Friday, January 13, 2012
So I Talk To My NFL Diary (Divisional Round)
"Freak to the funk that no one else is bringing."
Friday, 2:31: So pumped about tomorrow that I couldn't even wait to get this one in. You're probably aware that Tim Tebow will be playing tomorrow night, but it seems like the rest is completely irrelevant. I just want to say thanks to every media outlet for playing the Tebow angle up...again. That really helped the first time around, and I'm hoping for similar results tomorrow.
As for what to expect: Tim Tebow is a gifted athlete, a captivating figure, and a spark plug for football in Denver and the league en general...however, that is not going to matter a whole lot tomorrow in Foxboro. Let me set the mood for you.
The past two seasons, the Pats have been knocked out of the playoffs in their first game. This season, Brady has been playing with that "pissed off, I'm going to light you up" look in his eye more often than not. Expect similar results tomorrow night. As much as Tebow has the desire to win, no one has it more than Tom when he's in the zone. That alone should be a terrifying warning to Denver and Tebow jumkies, but it gets worse (for them...really great for us).
The game is also going to showcase a lot of personalities not present at the last meeting. You may recall Andre Carter actually got injured early on in the first Pats/Denver game, but let's also not forget that Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, and Sebastian Vollmer were also not involved. With all three, they will have a big effect on the things Denver loves to do: Rush the ball and rush the passer. While Dane Fletcher had a great season, Spikes is a presence. Comboing him and Mayo will solidify the middle, right where Tebow and Co. do their damage.
Patrick Chung is one of the best hitters in the game. He really is cut from a Rodney Harrison-like cloth. The Pats were playing their safeties way back in their first encounter. While they will likely show the same look this week (the 80 yard TD at the end of the Steelers game was a nice reminder that this team has big play making abilities), Chung has shown the ability to get up to the line as quick as anyone in the league at the free safety position.
Vollmer adds more depth to a line that actually did quite well this season. Him and Matty Light will likely be the starting tackles with Nate Solder serving in spot duty. Denver will be coming with Dumervil and Von Miller all night long. Not saying they won't be able to get a few shots in, but it's great to finally be playing with a full deck on the exterior to at least attempt to stop the pass rush.
The Josh McDaniels angle is really not being played up at all, which I find to be a bit surprising, but in any event, he's back in the fold, which just makes our offense that much better. Not saying that he is going to somehow be able to blueprint everything that Denver will do (he coached there two years ago and drafted Tebow and DeMaryius Thomas...you're welcome for that Denver by the way), but his presence adds another element that we probably didn't even need, but gladly accept.
Denver has one chance, and that's if the Pats just don't show up. Otherwise, there is no way this game will not get ugly...like really ugly. The Tebow phenomenon could not have picked up at a better time. The Pats are poised to piggyback off of this again and jump start the playoffs much like it did the regular season for us. I think Denver has a solid team, a great running game, and obviously a QB whose future potential is limitless...but I just don't see it...call me biased (I am), but I see domination coming.
New England (-13.5) vs. Denver: Apparently Vegas feels likewise.
San Fran (+4) vs. New Orleans: The splits are loaded in the Niners favor, plus it seems like you can't find anyone even willing to entertain the possibility of San Fran winning this game. We're about to find out what this defense is made of tomorrow.
Baltimore (-7.5) vs. Houston: Andre Johnson was not in the first matchup when the Ravens won handily. He's back, but I don't see that being able to compensate for T.J. Yates' inexperience in playoff conditions. The running attack was held in check the last time around for Houston, and while the Texans have had a good attack against the opposing ground game, Ray Rice should carve this team up yet again (over 160 yards from srimmage last outing).
The G-MEN (+7.5) vs. The Pack: I can't help but think the G-Men will at the very least keep it close on Sunday. They have been the hottest team on the NFL leading into the playoffs. The Pack may get a huge boost from the returns of both Greg Jennings and A.J. Hawk, but look for the Giants to expose that secondary that was 31st in the league against the pass. Green Bay is more than capable of running it up on anyone, but they have shown the affinity for outlasting the good teams instead of blowing them out.
Can't wait for tomorrow! LET'S GO PATS!!!