WATERCOOLER CHAT: BRADY/MANNING RIVALRY, LUCK PROVES HE’S ON HIS WAY, YANKS STEEL GAME ONE

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, one of the long standing rivalries was always the New England Patriots vs. the Indianapolis Colts:  The Tom Brady v. Peyton Manning showdown.  Peyton Manning is clearly not a Colt any more, he’s a Bronco, so many were wondering how the Broncos and Patriots would clash, and if the rivalry would still mean anything.  It certainly did, but it was definitely lopsided in favor of the Patriots.  They had a perfectly balanced passing and rushing attack led by Brady and Stevan Ridley.  The Pats simply carved up the Broncos defense.  Peyton did what he could, throwing for an impressive 345 yards and 3 touchdowns, but it just wasn’t enough as the Pats continued to roll and slowly improve their season.  New England 31, Denver 21.
Elsewhere in the NFL, it was a true test for the #1 pick Andrew Luck, as he would have to match skills with arguably the best quarterback in the game right now, the Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers got out to a hot start, jumping out to a 21-3 lead.  There’s no way the rookie could come back from that, right?  Wrong!  Luck had a remarkable day, passing for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns.  And one of those touchdowns came in the closing minute of the game, as Luck hit Reggie Wayne (who had a huge day with 212 yards) for the game winning touchdown.  Or would it be?  Rodgers marched the Packers back down the field, giving their kicker Mason Crosby a chance for a game-tying field goal, and… he MISSED IT.  And with that, Luck prevailed, and proved that he is going to be a very tough quarterback to take down.  Indianapolis 30, Green Bay 27.

BASEBALL

Finally, in baseball, the playoffs were underway.  That started with the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals surviving their respective one-game playoff games.  Many baseball purists loathe this new one-game wildcard game, because baseball is a game that requires a larger sample set to see who is better.  One game in baseball allows for strange flukes and off-nights that may not indicate who the actual and rightful team to advance is.  At least in a series, you give teams a chance to prove how good they are on an average.  The Orioles won, and advanced to play the New York Yankees. These two haven’t met in the post-season since 1996.  And suddenly, we were in the middle of yet another rivalry.  They were squared at 2-2 all the way until the 9th inning, but unfortunately for the Orioles, they gave up 5 runs to the Yankees in the Top of the ninth and lost all the wind in their sails.  The Yankees stole a game on the road, with Game 2 Monday night.  NY Yankees 7, Baltimore 2.

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