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BuckeyeRidley

Journal Of A Mad NFL Fan Divisional Weekend

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Playoffs? Playoffs? Oh Yes, Jim Mora! He had us some Playoffs! Memorable, Record-Breaking, Instant Classic Playoffs. The NFL has so much similarity with past history and current situations, that we think we know but we ain't got no idea! The games speak for themselves and there's no better way to enjoy the games. Men showed how grown they were & teams showed how gelled they were. Hey Kids, You Like Football? This was your weekend; well, it depends what team you were rooting for. Shout-out to SI.com for the game goodness that is the NFL Playoffs. Man, you can't make this stuff up! I'm holdin' it down on Twitter.com/BuckeyeRidley. That's @BuckeyeRidley.

-AW TRASH! My Saints did it again, Ya'll! They lost to the NFC West in the playoffs! The last time? That NBC Wildcard Weekend match-up at the Seahawks with that Massive Marshawn "Money" Lynch run for a TD. We recall that Roman Harper had a BAD day in that one. That was one of the plays too. Then in 2011, the Saints lost to the St. Louis Rams @ the Rams during the weekend after the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. They made an appearance at the Edward Jones Dome. It appeared to affect the Rams in a positive way. Crazy but true. The Saints are a good squad and are still defending NFC South Champions. However, that's what losers say. LOL I'm still disappointed that the Saints are a part of one of the Best Playoff games in NFL history and they are on the losing end of it. It's like Bills fans hearing "Wide Right". It's like Oilers fans seeing that Epic 1992 playoff game when the Bills won in Wildcard Weekend. It's like the Vikings fans seeing the NFC Championship game from 1999 for the 1998 season when the Falcons won & made it to the Super Bowl. It's a bad day for lots of folks who thought the Saints could take their act on the road. I said on FootballPros.com that I felt it was that Home Effect that helped the Saints to get it. Same for Denver over Pittsburgh. That home field advantage is oh so important in the playoffs. That's what was missing in this loss. Of course, you break down the mistakes that are made & how long or how often the other team had to do their thing with their game. I'm not pleased with how many years this Saints squad has been together but yet how they didn't seal the deal. This is like the Falcons. Since the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010 for the 2009 season, they have been 1-2 in playoff games. I just feel like they should be much better than this. They tease in the regular season and the shut-down in the postseason is crazy. Seriously, Deion Sanders JUST echoed the same sentiment as that last sentence after I typed it. This stuff is madness. They have to learn that playing outside is a part of the NFL. They need some of the same things as their division cohorts, the ATL Falcons. They have talent but yet need to adjust things with who they have. Things work well but when you get out of your element, BAM! The smack is layeth down. Teams like the Saints have to learn to make their team better for the entire run and not just half of it. By that, I mean not just the regular season but the postseason too. This is why the offseason was built. May they utilize it to the fullest. For the sake of football, let's hope the Falcons can do the same for competition reasons. As for the game's details, the main Men to stand out are Jimmy Graham & Darren Sproles. Yes, the Saints are out of the playoffs but The Real House Dudes of San Diego came out to play in 2011. A.J. Smith ate his own heart out for dinner SAT night. Eric Stangel who is a head writer on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" is good for Chargers jokes, being that he's a fan suffering for a long time. Graham was hit hard during the game & was suspected by Twitter folks, including me at one point, if he had a concussion. After his first of two TDs, he was slow to get up & went on to spike the football & not dunk it over the goal post as he usually does. However, I thought that it was a statement that was just showing he was not as selfish to do is usual routine. Bro balled for over 100 yards. I'm gonna miss him not going further in the playoffs. Darren Sproles had over 110 yards & was good on the two point conversion late in the 4Q. The fact that the game was close at the end and the Saints lost it, does hurt. They almost had it but it just didn't happen. Sproles was beasty all season &, for the sake of trivia questions, was the receiver of record breaking TD that Brees threw