What We Know After Wildcard Weekend

1) I am an idiot.  If it weren’t for an unreal 2nd half by the Philadelphia defense, my predictions for this weekend’s 4 games would have been completely wrong.  Oh well.

2) Does Arizona have a defense after all?  I still tend to doubt it, but they showed some game against Atlanta Saturday evening and made Matt Ryan look like a rookie at times.  Perhaps even more stunning, they displayed a running game with Edgerrin James being a productive member of the team.  I have a feeling that running game and that defense will retreat when they have to come East this coming weekend, but if those are here to stay the Cardinals just became a much harder out.

3) So much for a Manning Bowl, at least this season.  So much for being the team to beat because they entered on a 9 game winning streak.  And, perhaps, so much for Tony Dungy’s dignified and illustrious coaching career (he seems to be hinting towards potential retirment).  In a 3.5 hour chess match, except for one play when the Colts quick-snapped San Diego, the Chargers defense checked, and finally check-mated, Peyton Manning.

4) The NFL overtime system, particularly for the playoffs, is still imperfect.  The Colts lost never having had the ball in overtime as the Chargers drove the ball on Indy’s tired defense, aided by a couple penalties.  It may not be practical for various reasons in the regular season (fatigue of players, TV considerations), but I think at least in the playoffs they should just play a 15 minute quarter out to its conclusion.  Whoever has more points at the end wins.  If its still tied, then go to sudden death.  If the team that wins the toss takes most of the quarter and scores a TD, more power to them.  Just play it out.

5) So much for Joe Flacco playing like a rookie.  He had far less than stellar stats today, even missed a couple open deep ball opportunities.  But he also did not make the mistakes that Chad Pennington made.

6) Tavaris Jackson is not yet ready for primetime.  He might be in time.  Or the Vikings will need to go another direction, as a consistent passing game to go with Adrian Peterson and a solid defense would make them very hard to beat.

7) Your Divisional Playoff pairings and start times are as follows:

Saturday 1/10 4:30pm 6. Baltimore @ 1. Tennessee

Saturday 1/10 8:10pm 4. Arizona @ 2. Carolina

Sunday 1/11 1pm 6. Philadelphia @ 1. New York Giants

Sunday 1/11 4:40pm 4. San Diego @ 2. Pittsburgh

8) Unless the NFL made a change in policy I am unaware of, we know the 4 candidates to be Super Bowl XLIII referee.  They are Jon Parry, Ron Winter, Ed Hochiuli, and Tony Corrente.  If I had to guess, Corrente will get the call, or it could be Parry.  I doubt the NFL will want, fairly or not, all the attention it would get if Hochiuli were given the assignment (especially if the Chargers are in the game!) and I thought Ron Winter’s crew made some visible errors working the Colts/Chargers game Saturday night.  Nothing massive, but we need to split hairs here somehow.

9) Enjoy the games over the next 4 weeks!

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One Response to “What We Know After Wildcard Weekend”

  1. Intense Conversations » Blog Archive » Birds of Prey - Running Wild in Arizona : Sportstalkbuzz 24/7 … Says:

    […] What We Know After Wildcard Weekend « Buckeyenewshawk’s Weblog […]

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