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Ten Things We Learned After Divisional Playoff Weekend…

Posted By Bill Dowling On Jan 17 2011 @ 7:19 pm In NFL | 1 Comment

1. If you don’t believe in Aaron Rodgers yet, you need to get your head examined.  He had plenty of critics before the postseason started, and has shut them all up.  Rodgers is by far the MVP of the playoffs.  He is playing in a different stratosphere right now and if the Packers go to Dallas it will be because of Rodgers.

2.  Turnovers are the most important stat in football.  Teams that won the turnover battle this weekend were 3-1.  The Steelers and Ravens combined for 31 points off turnovers on Saturday, and it was a Joe Flacco interception and Ray Rice fumble in the second half that helped bury the Ravens.  In Atlanta the Falcons helped the embarrassment by turning the ball over four times.  Tom Brady hadn’t thrown an interception in three months, but his opening drive interception yesterday gave the Jets momentum they never relinquished.  Hold on to the ball and you’ll most likely be going to Dallas.

3.  Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan have a lot to prove in 2011.  The two young guns are going into their fourth year in the league and need to have big years to prove their worth.  I’m not talking about piling up stats.  Ryan, or “Matty Ice” is now 0-2 in the playoffs including Saturdays humiliating defeat in the Georgia Dome, a place where it was believed he doesn’t lose.  Flacco on the other hand has won four playoff games as a starting quarterback on the road, but has never had a defining moment in any of those games.  Some of the games he’s barely even passed the ball, and on Saturday with the ball at the fifty-yard line and a minute and a half to go down by seven, Flacco’s Ravens lost yards.  Lots to prove for these two in 2011.

4.  Besides Aaron Rodgers Mark Sanchez is the best young quarterback in the league.  All he does is win.  With a win on Sunday he will become the all time leader in wins on the road in the playoffs as a starting quarterback. All time! It’s only his second year.  It may not always be pretty and he throws a lot of head shaking passes, but the kid is a flat out winner.

5.  The Patriots are the 2001-2008 Yankees.  In 2001 the Yankees dynasty ended in Arizona.  This then led to a roster changing alteration in which many of their core players were gone.  Yes they still had some cogs of the dynasty in Jeter, Andy, Rivera and Posada, but the dynasty done.  In February of 2008 the Patriots dynasty also ended in Arizona against the Giants, and now they’ve had the roster alteration like the Yankees had, even though they still have the coach and the quarterback.  They also haven’t won a playoff game since.  That slump breaking title came for the Yankees in 09; will the Patriots break their slump.

6.  The Dolphins beat the Packers, Jets and should of beat the Steelers.  How did any of that happen?  I had to have a Dolphins comment in here somewhere.

7.  The league is changing.  Look at some of the coaches hired last week.  With the names like Cowher and Gruden available, teams decided to go with lesser-known guys.  Are teams trying to find the next Mike Tomlin or Rex Ryan?

8.  The Eagles continue to try and fix a knife wound with a band-aid.  With the firing of Sean McDermott, the Eagles have once again placed the blame on someone else rather then their fearless leader.  They did it with T.O., and then again with McNabb.  Now they fire McDermott who don’t get me wrong, didn’t help his case too much over the past two years.  The one thing constant here is the czar of football, or at least he thinks he is, Mr. Andrew Walter Reid.  You can connect the rest of the dots.

9.  Chicago still can’t get any respect.  Critics are still questioning the strength of the Bears after a divisional round win over the under .500 Seahawks.  They beat Seattle, so what, they might as well have had a second bye week.  That’s what is being said about the Bears.  Mind you this team beat the Packers, Jets, and Eagles during the season, and is now in the NFC Championship game, and still most of the world will be riding the Green Bay bandwagon.  Where’s the love for the Bears???

10.  The Jets really can’t go to the Super Bowl.  Right??

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