in the 2011 Monday Night Finale on National Return presents day. Sproles had a Good year; his presence was always a welcome sight to Saints fans. We all know that Jimmy Graham was the Man. He balled with about one TD a game and was able to turn his life story into something positive in his still young existence. I think that he will continue to be key for them to succeed. He's got a lot of talent that the Saints use for the red zone & end zone. Man is A Man. The Man Among Men is Drew Brees. He's helped to give fans plenty to cheer about in 2011 & I'm sorry the ride was short-lived. I'm proud that he's on the Saints team still defying the doubts on his height & possible question marks on winning a championship as was the case in San Diego. The Saints are so much better with Drew Brees. It helps that he came in at the same time as Sean Payton. That chemistry helps to make both Men the NFC South's version of Brady/Belichick. Hats off the 2011 Saints BUT there's still a lot of work to do. Hopefully, the can keep a healthy running back corp. We know what Sproles can do but Mark Ingram is a very capable talent in that back-field. Brady/Belichick taught us, you gotta have multiple options. Also, Gregg Williams leaves the Saints to become the Defensive Coordinator for Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. It will reunite them & I like the sound of it. NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora said on MON that Fisher's five year deal was official. We should see the Saints bring in some good defensive talent there to have a continuity with their chemistry. I sense that they could upgrade a defensive position coach who embodies the work ethic of a defensive coordinator. After all, hiring Payton as head coach was giving him his first job at the position. Now, we must applaud [genuinely] for the Niners. People still might not be a fan of Jim Harbaugh or Alex Smith but they are making it happen over there. AND the lights stayed on the entire time the game happened. Oh; it was the sun shining. Nevermind. The way that the team operated was amazing. It was like seeing the Saints do their thing at home against the Lions. The crowd is into it; the team's quarterback makes key plays to be key in the result of the game. Things like this is what San Francisco needed. Alex Smith: Wow. In this here Divisional playoff game, Alex was 299 yards and 3 TD passes AND he ran in for 28 yards. WOW! I love that he has been able to redo the bad that he did before. Yes; I am shocked that he stayed this long but he helped to pay it off. That game was a signature moment for him. If you didn't respect Alex Smith before and you have a pulse in your body now, after that game, you should start. Why did the Niners win? because of the team work & guidance from Alex Smith. They worked together and did it with their surging quarterback at the helm. Alex Smith & his Niners did work and deserve their due. That Vernon Davis catch at the end of the game was T.O. like. I watched it many times before via the "NFL's Greatest Games" that ran on ESPN. Note T.O. had hair then LOL. T.O. did props Vernon Davis on Twitter; Vernon Davis said he grew up looking up to Owens according to Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated on Twitter. That was not the only massive TD Davis had on the day. He was wide open when Alex Smith hit him for a 49 yard TD which was a part of his 180 yards on seven receptions with the two total TDs. This team is having an amazing year. Not being rude, but they remind me of the Jets with Rex Ryan's first season there. When you get a guy that appears to be a player's coach, that can go far for them. This team was struggling with Alex Smith, now they have him to Thank in part because of their success. To quote Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, "I don't know" LOL. This is called "The Catch III" by NFL Network. My first thought, "What will they call 'The Catch XVI'?" LOL Oh Well. Nonetheless, It's fitting to say it because they all happened to SF & in the playoffs. This team is capable of winning in the next round but I sense the Giants will give them a hard time. That home-field advantage is nothing to NYG. The Blue Dudes are capable of going on tour. Niners have to be ready to talk & walk that upcoming game as this Giants team can be scary. They are the reverse of the Falcons & Saints in the regular season. The Giants can lose so talk starts of firing their head coach & doing something about Eli but when the postseason rolls around. They are a completely different team. I think the latter works better for fans & team personnel LOL. The Niners earned this Divisional win & hat tip to them.

