I don't think this is how the NFL visualized their opening round of the playoffs to go. While the opening game was close, it wasn't necessarily exciting, unless you really like field goals. Saturday night featured MVP candidate Adrian Peterson being bottled up by a Packers team that didn't have to concern themselves with the Minnesota passing game. Sunday gave us Ray Lewis appreciation day, but a listless Colts team made for a ho-hum game. Then the late game was centered around Robert Griffin III and his weakened knee.
I'm sure the ratings will end up being very good, this is the NFL after all, but I'm hoping for some more exciting football in the next round.
On to my thoughts!
1) Can the media really have it both ways? Jay Cutler was criticized for not playing on a bad knee a couple years ago, and now the Redskins are being criticized for playing RGIII on his balky knee.
2) Bears' fans have become accustomed to seeing NFL football played on a poorly maintained field, but I think the Soldier Field sod would have been a welcome sight for the Redskins and Seahawks. Washington's FedEx Field really looked bad.
3) Richard Sherman has a little Dennis Rodman in him. The Seattle Seahwaks starting corner and suspected PED user, has a knack for getting under the skin of his opponents. I'm not opposed to some good trash talk, but rubbing salt in the wounds of a defeated foe is asking for an ass kicking. If you didn't see the altercation he had with Redskins LT Trent Williams, here's the video.
4) I really thought that the money the Seahawks gave to Marshawn Lynch was a bad investment. A physical back like him tends to break down quicker than other runners, but he's been a huge part of Seattle's success, and they have a great chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. And have I mentioned what a fan I am of Russell Wilson?
5) Ray Lewis misses a month and a half, and of course leads the Ravens in tackles. He is the best inside linebacker of this generation.
6) Oregon's Chip Kelly chose to spurn the NFL's riches for Nike's riches. The entire process ended up looking like he used the NFL to get more money to stay in college. It'll be interesting to see if the rumors of recruiting violations are true.
7) The Packers really played a disciplined defensive scheme on Saturday night. They all stayed in their gaps, and shut down the running lanes for Peterson. I know that publicly, the Packers feigned concern over not preparing for Joe Webb, but I'll bet internally they were about as happy as can be.
8) Slow and steady wins the race? Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis still has yet to pick up a playoff win. In 10 years he's 0-4 in the post season, and has a .497 regular season wining percentage. I wonder if Cincy fans are tiring of him?
9) When did "bulletin board material" become twitter avatar material? Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote that playing the Texans is akin to another bye week for the Patriots, so Houston tailback Arian Foster used a snippet of the article for his twitter avatar.
10) Here are my picks for this weekend; I have both home teams winning in the AFC, with Denver over Baltimore, and New England over Houston. Over in the NFC, I'm going with both road teams, Seattle winning in Atlanta, and Green Bay knocking off the 49ers.