NFL Divisional Playoff Sunday open thread

posted at 11:01 am on January 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday’s games brought a couple of big surprises, and one of the best playoff games in NFL history.  Baltimore fought and clawed its way to a double-OT win in Denver over the Broncos, but not without some questionable decisions by Denver head coach John Fox and a rookie mistake by Peyton Manning in the second OT.  In the second game, Colin Kaepernick made San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh look like a genius as the 49ers ran all over the Green Bay Packers.

After going 3-1 in the first weekend of the playoffs, I’m now back to .500 at 3-3.  Maybe I can improve my weekend score with these picks:

  • Seahawks at Falcons (1 pm ET, Fox) – Seattle won on the road last week against the Redskins, but they won’t have the same kind of opponent today.  Atlanta has had a week to rest, has no significant injuries at the money positions, and have a 7-1 record at home, while Seattle had a losing road record during the regular season at 3-5.  For some reason, the Falcons are only three-point favorites, according to ESPN, but it’s not going to be that close.  Falcons 33 – 21 over the Seahawks.
  • Texans at Patriots (4:30 pm, CBS) - Both of these teams had their ups and downs during the season, but their 12-4 records are almost opposites.  The Pats lost two of their first three games but have only lost once in the last ten weeks of the regular season.  Houston lost three of their last four, all to playoff-bound teams, including an embarrassing 42-14 loss in New England.  This game should be closer, but the outcome won’t change.  New England wins 35-20 over Houston.

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…oh oh!…8 seconds left! …replay of last nights game?

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Are you kidding me?

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Heck of an ending to that game.

rbj on January 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

That game was even better than Broncos/Ravens.

John the Libertarian on January 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

…I need a drink!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Good game!

wolly4321 on January 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

That finish was as good as football gets. MAN, I love the NFL.

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM

3 down with 1 to go. Can it get any better? What a weekend so far.

D-fusit on January 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM

OK, so I spoke too soon. Congrats to Atlanta. But they gotta remember to play a full 60 minutes, not 43!

22044 on January 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

There were almost three scores here in the same 34 seconds that Denver had at the end of the game last night when they decided to kneel it down and take it into overtime.

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

The squib kick was almost as inexcusable as the Denver safety’s gaffe yesterday. With 31 seconds left you have to squib the ball harder and higher, and force the receiving team to recover the ball at their own 20 or 25 yard line.

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

3 down with 1 to go. Can it get any better? What a weekend so far.

D-fusit on January 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM

This has been a fantastic weekend of football

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

harder and higher deeper

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Whoops, I’m getting my kickoffs confused. The squib was by Atlanta with 8 seconds left. My bad.

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

…what a football weekend!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

The squib kick was almost as inexcusable as the Denver safety’s gaffe yesterday. With 31 seconds left you have to squib the ball harder and higher, and force the receiving team to recover the ball at their own 20 or 25 yard line.
aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Kick it into the end zone and none of that is an issue.

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

harder and higher deeper

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

…JugEars?…Mooch?

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Well that qualifies as a fast start.

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 4:41 PM

…Manning?

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

…Manning?

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Shame the Bears didn’t keep him.

JimLennon on January 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Hey Pete, how’d giving away two field goals early in the game work out for you??????? Ya say you lost by two points? Hmmmmm, and just one FG was the difference? Pride and arrogance bite you in the butt?

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

This has been a fantastic weekend of football

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Yes it has!

D-fusit on January 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hey Pete, how’d giving away two field goals early in the game work out for you??????? Ya say you lost by two points? Hmmmmm, and just one FG was the difference? Pride and arrogance bite you in the butt?

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I hate Pete Carroll more than most, but I wouldn’t second guess him here. They were trailing by more than 10 points both times,c and I would want my coach to be aggressive in that circumstance. If they had scored a TD on one out of the two drives, they would have had more points than they would by kicking two field goals.

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Conservative and liberal economists agree on many of the forces that have driven the wage share down. Corporate America’s push to outsource jobs — whether call-center jobs to India or factory jobs to China — has fattened corporate earnings, while holding down wages at home. New technologies have raised productivity and profits, while enabling companies to shed workers and slice payroll. Computers have replaced workers who tabulated numbers; robots have pushed aside many factory workers.

Journalists with zero background in business and a hard left slant do like to sound the outsourcing horn.

