Wednesday Morning QB (Divisional Playoffs)

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The NFL continued their playoffs as the Divisional Round took place this past week with some surprises but above all the proof of an old saying. The old saying is the “Defence Wins Championships” and it had seriously been challenged this year. The challengers were the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots who ranked 32nd and 31st respectively in total defence. Yet both of these teams finished in first place in each conference leading many to believe that the saying was no longer valid as it was obvious that the offences were here to stay. Along with the Packers and Patriots the New Orleans Saints came in to the playoffs with their own potent offence and had become early favorites for the Super Bowl. The Divisional playoffs would truly put the defensive saying to the test. The Saints would take on the very good defence of the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers would take on the Giants who had a much better defence than themselves. The only team that may not have faced a great defence was the Patriots who would take on the hot and cold Broncos. The Divisional Round would feature a number of matchups that could either show that defence is still king or completely change the opinion of the playoffs. This created a lot of drama in the second round of the playoffs as 8 teams played for their shot at the Super Bowl.


AFC Divisional Playoffs

The AFC did not see the same type of matchups as the NFC with the defence vs. offence games not nearly as big a difference. The weekend for the AFC kicked off with a rematch of a regular season matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. The matchup earlier this year saw a streaking Broncos team come back to earth against the Patriots who won in a blow out. During the divisional playoffs the script was much the same as the Broncos were riding high off of a surprise win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots were coming off of a bye week thanks to their amazing performance in the regular season behind Tom Brady. The Patriots were looking for the same result this time as they looked to roll over the Broncos and into the Conference Championships while the Broncos were looking for another upset win. The game started out with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski taking over the game connecting for three TDs in the first half. The Broncos could only muster 10 points as the Pats never gave up control of the game with Tom Brady throwing for an NFL Record 6 TDs in the game. The Pats will now move on to host the AFC Championship game as they look to continue their offensive output while hoping their 31st ranked defence can hold up. The Pats would take on the winner of the Houston Texans-Baltimore Ravens game. This matchup would be a battle between two old school style teams as both the Texans and Ravens depended on their defence and running game to get them to the playoffs. The Ravens had Ray Rice and a veteran defence, with a bit of youth injected, that helped them win the AFC North Division. The Houston Texans used Arian Foster and their new defensive coordinators, Wade Phillips, to carry them to the AFC South division. Both teams would face off for their chance at taking on the Patriots in the AFC Championship. The game was exactly as advertised with both defences taking control from the start. The Ravens took the advantage at the beginning of the game and looked to their defence to hold on. It wasn’t pretty but the Ravens took the 20-13 win as they won the turnover battle and scored just enough to get by the Texans. The Texans could not get their offence going against the Ravens as Arian Foster was shutdown for the majority of the game and TJ Yates could not carry the teams. Overall Joe Flacco did not have a great game but did do enough to win with the help of Ray Rice. They will move on to face the Patriots in New England as they look to get back to the Super Bowl.  


New England Patriots 45 – 10 Denver Broncos


Baltimore Ravens 20 – 13 Houston Texans


NFC Divisional Playoffs


The NFC saw two games involving the classic defence vs. offence matchup as the classic saying was put to the test. The first game would see the perfect example of this game as the New Orleans Saints would take on the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints would go in to San Francisco with the best offence in the NFL this year behind Drew Brees but had a middle of the road defence. The 49ers came into the game with a mediocre offence led by Frank Gore and Alex Smith while their defence was one of the best in the league only allowing 3 rushing TDs all year. The classic matchup would also see a new wrinkle as the Saints would need to go outside of the comfort of their dome to play in the elements. The game started off with the 49ers taking control from the start, getting out to an early 17-0 lead. Just as the niners looked to be in control the Saints showed their potent offence coming back to within a Field Goal before the end of the first half. Then, after a low scoring 3rd quarter, The offences opened up in the 4th with a back and forth battle. It all ended with the much maligned Alex Smith taking control and becoming the hero to lead his team to the final TD, a great pass to Vernon Davis, and the playoff win. San Francisco would wait to see if they would travel to the Frozen Tundra or host another game against the Giants. The New York Giants and Green Bay Packers game would be another rematch on the weekend. The first game saw the Packers take the win by three points. It would also see a matchup of the 32nd ranked defence and a top ranked offence take on a middle of the road defence and offence in a slightly less extreme defence vs. offence matchup. The game started off as a back and forth battle with both teams living up to the hype and exchanging points. Then it seemed to start slipping away from the Packers as they began to drop passes and the Giants began to take over. The game continued to slip away from the Packers as the Giants began taking the momentum and building a strong lead. In the end the Giants walked away with the 37-20 win in a confident win that did not see them in much trouble from the second quarter to the end of the game. With the win the Giants got revenge for the regular season loss and began truly looking like their 2007 team that came on late in the season and beat everyone on their way to a Super Bowl win. This year they will need to go through the 49ers to get to the Super Bowl as the NFC Championship has officially been set and should be a great game. 


San Francisco 49ers 36 – 32 New Orleans Saints


New York Giants 37 – 26 Green Bay Packers


AFC Championship:

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots (January 26th; 3:00 pm)

– The defence has won every game in this playoffs and they will try to go perfect as the Ravens take their great defence to New England to take on Tom Brady and the Pats great offence to find out who will represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI


NFC Championship:

New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers (January 22nd; 6:30 pm)

– The Giants look a lot like their 2007 Super Bowl winning team but will need to get through the San fRancisco 49ers and the best running defence in the NFL as the Niners look to return to greatness under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh

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