Wild Card Weekend: Three Great Games and The Bungles.

Featured, Sports and Bets — January 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm by

Don’t think football is a game of inches?

Phil Dawson’s kick went through two uprights to give the Forty-Niners a tough road win.  For a minute or two it looked like the better team, who played a better game, would lose, but Dawson’s kick buzzed Davon House’s face AND the right upright to give the proper team its victory.  The Forty Niners were more consistent all night on offense and this game should not have been this close.  But three drives stalled or ended deep in Green Bay territory and that allowed a scrappy Packers squad to stick around.  In one of those drives Colin  Kaepernick tossed a pick and in the other two the 49ers decided not to run the ball once they got close to the end zone.  (The 3 pass play calls from the Packer 4 yard line were extremely perplexing)  But regardless of all that, it’s becoming evident that this San Francisco team is extremely dangerous.  Just like a few years back when the Ravens and Steelers seemed destined to meet again in the AFC Championship game, the Forty Niners and Seahawks seem to be on a crash course for a third meeting.  I just don’t see the Panthers beating the Niners twice, and after the drubbing the Seahawks handed the Saints earlier in the season, it’s hard to envision anything but the same, especially with those teams meeting again in the Emerald City, and not the Peyton/Brees cocoon that is the Superdome.

Meanwhile, those same Saints DID go on the road in the cold and beat a very hot and dangerous Eagles team.  Interestingly enough, it was the run game that propelled the offense for the most part and sealed the deal on the Saints’ game winning drive. To see the Saints have more rush attempts than pass attempts was strange, but it obviously worked.  It will be interesting to see how they game plan for the Seahawks.  The Eagles played well after falling behind early and they have the look of a team that seems just a few players away from being REAL good.  Foles is extremely solid, they have one of the best backs in the game, they are explosive outside with Desean Jackson, and they are well coached.  Another nice corner and a stud upfront could do wonders for this team.

Andrew Luck played like crap and then looked like the best player in football all within the same 3 hour time frame.  Not many players can throw the laser that Andrew Luck threw to T.Y. Hilton for what proved to be the game winner.  This ball was on a freakin’ rope.

After the game people were talking about a Chiefs collapse.  But it was really just about a good quarterback and team finally making plays against an injury riddled defense.  Of course if you were a Chiefs fan and I told you that Jamal Charles only played one series but you still scored 44 and you picked Andrew Luck 3 times, you would have thought a Chiefs celebration was in order.  Not so, instead it was the Andrew Luck big game coming out party.

On the flip side you have to feel bad for Alex Smith.  378 yards, 4 TDs, and it still wasn’t enough.  Not to mention the fact that Smith’s grounding penalty late in the fourth quarter put the Chiefs out of field goal range and essentially sealed their fate.  Brutal.

Now let’s talk Bungles.  Is there a more hard luck team?  Do they just enjoying sucking at football at the worst times? It’s hard to swallow this loss if you’re a Cincy fan.  8-0 at home all season, playing a team that barely made the playoffs and almost blew their chance in Week 17 by almost losing to a team playing their 2nd and 3rd string players, and having the best defense left in the AFC all seemed to add up to a home playoff victory.  Not so fast.  Bad Andy Dalton showed up, turning the ball over in three consecutive drives in the second half, giving the Chargers momentum and a lead they would not relinquish.  Add a star receiver who decided not to show up in A.J. Green, and future stud running back who also decides to fumble deep in opposing territory in Giovanni Bernard AND a defense that got man handled up front and you’ve got  blow out loss in front of your already skeptical home crowd.  Terrible.  This roster may be the most talented in football, at worst it’s top three with the Seahawks and 49ers.  At some point Marvin Lewis is going to have to coach a playoff win.  Is it Marvin’s fault that Andy Dalton stinks it up come crunch time?  Nope, but at some point Marvin’s got to win a game in January.  He wouldn’t survive anywhere else, but mediocrity is OK in Cincy.

Other observations:

Philip Rivers rocks bolo ties hee-haw style.

The 49ers don’t use Frank Gore in the red zone enough.

Every spread for the divisional playoff games is over 7 except for the 49ers/Panthers game. (49ers -1.5, Pats-7.5, Broncos -9.5, Seahawks -8)

Jim Harbaugh is a goof who wears fat suits and calls Michael Crabtree the best pass catcher ever.  But he is a great football coach.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *