Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wildcard Weekend

Well folks, for the Jets, Cowboys and Ravens fans the games on Saturday and Sunday were exciting. For the rest of the football fans there was only one exciting game out of 4. We’ll discuss all of the games but the only game worth watching the whole thing was the Packers vs Cardinals game.

Saturday:
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NEW YORK JETS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS:
The Jets beat the Bengals 24-14 but the game was not nearly as close as the score shows. In the 4th quarter the Bengals one player who had a good game, RB Cedric Benson, ran for a TD but that was the last the Bengals would score. Benson had a big game, after having an unpredicted big season, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Jets. Bengals QB Carson Palmer did not have a good game. One of the main reasons his game was so bad was because his star WR Chad Ochocinco only had 2 catches for 28 yards. The reason Ochocinco had such a bad game was because he was covered all day by Star Cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis shut down Ochocinco all day and even intercepted Carson Palmer. Cornerbacks do not always get the recognition they deserve but this year Revis was runner up for Defensive player of the year, losing to Packers Cornerback Charles Woodson. The Jets will head to San Diego to play the chargers next weekend.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT DALLAS COWBOYS:

It is safe to say that the Dallas Cowboys OWN the Eagles. Let me explain. The Cowboys beat the Eagles twice in the regular season (one of those times was last weekend) and they crushed the Eagles on Saturday with a score of 34-14. The score was 0-0 after the first quarter and the Eagles thought they had a chance, but then Michael Vick threw a 76 yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin and the game was tied at 7-7. The Cowboys scored 20 unanswered points to go into halftime and scored 1 more TD in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles scored a TD in the 4th but after the 2nd quarter the game was over. Cowboys RB Felix Jones had a big rushing day with 100+yards and a TD. Eagles Rookie WR Jeremy Maclin was the only player with a good game with 7 catches for 146 yards and a TD. Looks like having a new stadium has helped the Cowboys get past the first round of the playoffs. The Cowboys head to Minnesota to face the Vikings next weekend.

Sunday:
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BALTIMORE RAVENS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:
Well you heard it here first that playing the important players in week 17 was a mistake for the Patriots since they lost league leading WR Wes Welker for the season. It looked like Welker was THAT important as the Patriots got destroyed by the Ravens on Sunday 33-14. The first play turned out to be an 86 yard TD run by Ravens RB Ray Rice. Rice had another TD in the first quarter along with Full back Le’Ron McClain. The score was 24-0 after the first quarter. The Patriots were able score a TD in the 2nd and 3rd quarter but could not catch the Ravens. Tom Brady threw 3 interceptions (he was probably tired from staying up late taking care of his baby…..oh wait, I forgot that he and Giselle can afford 12 nannies if they so choose) Ravens RB Ray Rice ended the game with 159 yards rushing and 2 TDs. The Ravens will head to Indianapolis to play the Colts next weekend.


GREEN BAY PACKERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS:
This was the game of the weekend. The Cardinals won in overtime 51-45. Talk about a high scoring game!
Ok, get ready....long explanation:

The first quarter was all Arizona . AZ scored 17 unanswered points by the end of the 1st quarter. The Packers were able to score a TD and a field goal in the 2nd quarter to bring it a bit closer even though Kurt Warner threw another TD pass to make the score 24-10. In the third quarter both QB Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner threw 2 TD passes and the score was 38-24 cardinals lead. With 52 seconds gone by in the 4th quarter Aaron Rodgers threw his third TD pass of the game and all of a sudden the score was 38-31. The Packers tied it up on their next possession with a 1 yard TD run from their Full back John Kuhn. Kurt Warner answered back with his fifth TD pass of the game but Aaron Rodgers marched his team right down the field and tied the game with his fourth TD pass. It looked like the Cardinals had enough time to score with 1:52 left in the game. They marched down the field and set up a short field goal attempt for their reliable kicker Neil Rackers…..but Rackers missed the chip shot and the game went into overtime. The Packers won the toss and it didn’t look good for the Cardinals defense who had trouble stopping the Packers after the 1st quarter. On the opening drive Packers QB Aaron Rodgers fumbled the ball and Arizona defender Karlos Dansby picked the ball up and ran it in for a TD….game over. This was the highest scoring postseason game in league history! Aaron Rodgers broke Packers playoff numbers with 422 yards and 4 TDs. Kurt Warner tied his postseason career best with 5 TDs. Warner had more TDs than incompletions, he only missed 4 passes out of 33. People are saying this was one of the best playoff games they have ever seen. Bravo on both sides. Now the Cardinals head to New Orleans to face another high powered offense in the Saints. Whew!

