Glad to be back posting. Hope is having a great 2006 so far. The NFL playoffs started today and we had one great game and one lousy game. First to the great game.
Washington came into the game on a five game winning streak. They've already lost to Tampa Bay, 37-36, earlier in the season on an exciting last minute two point conversion. But Tampa Bay had home field advantage today. But it's hard for one team to beat another twice in one season. Who would win?
The winners were Washington and their stellar defense and their playoff experienced quarterback, Mark Brunell.
Chris Simms had never started a playoff game before and it showed. He had a decent season up to today but the playoffs are a different monster. He threw two costly interceptions. One interception that setup the 1st TD and the other at the end of the game to end a Bucs comeback. Other than that he outplayed Brunell (198 vs 41 yards) but Brunell didn't do too much to lose the game.
I'm amazed by the decision by the referee to not to flag Michael Pittman for swinging at Sean Taylor. I understand why he threw out Sean Taylor for spitting. There's no room for that in the NFL. It's a cheap shot and it's degrading. Pittman is right in say if it happened on the street there would have been more than a punch. But is it okay to take a swing when you get spat on? Apparently you are because Pittman was not flagged at all.
Next week Washington flies Seattle for their next round match up. They're installed as a 9 point underdog already. Don't be so quick to jump on Seattle to win so easily. They do have a history of *cough cough* choking the playoffs. (St. Louis and Green Bay the past two years).
Now to the lousy game of the day.
The Patriots would like to thank the Jaguars for the 28-3 scrimmage tonight. You're suppose to be good if you make it to the playoffs. The Jaguars never got that message. The Jags played like another pathetic feline team (sorry Lions fans). Good gracious what a gross performance by the Jaguars.
But we can't say we didn't see this coming. Most of the national media predicted the Jaguars would get snowballed in New England. Winning in New England against Tom Brady in the playoffs? They were getting less respect than New England for sure. However as a Jaguars fan, the performance was embarrassing to say the least.
This was their national chance to prove something. Instead New England's defense scores more points (7) than the Jags offense (3). Willie McGinest had a record 4.5 sacks. He was playing like Madden 2006 with cheat codes on. The leading rusher for the Jags was slow footed, broken ankle healing, Byron Leftwich with 26 yards. They dropped numerous passes. The play calling was very questionable and conservative at times like a team trying not to lose instead of trying to win. Byron Leftwich had never started a playoff game and it showed as clear as wearing a neon green shirt. The Jaguars played like numero uno crap.
New England will get a strong test next week against Denver or Indianapolis. I'm not too quick to label them as the team to beat yet in the AFC. But when you're the two time Super Bowl champion and you have a quarterback who is 10-0 in the playoffs, no team wants to play you.
So what we have learned today is quarterbacks with zero playoff experience struggled today. Tomorrow we have Eli Manning and Carson Palmer starting for their teams. Both have no experience and are playing against Big Ben and Jake Delhomme. I am predicting a Carolina and Pittsburgh win based on experience and other team factors.
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