AFC Championship Steelers Win

18 01 2009

(Streeter Lecka, Getty Images)

Both defenses came to play in this game. Steelers really controlled the first half but only came out on top 13-7, due to some poor clock management before the end of the 2nd Quarter, Roethlisberger had just completed a pass and moved the Steelers from the 30 yard line to around the 20 but they had no timeouts so they had to hurry to the line of scrimmage but they took to long and the clock ran out.

6 minutes left Ravens start with the ball at their own 20. McGahee runs for a 2 yard loss on first down but on second down Flacco makes a huge pass to Tight End Todd Heap picking up 25 yards. Flacco with the game on the line throws a huge pick to Polamalu and he returned it for a touchdown with the Ravens not even attempting to tackle him which was quite surprising to watch considering a Super Bowl trip was on the line.

Pittsburgh played well and deserved the W, really wasn’t much to this game. It was fairly entertaining… Can’t say I was surprised by Joe Flacco’s terrible numbers from this game. I understand he’s a rookie but even throughout the season he had trouble with good Defenses and to me wasn’t overly impressive.

So its a Pittsburgh Arizona Super Bowl that doesn’t sound so bad. Turns out Arizona is very exciting to watch and the Steelers D is quite a show to watch as well. It’s Zona’s great offense and decent defense vs Pittsburgh’s great defense and mediocre offense. I’ll break down the matchup more in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Congrats to the Steelers for making it this far despite some shoddy play from the Quarterback position this year.


NFC Championship Cards Win Cards Win

18 01 2009

(Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Both Arizona and Philadelphia turned in pretty good performances making for the best game of the playoffs thus far. Philly had no answer for Larry Fitzgerald all game long and especially in the first half where Fitz caught three touchdown passes which set a record for most TD receptions in one half in the playoffs. Warner was pretty tough to stop as he was on point all throughout the first half. Philly struggled to do anything in the first half but were able to get on the scoreboard with a couple of David Akers field goals. Philly caught a break a few minutes before halftime on a kickoff that was recovered by Arizona and the play was totally legal but somehow the refs managed to screw the call up and Philly got the call in their favour, however in the 2nd half the refs may have missed a few calls going the other way. They were questionable.

In the 3rd quarter Philly managed to get themselves back into the game scoring 13 unanswered points and holding Arizona’s offense to only 5 yards of offense. Philly were able to take the lead early in the 4th by 1 point. But Arizona clawed their way back with a methodical drive that ran alot of time off the clock and ended with Hightower scoring on a screen pass from 9 yards out, they also got the 2 point conversion on a pass to Ben Patrick to take the lead 32-25 with 2:53 remaining in the game. Philly were moving the ball they had it at around the their own 45 yard line. But Arizona’s D stepped up big time and forced Philly to a 4th and long which saw McNabb overthrow his target but it also looked like there was some contact on the play but no flag was thrown and the ball was turned over on downs and that was all she wrote. Arizona will make their first ever trip to the Super Bowl.

Right now I’d go as far as to say there isn’t a better player in the NFL than Larry Fitzgerald, who has single handedly ripped apart secondaries. In three playoff games Fitzgerald has 419 receiving yards, 23 catches, and 5 touchdowns. And I’d also like to point out how pointless Pam Oliver’s sideline reports are, which tell us absolutely nothing and add no value to the broadcast. Announcers Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were almost unbearable at times, Buck commenting on McNabb’s beautiful 6 yard passes on a numerous occasions was outrageous.

It’s refreshing to see the Arizona Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, remember the team everyone had pegged to be a sleeper team for the previous 2-3 seasons. But this year there were very little expectations for them and they sort of went under the radar coming into the season. However I must say that playing in the NFC West didn’t hurt either. This week I heard numerous “EXPERTS” on Fox, ESPN, and CBS talking about how the Cardinals would lose and how their previous 2 games against the Panthers and Falcons were both against one dimensional teams which is true, but they also said that Philly wasn’t. Now that’s where I started to get confused. Philly not a one dimensional team? I don’t think they’ve had a game all season long where the Running Back had more than 100 yards rushing. The Eagles are definitely a one dimensional team, and not a very good passing team at that.

One last note from the game, I couldn’t help but notice how badly exposed and how out of place rookie Cornerback and first round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie looked. I counted at least 5 times where he either took bad angles or just got beat and looked SLOW. Something the Arizona Cardinals should correct in their time leading up to the Super Bowl. But then again neither Pittsburgh or Baltimore present huge mismatches for the Cardinals secondary.

Last but not least, Congrats to the Cardinals and all their bandwagon fans. No seriously Congratulations its been a long time coming. I still remember that 20-10 playoff victory over my Cowboys many years ago. Alot of people are behind them now and only they can stop themselves from winning the Super Bowl.