NFL Playoffs – Divisional Round
Now that we are down to the final four in the NFL Playoffs, let’s take a quick look on how we got here.
Baltimore Ravens: Through much of the game, Baltimore looked as if they were the top seed in the AFC but in the end; they were out coached, out smarted, and out played by a superior coach/quarterback combo. Joe Flacco’s playoff magic ended with a thud when he threw his second interception of the day with a poorly thrown pass into double coverage. Epic Collapse: The Raven became the first team in NFL playoff history to blow two 14 point leads and lose. Quoth the 2014 Baltimore Ravens nevermore.
Carolina Panthers: Carolina used their running game and kept this game close going into the fourth quarter. However a back breaking 87 yard interception return served up hot and fresh by Cam Newton sealed the win for Seattle and kicked off the off season for Carolina.
Dallas Cowboys: With a 21-13 lead in the third quarter it seemed that Dallas may have found a way to take advantage of a Green Bay team with a hobbled Aaron Rodgers. However poor play calling and a rejuvenated 2nd half Aaron Rodgers put the Cowboys in a 5 point deficit late in fourth quarter. With a possibility of gaining a 1st down by running the ball on a fourth down, Dallas went for it all with a long pass to Dez Bryant that was ruled incomplete after review. That incomplete pass ended the Cowboys’ hope for a comeback and their season.
Denver Broncos: After a quick start put the Broncos up 7-0 in the first quarter, Denver was barely able to muster 10 points for the rest of the Game. Peyton Manning looked like a shell of his former self as he struggled to hit receivers down field on his way to one of his worst playoff defeats of his career. Downward Spiral: Since winning the Superbowl against the Bears, Manning is 4-7 in the postseason.
Green Bay Packers: With the Packers down by 8 points in the third quarter, Aaron Rodgers took over the game and led Green Bay on two touchdown drives to move past Cowboys and on to Seattle for the NFC Championship game. No Place Like Home: With Sunday’s win, the Packers went 9-0 at home this year…What’s more amazing? Aaron Rodgers never threw an interception at Lambeau Field all season long.
Indianapolis Colts: After trailing 7-0 in the 1st Quarter, the Colts took command of this game before halftime and then never looked back. This game was almost a symbolic passing of the torch from Peyton Manning, who appeared to be standing on his last legs to Andrew Luck who is now off to his first AFC Championship Game. Big Time Stats: Andrew luck has thrown for the most yards (1,703) in his first five playoff games than anyone in NFL History.
New England Patriots: With one of his most impressive playoff performances, Tom Brady bailed out the lackluster Patriots on Saturday with a 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. With little to no pass rush, the Patriots dug themselves into two 14 point deficits in the 1st and 2nd halves of the game. Excellent coaching along with unconventional play calling rallied New England back and puts them in their 9th AFC Championship game since 2001. Airing It Out: The Patriots passed the ball 87.1% of the time on Saturday giving them the highest percentage of passing plays in a playoff game in the last ten seasons. The next five teams, with the highest passing percentage, lost their game.
Seattle Seahawks: Efficient offense coupled with a stout defense out lasted the Panthers on Saturday. Though the Panthers kept this game close going into the second half, big plays from the “Legion of Boom” turned the tide and puts the Seahawks in a position to host the Green Bay Packers for the right to go to the Superbowl.
What’s that? You want an extra helping of Division Hate? Well here you go!
Buffalo Bills: With the hiring of Rex Ryan, Terry Pegula has proven that he is willing to spend money on a head coach. Unfortunately, spending money and spending money wisely are two different things.
Miami Dolphins: A Haiku Offering for the Dolphins:
Extend Plastic Joe
Tannenbaum joins the party
Eight wins next season
New York Jets: With Todd Bowles on board, it seems the Jets are looking to have a Head Coach that makes headlines with the performance on the field versus at Press Conferences.