Sunday, January 17, 2010
Home cookin' for three teams and the Chargers choke again
Maybe it pays to run one's mouth and not be humble when it comes to sportsmanship because New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan (just like his father Buddy Ryan) insisted his team should be the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
The New York Jets are one step closer to the big game after shocking the San Diego Chargers, 17-14 in the final game of the Divisional Round playoffs.
The other three games this past weekend were all won by the host teams in blowout fashion as the Vikings, Colts and Saints advanced to their respective conference championship games.
The Colts beat the Baltimore Ravens, 20-3 on Saturday night in a yawner game that saw Peyton Manning hit Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne with touchdown passes to seal the win before halftime.
The Saints completely destroyed the Arizona Cardinals, 45-14 as Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns and Reggie Bush accounted for two more scores with a 83-yard punt return and a 46-yard touchdown run for New Orleans.
The Minnesota Vikings blew away the Dallas Cowboys, 34-3 to advance to play the Saints in the NFC Championship Game in the Big Easy. Vikings QB Brett Favre was brilliant with four touchdown passes and Sidney Rice (six catches for 141 yards) scored three touchdowns.
The Vikings defense dominated as Dallas QB Tony Romo was sacked six times and the Cowboys could not get anything going offensively in the game.
The only exciting game the entire weekend was the Jets' upset of the Chargers.
New York hung around and hung around trailing just 7-0 at halftime and then opened the running game up in the second half as the Chargers turned the ball over twice with interceptions (one a total fluke play) that gave the Jets life in the game.
Rookie QB Mark Sanchez hit tight end Dustin Keller for a three-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter to put the Jets ahead 10-7 and when Shonn Greene scored on a 53-yard run with seven minutes left, the underdogs from the Big Apple were ahead for good at 17-7.
Chargers' QB Philip Rivers was able to drive the team for a score with just over two minutes remaining to make it 17-14. The Jets recovered the onside kickoff and got a first down to put the game away.
The difference in the football game turned out to be the kicking game as San Diego's 2009 All-Pro kicker Nate Kaeding MISSED three field goals in the game, two of them very makable kicks from 36 and 40 yards out.
On the other side, the Jets' Jay Feely made his 46-yard attempt to provide the final difference.
This game was eerily similar to the Chargers' playoff game loss to the New England Patriots following the 2006 season as they made too many mistakes and the small brakes (that make differences in football games) ALL went the way of the New York Jets in their nail biting win.
Now it's on to the next round with the Jets facing the Indianapolis Colts, who have got to be breathing a HUGE sigh of relief facing New York rather than San Diego which is the team that eliminated the Colts each of the last two playoffs, next Sunday in Indy while Minnesota is at New Orleans.