Jeremy already wrote about it, but let’s take another look at what we witnessed last night in Seattle. Not only did the Seahawks beat the Saints, they also played quite well, at least offensively. After an early interception, Matt Hasselbeck played what was probably his first good game since his Super Bowl appearance, and he was really fantastic, throwing for four scores. And of course, Marshawn Lynch’s big run will be played on highlight reels for many years to come, though apparently every Saints defender learned how to tackle from Antonio Cromartie. I said before the game that while I generally root for the underdogs, I have my limits, and the Seahawks were a really awful team this year. However, you have to give them a lot of credit for beating a great Saints team. It’s also great news for the city of Seattle, which has gone through some difficult times, what with the Supersonics leaving town, Frasier going off the air in 2004, and Kurt Cobain shooting himself in the head. I’m sure it’ll give people something to talk about in Starbucks other than grunge music and how much it’s been raining.
The Saturday night game also turned into quite the nailbiter, with the Jets getting a Nick Folk field goal knock off the Colts 17-16. Once again, no one on the Colts other than Peyton Manning did anything to help out, especially coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell inexplicably called a timeout late in the fourth quarter that gave the Jets an opportunity to turn a 50 yard field goal attempt into a 32 yarder. Even more inexplicable was Caldwell’s explanation for calling the timeout:
“I didn’t care. I was going to make sure that they couldn’t. Make them snap the ball. They were in field goal range. We wanted to try to make them snap the ball as many times as they possibly could.”
So, that doesn’t make any sense. As for the Jets, they played it safe for the most part, with LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene combining for 152 yards and two LT touchdowns. Darelle Revis was the real star of the show, limiting Reggie Wayne to one catch for one yard. That is just unreal.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs were dismantled by the Ravens, 30-7. The Chiefs got off to a good start thanks to a long Jamaal Charles run for a touchdown, but Matt Cassel played poorly in his first playoff start, throwing three interceptions. The Ravens scored 20 of their points in the second half, with Joe Flacco throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Other than Charles long run, this game was a snore.
In the late game, the Packers ended the Eagles’ season with a 21-16 win. The Eagles had a bunch of opportunities here; Mike Vick threw an interception in the end zone to end the game, and David Akers missed a couple of field goal tries. It’s a disappointing finish for Vick, who was absolutely stellar to begin the season but was shaky near the end. For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers was very efficient, throwing for three TDs and 180 yards in his first playoff win.
Next weekend’s matchups are very intriguing. The AFC particularly has some interesting divisional matchups, with Baltimore traveling to Pittsburgh and the Jets going to Foxboro to face the Pats. The Seahawks will try to pull another upset against Jay Cutler and the Bears, while my vote for game of the week is in Atlanta with the Packers coming to town.