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  1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Continued

    -Hot Trash. The Broncos didn't seal it in Foxborough. Too bad for them that they didn't have that Tebow Time come at all during the game. It certainly was Tebow Time all week on ESPN & on NFL Network LOL. Tebow's not to blame for that; nor all the blame not on him for this game either. The team was winning together & I see they lost together too. Tebow had no INTs which was a plus. However, that 9/26 was never overlooked by fans& media during the season. That's how you lose games. I feel like John Fox is key in that part of Tebow's game not being stepped. You can't let the accuracy slide like that for so many weeks in the year. I sense the team was not prepared on how to beat the team that came into their house & beat them about a month before. How about Gerard Warren doing the Gator Chomp after the sack on Tim Tebow. Crazy momentum was what NE had? No. It was the Patriots being mad at all the disrespect all week long with having to play second fiddle to Tebow & the Broncos. They have consistency & talent & are the Top Seed in the AFC but they didn't hear that all week long. There was no Tom Brady special on ESPN nor on NFL Network. That "Brady 6" doesn't count either. It was Tom talking about how he was picked so low but it was not truly focused on his success & wins. I think there are so many other things that get into this team's head to motivate them. After watching that two part "A Football Life" special on Bill Belichick, I still feel like, obviously, there are things that we don't know about him & the team. They just keep a chip on their & play well while everyone else is giving praise to others. Tim Tebow & the Broncos may have bit the bait on this team's successes. They didn't have Seabiscuit blinders on & it was possible in part due to their lack of playoff exposure in recent years. However, they have to shake it. Another However, they may not have such a path paved for them. Tebow can be a winner for DEN but with things lining up right in OAK with Reggie McKenzie there now, remember he's from GB & wants his own guys, the Broncos may not be so fortunate the next time to clinch the AFC West; if there is a next time. For the Broncos team, aside from Tebow, they didn't get much going. They only had one TD courtesy of McGahee. They only had ten points. Not a way to win a game. This team has to ensure they work very hard in the offseason. I'm tellin' you. They have to ensure they are ready for all challenges. Coaches are under the leadership of John Fox. He needs to grow as a coach. I wasn't very sure of him being hired but I sense this team is going to have to grow together top to bottom. Fox is a veteran coach but yet still had few successful season in Carolina with the Panthers. He has to grow & not allow a lot of what happened there to drip over in DEN. I think there will be a lot of people who will blame him more and more if they are in a similar spot next NOV & DEC. Can't put Tebow out front all the time. Growing also includes that of Tim Tebow & John Elway. Tebow is going into his third year in 2012 as an NFL QB & Elway will be in his second year as an Executive in the NFL. All this Lack-of-Championship-Experience-In-Their-Current-Role could be a downfall in the coming season. However, we know they gave defied odds before. The 2012 Broncos are going to some people's appointment game watching. We'll see if it's for a good reason. ALRIGHT! NOW we get to talk about the Gridiron Good Stuff! Tom Brady threw five TD passes in the first half! That's the most in NFL History for the postseason. Also, he threw six TD passes during the whole game & he ties the all-time record with for the postseason. Good Night in the Morning. I tweeted that when Tom Brady is Mad, He Is Mad! He keeps a consistently calm demeanor but yet, when he's up against someone's publicity, he goes off---on the football field! Speaking of Epic TD talk, Jim Nantz is as about as good as they come in Sports Broadcasting. He told us during the game that Tom Brady was in the stands for "The Catch" by San Francisco. Unbelievable. I heard that Brady grew up looking up to Joe Montana; the fact that he was witnessing his work in person is amazing. It's like a Grammy Award winning artist sitting in on a recording session only as a fan of their role model. Another reason to love the NFL & it's history. Also, what probably made Bronco fans angry [along with Brady Haters] is that Tom punted the ball in the fourth quarter! LOL Imagine seeing that in practice! We already know that the Patriots are a team that does not have confinement to titles & roles. Mike Vrabel made a TD in the Super Bowl. Doug Flutie did a drop kick in his final days in the NFL. We had a lineman in 2010 running for a TD & holding the ball "like it was a loaf of bread". Yeah; they don't care at all. We also know this with the lack of fashion on the sidelines but that could be the key to it all! Dress like the Hunchback Of Notre Dame & there you have it! A Super Bowl! Twitter also told us that Tom Brady had a rtg of 137.6. Mercy & a half! Maybe it was those Gillette mustaches that Wes Welker had distributed for his foundations. It was for a great cause & for Tebow Torture! Again, "I don't know". With the other Boston Kin, Gronkowski got filthy with his 145 yards from ten catches which resulted in three TDs. Just a dirty nasty player at TE. Still Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez & the Original Gangsta himself, Deion Branch, all had one TD a piece. Can't help but think about how this team just seems to make it happen one way or the other. They have a date set with the Ravens on SUN for the AFC Championship game. I'm excited about it because it will either boast Joe Flacco above his critics or it will help to solidify Tom Brady's Legacy. This is completely & utterly fascinating. Gotta Love the NFL. They will play at home but they can't sleep on the Ravens. They must be able to stop Ray Rice & be aware of any consistency with their air game.

