Absolutely bananas way to get this NFL post season underway. All kinds of things happened on the gridiron (does anyone still call it that? Feel like I havent heard it in a while) from historic comebacks to clock mismanagement to Andy Dalton doing Andy Dalton things and a game played on a dirt parking lot in arctic temps. Lots of things going on so lets see what we learned this Wildcard Weekend as we prepare for the next round of games this coming weekend.
Colts 45 Chiefs 44
This was an absolutely wild game that set the tone for the weekend and saw all kinds of offensive playoff records being set amid one of the biggest comebacks in NFL post season history.
-You could kind of feel this one coming in the 1st half. We’ve all seen it before when a team commits a major football faux pas and blows their load too early in a big game.
-It seemed like Kansas City was just playing too well too earl. Every break was going their way, all of Alex Smith’s miraculous shovel passes found friendly hands and Andrew Luck played about as poorly as he possibly could
-And the Andrew Luck Playoff Comeback narrative was going to play amazing in the media. Indy came out of locker room, quickly went down 28 and then proceeded to take the game away from KC.
-This loss makes it an even 20yrs since Joe Montana led the Chiefs’ franchise to its last playoff victory.
-I mentioned in my picks blog prior to the weekend’s games that laying any money on Fat Andy Reid on the road in the playoffs is a terrifying proposition because of all of that wonderful clock management ability he’s shown over the years.
-Wouldnt you know it, suddenly down 1 but driving the Chiefs come out of the two minute warning break and…promptly burn their last time out. The king is dead, long live the king.
-That last Indy TD was a gift for anyone that had KC +1, pretty much ensured at worst a push and with Big Ref in charge of the clock that was really comforting
Saints 24 Eagles 23
What an opening day of the post season we got this year. Jesus, two games decided by one point played in wildly different styles. Great stuff.
-Both offenses came out of the gates sluggish in this one. They managed to find some rhythm in the second half and started exchanging scores.
-The self inflicted head injury to Keenan Lewis allowed Foles to find some receivers open in space and for a brief moment in time it looked like the Eagles were going to pull this one out and continue the Saints’ road playoff woes.
-That is until the Iggles somehow managed to allow Darren Sproles to return the kick off back to midfield. Couple that with 15yds for a horse collar tackle and the Saints were in business.
-At the time it seemed like that horse collar tackle was a neccessary evil but hindsight being what it is one has to wonder if maybe the Eagles would have been in better shape had that tackle been missed and Sproles took it to the house with more than 3 minutes to go. That’s an awful lot of Armchair QBing but worth a mention for sure.
-Then Chuck Kelly, apparently a graduate of the Andy Reid School of Clock Management called a mad weird time out prior to the 2-minute warning. Just a complete and utter Fat Andy-esque ending to that game.
Chargers 27 Bengals 10
What the fuck was with this game? Zero rhythm at all, injury time outs, penalties and booth reviews all over the place. The final 2 min of the 1st half took roughly 45 min.
-My notes from this game can be found by clicking on me
-Oh and this game also provided us with this little gem of a stat from everyone’s favorite maybe human Darren Rovell
CRAZY STAT: 3 Bengals players weren’t born the last time the team won a playoff game in Jan 1991
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) January 5, 2014
well now I just feel really fuckin old. thanks a lot, dick
49ers 23 Packers 20
About as entertaining of end to the weekend as anyone could have asked for. This game saw offense in flurries towards the ends of both halves with some stagnant offense/good defense played in between.
-The 49ers dominated the 1st Qtr and yet somehow came away with only two FGs. They had GB beat on both sides of the ball and the Packers just looked flat out lifeless
-That is until Truman Williams undercut Vernon Davis on a ball under thrown by Kaepernick which breathed some life into the Green Bay side especially after Truman buried his helmet into Kaepernick’s.
-Truman Williams lived out the dream of many an NFL defender on that one. Got to believe that in this day and age of Roughing the Passer every defenders dream is to be returning a turn over and see the QB lowering his head to make the tackle.
-I have to think that someone on the San Francisco sidelines grabbed Kap the second he got off of the field to remind him that “making tackles with your helmet” is no where to be found in his job description
-The INT really did provide the spark that Green Bay needed in the 2nd Qtr as the Packer marched down the field and scored the games first TD on a beautiful throw to Jordy Nelson.
-Hey guys did you know it was cold in Green Bay yesterday? Like super cold. At least Joe Buck handled the elements well and didnt whine on national TV for 3 hours, that would have sucked.
-After a punt happy 3rd Qtr both teams got their offenses in gear just in time to give us a fantastic finish
-How Randal Cobb can continually find an open pocket in the middle of the field when Rodgers breaks the pocket is surreal.
-Oh and apparently holding doesn’t apply in Green Bay to the Packers. Good to know for next season.
-When the 49ers got the ball back with 5min to go in a tie game I had the old “here we go again” feeling regarding Kaepernick and the Packers. He broke the pocket for a few big runs and the rest of the time Harbaugh just used Frank Gore as the battering ram that he is.
-The Packers defensive deficiencies were glaringly apparent on that final drive. They just could not muster up an answer for the monster that Frank Gore is which allowed SF to set up Phil Dawson for a nice easy chip shot.
-Which was essential because in those temps he was basically kicking a rock and for a split second it appeared that kick was going to be blocked (he was called offsides but whatever, it makes the story more dramatic) and then that it might screwball itself wide right but found itself true through the uprights. Ball game San Francisco.
Next week we have four rematches from earlier in the regular season and one round three between division rivals. We’ll get into that later this week in a Division Round Picks post but lets all just hope that we get as good of a slate of football next weekend as we did this weekend.