|01-10-2006, 04:33 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Wild Card Weekend Rap Up
Game by Game
The Redskins and Bucs had a close game just as expected. Also just as expected the Redskins defense carried them but who would have thought their offense would be this unproductive. Washington had almost half the first downs as Tampa and less than half the total yards. Brunnell had a grand total of 25 passing yards. If they expect this defense to hold Seattle down like they did the rookie Simms, they have another thing coming. That ďthingĒ comes in the form of Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck.
The second game of Saturday went just as most people expected. The Patriots took the Jags to town mainly with a dominating defense that shut down a hurt Leftwich. It isnít the fact that the Jaguars arenít a good team, but how could they win with a quarterback who hasnít played in a month and an injured Fred Taylor. Belichick knew just what he was doing. A pooch punt on the first drive to pin the Jags back. He knew they did not have an explosive offense and rather then possibly get just 3 points he pinned them back in their own end and let his defense make a stand. Thinking back this was the beginning of the end for the Jags. Jacksonvilleís defense held tight in the first have, but the Patriots won the field position battle and took a lead to the half. Taking a lead to the half is something Belichick protects very well.
As far off as the score was from my prediction, the Carolina game was not a complete loss in regard to my prediction. I thought that if Tiki Barber could get loose in the Panthers secondary a few times then the Giants would have a real shot. This never happened, giving the Giants no shot at all. Eli looked like a second year quarterback, wait, thatís because he is. Anyone who does not think that Eli has the potential to do great things in the future does not know football. He has looked, for lack of a better comparison, just like Peyton did his first few years and he has turned out fine.
Could the Steelers have beaten the Bengals if not for that unfortunate injury to Carson Palmer? Iím sure many people would first think the Bengals had the lead at the half, if Palmer was in then the lead would have been even greater and they would not have let it go in the second half. I disagree. Kitna might have been a blessing in disguise. He is an experienced quarterback, who two years ago jump started this franchise. He deserved this shot and he performed well. The Steelers defense would have run all over the young Carson Palmer if he had remained in the game. The playoffs have a way of making young quarterbacks look like young quarterbacks. Whether itís the good defenses that they find themselves facing in the playoffs or just the pressure or even a combination of both, young quarterbacks that succeed in the playoffs are few and far between.
Washington at Tampa Bay
-Good game right to the end. 4/5
Jacksonville at New England
-Great first half, second half-no contest. 3/5
Carolina at New York
-Got away from New York right away. 1/5
Pittsburg at Cincinnati
-Arguably the best game of the weekend, at least the second best. 4/5
Not a bad Wild Card Weekend. Three road teams advance to the next round. In the Divisional round the team with the bye week wins nearly 80% of the time. This could be attributed to the home field or the week off but it might be something different. Generally the team who gets that bye is the BETTER team. That might have something to do with it too. It should be an interesting weekend with some great match-ups.
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