On the playoff trail
Observations from a nearly perfect NFL weekend
Posted: Monday January 14, 2008 2:07AM; Updated: Monday January 14, 2008 10:21AM
After four days on the road -- Thursday through Saturday in Green Bay, then a late-night blizzardy drive to Chicago for a flight to Indianapolis, then Sunday in Indy -- I have a few things stored up in the cranium. Like:
Memorable Saturday. Better Sunday. The NFL can't do anything wrong. I mean nothing. How long ago do the Mike Vick and Pacman Jones stories seem? On a weekend when the charismatic Colts get KO'd, Tom Brady plays the game of his life, Brett Favre plays an Instant Classic in a snowstorm, Tony Romo fails to win another playoff game and -- what is wrong with this picture? -- Billy Volek plays Johnny Unitas with a clutch drive to win a game.
The wrong Manning is in the Final Four. Right?
A week ago, Joe Gibbs, Tony Dungy and Mike Holmgren weren't on anyone's firing line. By the end of this week, they all might be unemployed.
I think Dungy's gone. I'm waffling on Holmgren, but if I had to put a latte on it, I'd bet he's gone, too.
The Giants and Packers could both give the Patriots a game right now.
Still think it's a good idea to rest your players for the playoffs in Weeks 16 and 17? The Bucs and Colts went to a spa the last half of December and lost to underdogs at home in their first playoff games. That's the second time in three years it's happened to Indy. The Packers barely rested their guys and looked like the '58 Colts in whipping the Seahawks. New England, Green Bay and New York rested no one; they're 4-0 combined. The Giants, in fact, were badly slumping entering Week 17 with nothing to play for. Since then, they nearly knocked off the best team in the league and have won two road playoff games.
If Favre retires (which I don't think he'll do, but I have no more information on it than the man in the moon), he's nuts. He's too good, having too much fun, and, when you read SI this week, you'll find out how much his game means to his 8-year-old daughter, Breleigh.
Tom Brady was a ref's buried whistle and a stunning drop by Mr. Hands Wes Welker from being 28-for-28 the other night. Are we watching the best quarterback of all time in mid-career? Are we watching, maybe three of the best five or six of all time?
Peyton Manning threw for 402 yards and Lost. He and Tom Brady started a combined opened 30-of-30. Add what Favre did and is doing. We're in a real golden age at the top of the quarterback list.