Things I Took Away From The Weekend That Was In The NFL

Last weekend was interesting to say the least in football. There was excitement (Tebow?), there was heartache (Falcons) and there were even lingering questions (Houston). All of that, as Kevin Garnett would put it, makes for a packed weekend that was in football.

  1. The Atlanta Falcons need to figure it out…fast: The Falcons should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. I’m a Georgia native, remember the days when Joey Harrington was the quarterback and usually take nothing for granted when my home state team makes the playoffs. To go to New York and not just lay an egg, but go out like a group of suckers (really the only word for it) was the most embarrassing development of Wild Card weekend. I said it on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media outlet that would have me that for the Falcons to consistently make the playoffs and look like the only team that doesn’t belong despite the talent, ranking (#1 seed in ‘10) and record (10-6 in ‘11) is embarrassing. They mortgaged the farm on Julio Jones to keep up with the Patriots, Saints and Packers of the world and ended up with an offensive showing on Sunday that didn’t even keep up with the defense (defense 2, offense 0). I expect changes on the offense specifically to a coordinator who runs a more complicated offense than my High School team and for Dimitroff and Smith to go out in search for play makers on defense. Again, happy you made it, but thanks for not coming.
  2. Timmy Tebow “does it” again: Congrats to Tim Tebow for beating a Clark-less, Moore-less and most importantly a Mendenhall-less Steelers team. In all honesty I do find it impressive that this bunch in Denver keeps finding ways to defeat the giants of their league. In my humble opinion I give a lot of credit to John Fox and all of the skill players for the Broncos for buying into the “get it done” attitude he has brought to Denver. While I (begrudgingly) admit Tebow is progressing as a passer, kudos to the entire team for their effort. And yes I do realize that Tim Tebow (one) has more playoff wins than Matt Ryan (zero).
  3. Texans get their first playoff win, and an outside shot at the conference championship: I’m always mindful of a team with stellar running back play. I can appreciate a running back putting a team on his shoulders and taking them to the promised land. Terrell Davis did it. Emmit Smith did it. Jamal Lewis, to a certain extent did it. The list is endless when talking about riding a stud runner to a super bowl title. Enter Arian Foster. 153 yards and two scores in his playoff debut and I sense more to come. Yes, Baltimore is tough on the run. Yes, the Texans will be on the road. But this is my pick to upset this weekend (sorry Broncos fans) and I think it will start with Arian Foster.
  4. Saints look absolutely unstoppable right now: 45 points on the Lions isn’t usually a cause for celebration. Then I remembered the Saints are doing this against everyone right now. They are serious contenders to the Green Bay title run; and while it will be an intriguing match-up out by the Bay, I don’t think San Francisco needs to worry so much about New Orleans running. They’ve scored 40+ against their last four opponents (including three 45-point performances) and have won a mind numbing nine straight dating back to Halloween. That is next level stuff. While Drew Brees is throwing for more miles than your odometer, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas have done their fair share of tough running to make the overall offense balanced. 

Predictions (Divisional Round):

Saints 34, San Francisco 21

Houston 27, Baltimore 24

New York 21, Green Bay 35

Denver 14, New England 31

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