Monday, January 14, 2008
NFL Highway: Divisional Round (or, Dead End in Dallas)
The NFL playoffs delivered some unexpected events over the weekend. Gone are the defending Super Bowl champions and the favorite to win the NFC.
The author of this blog entered the belly of the beast on Sunday, flying to LaGuardia Airport in New York on a work-related trip. As I was picking up my rental car, I heard some shouting and clapping in the back room. That meant one thing: Tony Romo threw an interception in the end zone at the end of the game, sealing the victory for the New York Football Giants. Terrell Owens was obviously not happy, as the video shows. But, instead of throwing his quarterback under the bus (like Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb), he cried for his man Tony Romo. I really blame the loss on my wife. Instead of wearing her lucky pink Romo jersey, she wore my white Romo jersey. Bad, bad, bad. The G-men move one game closer to an unexpected Super Bowl. The Cowboys have not won a playoff game in 12 years. Barry Switzer was the last Cowboys coach to win a playoff game. Ouch.
Another place where they are crying in their Cheerios is Indianapolis. The Colts lost to the Chargers, 28-24. It was a bizarre convergence of events for San Diego, as star RB LaDainian Tomlinson left the game in the first half with a bruised knee, and QB Philip Rivers left in the third quarter with a damaged right knee. Enter QB Billy Volek and RBs Michael Turner and Darren Sproles. They picked up the slack and brought the Chargers back in the 4th quarter for the win. Turner helped improve his free agent status in the upcoming offseason, while coach Norv Turner got the biggest win of his career. Norv might just be a head coach, after all. The Colts are left at home wondering what happened.
The Chargers next get to face the juggernaut that is New England. The Patriots got a challenge on Saturday night from Jacksonville, but pulled away for a 31-20 victory. The Jags really only made two mistakes all night, but a team can't make any mistakes at all and expect to beat the Patriots. Good luck to the Chargers. They'll need it.
It was a winter wonderland in Green Bay on Saturday. It's supposed to snow in Green Bay in January. The Packers used the elements and a hot hand from Brett Favre to pound the Seattle Seahawks, 41-20. Seattle used two early fumble recoveries to set up two touchdowns for a 14-0 lead. The Packers steamrolled after that. The Pack now get an unexpected home game Sunday night against the Giants.