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  2. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Contin ued

    -It was a bad day for HOU. However, the pictures that poured into Twitter late SUN night was incredible. Fans were in throngs of company after the Texans arrived back in town & came to Reliant Stadium. They certainly have a great happy, proud fan base. Good to see the good folks in Houston, Texas support their team. As for on the field, gives props to the Texans for being only eight points away from winning the game. They had a rookie QB in there as well. It wasn't pretty to see T.J. Yates with the three INTs & going 17/35 but yet you can't completely shove it at his feet. That Ravens Defense was on it on SUN. The Texans totaled less than 200 yards receiving and no TDs. With Andre Johnson in there, he accounted for 111 yards from eight receptions. Arian Foster resumed his main Running Back duties as he had 27 touches of the ball with 132 yards and a TD. Man was he good to fill in for Andre Johnson while he was out. Believe me, you can't replace Andre Johnson but while was out, Foster was the best replacement. Notice how they got Derrick Mason during the season but yet they fed Arian Foster so much? Very key to see that happen. The Texans are a young team & will grow further. They have some OGs on there like Andre Johnson & that will be key in their chance to succeed. I do caution that the Colts' year will factor into the Texans' year. If the Colts are on it, then you can believe that the Texans' season will most likely be fighting for a Wildcard in the AFC. I say that with compassion because I feel like this team worked hard all year. I saw it week in & week out. But that all is diminished by how Good Peyton Manning is. There's still some chance that he could come back & play in Indy & 2012 will be a completely different story. Also, the Titans are likely to hit a skid but thrive against the Texans in at least one game & the Jaguars may not repeat 2011's dismal results. Overall, HOU can be favored to finish second in the AFC South if they wind up facing a Peyton Manning'd Colts team. On the Ravens side of the game, they were able to win based on the defense. They truly have been able to succeed with their talent on that side of the ball. Before I go ANY further, I got to props Ed Reed for his work in the game. He had an INT [gotta feel bad for Yates here] aside from his six tackles. He was on it & it's awesome to see. He helps for that defense to have a chance each game like Ray Lewis [who had seven total tackles with one assist]. Reed limped off the field with assistance but appeared to be fine, as echoed by reporters on Twitter [yeah, I love it LOL]. On the offensive side, I think there are big improvements that they must make when facing NE. I feel like they have to let Ray Rice get out for more than 60 yards & they must have a better air game. While they have players that can contribute to problems, like Torrey Smith & the still agile Anquan Boldin, they must keep their usage at premium with good play calling. It feels like it will be a New England beat down but yet that receiving corp feels like it will be dangerous that night. I'm surprised that there was not more Ray Rice running than the 60 yards but yet, that was how this game was. The game was not a gimme for either team. Boldin's 73 yards with one TD was nice but I think Flacco will have to throw the ball more than the 27 times on SUN. The Pats are not going to go easy on anyone & they will be sadly mistaken if they feel they can keep the game plan scaled back against a team that has players with Championship experience. I fear that playing at home & against a team that is new to playoff experience was a gift for the Ravens. I know it's very early to call it but I feel like the Ravens have to be Scholar Students of the Game this week in order to win over the Patriots. In Foxborough. Where Brady & Belichick still reside. It will be fun to see that Pats D, who allowed the Cowboys to nearly win @ Foxborough in 2011, go up against Ray Rice & the receivership of Smith & Boldin. Ricky Williams might even mess around & get a good day going. But