Posted by: Michael Renusz | January 17, 2011

NFL recap: Jets pull off the upset

Holmes had the chance to relive his Super Bowl heroics

As you probably are aware already, your 2011 AFC and NFC championship matches are set. The early game next Sunday will feature Aaron Rodgers and the Packers travelling to Chicago to face the most hated man in the NFL, Jay Cutler. The late game will feature Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers taking on the New York Jets.

Let’s start with the Jets, who came into New England as 8.5 point underdogs against the Patriots, and then went on to control the game from start to finish. Note to Pats fans: anytime Tom Brady has one of those years that people refer to as legendary and unprecedented, it’s probably easier to have low expectations in the playoffs. I’m biased against the Jets, but Rex Ryan came up with a great gameplan to take down the 14-2 Pats, just like they did in Week 2. Mark Sanchez shook off his Foxboro demons. Santonio Holmes made another jaw dropping catch to lock up the win. LaDainian Tomlinson made the kind of touchdown grab he would have made in 2006. Darelle Revis was inhuman (as always). But if there’s one guy I need to give some credit to, it’s Antonio Cromartie, who played one of his best games since his career year in ’07. I criticized Cromartie for trash talking Tom Brady earlier in the week, but he backed up with decent coverage, even though Brady avoided him for most of the game. Cromartie was also a force on special teams, giving the Jets great field position throughout the game on kick returns. I don’t like the Jets, but it was a lot of fun to watch the Pats fail at home.

On Saturday, the Ravens jumped out to a two touchdown lead, before deciding they had played well enough and started preparing for the winner of the Pats-Jets game. In the end, Pittsburgh came back and won 31-24, thanks in large part to a Ben Roethlisberger 58 yard pass to Antonio Brown. The Ravens had a lot of trouble moving the ball down the field against the Steelers, with Joe Flacco throwing for just 125 yards, and Ray Rice picking up just 32 yards on the ground.

The late game on Saturday night was also a bit of a shocker, with the Packers upsetting the number one seed Falcons, 48-21. This was a close game until Matt Ryan made a poor throw to end the first half, which resulted in a 70 yard interception return by Tramon Williams. The real story here, though, is definitely Aaron Rodgers performance. Rodgers was an amazing 31/36, with 3 TD’s and 366 yards in one of the greatest passing displays I’ve ever seen. Eventually, the Packers put this game away in the third quarter, at which point I began watching reruns of Eastbound and Down.

And lastly, our beloved 7-9 Seahawks fell in Chicago to the Bears, by a score of 35-24. This game bored me to tears, not just because the Bears controlled it from the first minute, but also because they played the same Budweiser commercial about 100 times. I’m pretty sure that commercial had more screen time that Matt Hasselbeck’s Seattle offense did. From what I did see, the Jay Cutler to Greg Olsen combination looked unstoppable.



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