Archive for January 8th, 2012

WATERCOOLER CHAT: WILD CARD WEEKEND

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, it was Wild Card Weekend — and what a weekend they gave us.

First on Saturday, it was the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Houston Texans.  Most thought that since the Texans were banged up that they Bengals would come in and take care of business.  But, the Texans didn’t have to turn to 4th string quarterback Jake Delhomme — they got a great game out of their 3rd string quarterback T.J. Yates.  But the real hero of the game for Houston was their running-back Arian Foster.  He finished the game with 153 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Texans rolled to victory and will head to Baltimore next weekend to take on the Ravens.  Houston 31, Cincinnati 10.

Next up, it was a prime time battle between two explosive offenses as the Detroit Lions headed to the New Orleans Saints.  First off, it’s simply refreshing to have the Lions back in the playoffs again.  They haven’t made it since the early 90s, and are finally giving their fans something to cheer about.  So how would they fare?  They got out to a good start, when Matt Stafford tossed two touchdown passes to put the Lions up 14-7.  But, unless you get a whopping lead on the Saints, Drew Brees will make you pay because he can put up points quick.  Thanks to a remarkable 466 yards, 3 touchdown game from Brees, along with a very competent running attack led by Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory, the Saints came storming back to take a huge lead on the Lions.  And after that, the Lions defense just gave out, and the Saints got the win.  Next up, the Saints head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.

Then, on Sunday, it was the red-hot New York Giants hosting the Atlanta Falcons.  Many thought the Falcons wouldn’t play so well on the road and out of a dome, especially versus the vicious NY Giants pass rush.  Well… they were dead right.  The Falcons just couldn’t get their offense going, and failed to pick up a number of 4th and inches, which only gives the defense even more momentum.  The Falcons forced a safety early in the game, but those would be the only 2 points they scored all day.  In the second half, Eli Manning caught fire, tossing 2 more touchdowns, and finishing the day with 277 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Falcons have a lot to work on this off-season (namely a more creative offense), and the Giants are headed to Green Bay for a rematch with the Packers.  NY Giants 24, Atlanta 2.

Finally, in the afternoon game, it was Tim Tebow and the miracle Broncos hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Could Tebow actually win a playoff game?  In the first half, Tebow shocked everyone hitting Eddie Royal on a beautiful touchdown pass and even rushing for a touchdown himself.  But, in the second half, you simply can’t count out the AFC Defending Champion Steelers.  Roethlisberger connected for some deep bombs and a beautiful game tying touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery.  And we were headed to overtime. But, in the playoffs, overtime works differently.  Both teams get a chance, UNLESS the first team that gets the ball scores a touchdown.  Denver got the ball, and on the very first play of overtime, Tim Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas for a remarkable 80-yard touchdown pass.  It was purely a miracle.  And with that, the Broncos won their home playoff game and will hope for ANOTHER miracle as they head to New England next week to take on the Patriots.  Denver 29, Pittsburgh 23.

Share
No comments