you also gotta picture Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs & a still effective Ed Reed getting to Tom Brady & trying to stop Mangini look-a-like Rob Gronkowski. Whoa. It could be a really god day or really bad day for the either team. Remember though, the Patriots have numerous weapons. One guy doesn't do just one thing. It's in their Belichick DNA. You can't stop them----some times. Next SUN will be a true test for BAL; they have to meet the challenge. They have to feel like they are disrespected like Flacco told the media & help him get over the hump. Flacco has gotten further than Kyle Boller ever did but yet he maybe compared to him. Man, you can't script this stuff.

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  3. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<Continued

    -Let's start with the 2010 World Champs first. Mercy, Mercy Me! The Green Bay Packers disappointed everyone with the way they played. OK, not Giants fans but they certainly gave a disappointing performance for the stature that they are. They are a great team in 2011 but it felt like they truly were thinking about going all the way all season. I mean, C'Mon. I know it's not easy & they got their record fair & square but they have to know how to handle it. I'm still shocked that they had a one & done playoff appearance in 2012. Mer-cy! They are the first Packers team to break the streak of back to back Super Bowl appearances. That's gotta hurt but props to the franchise for having held that streak/pattern in their history. NFL Network just showed a throw by A-Rod to Jennings & it was incomplete. That's was early in the game. However, it felt like they were out of character the whole game. Also, those sure fire hits from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings & Jermichael Finley that were misses on their part is incredibly tragic. Honestly, we've seen the dropped passes & the like from Finley before & that decreased his value in my opinion. It was funny to see him look at his hand after one drop like "what's on my hand?" LOL. Gotta catch it man; it's the playoffs. As the Minnesota Viking radio voice called it when Favre threw the INT in New Orleans in the NFC Championship game, "This Ain't Detroit Man!" LOL. It was funny but yet so sorrowful to hear. How about that call by the refs that Jennings did not fumble the ball? Seriously? As Chris Harris correctly pointed out on Twitter, that's the definition of Home-Field Advantage. LOL. When you have the game sized up for the Packers, yes, they lost the game. That call not being made is essentially worthless since the Packers didn't win. The refs have a lot of work to do in the offseason to say the least. Chris Myers of Fox Sports said on Twitter that he met with them after the game & that they are people just like you & me. LOL. I hope he was joking or got spammed. You can't pass that Linda Tripp comment over on me with men who are supposed to be professionals during important games in the season. That Seahawks-Steelers Super Bowl referee job was a prime example of why big changes need to come. This truly make everyone from the refs to the League offices look ignorant to the mistakes made on the field. Aaron Rodgers had his first lost fumble of the season, according to Fox. The receivers weren't in their usual groove with Rodgers with the yardage nor the TDs. I feel embarrassed to type that the leading rusher on the team that night was Rodgers with 66 yards. Wow. The whole night didn't go right. That defense was embarrassing too with the way folks were open & the lack of tackling. Mind you, the defense hadn't changed much from last year's Championship run, if at all. So, how do you make corrections for a team that went 15-1 in the regular season? That will be a tough puzzle to solve. My heart goes out to the Philbin family as they still deal with the loss of their son. The funeral was Friday & it may have also had an effect on the team as they are close knit. That's something no human being wants to face--losing a child. I feel like they have to study tape, Real Hard to find every nook & cranny of what happened bad. Even during wins. They trailed ATL in