It was a shame three teams didn’t show up for their games, the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and Philadelphia Eagles.
And three marquee quarterbacks put up rather poor performances, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, and Donovan McNabb.
So three out of the four games were duds.
And we had one ridiculous game between Arizona and Green Bay, where the defenses didn’t show up to play.
Baltimore Ravens over New England Patriots, 33-14
Needless to say, for me, this was a heartbreaking game. It was over before it started and the Ravens exposed everything wrong with the Patriots this season: a predictable offense, no running game, poor play calling, and a young defense that seems to wander around the field aimlessly at times.
I really thought the Patriots would win a close contest here but the offensive game plan was atrocious and the opportunistic Ravens defense took full advantages. The four turnovers, along with Ray Rice’s 80 plus yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage is really the story of the game.
I’m not so sure the Ravens were so great, as much as it was the Patriots were so poor. They ran roughshod over the Patriots and Joe Flacco didn’t have to throw very many passes to win this one.
I find it humorous how all the Patriots haters (and non-haters) are harping over how the dynasty is over. HELLO! The dynasty was over pretty much last year. Few players from the three Super Bowl wins this decade are still there. It’s hard to stay on the top of the heap for very long in this era.
I’ll write a Patriots retrospective later, not here. But suffice it to say, it’s pretty clear we were not a great team this year and has some gaping holes, and the Ravens took full advantage of all of them.
MVP: Ray Rice, RB
Dallas Cowboys over Philadelphia Eagles, 34-14
Just like last week the Eagles didn’t show up for this game. McNabb played a lousy game and the defense gave nearly 200 yards on the ground, which helped Tony Romo have a fine day passing. This was all around a pretty disappointing matchup for a playoff game. The Eagles, who seemed to be on a roll late in the season, fell flat when it counted most, as usual.
MVP: Felix Jones, RB
New York Jets over Cincinnati Bengals, 24-14
This game wasn’t even as close as the score. For the second week in a row the Cincinnati Bengals played like it was preseason. What a woeful and embarrassing end to the season for the Bengals after such a promising start. Despite some of the injuries they suffered, especially on defense, it’s inexcusable to seem so lifeless and pathetic in the playoffs. Ironically, the only Bengal that actually showed up to play was oft maligned, and fairly so, Cedric Benson, who ran the ball like it was a playoff game. Too bad the rest of this teammates kept their game in the locker room.
And Carson Palmer was just flat out horrible in this game, while Chad Ochostinko let himself get punked again by Darrelle Revis, the Jets outstanding cornerback.
As for the Jets, what can you say? They got three passes in a row, and one in the playoffs. Mark Sanchez had a nice game, but didn’t have to do much but hand the ball off and watch his defense take care of business.
You have to take a big hat off to Jay Feely, the Jets placekicker, who had to kick and punt after the Jets punter Steve Weatherford had an accelerated heartbeat and was a scratch.
Jets running back Shonn Greene had a nice day with 135 yards rushing, but my hat is off to Darrelle Revis and the Jets defense.
MVP: Darrelle Revis, CB
Arizona Cardinals over Green Bay Packers, 51-45 OT
I don’t know why people call a game like this, where the defenses are so pathetic it’s embarrassing an unprofessional, an “instant classic.” Yes, it was entertaining and came down to an overtime turnover by the Packers for the Cardinals to pull it off. But a great game? Hardly.
Frankly, I hate seeing games where every time the offense touches the ball it scores. It’s boring. And the second half after the Packers settled down, that is exactly what happened. I seriously, literally, got bored in the second half because I already knew what was going to happen when the offenses took the field.
But of course, the last play of the game with the sack and fumble by Green Bay is why we watch the game right? Who knows what will really happen on any given play.
Kudos to both Kurt Warner and Aaron Rodgers for their performances in this game. I’ve become a fan of Rodgers the way he has taken over for Brett Favre with all the pressure that entails, and then getting behind in his first playoff game and having the poise to come back.
MVP: Kurt Warner, QB
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player: Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Defensive Player: Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
Offensive Lineman: Alan Faneca, G, New York Jets
Special Teams: Jay Feely, K/P, New York Jets