1) My streak of successfully picking NFL playoff games is over with the Denver Broncos knocking off the New England Patriots. I had the Patriots, but I'm not surprised they were defeated by Denver. It was a close game, but the fantastic Broncos' defense was just too much for Tom Brady and the Pats to overcome.
Just how good was Denver's D?
The official NFL stats will say they got to Brady for 4 sacks and 17 quarterback hits. ESPN had Denver down for 23 QB hits. Pro Football Focus had Denver down for an additional 25 hurries and they had Denver charted for blitzing a season low 17.2% of the time.
If Denver's pass rush can have a repeat performance they'll win Super Bowl 50.
But I don't think they'll get to the mobile Cam Newton that many times. The running game of the Carolina Panthers will keep Denver off balance and Newton will do just enough to lead the Panthers to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Not only am I picking the Panthers to beat the Broncos 28-20, I'll be rooting for them to win the game. Let us know in the poll below which team you'll be rooting for.
2) All season long New England's offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo was praised for his handling of the beat up Patriot o-line, including three rookies that each played over 50% of the team's snaps. Yesterday he was fired. Can someone say Fall Guy?
3) Check out these statistical nuggets I came across last night that I shared via Twitter. You guys are all following me on Twitter aren't you?
Tom Brady has played in 31 playoff games for the #Patriots & yesterday the #Broncos held him to a postseason career low completion % of 48.2— Lester A Wiltfong Jr (@wiltfongjr) January 26, 2016
The #Broncos also held the #Patriots Tom Brady to the 2nd lowest passer rating in his 31 game postseason career (56.4)— Lester A Wiltfong Jr (@wiltfongjr) January 26, 2016
But I'm still picking the Panthers!
4) Carolina rolled over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but I don't think Cardinal QB Carson Palmer was 100%. Head coach Bruce Arians claims Palmer's bad finger didn't affect his throwing, Palmer wouldn't use it as an excuse, but he just didn't look like the same guy. But I don't think it would have mattered in the NFC Championship game. Carolina just seems like a team of destiny.
5) This is brilliant.
From SB Nation, Only 1 of the quarterbacks in the Super Bowl plays the game the right way
6) Did you realize that quarterbacks drafted by the Colts franchise have started 2 Super Bowls for the Colts, 7 for the Denver Broncos and 1 for the Atlanta Falcons?
7) Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is unhappy with his general manager.
From our sister site, Acme Packing Company;
For innumerable fans, the unwillingness of Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson to sign veteran free agents has become a source of angst. As it turns out, they may have company from one of the highest-ranking members of the team. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Bob McGinn, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is "fed up" with Thompson's general avoidance of veteran free agents.
Could there be a power struggle brewing in Cheeseland?
7a) There was another Packers tidbit that caught my eye.
Running back Eddie Lacy, whom McCarthy criticized for being out of shape, is seeking out the P90X guy to be his personal trainer. I guess if you're rocking an NFL salary you can hire a celebrity trainer.
8) When the movie Concussion came out last month, some people speculated that it would be the beginning of the end for the NFL juggernaut.
That's not happening.
A combined 99 million viewers watched the Championship Games on Sunday. People still want their NFL and nothing will change that. The only change that will take place is more people aggressively trying to make the game safer.
There's never going to be a way to make any sport 100% safe, but there will be a point in time where the helmets used are safer than the ones we have now. The NFL did a lot of wrong through the years with the entire concussion cover up/conspiracy, but they are actively trying to make football safer now.
9) Now that the Rams have officially moved to Los Angeles, the clock is ticking for the San Diego Chargers to follow them, possibly keeping the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.
Or would it.
The latest on the Los Angeles football saga has the Raiders ready to relocate to San Diego if they can't return to L.A.
Are you ready for the Los Angeles Chargers vs the San Diego Raiders?
10) Of all the original 6 Pro Bowl quarterbacks named this year, only Russell Wilson remains, the other 5 are all alternates.
The Minnesota Vikings' Teddy Bridgewater and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jamesis Winston were just added. They'll join the New York Giants' Eli Manning, the Buffalo Bills' Tyrod Taylor and the Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr.
For those keeping score at home, Bridgewater averaged 201.9 passing yards per game, he threw 14 TDs and 9 interceptions, with a passer rating of 88.7. He also compiled 192 yards rushing with 3 TDs, and he lost 3 of his 8 fumbles.
Winston had an even lower passer rating than Bridgewater. Here are Winston's numbers; 252.6 yards per game, 22 TDs to 15 ints, with a 84.2 passer rating. He rushed for 213 yards with 6 TDs on the ground, and he lost 2 of his 6 fumbles.
I'm sure by now you know where I'm going with this.
Here are Jay Cutler's 2015 stats; 243.9 passing yards per game, 21 TDs to 11 picks, a 92.3 passer rating, 201 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, and he lost 5 of his 8 fumbles.
10a) This is crazy...
"Official" number of Pro Bowlers this season: 133 (incl. injury and SB replacements, alternates), most in NFL history, via @EliasSports— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2016
11) Just because this headline grabbed my attention I had to throw in an 11th thought; Broncos defender on Tom Brady: 'I tried to rub my nuts on his face'
What the hell is wrong with some people?
What are some of your Thoughts on the NFL this week and be sure to vote in the poll so we know which team you're rooting for!