, the former Miami Dolphin who is thanking his lucky stars he was traded off of that shitty team earlier this year, also had 121 yards receiving.
GOAT OF THE GAME...I'm trying to think of someone other than Vince Young to give this to, but there isn't anyone else on this team. Young was hurt and has had to make something out of nothing all year. I feel bad for the guy, because he really is an outstanding athlete, but the Titans have a sad collection of players around him on the offensive side and it's beyond me how they made the playoffs. So, I'm not going to stick this on Vince. I'm going to give it to Mike Reinfeldt, the GM of the Titans. The fact that they didn't select a solid WR in the past NFL draft is a joke. That needs to be their first concern in this upcoming draft.
FINAL THOUGHTS...This game was awful. I can't believe I succumbed my eyes to such torture. Speaking of torture, you gotta feel bad for Antonio Gates, who was carted off the field in the first half. It's crazy that the Chargers were able to score all of their points after Gates left. He is questionable for the game against the Colts, and without him it seems like it would be tough for San Diego to win that one. Shame on Rivers for laying Gates out to dry on this play. I can't talk about this game anymore, it makes me sick.

No comments: