Posted: Monday January 15, 2007 8:49AM; Updated: Monday January 15, 2007 7:44PM
Ten Things I Think I Think
Cato June (58) and Booger McFarland (92) drag down Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis. The Colts held the Ravens to 83 rushing yards on Saturday.
Peter King will answer your questions each week in Monday Morning Quarterback: Tuesday Edition.
1. I think this is what I liked about the playoff weekend:
a. Peyton Manning's ability to hold the Ravens in abeyance often. They were sure whether to blitz or stay back most of the game.
b. Booger McFarland, very much worth the price of a second-round pick from Tampa. He's the glue to that defensive interior of the Colts.
c. The Eagles' ability to play scintillating offensive football without Donovan McNabb.
d. Brian Westbrook. Healthy for 18 weeks this year, he was a top-five NFL back.
e. The toughness of Reggie Bush.
f. Lovie Smith's faith in Rex Grossman. We all said Grossman was on a short leash before Sunday's game, but only Smith knew for sure. And the way he spoke about Grossman, Smith sounded like he had Johnny Unitas on the roster, not Grossman.
g. Grossman. Not masterful, just good enough.
h. Lance Briggs is a heck of a football player.
i. As is Troy Brown. For the Pats' sake, he'd better not retire. He'd better never retire.
2. I think this is what I didn't like about the playoff weekend:
a. The anger, venom and blistering curse words from the Baltimore crowd to anything and anyone Colt. At times Saturday, I thought I was in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium for a Red Sox-Yankee pennant race game, a rain-delayed one that gave 50,000 a chance to drink twice as much as usual.
b. LaDainian Tomlinson's fiery words about the Patriots. It's a great controversy for us. They sounded small coming from a guy who'd just tasted bitter defeat. And it is no mortal sin for a visiting team to imitate the sack dance of the hometown hero. Happens every week.
c. Quarterback rating. Stupid, stupid stat. Peyton Manning's was 39.6, Tom Brady's 57.6. Those two guys both played flawed but gallant football against the two most fearsome pass-rushes in football. You'd think they played like Spergon Wynn with those ratings.
d. The San Diego drops. Killed Rivers' chance to win.
e. Nice, huge drop, Bernard Berrian. It's only your team's season on the line.
f. Tomlinson should have touched the ball more than 25 times, particularly in a close game and particularly when Rivers threw it 32 times.
3. I think it would be sad for Marty Schottenheimer to get the ax. It really would. But you can feel it building, can't you?
4. I think what Eric Mangini did the other day was a decent thing. He opened his postseason press conference by looking out at the writers who'd covered him all season and saying: "I want to thank all of you guys. I know it's been a long season for you. I appreciate your patience with me. I know I haven't been Don Rickles in here. I'm trying. I think I made some progress. I'll continue to try to make progress. I think the things that you guys do is extremely important. You're the conduit to the fans. I just appreciate your patience with me and your understanding and your support throughout the course of the season.''