Monday, January 7, 2008
As many of you know, I scribe a column about each and every Birds game called The Morning After. For the playoffs, I give you The Weekend After, a much more condensed version of the TMA. So I guess this would be called The TWA. Wait, I've heard that someplace before. Don't help me...
Not sure how you saw the games... I went 2-2 losing both Saturday games and winning both on Sunday. My take on each...
The Skins/Seahawks game was quite blah until the 4th Quarter. That may have been the wildest single quarter, playoffs or otherwise, I've seen in quite some time. Every game normally comes down to the 3-4 plays during the course of a game that one team either makes or does not make that will ultimately have the greatest impact on the outcome. One in this game was, for me, the missed FG by the Skins Shaun Suisham after they went ahead 14-13 and recovered the ensuing kickoff after Nate Burleson somehow lost track of his surroundings. In fact you could even say the entire series was one of those that affected the outcome for if the Skins had scored another TD on top of the one they just scored, they more than likely would have won the game. Or at the very least be in a very comfortable position as there would have been about 11 minutes left to play and they would have held a 21-13 lead.
My pick: Skins 23, Seahawks 17. Actual score: Seahawks 35, Skins 14
The Jags/Steelers tilt was another game which saw the action in the 4th Quarter ultimately shape the outcome with the Steelers scoring 19 points to storm back to take a 29-28 lead with a little less than 6 1/2 minutes to play. Unfortunately the Steelers inability to complete a 2-point conversion (twice) left them vulnerable to a game-winning FG and that is precisely what happened as the Jags Josh Scobee connected from 25-yards with just 40 seconds to play. One thing that stood out for me, or is it 3 things, is the number of interceptions thrown by Ben Roethlisberger (3). Coming in I would have thought the Jags David Garrard, with his lack of playoff experience compared to Ben's, would be the QB to throw picks. And while Garrard had 2 himself, the Jags QB did enough right things while limiting his mistakes.
My pick: Steelers 27, Jags 19. Actual score: Jags 31, Steelers 29
Last week all I heard was how Jeff Garcia and the Bucs were going to beat the Giants, again. I even mentioned that fact in my BLOG when I was making my picks. But my friend Ray Didinger was one of the few who reminded all of us that Jeff Garcia was not 100% and had not been for over a month and that that was something to be concerned about if you were a Bucs fan. Mix in the fact that many of the Bucs starters sat last week while the Giants played the Patriots right to the wire and you had all the makings for a Giants victory. Sure didn't start out that way as the Giants amassed all of a net 3 yards for the entire 1st Quarter. But despite having a nearly 2-1 edge in time of possession, the Bucs could manage only one TD. Their inability to put more points on the board while the Giants were down would prove costly. The 2nd Quarter was a role reversal in time of possession with the Giants controlling the clock. The big difference was they capitalized, scoring 2 TDs on their 3 possessions.
My pick: Giants 28, Bucs 21. Actual score: Giants 24, Bucs 14
The last game of the weekend saw the Titans take on the Bolts. In my prediction last week I wrote that the Titans were lucky to be in the playoffs, having secured their spot thanks to the Browns inability to beat the lowly Bengals and the fact that the Colts did not need to win their last game. But I also wrote that anytime you had a Jeff Fisher-coached team anything could happen. And for 3 quarters, what was happening was the Titans were holding down LT and the Chargers to just 10 points. The other comment I made was about Chargers coach Norv Turner "A dumb move here, a strange call there and suddenly Norville's Bolts are fighting to win in spite of their coach."
Sure enough the Bolts faced a 4th and Goal leading 10-6 with a little less than 9 minutes to play. Fortunately for Norv and the Chargers, LT was able to score a TD on a second effort after being met in mid air as he attempted to leap his way to paydirt. And also fortunate for Norv, et al, was the Titans inability to put points on the board themselves. For all their hard work on defense in shutting down LT, their offense was not able to take advantage and you just had the feeling it was just a matter of time.
My pick: Chargers 31, Titans 20. Actual score: Chargers 17, Titans 6
'Til next time and next weekend.
Posted by Steve Olenski at Monday, January 07, 2008