Wednesday Morning QB (Wild Card Weekend)

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The Wild Card Weekend was just about as thrilling as everyone thought with very few great games throughout the first round of the playoffs.

It was a first round where the games looked immediately like they might be the least exciting match-ups.

The Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins headed into their game without their starting quarterbacks and for the Raiders it was down to a rookie who had yet to make a start.

The Raiders took a loss to the Houston Texans who had the defence to win the game and the Dolphins were easily out of it against the New England Patriots.

In the NFC the Detroit Lions stumbled into the playoffs and had to take on a very experienced Seattle team.

It was a safe bet that the Seahawks were going to take the win and they did just that with another less than exciting match-up.

Everyone agreed that the games were not really the match-ups that were going to excite everyone and that unless there was a massive upset not much was going to change.

Everyone also agreed that the best match-up of the weekend was surely going to be the one between the hottest team in the league and a team that has made their way as the underdogs.

The Green Bay Packers came into the playoffs winning seven straight games as Aaron Rodgers was playing at a different level than anyone else.

The team around him was falling one by one with no listed running back, Ty Montgomery is listed as a receiver but took the majority of the snaps near the end of the year at running back, and a depleted defence.

The New York Giants didn’t necessarily sprint into the playoff but every time they are doubted and considered easy outs they have gone on to win a Super Bowl.

Eli Manning was looking to do the same this year with a solid defence and a pair of receivers that could really make a difference especially a defensive backfield that had lost so many players.

The game was seen as the best match-up of the weekend and it turned out to be just that as both teams fought a tough battle throughout the first half.

At the end of the half is when things took a turn though as Rodgers dropped back and threw a bomb down the field that landed in Randall Cobb’s hands at the back of the end zone.

It was another Hail Mary from Rodgers and it put the Packers ahead before the end of the half and shifting the momentum.

Rodgers went to work after that and began building a bigger lead putting the Packers into the divisional round of the playoffs.

It was a great performance by a great player but it was not the main story the next day as that was the lack of performance from the Giants.

More specifically from one of the brightest young stars in the game, Odell Beckham Jr.

OBJ has been a controversial figure in New York as he has been a player who has created highlight reel plays including one of the best catches in the history of the league.

He has also been at the centre of a few meltdowns both on the field and the sidelines leading to a distraction throughout the season.football-sidebar

His latest distraction came when he, along with a number of players from the team, took their day off in Miami partying with Justin Bieber and posing topless on a yacht.

For a city that loves its sports controversy, the picture was enough to cause concern that the Giants were simply not focused on the playoffs and that they preferred to party rather than prepare.

In reality, it was the tamest of controversies that the league had seen in years as there was nothing about them drinking too much, driving drunk, or getting into fights but rather just that they were in Miami having a good time and they were back for practice the next day.

In an era where domestic violence, drug possession, and DUIs the Giants and their boat outing was somewhat of a small issue.

Being in New York it was blown out of proportion and it was debated throughout the week with the ring leader supposedly being Beckham Jr.

There were plenty that waited until the game to see what type of impact the trip would have on the game.

When Beckham Jr. struggled to catch the ball throughout the game it seemed clear that regardless of what really happened in Miami it was going to be blamed for his bad game.

Sure enough when the Giants were eliminated the first headlines were all about the trip to Miami and those stories led to rumours.

That latest distraction had many thinking that Beckham was done in New York and that they were finished in dealing with him and his distractions.

The reality is that the trip had little effect on his performance as it likely had a lot more to do with the fact that it was his first playoff game ever and likely the coldest game of his career.

These are all excuses but when dealing with a still young receiver they are legitimate and having fun for one day when there is no practice wasn’t going to change much about his lack of experience.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on this week in the NFL)

Jags New/Old Coach
The Jacksonville Jaguars decided on their coach closing the first coach opening when they announced that interim coach Doug Marrone would take over permanently in 2017 while they also announced that Tom Coughlin will serve as CP

Pack Hurt Again
I Green Bay the injuries are a major concern despite their long winning streak and it hasn’t changed as their favourite deep target Jordy Nelson went down early in the wild card weekend and is questionable to return with a rib injury

Dangerous Return
Over the last few years the league has tried to take steps to reduce head injuries due to public pressure but it is tough when players don’t take it seriously like Matt Moore who took a big hit this past weekend but only missed one play

Porter’s Arrest
As they pursue the Super Bowl the Pittsburgh Steelers are trying to avoid distractions but it is a tough task when their assistant coach, Joey Porter becomes the distraction after an arrest in connection with a bar fight this week

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