Games to watch next weekend:

Saturday:
Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints
Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts

Sunday:
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Week 17: Playoffs are locked

Ok people, this is what the season has been all about for the NFL teams...Making The Playoffs. Every coach in the NFL basically needs to make the playoffs to keep his job. Here is the recap of week 17:

The Houston Texans beat the New England Patriots 34-27. The Texans needed to win to have a shot at the playoffs but they also needed the New York Jets to lose. Unfortunately, the Jets won. Therefore, the Texans will not be making the playoffs this year even though they won. It isn’t all bad for the Texans, with a record of 9-7 the Texans recorded their first winning season in Franchise history! Texans QB Matt Schaub had a fantastic season, the first season he has ever stayed healthy for the entire season. The Patriots did not need to win since they already clinched a playoff spot but they lost more than just the game on Sunday. WR Wes Welker, who leads the league in catches and is an integral part of the Patriots offense, had a season ending injury on Sunday. Since the Patriots didn’t need to win it is argued that head Coach Bill Belichick should have benched his important players for this game. Since he didn’t the Patriots will have to play this years post season arguably without their best player.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins 30-24. The Steelers needed to win to have a shot at the playoffs but they also needed the Baltimore Ravens to lose to the Oakland Raiders to get a spot in the post season. Unfortunately the Ravens beat the Raiders so the Superbowl champions of last year will not have a chance to defend their title.

The Dallas Cowboys crushed the Philadelphia Eagles 24-0. With the win the Cowboys clinched the NFC East division. If the Eagles had won they would have won the NFC East. The reason this is important is these two teams will face each other in the first round of the playoffs. The Division winner will have home field advantage so the game will be played in Dallas (remember how important home field is in the NFL). Philadelphia has lost both regular season games that they played against Dallas so things aren’t looking too positive for the Eagles.

The Denver Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 24-44. If the Broncos had won they would have clinched a playoff spot but they lost so they are out of the post season. The Chiefs running back Jammal Charles ran for 259 yards and 2 TDs.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Oakland Raiders 21-13. The Ravens needed the win to make the playoffs and they delivered behind RB Willis McGahee’s 167 yards rushing and 3 TDs. The Ravens face New England Patriots in the first round of the playoffs.

The Tennessee Titans beat the Seattle Seahawks 17-13. This game had no playoff implication but there were a few import things that happened. First, the Titans started the season with 6 straight losses which is an awful way to begin a season. The Titans finished the season 8-8 and they should be proud of the turnaround that happened for them. Second, second year Running Back Chris Johnson did what only 5 other players in NFL history have done, he rushed for 2000 yards in a single season. (Trivia: the other 5 are OJ Simpson, Eric Dickerson, Terrell Davis, Barry Sanders and Jamal Lewis) Johnson also broke the NFL record for most yards from scrimmage (meaning catching yards and running yards) The Previous number was set by Marshall Faulk in 1999 with 2,429, Johnson finished the season with 2,509.

On Sunday night the New York Jets needed a win to make the playoffs--if they lost, the Houston Texans were in. Luckily for the Jets their opponents, the Cincinnati Bengals, had already made the playoffs and wanted to do the smart thing by sitting their important players to protect them from getting hurt (an intelligent thing to do--just ask the New England Patriots who did the opposite and will pay for it in the post season) The Jets smoked the Bengals 37-0 to clinch their playoff spot. Rookie Head Coach Rex Ryan and Rookie QB Mark Sanchez had a rocky year but they made the playoffs which is what mattered. It wasn’t because of these two players that the Jets made it, that honor falls on the shoulders of Jets RB Thomas Jones who had another great season finishing third in the league in Rushing yards and rushing TDs. Jones is an exception to the rule that RBs start going downhill after 30...since he is 31.

So here is the playoff picture:

AFC seeds:
1) Indianapolis Colts 14-2
2) San Diego Chargers 13-3
3) New England Patriots 10-6
4) Cincinnati Bengals 10-6
5) New York Jets 9-7
6) Baltimore Ravens 9-7

NFC Seeds:
1) New Orleans Saints 13-3
2) Minnesota Vikings 12-4
3) Dallas Cowboys 11-5
4) Arizona Cardinals 10-6
5) Green Bay Packers 11-5
6) Philadelphia Eagles 11-5

Next Saturday Playoff Games:
New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Next Sunday Playoff Games:
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

Stay tuned for the next blog which will be handing the Chick 101 awards for the season!
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