Monday, January 25, 2010

Favre and Manning and Brees and Sanchez........OH MY!

It's Monday again and if you weren't paying attention, the Super Bowl match-up was decided over the weekend:


New Orleans Saints v. Indianapolis Colts


Before we talk about the Super Bowl (I mean we have 13 days to talk about it.), let's talk about the two Conference Championship games.

New York Jets v. Indianapolis Colts

The game was 0-0 at the end of the 1Q. The Jets made the game 17-6 with 1:45 left to go in the half. Manning drove the Colts down the field in 3 plays and threw a pass that was little high for Collie but he still caught it. It made the halftime score 17-13. The Jets still had the lead, but the momentum was clearly no longer on the side of the Jets. Both teams came back out after the half, but only one man stood out...Peyton Manning...the Colts score 17 unanswered points and went on to win 30-17 to go to their 3rd Super Bowl (2nd in the last 5 years).


Minnesota Vikings v. New Orleans Saints


So if I told you that the Vikings held the Saints to 68 yards rushing, 189 yards passing. Limited Reggie Bush to 1 punt return for 0 yards and a fumble. Adrian Peterson ran for 122 yards and scored 3 TDs. If I told you all that you would think that the Vikings won 31-3. Well... the Saints won 31-28 in overtime. This game was great, it had EVERYTHING. The Saints hit Favre every chance they got. They knocked him down, they battered him, they bruised him. Favre eventually threw the game changing interception with 19 seconds left in regulation. The Vikings lost this game in their overall performance. Adrian Peterson, along with his 122 yards and 3 TDs, had 2 fumbles (none lost). The Vikings turned the ball over 5 times. The 5th on was the back breaker. There was 19 seconds left, it was 3rd and 15 in the 4th quarter. All the Vikings need is 8-12 yards for them to have a 48-50 yard field goal try for Ryan Longwell, who is one of the NFLs best kickers, to go to the Super Bowl. What happens? Brett Favre, with at least 8 yards of real estate in front of him (after scrambling to get free out of the pocket) throw to Sidney Rice. Mind you Brett is throwing across his body off his back foot. New Orleans picks it, the game goes into Overtime. Now mind you the Saints had to survive 4 booth reviews to get a chance at the game winning FG, but they got their ticket punched (eventually) to their first ever Super Bowl.

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Somethings that I learned while watching the AFC/NFC Championship Games
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AFC Championship Game

Jets

The little team that could almost did. Had the Jets held that 17-6 lead going into the half the Colts would have had more to think about. It would have given the Jets more confidence going into the 2nd half. Rex Ryan did everything he could, but in the end he ran into someone that he couldn't shake. Rex ran into the QB machine that is Peyton Manning.

Mark Sanchez

He proved that the bright light are not TOO bright for him. Mark proved that he does have BIG GAME instinct. The throw he made to Braylon Edwards to make the game 7-3 was precise and majestic. He led Braylon (who by the way did his best to fight the urge to not catch that pass) all the way. Even the INT he threw wasn't really his fault (it went through the arms of the receiver). The most important thing I learned about Mark Sanchez was the fact that Jet fans can finally relax, they have found their QB of the future.

Colts Offense & Colts Defense

Wow. The Colts offense is scary. The Jets limited the Colts to 6 points for 28 minutes and 15 seconds. Then for the next 31 minutes and 45 seconds the Colts score 24 points in every which way. Wow. The Colts defense is underrated. The Colts defense gave up 2 big plays all game, it just happened to be during the Jets only 2 TDs scoring drives in the game. The first was a 80 yard TD pass from Sanchez to Edwards. The second was a 45 yard direct snap pass to Cotchery from Brad Smith that set up the 9 yard TD pass from Sanchez to Keller. Aside from that the Colts were just too fast for the Jets to block.

Peyton Manning

I learned that Peyton Manning is unlike any QB that we have ever seen. The Jets were really taking it to the Colts and Peyton Manning for the majority of the 1st half. It really looked like the rest of the NFL had a blueprint to stop Peyton. Then in 3 plays and 45 sec (or less) Peyton told everyone that they had better rethink that blueprint. Manning sat and studied those picture stills every time he came out of the game. Then as if he saw the window he started exploiting the area between the LBs and the Secondary. He surgically killed the Jets the rest of the way. Manning is going to the Super Bowl to cement his place on the Mount Rushmore of QBs.

NFC Championship Game

Adrian Peterson

Simply put: If you continue to fumble in the most important situations you aren't even a top 2 back. Call Tiki Barber. Do the things that they made Omar Epps do in The Program to cure his fumbling problem. Do something, otherwise that view from the sidelines is going to be a familiar one; especially late in the game.

Brett Favre

Why Brett? Why didn't you just run or even better, why didn't you throw it to the flat area? Why did you have to "Favre" it? You haven't been that guy all year and you decided to pick the most important time of the season to be that guy. Wow. I learned that Brett just can't help himself. He is and always will be the gunslinger. I think he comes back for 1 more year, but I think that he plays nowhere near the level he did this year and the Vikings go 9-7 and either miss the playoffs or barely get in.

Drew Brees

Anyone in San Diego think this guy can't get you to a Super Bowl? How's that Philip Rivers thing going? I know, I know, Philip Rivers has a longer shelf life in the NFL and Drew Brees cannot keep playing like this. But man, for now Brees is doing it all the right way. Along with that 189 yards passing he threw for 3 TDs and 0 INTs. I learned that Brees can be the game manager that he showed that he could be in the regular season.

Saints

Remember when they were the 'Aint's? Remember when the fans wore paper bags over their heads? I do. The Saints take their names off of the list of teams that have never made it to the Super Bowl. They say that a team of destiny utilizes every chance that they are given. The Saints definitely did that on Sunday. They were 19 seconds from just being a lovable story (again.), but Brett Favre gave them an late Christmas gift and they capitalized in OT.
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Super Bowl XLIV should be a good one. My opinion on that game much later.
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-The Heckler

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