Bus Stops: Favre, Romo have much to prove; Chargers are favorites
Winning in playoffs, not regular season, is why Vikings signed Brett Favre
Chargers are going to be tough out in AFC; Packers could surprise in NFC
Will Colts, Saints be able to get momentum back on their side?
SI.com's John P. Lopez works with Jerome Bettis to get the six-time Pro Bowl running back's observations about the previous week's games. Bettis retired from the NFL in 2006 after a 13-year career.
Some players just have more to prove than others ... like Brett Favre. No matter how much the Vikings did in the regular season, this is the reason they brought Brett Favre to Minnesota. If he comes in and in game one he tanks, then it's a failure. Getting to the playoffs is not why they brought him in. If you look at anybody who's going to have to perform under pressure, he's got as much as pressure as anyone. He has a lot to prove.
The second guy that has a lot to prove is Tony Romo. Dallas finished up the season strong, throwing it in the face of everybody who was talking about them falling apart in December. They had a stronger December than anybody. Romo led his team and was very good.
But if Romo fails, it's going to be bad. There is a lot of pressure on him. Players and teams feel the pressure. It's just a matter of how you handle it. I remember when we went 15-1 in 2004, we had a bye week and we were expected to go out and dominate. We played the Jets at home and they probably should have beaten us. We played terrible. We were uptight. We felt the pressure.
I like the Cowboys, but when you look at the brackets, I like San Diego the most. They're really, really hot right now and they're going to be tough to beat.
As far as surprises, I think Baltimore could be tough. In the NFC, Green Bay could be the surprise team. Right now, there's no pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Nobody's watching. He's under the radar. He's having a tremendous season. They could be a team that makes a run.
The regular-season is over and from the players' perspective, some things start to change now that you're in the postseason. You want to keep the same routine. You try to keep the same routine. But it's different now because it's a different atmosphere. Although the routine is the same, the attitude and the atmosphere is totally different.
When you're in the playoffs, the building is buzzing as opposed to the regular season. It's a sense of urgency from coaches, players, everybody. Everybody's paying more attention. In every meeting there's more of an edge. Everybody's on top of their games.
One question that is going to be answered this postseason, is can teams like Indianapolis and New Orleans flip a switch and turn it back on again? Both those teams took it easy the past couple of weeks of the regular season. The Colts took some heat. And now they have a bye week.
I think the Colts can flip it back on because they've been in this situation many times before. They have the leadership that's done this. Early on when they made their runs, it didn't bode well for them to rest. But they have a lot of experience being good and going to the playoffs. They know the importance of resting guys. They understand it and understand how to get ready for the playoffs. They've won a Super Bowl. I think they're going to be fine. The Saints, I'm not so sure. They're in uncharted territory.
Were the Colts right choosing to rest players over going for 19-0? The question of resting players or not resting players, when you look at what happened to Wes Welker, it makes you re-think things.
You have to think, if something like that happened to Indianapolis in that Jets game, what would their chances be? Was it right to rest the guys? It just fuels that debate. Maybe they were smart to rest their players. A fluke injury like that, when nobody hit a guy, it can happen to anybody, at anytime.
Not everyone is getting ready for the playoffs. Some teams are firing and hiring coaches. From a player's perspective, players are thinking, what is the new guy going to want? What is he going to be like? What's going to happen with the way we practice, how we prepare? There are a lot of unknowns. I know that within the organizations that are getting a new coach, players are a little nervous about the change. Some guys may have been on the inside with one coach, but now it's changing and maybe they're going to be on the outside with the new guy.
NFL Truth & Rumors