Over the weekend , I was able to catch a fair bit of the playoffs. I managed to watch the entire Packers – Falcons game , the second half of Steelers-Ravens and the first half of the Patriots- Jets contest. As for the Seahawks-Bears , by the time I switched on the TV it was already 21-0 and I clicked off immediately.
As a fan who supports the N.Y. Giants and the Indianapolis Colts , my rooting interest in the post season has been severely circumscribed . The Giants failed to make the playoffs and the Colts made an early exit, a bit earlier than I’d hoped. The one remaining team in the playoffs that I like is the Green Bay Packers and they seem to be finally living up to their pre-season predictions.
The score in the Green Bay -Atlanta game doesn’t reflect how thoroughly the Packers dominated the Falcons . Aaron Rodgers showed yet again why the Packers put so much store in him that they were willing to let Brett Favre go. Rodgers was simply awesome and the rest of the team was not far behind. The defense led by Clay Mathews and B.J. Raji constantly pressured Atlanta QB Matt Ryan sacking him 5 times.Atlanta played Green Bay close for a while but the interception return for a TD by Green Bay’s Tramon Williams on the last play of the first half was disastrous. In the second half , Atlanta never looked like they could come back from the 28-14 deficit.
The Bears were hardly tested in their win over the outmatched Seahawks and so it is difficult to predict the outcome of the NFC Championship game. Both teams feature a rock-ribbed defense , an outstanding QB and a serviceable running attack. Chicago has home field advantage but that doesn’t count as much against the Packers , a team used to playing in the cold. Chicago does have Devin Hester , a threat anytime he gets his hands on the ball, but I think the Packers have too much fire-power for the Bears .
The Jets – Patriots result was a shocker . After the Jets had been humiliated 45-3 in the last regular season meeting between the two teams , I didn’t give them much of a chance.Right from the beginning , however , the Patriots seemed out of sync. It began with Brady throwing his first interception in a long time and it went downhill from there. Even though the Jets failed to capitalize on the interception (Nick Folk missing a chip shot FG ), they were the aggressors throughout, pressuring Brady and the Patriots into five turnovers . Coach Belichick also appeared to be rattled . That fourth down play late in the first half that resulted in the Pats turning over the ball deep in their own territory was inexplicable . The Jets absolutely deserved to win but I’m not a fan of their big mouth coach and his trash talking style . We’ll see how they do next week against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
For a while ,when the Ravens led 21-7 , I thought they were finally going to break their playoff jinx against the Steelers . Later in the game when Webb ran a punt back for an apparent TD , I thought they had … for all of five seconds, until the TD was negated by a holding penalty.After that it was only a matter of time and when Big Ben threw a strike to Antonio Brown , there was a sense that it was over. Pittsburgh is a much more balanced team and deserved to advance. The Ravens have a terrific defense but, though Joe Flacco has improved from year to year , the offense is still not much of a threat ; the Ravens still rely too much on the defense to put points on the board. No secret whom I’m rooting for next weekend . I hope it will be the Packers against the Jets in the Super Bowl.