09 January 2006

2005 Post-Season: Wildcard Weekend

Three teams couldn't find their offenses with both hands (OK, we couldn't find ours with both hands, a map, and a flashlight these last two months, but that's neither here nor there at this point), and one of them managed to win anyway! I'm 2-4 in my playoff picks so far, but one of the misses wasn't my fault.

Redskins/Buccaneers (17-10) - I was wrong
"Offense wins games, defense wins championships." I don't think this is what they usually mean by that. To be fair, the 'Skins offense did manage to score three WHOLE points all by themselves. Next they'll move on to learning to tie their shoes. Chris Simms provided an enormous amount of help to their cause by throwing all those picks (honey, when you're at home, you wear the RED jerseys - if you get confused, just look down at your own chest). But that whole game was one big, serious fluke. It actually looked a bit like our last game against the Skins - the Bucs just got no breaks. Everything that could go against them did. Don't get me wrong - I'm always happy when Chuckie loses, and it's nice to see the old man advance beyond the wildcard round - but there is NO WAY the 'Skins should have won that game. Look for them to get THRASHED by the Seahawks this weekend.

Patriots/Jaguars (28-3) - I was right
Two word game summary: Thag smash. The Editor tribute game summary: "The Mind of Tom Brady: Get ball, throw ball. Get ball, throw ball. Get ball, throw ball." Losing 28-3 in the playoffs is pretty damn humiliating. But not as humiliating as...

Panthers/Giants (23-0) - I was right
It's been 26 years since a team got shut out in the playoffs. TWENTY SIX YEARS. 11010 years (for those who prefer binary). Did somebody forget to tell the Giants that the game was this PAST Sunday? And it was the playoffs? And they were actually IN the playoffs this year? Wake up guys: the Eagles didn't win the division this year - you did. No, really. No. REALLY.

Steelers/Bengals (31-17) - I was wrong
OK, this one wasn't my fault. Who could predict that Carson Palmer would go down with a knee injury in the opening series (and right after a BEAUTIFUL 60 yard completion to Chris Henry, who also went down about 3 plays later)? Poor Jon Kitna got thrown into it, and did a great job for the first half, at the end of which the Bengals were leading by 3. (Hey, I think he's a free agent next year. Lurie, Banner, Reid, and co., are you listening?) The Steelers went into the locker room and came back out with a better idea how to defend against him. But the Bengals might still have pulled it off (only to get crushed by the Broncos this coming weekend) had their defense not COMPLETELY fallen apart in the third quarter. Related to the demoralizing Palmer injury? I'd have to say yes. The Steelers continued their reign as one of the few pro teams that pulls trick plays with a beauty - Antwaan Randle El took the snap, Roethlisberger ambled towards the sidelines, picked up Randle El's flea-flicker lateral and threw to a wide-open Cedrick Wilson for the nail-in-the-coffin TD at the end of the third. And that was pretty much a wrap.

So here's how the divisional playoffs stack up now:

Seahawks/Redskins - Seahawks
Bears/Panthers - Bears, particularly if it's cold in Chicago Sunday, but this promises to be an interesting game
Broncos/Patriots - I'm sticking with the Broncos, but wouldn't be stunned if the Pats pull off the upset win
Colts/Steelers - Colts, much as I'd like the Steelers to win, I just don't see it happening

Eagles news:

It looks like they're going to try to trade TO rather than just releasing him outright. The Eagles front office has OKed Rosenhaus to start looking at offers. I guess they're trying to salvage SOMETHING from the whole mess, but realistically, it's unlikely to happen. Why trade for a guy who, however talented, is known to be a huge pain in the tushie (and have to assume his huge contract in the process) when you can wait a week for him to be cut and pick him up off the final clearance sale rack? To refresh your memory, when we traded for him, we gave away a nothing player who's out of the league now and a fifth round pick. If he wasn't such an a**, he'd command a lot more in trade. Of course, if he wasn't such an a**, we wouldn't be getting rid of him in the first place.

NFL news:

Looks like Herm Edwards is going to be filling Vermeil's old shoes in Kansas City. Good luck, Herm. Hope your QB holds up better next year.

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