by Amy Lignor
The AFC is given props this past weekend for producing riveting games that showed grit, determination and, yes, flags galore. However, neither winning team was a real shocker.
One thing that could not be said before the Patriots versus Colts game began, was that Brady would basically be silent. But…he was. In fact, to be blunt (Blount, actually), Brady looked as if he was not really necessary at all for the Patriots to win big. Although looking a tad bit off at the beginning of the game on Saturday, the Patriots soon reminded a fan of the New York Giants in their heyday. The Patriots were all about the rushing. They beat and beat and beat the Indianapolis Colts’ defense into the ground. They wore them out, in fact, and Blount walked away with the glory by putting the points on the board for the Pats. Now, Brady seemed unsurprised, saying that the Patriots are a rushing team, even though most times it doesn’t look that way.
We stated last week that only a little Luck stood between a Brady and Manning shoot-out in the AFC Championship Game, but perhaps Andrew was just exhausted from coming back against the Chiefs the week before to offer his fans a stellar game that will be remembered for a good, long time.
Coming off this game, one of the best the NFL will ever see, perhaps, Luck was on a true high. He’d proven that he could focus and bring his team back twenty-eight points to win a wildcard match-up. Unfortunately, the ‘high’ ended when the interceptions once again began, and the Patriots running game took over.
Brady did try. But he didn’t need to, thankfully, seeing as that he was pushed back or down more times than he ever went forward. And the flags showed up here too, for illegal blocks, etc., but only half as much as the NFC earned.
Heading out to Mile High, Manning was put in the spotlight from the word ‘go’ on Sunday against the Chargers. The actual commercial lead-in had a narrator/announcer talking about the skill, talent and power of one of the best QBs ever to play the game. However, the adoration of the lead-in also brought up the fact that Manning pretty much screws-up when it comes to post-season play. He has been known to take a season that was A++ and find himself not attending the AFC Division Championship.
Well…he certainly lifted the curse on his shoulders yesterday, and has now provided fans with the one thing they’ve been talking about all year – a shoot-out versus Brady. Of course, after Saturday’s game, the Patriots may stick to running and Brady will be in the shadows. Fans do not want this. They want that shoot-out; they want that match-up; and they are looking for the two most highly-appreciated QB’s in the league to go for it all. They’ve both been to the ‘big show’, but they’re still exciting to watch.
The Bronco’s defense did a stellar job, too; the Chargers were so off their game it looked like they were the Chargers of past years. And give it to the crowd! The Broncos fans obviously channeled Seattle Seahawk fever and made sure they were so loud that the Chargers had to blow timeouts that they really couldn’t afford to blow because of the ruckus.
On the other side of the ball in MetLife Stadium will be either the Niners or the Seahawks versus Brady or Manning. You are talking about one of the ‘best QBs’ going against either a team that could possibly give them a run for their money, or one that would definitely allow them to enjoy the halftime show with no worries.
Manning vs. Brady in the AFC Championship next week may end up to be the last interesting game of the season.
I sincerely hope this is not the case.
Until Next Time, Everybody,
Image source: Bronco’s