Considering the two match ups we have this weekend, the Super Bowl may turn out to be the best game of these playoffs. As opposed to the last, oh, dozen years when the AFC Championship was actually the Super Bowl and the SB seemed like a consolation game. If things play out the way they should, this could be one of the most entertaining Super Bowls we've ever witnessed.
One step at a time, though.
San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots: Raise your hand if you think the Chargers have a chance in this game. Anyone? Bueller? Ok, maybe there are a few that are thinking about it. The Chargers have a good running game, they have a hyperactive defense that managed to shut the Colts down, but let's take a quick look at these teams.
Patriots have Bill Belichick as coach. Chargers have Norv Turner. Remember Norv Turner? I think he went 4-84 when he coached the Raiders. Although, in his defense, he was coaching the Raiders.
Patriots have Tom Brady at quarterback. Chargers have Phillip Rivers who may be hurt, is definitely a full sized turd and may not even play. In which case they have Billy Volek. Yeesh. Before you jump all over me, yes I know they both looked good against Indy, but considering how the Colt defense played, my seven year old would have looked good.
Patriots have Suck Fuck Maroney who no longer sucks, thus rendering my buddy's impromptu nickname irrelevant. The Chargers will have Tomlinson who will most likely be playing at half speed due to a boo boo on his knee. Poor baby.
One thing this year has illuminated is what an utter pansy Tomlinson appears to be. He was whining at the end of last season about the Patriots being poor sports, he was whining at the beginning of this season about not getting enough carries even though he was averaging less than 3 yards per, he got in Rivers' face after a botched play, and now he bruises his knee and sits the rest of playoff game that was nip and tuck the entire way. A bruised knee. I can see if there was major damage, but we saw him walking around the sidelines without a limp. If you aren't limping and your team is facing elimination you should be playing. Suck it up, man, this is The Playoffs!
One other thing. I heard on Simmons' podcast last week that the Chargers seem to be having gripes with nearly every team they play; calling other teams dirty or cheap or poor sports (Pats, Broncos, Colts, Raiders were all bitched about). One of his guests pointed out that no other team had issues with those teams and that maybe the problem is with the Chargers. Personally, I don't know either way, but I found the reaction of the normally mild mannered Dallas Clark interesting. It was third and long for the Colts, Manning drops back and fires a laser to Clark for the first down. Clark gets up, tosses the ball to the ref, looks directly at the guy that made the tackle and emphatically screams 'FUCK YOU!' while pointing a finger in his face. I don't know what the Chargers are doing to get opponents so riled up, but you can bet it's something special to get that reaction out of Dallas Clark.
Anyway, I can't see any scenario that has the Chargers coming into Foxboro and winning this game unless Brady blows out his ACL and separates his throwing shoulder in the first quarter. The Patriots just made mince meat out of the Jaguars and that team had a much, much, much better defense than San Diego. Congrats on beating the Colts, but this is the end of the road.
Prediction: Patriots by 20; Tomlinson complaining about someone hurting his feelings in the post game press conference and one bench clearing brawl near the end of the game.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers: I can't figure out what's more perplexing - That Eli Manning is playing for a trip to the Super Bowl or that I'm seriously thinking the Giants can win this game. Considering the 'Road Warrior' mentality of this Giants team, is going into Green Bay really that daunting for them? Besides, this Giants defensive line is capable of shutting down Grant and putting a hurt on Favre. Yeah, he's having a great season, but remember Favre is almost my age and a few hits from the Giants' linebackers and he may wind up gingerly walking around wearing a truss by halftime.
Also, consider this: The Packers were mentally preparing themselves for a trip to Dallas when the Giants did them (and everyone else) a favor by knocking out 'America's Team'. Now the Packers must be thinking 'Sweet, we get to stay at home and play a team that's not nearly as good as the Cowboys'. Green Bay may already be looking past the Giants towards the Super Bowl.
But, then I look at the starting quarterbacks and I'm shocked back to reality. Would anyone take Eli Manning over Brett Favre playing at home and for one last chance at a ring? There is a chance all of the above could happen, I just don't see Favre letting his team fall into that trap. He's on a mission and with Grant the best running back left in the playoffs (sorry LT2, it's true), the Packers will be heading to...um...where is the Super Bowl this year? Arizona?
One more thing I meant to mention yesterday. During the Giants - Cowboys game I nearly had a stroke when the Giants punted when they were at the Dallas 45 yard line (across midfield into enemy territory that is) in the first quarter. They were up 7-0 and had the Cowboys back on their heels when they faced 4th and 1. This is the perfect opportunity to show this team you are taking it to them. You're on the road, up by a touchdown, only have 1 yard to get when you have Jacobs and Bradshaw and you fucking punt??!! I couldn't believe it.
So what happened, you ask? Dallas takes the ball 96 yards for the tying touchdown, then scores another touchdown to make it 14-7 Cowboys. Yes, I know the Giants wound up winning, but it was no thanks to this boneheaded decision. It was a cowardly coaching move and cost the Giants momentum and the lead.
Pull that shit against the Packers and you'll be better off not showing up.
Prediction: Packers by 7
Today's distraction: A few pep talks for Peyton Manning courtesy of DJ Gallo. This guy makes me laugh out loud at least once when I'm reading his articles. Usually it's when I'm at work and people look at me funny, but I'm used to that.