Have Your People Call My People …. Let’s Make A Deal ………….
By tophatal …..
Well with the NFL postseason all but having reached its climax we are now at the point where the championship games within both conference games have their final respondents . The AFC will see the New England Patriots play hosts to the Baltimore Ravens . Whereas , in the NFC we have the San Francisco Giants continuing their remarkable resurrection under John Harbaugh and his team hosting the conference’s road road warriors the New York Giants . Suffice to say as clear as we may now feel that the outcome of these games might seem clear-cut , on paper this past weekend’s evidence in terms of the results should tell us otherwise.
Slide show for your perusal .
It came as no real surprise to see the Denver Broncos’ story come to an abrupt end with the team losing in such an embarrassing fashion. Hobbled by an ineffective performance by Tim Tebow the Broncos were behind the “eight ball ” right from the start. The team’s offense was woefully inept with there being very little evidence to suggest that Tebow’s growth as a <a href=”http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/stats/byposition?pos=QB&conference=NFL&year=season_2011&sort=timeframe=ToDate&old_category=QB”> quarterback in the NFL is said to be heading in the right direction . Poor </</aadecision making and the very fact that the player scurrying around losing yardage for the team disengaged any advantage that John Fox and his coaching staff might have hoped from this game. On the wrong side of a 45-10 loss says a lot about the Denver Broncos and the very fact that their season as thrilling as it may well have appeared that 8-8 record simply mirrors what this team actually happens to be . And that it is a franchise , who over achieved purely from the fact that its division is extremely poor !
With the abrupt departures of both the number one and three seeds within the NFC with both the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints seeing their postseason forays completely go up in smoke . For coaches Mike McCarthy and Sean Payton they may well view this all as a reason of immense disappointment . And in Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers you have two quarterbacks who lit up the statistical charts throughout the regular and postseason . Call me naive but you have to find it astounding that the conference’s two best players at the position this regular season now happen to find themselves sitting on the sidelines along with their teammates after the most improbable of events that transpired this past weekend .
As an avid New England Patriots’ fan this match-up against the Baltimore Ravens has all the makings of a titanic battle between two teams with a great deal to prove . In the case of the Patriots it is simply to say to the naysayers ……….” we are back and we never actually left ” . For the Ravens for this team in their current guise it is their last chance for the likes of seasoned veterans Ray Lewis , Terrell Suggs , Ed Reed and Bryant McKinnie to add to their legacy . This quartet may not be fortuitous enough to make an appearance in the Superbowl at this stage of their already voluminous careers. Well that would be most definitely be the case for Suggs, Reed and Lewis given their resume`s and the numerous Pro Bowl appearances by the trio along with Bryant McKinnie .
Bill Belichick looking to make another appearance win the Superbowl , his fifth with the franchise as a coach knows that great deal is expected of this team as they prepare to host the Ravens. For much of the season the talk has been of the effectiveness of the team’s offense and how explosive it has been over the course of the regular season . Led by Tom Brady , with the productivity of tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski the Patriots have now added a new dimension to their offense . But that in of-itself clearly does not define this team but a great deal has been made of the fact that the defense of the roster still remains its’ Achilles’ heel .
It’s pretty much safe to say that this game between the Patriots should have all the makings of being an instantaneous classic in the making. We have come to know what to expect of the New England Patriots but for the Ravens although this isn’t uncharted territory Joe Flacco has a great deal to prove . Granted , this postseason the Baltimore Ravens acquitted themselves well in their dispatching of the Houston Texans in a game which was far from being thoroughly convincing on the part of the Ravens . The players on that Baltimore Ravens’ team know that they can ill afford to take this game lightly so it will be imperative for them to get off to a fast start and for their defense to essentially keep that Patriots’ offense off the field for as long as is humanly possible during this game. .
It is not extremely difficult to understand how the New Orleans Saints succumbed to the San Francisco 49ers. Having a prolific offense is one thing but to my mind it was simply the complacency shown by Sean Payton’s … team that led to their demise in the waning moment of the game between the two teams , which now sees the 49ers vying to the NFC representative in the upcoming Superbowl . All of those who are said to be in awe of the Packers and Saints must now be wondering what the hell is going on within the NFL . All the hype in the world concerning two teams that seemed to be on the path to setting up a prospective game that the vast majority of NFL might have envisaged seeing . But such a premise can be now be overlooked as neither the Packers or will be a part of the NFC championship game.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Alex Smith can be the equal of Eli Manning in what is now a highly anticipated match-up as both face off against each other this upcoming Sunday . The Niners’ athletic and stifling defense against an equally ferocious secondary of the Giants should prove to be an immensely entertaining game . Jason Pierre-Paul , Justin Tuck , Osi Umenyiora and Michael Boley will certainly be looking to negate that offense of the Niners led by Frank Gore , Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree .
For coach Tom Coughlin the chance to lead this team to another Superbowl triumph and join a select group of coaches to have won multiple Superbowls with the same franchise . At the start of the New York Giants’ season and through to just beyond its midway point there will still questions being bandied about as to whether or not Coughlin would survive bearing in mind the mid to late season meltdowns the franchise had now come to be known for over the last three years . Instead having suffered that regular season 38-35 loss to the Packers the team simply rallied around their coach and strung together a series of victories that gathered momentum and placed the Giants on the their present path. Anyone now considering to write off the team might need to now reconsider that prospect in light of the team’s defeat of the Green Bay Packers . That victory itself blew a hole in the whole in the theory that the Packers were on their way to successfully defending their title .
A possible rematch between the New England Patriots and New York Giants now seems to be in the offing and it would appear to be the most appealing of the possibilities on offer to the fans . But that premise would be based on the mere thought that both the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are simply prepared to lay down while both the Giants and Patriots march on to their prospective return of unfinished business . Something that I fully believe would wet the appetite of a a number of NFL fans !
Over the course of this NFL postseason and specifically the divisional round which result if anything was of the biggest surprise to you ? And of the four teams now remaining duo do you ultimately see playing in the Superbowl to be staged at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana , Indianapolis . Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support !
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak listens to a question during a news conference Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in Houston. The Texans season ended Sunday after losing to the Baltimore Ravens 20-13 . Photo/David J. Phillip ….
(2) BALTIMORE, MD – JANUARY 15: Ed Reed (20) of the Baltimore Ravens intercepts a pass intended for Andre Johnson (80) of the Houston Texans during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Texans 20-13 . Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …
(3) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks to media during his season-ending news conference at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ….
(4) FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Rob Gronkowski ( 87) of the New England Patriots celebrates by spiking the ball after he scored a 12-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots would end up defeating the Broncos 45-10 . Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …….. ….
(5) Frank Gore (21) of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter of the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images ….