ATL on SNF this season. They won the game, but what can they do to prevent that? Since they have good talent, they don't have to look far to make the on-field product better than what it is. They can draft to stock pile; the one position that may have a key change is if they decide to trade Finley. I feel the injury & the drops by him within the last year maybe factors into why he isn't deemed worth keeping. Plus they'd like to have Donald Driver back for more action, IMO. His 4Q TD was proof that Black Don't Crack LOL. He still got it. Impressive. So Long, Packers. It was fun to see you. This officially took out the Super Bowl XLV participants from try to reach Super Bowl XLVI; Steelers were eliminated by Tebowroncos in Wildcard Weekend. The Giants. THE GIANTS! That was a wild ride. They beat the Falcons at home by 22 points & only allowing a safety. Then they beat the World Champion Packers by 17 points & threw them out of rhythm. How? I feel they took advantage of the Packers' Defense that was never the Best in the League. Also, they covered assignments to disrupt folks like Greg Jennings & the flow of Aaron Rodgers. I feel like those Men studied their film. They may have been challenged Parcells style. Charlie Weis wrote in his book released about 2005 or 2006 that Parcells would say something like "Why are you leaving early?" & it wasn't leaving early but after they put in a full day, LOL. Parcells got the maximum out of you & that's what this Giants team needs. I get a sense that Coughlin is respected by Bill Parcells, who is his former leader. How about Eli Manning, though? 330 yards, three TDs & was 21/33. I Love that! He was dogged in the offseason for saying that he was Elite. I disagreed with Eli. But I like how he gets motivated when doubters want to down talk him & when folks want to fire Tom Coughlin. This duo of Manning-Coughlin are a dangerous pair when their feet are to the fire. I think they are going to succeed in the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco. I feel like they can win it. It's amazing that within a month, we are seeing this team go from clinching a playoff berth in the last game of the season on New Year's Day, over my Cowboys nonetheless, to being the hottest team in the playoffs. One motivation factor for the Patriots, they aren't gettin' as much love as the Giants, it seems LOL. Oh Well. Let the Ravens deal with it on SUN. You can feel people gawking at the Giants because They took down the World Champs. They beat the team that had the biggest target. There were key Green Bay Defensive let downs. #1 on the charts: Letting Hakeem Nicks get that 66 yard TD to go along with his other TD that equaled 165 yards from seven receptions on the day. Very, Very Crazy. Crazy Good for the Giants & their well-travelled fans in the Lambeau stands. While Cruz didn't have a TD, I like how he had 74 yards on five receptions. Michael Boley & Antrel Rolle each had eight tackles. Deon Grant had the not-reversed INT, LOL. This is gonna be fun to watch the Giants visit the Niners in the NFC Championship Game. NFL Network showed clips from 1991 with the 1990 Giants & from 2003 with the 2002 Giants. They won the '91 match going to the Super Bowl, with an excited Parcells jumping up & down & hugging folks, and the '03 loss where Terrell Owens, with minimal hair, stood on the bench & exhorting the crowd. In Week Ten of the 2011 season, the Giants lost to the Niners by seven. Incredible. We know how the Manning-Coughlin led Giants have done when it comes to re-matches. They are primed to win this thing. It's not official yet, but my gut feeling. I have to say that this will be a good game, which is still poised to be no gimme for anyone. Good Football must be savored.

    On to Conference Championship Weekend. Some Good Games are set & we're also almost to the Pro Bowl! LOL. C'mon Embrace It. Scenes of the water & the mountains are beautiful & NBC does do a great job too. You Love Football? I SAID DO YOU LOVE FOOTBALL??!?!?!?! Saddle Up for the ride to Indianapolis: this could be a Lu-Lu!
    Updated 01-17-2012 at 01:39 AM by BuckeyeRidley
  4. iwatt's Avatar
    Helmet catch 2.0 changed the game.