playoffs

Championship Sunday

ccham

After this Sunday there is one more game. The one that everyone is striving for. The Super Bowl. Players dream their entire lives of paying in the big one. But today. Today is when the legends are made. Today is the money round.

The Drive. The Catch. Those did not happen on Super Bowl Sunday. They happened in the Conference Championships.

The Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers are up first in Seattle. The Seahawks are fierce at home, the ’12th man’ not a small reason why. Few believe the Packers with a limping Aaron Rodgers have much of a chance. Then again, Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL today.

That is not the reason I believe the Packers will pull it out, no the Pack will win because of Eddie Lacy. I watch Lacy run and I do not see Eddie Lacy, I see ‘Sweetness’. Something about the way he moves and spins and throws himself into the end zone simply makes me think of the great Walter Payton. It is the presence of Eddie Lacy that will let Rodgers be Rodgers and lead his team to victory.
Green Bay 27-20

In the evening we have Andrew Luck versus Tom Brady. Some seem to want to connect this game to the Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots rivalry of the past. It simply does not fit. That was Peyton Manning against Brady, two titans facing off. The teams are different, the showdown is different. Now it is the a question of the changing of the guard. Andrew Luck is the future, clearly. The question is if the future is now?

Luck has been special during this years playoffs and he will need to be special again to upset the Patriots. The more important factor is the Colts defense. Last week they played phenomenal against the Denver Broncos and Mister Manning. Can they do it again? If they can prevent yards after catch today they can limit the Patriots offense. Outside of Rob Gronkowski there is not one receiver on the Patriots that should concern the Colts deep, but stopping Gronk is a tall order.
Indianapolis 37-31

No one can predict what will happen today. If they say they can they are liars.

Time to sit back and enjoy.

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Categories: Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Denver Broncos, Eddie Lacy, Football, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, NFL, Peyton Manning, playoffs, Quarterbacks, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Showdown at Mile High-Miami Dolphins v. Denver Broncos

Snow game

Sunday afternoon the Miami Dolphins take the field against the Denver Broncos in the most important game of the 2014 season. At this point in the NFL season every game is the most important game. Each game sets up the next as teams jockey for playoff position.

This particular game sets up a faceoff with the New England Patriots on December 14th. Win this game and the Patriots game could be for the AFC East title, it could also be for the best record in the AFC. Lose, lose and it may be time to fight and claw for a wildcard berth.

The advantage heading into the game with the Broncos is simple: Everyone expects the Dolphins to lose. All over social media, across the television dial, pretty much all the national media has already given the win to Denver. This does not come from some matchup advantage or even some deficiency on the Dolphins part. No apparently Denver will win because they are Denver and oh yeah because “Peyton Manning”.

Fortunately for the Dolphins the games are played on the field. On the field Miami has a chance, actually they have a really good chance.

Denver is beat up. Tight end Julius Thomas and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders are recovering from injuries, while their offensive line is just bad.

“It’s worse than bad — it’s horrendous,” ESPN analyst and ex-Broncos Pro Bowl offensive lineman, Mark Schlereth said to the Denver Post. “If I was grading, giving an F would be kind.”

Coming to town are the Dolphins with the 2nd ranked defense in the NFL. The pass rush led by Cameron Wake and his 8.5 sacks will try to harass Peyton Manning throughout the game. Getting pressure on Manning is the only sure way to disrupt the hall-of-fame quarterback and Denver’s potent offense.

On the other side Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is on a hot streak. Since the game against the Oakland Raiders in London, Tannehill has posted four games with over a 100-quarterback rating. This brings his rating up to 92.2 for the season, a nice improvement over last season 81.7.  It seems as if offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s offense is finally clicking, with the rest of the offense pulling their weight as well.

For the first time in far too long it seems as if the Dolphins are playing as a complete team. The timing could not be better.

No game against Peyton Manning is every easy. This week however the Dolphins can walk onto his field with no fear.

 

 

Categories: AFC East, Denver Broncos, Football, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, NFL, Peyton Manning, playoffs, Quarterbacks, Ryan Tannehill | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Bowl wishes and a squirrel under the tree.

The Super Bowl takes place this Sunday between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. For many fans this is their Christmas. So in that spirit I thought I would ask for a few Super Bowl wishes.

Wish #1:

Usually when the game comes around I simply wish for a good game. That will not do it this year. This year I want great. I want big plays, stunning moments. I want crushing hits that give Commissioner Goodell pause. I want a game that each and every one of these players can tell their grandchildren about. All I ask is that these two teams make us proud, proud to be fans of the NFL and of the Super Bowl.

Wish #2:

I want both brothers there at the trophy ceremony. I know this is unlikely and unheard of, two opposing coaches standing in front of the world while one is crowned the champion and the other simply is not. It sounds a little crazy, but the Harbaugh’s are a little crazy. In big moments we always want to celebrate with those closest to us and the profession they have chosen it doesn’t get any better than this.

Wish #3:

Earlier this weekend the Baltimore Ravens announced that they would be announced as a team on Sunday. While this represents the ultimate selfless action by the team as fans we will miss out on the last chance for Ray Lewis to do his outrageous dance as he is introduced. He has become as well known for the ‘Squirrel’ as he is for his fantastic play. On Saturday it was reported that during practice, Ray Rice performed the ‘Squirrel Dance’ for Lewis. For my last Super Bowl wish can someone, anyone please find me tape of ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ doing the squirrel dance. I am sure that I am not alone in wanting to see it…Someone, anyone, Please….

And finally since we are on the eve of the Super Bowl, my Super Bowl pick:

In a Hey Diddle Diddle Ray Rice does the squirrel upset special Baltimore by only two measly points.

Categories: Football, NFL, playoffs, ray lewis, ray rice, sports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

And then there were two.

And then there were two.

Four became two. One future hall of famer heads towards retirement, another continues on his fairy tale path into history. Two brothers make history facing each other seeking the Lombardi Trophy.

Two franchises live on. Thirty others are sitting at home.

For many a team making the playoffs seems like a success. The chance to play in the Super Bowl still exists. The dream is still alive. For others, they have to think of next year. That is the reality for thirty teams. After February 3rd one more team joins that list.

Only one team can be the champion. Second place is simply the first loser, a harsh reality, but still very true.

For the rest, they sit back to celebrate what has gone right over the last season while lamenting the failures. That is no easy task. Ultimately, unless you make it to the Super Bowl the whole season is a failure.

Each of these teams simply need to put the season behind them so they may concentrate on getting to the last weekend next year as players and coaches not just spectators.

The dream lives on for a few this season, for so many more they must look to the future.

Categories: Football, NFL, playoffs, sports, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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