This weekend was truly one of wild games. The highly anticipated postseason is finally underway in the NFL, and in stunning fashion. The NFL playoffs are usually a time for the stars to shine and the underdogs to prove themselves.
It looks like just that this year with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees sustaining his already remarkable season, and controversial Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow continuing his unpredicted journey from back up to playoff contender.
I can already guarantee that this year's playoffs will not lack drama and will be full of nail biting finishes.
It all started at Reliant Stadium in Houston when the banged up Texans smothered the Cincinnati Bengals (31-10). It was a battle of two rookie quarterbacks, T.J Yates of Houston, and Andy Dalton of Cincinnati.
Dalton has started since the first day he arrived in Cincinnati, and with the help of fellow rookie receiver A.J Green, they mastered a run to the playoffs. However, on Saturday, Dalton's luck ran out and he threw no touchdowns and three interceptions.
In contrast, Yates did not start until late in the season after the two quarterbacks in front of him were injured. When it counted, Yates came through big and was able to throw a touchdown without any interceptions. With the help of running back Arian Foster's 153 yards and 2 touchdowns and rookie defensive end J.J Watt's touchdown, the Texans were able to dominate the Bengals and win comfortably. The Houston Texans will play the Baltimore Ravens next week.
The New Orleans-Detroit game came down to Drew Brees just being too much for the Detriot Lions. Brees threw for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns as his Saints rolled over the Lions for the second time this season (45-28).
The Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson duo of the Lions came to play again as they connected twelve times for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, the outstanding duo ended their season in New Orleans, but much improved from their winless 2008 season. The Saints move on to play the San Francisco 49‘ers next week.
The New York Giants who snuck into the playoffs last week by beating the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East were able to keep the momentum going as they blew past the Atlanta Falcons (24-2). Yes, that is correct. The Falcons did not score any points offensively, their only points came from a penalty on Eli Manning early in the second quarter. Manning was able to bounce back by throwing for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead his G-Men to the divisional round in Green Bay for a highly anticipated week 13 rematch.
By far the most exciting game of the weekend featured Tim Tebow. The Broncos jumped on the Steelers in the first half taking a 20-6 lead. However, the Steelers, in classic fashion, came back to tie the game with only a few minutes remaining.
Both quarterbacks had their shot to win in regulation, but couldn't do it, and that led to overtime, also known as Tebow Time, and rightfully so.
The new playoff rules for dealing with ties at the end of regulation play were admitted for the first time ever, but that did not matter. The overtime period lasted all of 11 seconds as Tebow threw a post route across the middle of the field to Demaryius Thomas, who did the rest, taking it 80 yards for the game winning touchdown.
The Broncos continue their run next week at Gillette Stadium against the top-ranked Patriots.
Here are my predictions for next weekend:
49‘ers 20 - Saints 31
Broncos 27- Patriots 48
Texans 13- Ravens 27
Giants 24- Packers 35
Wild Card weekend was only a preview for what is still to come in this years postseason. Now down to only 8 teams, the playoff excitement rises and the drama continues. As the playoffs role on, the pressure soars and the experienced teams gain the edge.