Saturday, January 9, 2010

NFL playoffs begin and NFL MVP awarded

The post-season for the NFL started today.

The first game was between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals, held in Cincinnati. I was rooting for the Jets, just because. I was also rooting for a snow bowl as I always enjoy those and I'd heard it was expected to have harsh conditions in Cincinnati for the game.

The Jets did a pretty decent job and in the end, the Bengals pretty much shot themselves in the foot, so the Jets won the game 24-14, advancing to the next round. The weather was cold, and there were snow flurries for a little while, but no real snow to speak of.

This game was a sort of re-match from last week's game since the Jets and the Bengals played each other in the last game of the regular season, but that game was held in the Jets' stadium. The Jets crushed the Bengals then, and afterward, some of the Bengals players mouthed off that they didn't want to give away their secrets and were just holding back for the playoffs, and that would be a very different game. Yeah, how'd that work out for you, blabbering Bengals players?

The second game was between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, a re-match from last week's game where the Cowboys shut out the Eagles in convincing fashion, 24-0. The game was a bit better today, but the Eagles still self-destructed, and the Cowboys beat them 34-14. The Eagles' first touchdown was actually thrown by Michael Vick (who I never realized has a resemblance to Chris Rock) - great pass and an even better reception and run for a touchdown. But that was one of very few highlights for the Eagles amidst a lot of problems. There were the botched snaps when the Eagles' center hiked the ball into his own butt, thereby causing a fumble. There was the botched-fake-handoff-that-wasn't-really-a-fake-but-was that Vick pretty much screwed up, and that resulted in the Cowboys getting the ball.

There was a lot of talk that the Eagles would win this game. They'd already lost twice in the regular season to the Cowboys, first at home and then last week at Cowboys Stadium, and the Cowboys couldn't possibly beat the Eagles three times in the same season. And then there were those that said with how good the Cowboys were playing right now, they could certainly beat the Eagles a third time. And they were right.

Tony Romo was terrific, and with all the troubles he's had in the past few years, it was actually a bit surprising to hear the absolutely glowing terms with which the sports folks are using to describe him - one even compared him to Dan Marino!

The Cowboys play the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota next week. Can you guess who I'm rooting for? :)

On Sunday, the first game has the New England Patriots hosting the Baltimore Ravens. I wonder if that's going to end up being a snow bowl. I'm rooting for the Patriots in this case, even though I'm not generally terribly fond of them.

The second game has the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Green Bay Packers, a re-match of last week's game that was also hosted by the Cardinals, which the Packers won. (Yeah, how weird is it that 3 of the 4 playoff games this weekend are between the same two teams who played each other the prior week?) I'm rooting for the Packers but I'd be ok with the Cardinals winning because of Kurt Warner ... and as long as Matt Leinart sits his ass on the bench the entire time and has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

The Super Bowl this year is being held on Sunday, February 7 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. Orlando had a rare snowstorm today - while highly unlikely, wouldn't it be funny if the Super Bowl this year turned out to be a snow bowl? ;)

And today, the NFL MVP award was announced as going to Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. It was his fourth career MVP win. While that's a terrific honor, and well-deserved, it's a little less of a happy moment if you know that it's fairly well acknowledged that the Colts would be nowhere without Manning, and that it's his drive and skills and talent that have led the Colts to where they are, which is probably the reason for his MVP win. He is the reason for the Colts' success, and he is probably the sole reason. And that doesn't bode well for the team, even with their great season this year, because a team cannot sustain itself on the back of one player, even a player as great as Peyton Manning. But,in any case, congrats to Peyton on the win.

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