Happy Divisional Playoff Weekend football fans! It just seems like yesterday that we had the kickoff of football season. Now, we are just six games away from the Super Bowl. So, the AP has been giving out their annual awards so if you haven’t heard by now here is a quick re-cap: Offensive Player of the Year-Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans. Chris Johnson had a monster year for the Titans clocking 2,509 yards from scrimmage, not to mention running for over 2,000 yards. I don’t think I’ve run 2,000 yards in my life much less in a 16 game season. Defensive Player of the Year-Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay Packers. Okay, I’m a homer, I was rooting for Darren Sharper, and most of the country thought that it should have gone to Darrelle Revis of the Jets who shut down every receiver that came within yard of his orbit. That said, no one can argue with Woodson’s year. He tied for the league lead with 9 interceptions three returned for touchdowns, not to mention he was instrumental in the Packers becoming the second rank defense in the league. League MVP went to Peyton Manning, of course. As I said last week, this is Peyton Manning’s record fourth MVP award. It’s pretty hard to argue with Manning winning the MVP, he didn’t slip up during the year, like Drew Brees or Brett Favre. Manning’s team didn’t lose because of him *cough, Curtis Painter.* I actually thought that Philip Rivers should have been higher than Brees. Comeback Player of the Year was Tom Brady, uh-huh, about right. Defensive Rookie of the Year was Brian Cushing, LB, Houston Texans. Cushing had a great rookie season for the Texans. Cushing had 133 total tackles, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. I’d say he deserved the award. Offensive Rookie of the Year went to Minnesota Vikings, WR, Percy Harvin. In between suffering from migraine headaches that often kept him from practice, Percy Harvin managed to only have 60 receptions racking up 790 yards and 6 TDs. He rushed for another 135 yards. Did I mention he returned 42 kickoffs for 1, 156 yards averaging 27.5 yards per return with two kickoffs for TDs, one of which was 101 yards? The Coach of the year title went to Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Yay, Marvin. Marvin had a tremendous turnaround with the Bengals this year, and he managed to keep his team together after the tragic deaths of Vicki Zimmer, DC Mike Zimmer’s wife, and WR Chris Henry. Congratulations to all of the winners…
Quick side note my Kansas City Chiefs have hired two of the biggest names (not to mention waistlines) to join Coach Todd “Dead Man Walking” Haley. Romeo Crennel was added this week as the defensive coordinator, joining Charlie Weis as Scott Pioli continues to build the New England Patriots: Midwest Edition. How long before Haley starts sporting the cut-off hoodie…Stay tuned…The Second Round of the Playoffs begin this weekend. Let’s take a look at the games…
The Arizona Cardinals v. The New Orleans Saints. Last weekend the Cardinals managed to survive a shootout in the desert with the Green Bay Packers. The 51-45 game was an instant NFL Classic (the NFL Network even said so). Kurt “Hey, I’m still younger the Brett Favre” Warner continues to be a geriatric wonder on the field, and now he and his Cardinals are trying to perform yet another miracle and make their way to a second Super Bowl in as many years. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Drew Brees and the “Who Dat?” Boys seem to have fallen out of favor with a lot of the NFL Prognosticators. They took the foot off the gas at the end of the season dropping three in a row. Although they weren’t pulling players to just rest, they were resting injured players who needed the recovery time. History, however, shows that no team who has lost their last three games has gone to one, much less won a Super Bowl. That said, I take the New Orleans Saints for the win.
The Baltimore Ravens v. The Indianapolis Colts. Four-time MVP Peyton Manning and his Colts are hosting Ray Lewis and the Ravens. Ray Rice delivered the first nail to the coffin of Tom Brady and the Patriots, and then the defense buried the Patriots hopes of a return to the Super Bowl. Most commentators maintain that the pressure is on the Colts who chose to rest players down the stretch instead of playing their starters. It’s another case of rust vs. momentum. If it comes down to a quarterback battle between Peyton and Joe Flacco, I have to put my money on Peyton, especially since Flacco has a bad hip and only was 4-10 for 34 yards against the Patriots. While I like and have a healthy fear of the Ravens and their defense, I have to put my money on the Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
The Dallas Cowboys v. the Minnesota Vikings. In the I hate one entire team and the other team’s quarterback bowl, the Cowboys who have been on a roll against the Eagles (twice), Redskins, and Saints head to Minnesota to take on Lorenzo and the Purple People eaters. For those who are not in the know, I hate the Cowboys, and since I am not really a member of the Media, I don’t have to pretend I don’t have a bias. They have won…blah-blah-blah…Tony Romo finally won in December, whoop-te-doo. Minnesota ended their season on high note taking out Eli Manning and the Giants. Although I don’t like him much, I’m hoping old Lorenzo marches Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Visanthe “I couldn’t have one easy name” Shiancoe, and Sidney Rice down the throats of the Cowboys. Then, to borrow a quote from Mike Tomlin, I hope that Jared Allen and the Williams boys “Unleash Hell” on the Cowboys and Tony Romo. You would literally have to pay me to pick the Cowboys. Lord Lorenzo and the Vikings over Da Boys.
The New York Jets v. the San Diego Chargers. The New York Jets and their coach Rex Ryan have been spreading smack like nobody’s business the last few weeks having taken out the Bengals (twice) and the Colts. Coach went so far as saying they should be a favorite in the Super Bowl. Slow down, Rexy boy, take it down a notch. They are taking the band on the road again headed to quarterback Mark Sanchez’s old stomping grounds to take on Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. It is no secret that the writer of this blog has an unhealthy fan crush on San Diego Chargers OLB Shawne Merriman, even though that writer maintains that she (who shall remain nameless) is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. The only thing that has come out of the San Diego Chargers camp is a viral video that I’m sure RB LaDainian Tomlinson wishes he had never made (“I read the defense, read the defense, catch that pass, hit that hole”). The Chargers were on an 11 game win streak going into the playoff. Darrelle Revis has stranded many a receiver on Revis Island, but he hasn’t seen receivers the size of Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, and TE Antonio Gates. Good luck with that. As if you didn’t already know, I’m picking the San Diego Chargers.
That’s it. Those are my predictions sure to go wrong. I'm about to take LT's advice and read the defense of Saints. See you next week for the Conference Championship games. In the words of Mark Twain, "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said 'I don't know'." See you next week!!!