Another great 2nd round of the NFL Playoffs is in the books and only one of the 1st Round Bye Home Teams is gone, the defending Superbowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers. So long "discount double check" commercials, as there's nothing to celebrate in Green Bay.
Many might call the New York Giants victory an "upset", but not I... Eli Manning is continues to prove that he's an incredible quarterback and worth every bit of hype coming out of the 2004 Draft. The Giants almost defeated the Packers in the regular season, but it should have been realized how strong the Giants are historically with rematches. Just ask New England from the 2007 season. While the San Francisco 49ers get to enjoy a home game, just realize that the Giants are one of the best road teams in the NFL for the past 5 years. Eli plays better without the New Jersey swirling winds.
Speaking of the 49ers, WOW at that game Saturday afternoon... I was actually thinking we'd see the 2005 NFL Draft playout with Alex Smith taking on Aaron Rodgers and maybe that was a source of motivation for Smith? Either way, the 49ers Defense is tough as nails and they forced the most accurate single season QB of all time, Drew Brees, into multiple turnovers. Alex Smith, meanwhile, played up to his hype of the #1 pick of that 2005 Draft. Great for him, as he's had nothing but a revolving coaching staff and Jim Harbaugh gave him every chance to succeed.
I thoroughly enjoyed the New England Patriots utter destruction of the Denver Tebows, I mean Broncos. Goes to show you how well Coach John Fox coached up that Defense and the running game throughout the season to make Tebow look like a star by making a few 4th quarter plays when the Defense kept the game close. Tim Tebow is NOT a good NFL quarterback and will not be as long as that slow-ass release exists. Once the Patriots exposed the Denver defense, Tebow as an NFL quarterback was exposed.
And let's just add one more note... Tom Brady is a BADASS. 6 TD's, with 5 of them in the first half. He SHOULD be in the MVP discussion, if not given the award outright. Sure, Drew Brees set NFL records and sure, Aaron Rodgers led a team to be 15-1... But Tom Brady ALSO broke Dan Marino's yardage record with a 13-3 record despite what ended up being the 31st worst statistical defenses in 2011. What could be scary is that the New England defense was finally healthy against Denver and looked great...
New England showing balance will matter when facing the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have a handful of playmakers on that Defensive side of the ball that can change the game at any moment's notice. Joe Flacco can't play like crap, either... Zero tolerance level for mistakes.
With the Saints and the Packers now gone, I'm now predicting that the AFC Championship wins the Superbowl. I'm cheering on the Patriots, as I want Tom Brady to equal Joe Montana with Superbowl rings but be 1 up on him in appearances. I'm hoping that it will be the official crowning of the "Best Quarterback of All Time" label.
I'll go Patriots over Ravens and Giants over 49ers... Patriots defeat the Giants in a very close Superbowl, as revenge is a dish best served cold!