The crystal ball had a mediocre performance this past week, going a mere 2-2. This is playoff time, so that is unacceptable! The crystal ball took its lumps on the Colts game, but it’s okay with it since Norv’s our buddy! Anyway, that puts the crystal ball at 2-2 for the post-season, and 35-28-1 overall. That’s seven games over .500 (.555 to be exact). Hopefully the crystal ball will perform better this coming week, as the pressure mounts in post-season play! Let’s take a look back, and review what happened last week.
Last Week: 2-2
Atlanta @ Arizona: (LOSS) The Atlanta Falcons had a good run, but their season came to an end. The Cardinals were able to use the home crowd to their advantage. QB Kurt Warner had a good game. The Cards brought Edge off the bench, and he rewarded them by grinding out the tough yards. Fitzgerald reeled in 6 receptions for 101 yards and a TD. The Cardinals pulled away in the 3rd quarter with 2 TDs. The Falcons fought hard to the bitter end, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Arizona moves on to play at Carolina. The Falcons exceeded everyone’s expectations this year, and they will be a team to be reckoned with for several years to come.
Indianapolis @ San Diego: (LOSS) What a game this was! Anytime a game goes to OT in the playoffs…it becomes an instant classic. These teams battled all day. MVP Peyton Manning had a good game with over 300 yards passing, but little man Sproles stole the show for the Bolts. Darren Sproles rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries and scored twice. He also had 5 grabs for 45 yards as well. The Chargers may want to get him a long-term deal and not let him get away like they did with Michael Turner. With LT being banged up lately, he would be a good insurance policy, as well as a great change of pace RB. Norv was relieved to get this win, but he looks as if he has aged 10 years this season. The Bolts will travel to Pittsburgh next week. Indy…you better hope that Tony Dungy stays for another year!
Baltimore @ Miami: (WIN) The Ravens defense was the difference in this game, but that’s no surprise. The Ravens are known for their defense, and they came to play against the Fins. The Miami Dolphins only had 13 turnovers all season; they had 5 against the Ravens! Pennington had only thrown 7 INTs all season; he had 4 against the Ravens! You cannot do that against the Baltimore Ravens and expect to win. It’s just not going to happen! Ed Reed is by far the best safety in the NFL today. By the time he’s done playing, we may have to use him in the same sentence as Ronnie Lott…that’s a mouthful! The Dolphins had a tremendous season, but it’s now over. With Parcells staying in South Beach, look for the Fins to make a serious run next year! The Ravens will travel to Tennessee next week…that’s going to be a gooden!
Philadelphia @ Minnesota: (WIN) The Eagles may have needed a prayer to make the playoffs, but the aren’t counting on divine intervention any more. They took matters into their own hands and were able to hold off the Vikings. Minnesota was able to hang tough, with Peterson carrying the rock, for a while. The inexperienced Jackson, at QB, showed its hand in the 2nd half, as the Eagles came after him. Westbrook had 38 yards on 20 carries…that’s some tough sledding! He was able to contribute with 83 yards receiving on 3 receptions. McNabb had another stellar performance with 300 yards passing. The Birds broke it open in the 4th quarter, and they never looked back! Minnesota should have stuck with Frerotte, as his experience could have come in handy. The Eagles will take a ride up the turnpike to visit the G-Men.
James Harrison ( LB Pittsburgh) was awarded with Defensive Player Of The Year. DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys should have won the award…hands down! He did finish second in the voting. Ware had 20 sacks this season. He is only the 5th player in NFL history to register 20+ sacks in a single season! Hmm?
There are many coaching vacancies this time of year. Can anyone entice Cowher out of retirement? Where is Shanahan going to end up? I know he has his sights on Dallas, but they still have a head coach? Stay tuned!
From The Mail Room:
Patrick J., Hazelton, PA: Jason Garrett is drawing alot of interest around the league. Is he gonna stay in Dallas or will he jump at a chance to be a head coach elsewhere?
Utopia1dc: Patrick, that’s a good question. Jason was a hot commodity last season as well, but Jones stepped up and gave him a fat contract to stay. This year, the Cowboys offense struggled for many reasons, but Garrett should shoulder some of the blame. If the right situation presented itself, Jason might take it. But, Jerry thinks he is the long-term answer for the Cowboys…just not yet. Wade Phillips will be back for another year. After that, I could see Jerry pulling the trigger and handing the reigns over to Garrett. Don’t be surprised to see Wade stay on as the defensive coordinator either, if and when Garrett is promoted!
Keywords: Baltimore Ravens, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Crystal Ball, Dallas Cowboys, DeMarcus Ware, Fantasy Football, Howard Eskin, Jason Garrett, Mike Shanahan, New York Giants, NFL Football, Philadelphia Eagles, Playoffs, Predictions, Reality Mail Bag, San Diego Chargers, Terrell Owens, Tony Romo, Tony Sparano, Wade Phillips, WIP