NFL Playoffs: AFC Divisional Round Review
Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos
The Broncos and Ravens game was a very exciting game and we all expected a defensive struggle. One problem though, the defense didn’t show up until overtime. The Play of Trindon Holliday kept the Broncos in this game, setting two NFL playoff records. He had a 104 yard kickoff and 89 yard punt return for touchdowns to keep this game close for the Broncos who struggled offensively.
The star of this game shockingly enough was Joe Flacco. The year, the Ravens are 10-2 in games when Flacco averages nine yards per pass attempt. Saturday night Flacco had an average of 9.7 yards per pass attempt which follows the trend. The play of the game was the deep ball that Flacco threw to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left in the game to send it to overtime. In the second overtime period Justin Tucker nailed a 47 yard field goal to launch Baltimore into the AFC Championship Game.
For the Broncos this is a game that they should have won. They had the lead going into the last minute of the game and had it not been for a blown coverage by the safety they very well may have been hosting the title game. Peyton Manning did not have his best game of the year however he did play well enough to win. The last interception he threw however was not a very timely one. Denver turned the ball over deep in their own territory late in the first overtime to help set up Tucker’s kick.
Overall, this was a very entertaining game and I am looking forward to next week’s game. I will give my prediction to come later on this week.
Houston Texans and New England Patriots
The Texans and Patriots played a close game in the first half but Tom Brady put his foot on the accelerator in the second half to put this game out of reach early. Patriots would score on their first three out of four possessions to start the half to increase their lead to 38-13. Brady had a clean pocket for most of the game and that was the key for blowing out the Texans for the second time this season. Even though the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski early in this one it did not seem to slow them down a bit.
Matt Schaub was able to do some things in this game to give his team a fighting chance. However what Schaub was not able to do was sustain drives when they needed them the most. Not being able to establish the run early was problematic early on but Arian Foster was able to step up late in this game. So for a second straight season Houston will have to go back to drawing board to try and get back here again next season for a shot at the AFC title.
So once again we have the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens meet up in the title game and it is also a rematch from earlier this season. I expect this to be fight to play in New Orleans on February 3rd.
Patrick "Conman" Conn
"If winning isn't everything then why do we keep score?" - Vince Lombardi
Pudge Rodriquez, Nolan Ryan