I love the NFL play-offs, especially the first two weekends when there’s 4 games played each weekend. If I were a betting man, although I’m not since don’t gamble or bet, I’d have put my money on all four of the road teams.
But, fortunately, I didn’t bet since both home teams won yesterday in two well-played and interesting games. In the first match-up, many thought the Falcons, coming off of an 11-win season, would defeat the Arizona Cardinals (who haven’t hosted a home play-off game since the ’40’s!). After a poor start, the Falcons came back to take a lead at half-time. But, they committed a crucial turnover at the beginning of the 2nd half and never recovered. One has to marvel at the play of the 37-year old Kurt Warner as well as his amazing set of wide receivers. Wow.
The second game, the Colts at Chargers, was the one I most looking forward to watching. And, it was quite a thriller as the Lightning Bolts defeated the red-hot Colts and ’08 MVP and future Hall-of-Famer, Peyton Manning. Again, one has to marvel at the play of 5’6″ Darren Sproles. What an unbelievable game from the smallest player on the field — he had over 300 yards combined (running, receiving, returning kicks and punts), topped off by the game-winning run in OT. Sproles played one of the great historic playoff games all time.
Today’s action should be good, too. And, once again, I’d have to favor the road teams. The Ravens have a terrific defense (the best in the league along w/ the Steelers). Plus, their rookie QB, Flacco is playing well and they have a strong running game w/ McClain, McGahee and Rice. A strong D and running game are keys to advancing in the play-offs.
The final game of the weekend, the Eagles at Vikings, should be a close and competitive game. Since I’m a ‘Skins fan, I don’t cheer for the Eagles, Giants or Cowboys. But, it’d be great to see an Eagles – Giants next weekend. Wow, what a battle that would be. I’m predicting the Eagles D will befuddle Tavaris Jackson and the combined brilliance of McNabb and Westbrook will help them defeat the Vikes (despite the Vikes having the best and most exciting RB in the league – Adrian Peterson).
And, just think, we’ll have 4 more NFL play-off games to watch next weekend!