It's rather hard to describe the action from yesterday's games. The Baltimore Ravens had a chance to put away the Pittsburgh Steelers and instead managed to yack it up big time. I'm not quite sure yet whether the Steelers should get the credit or the Ravens should get the blame for that final score. The Ravens held a 21-7 lead at one point but Joe Flacco completely combusted and cost the Ravens a spot in the AFC title game. The Steelers defense stepped up with a solid performance, particularly against Ray Rice and the Ravens rushing attack, but the Ravens blew this one.
In the NFC the Green Bay Packers justified my decision to move them from number two to number one. I had the Falcons higher last week, but Aaron Rodgers convinced me to move them higher in the divisional round. There was no doubt who was in charge this week as the Packers really swung the momentum late in the first half. The Falcons held an early 14-7 lead but the Packers swung things wildly in their direction courtesy of a final minute of insanity.
After scoring a go-ahead touchdown with 42 seconds left in the second quarter, the Packers swung the momentum about as wildly as possible to close the half. Tramon Williams picked off Matt Ryan and ran it back 70 yards to give the Packers a 28-14 lead heading into the half. That's the kind of play that decides a Madden game. The Packers added a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and really never looked back.
Today's schedule features a mix of potentially awful and potentially awesome matchups. The morning matchup features the Seattle Seahawks traveling to the Chicago Bears with a 10:00am pacific kickoff. I remain convinced this will be a fairly ugly game but what do I really know at this point? Matt Hasselbeck had the game of his life last week so we have to wonder whether he can repeat the performance.
On the other side of this particular equation one has to wonder how Jay Cutler will perform for the Bears. Cutler is a very inconsistent QB who can put together amazing performances one minute, and some hideous performances a few minutes later. Normally I'd say the Seahawks have no chance, but can anybody really make any predictions about the Bears?
The afternoon matchup features the budding rivalry of the New England Patriots and New York Jets. This has become an intense trash-talking affair and the NFL has actually issued a warning about the escalating trash talk. As I've said before, I'm not a Rex Ryan fan, but his heel antics have me starting to enjoy it just a little bit like I would a traditional WWF villain. I know I'm not the only one!
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