They fail to mention things that they are no doubt unaware of:

- The outsourcing craze of 10 years ago spectacularly backfired for a lot of large companies (non manufacturing) and cost them 3 times what they hoped to save. Insourcing then became popular.
- Farming work out to (highly educated) people in country in EMEA and ASIAPAC simply made sense on an operational level
- Tax treatment * 100. Even Steve Jobs, a deranged leftist by any standard said he’d built Apple products in the US if it was not for the tax treatment and regulations the US has put in place. So when you’re sucking down your Choco-Mocha-Latte and typing about American greed on your MacBookPro built by Chinese slaves, suck that down too.

You get the picture.

CorporatePiggy on January 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I hate Pete Carroll more than most, but I wouldn’t second guess him here. They were trailing by more than 10 points both times,c and I would want my coach to be aggressive in that circumstance. If they had scored a TD on one out of the two drives, they would have had more points than they would by kicking two field goals.

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Still wouldn’t be surprised to see Pete named Coach of the Year.

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

aunursa on January 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

You do that when you’re behind late in the game aunursa, not at the beginning. They lost by two points…..it’s a huge duh!

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Still wouldn’t be surprised to see Pete named Coach of the Year.
Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

I think it should be Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator for the Colts. The Colts only won two games last year and had the lowest power ranking in the league at the start of the season. The new head coach is diagosed with cancer a and Bruce Arians has to step up into the head coach role and lead these sad sacks for the season. He responds by winning 9 games and leads the Colts into the playoffs. Awesome job under tremendous adversity.

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Unfortunately, the NFL Coach of the Year Award is only for Head Coaches. There was briefly an Assistant Coach of the Year award but it only lasted a few years.

What Arians did was amazing. He definitely deserves some sort of recognition.

Likewise, the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints deserve kudos for how they dealt with an until-then unprecedented situation. Early in the season they went up to Green Bay and only lost by a single point, and then a few games later became the first team to beat the Atlanta Falcons, who were 8-0 at the time. They could have mailed that season in, but certainly did not, as evidenced by their gut-check win a few weeks ago at Dallas.

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Unfortunately, the NFL Coach of the Year Award is only for Head Coaches.

Arian’s official title was interim head coach and I think I heard on ESPN that he does qualify.

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Houston’s hangin in tougher than I thought. Vs ATL = Southern Super Bowl!!

Abobo’s snacking on some Arian Foster Morning Star Chick Nugs right now.

abobo on January 13, 2013 at 6:20 PM

The Left’s God Nate Silver predicted a Ravens-Seahawks matchup for the Super Bowl.Your God Bleeds Lefties!!

jeffinsjvca on January 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Likewise, the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints deserve kudos for how they dealt with an until-then unprecedented situation. Early in the season they went up to Green Bay and only lost by a single point, and then a few games later became the first team to beat the Atlanta Falcons, who were 8-0 at the time. They could have mailed that season in, but certainly did not, as evidenced by their gut-check win a few weeks ago at Dallas.

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM

You’re not a Saints fan by any chance, are you? :)

Houston’s hangin in tougher than I thought. Vs ATL = Southern Super Bowl!!

Abobo’s snacking on some Arian Foster Morning Star Chick Nugs right now.

abobo on January 13, 2013 at 6:20 PM

lol

I am rooting for the Texans, and would love a Southern SB! The Atlanta-SF game should be interesting.

I thought all of the games would be close this weekend except for the NE-Houston game, although I didn’t believe NE would blow them out like before.

Anti-Control on January 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Anti-Control on January 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM

…I want the southern states to beat the socialist states!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Hey Pete, how’d giving away two field goals early in the game work out for you??????? Ya say you lost by two points? Hmmmmm, and just one FG was the difference? Pride and arrogance bite you in the butt?

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I completely agree, points are points. It’s one thing if there are only minutes left in the game and a field goal won’t due, then you skip the field goal and go for it.

Speaking of the arrogance of Pete, when the SeaSlugs embarrassed the 49ers the last time they played he made the comment at the half that “we haven’t even played our best yet” as a slap in the face to the 49ers. I guess he forgot that the 49ers whipped their azzes just a few weeks before. I didn’t give the slugs much of a chance to beat Atlanta but I was actually hoping for an upset so they would have to play the 49ers again as I’m certain Pete’s comment would be first and foremost in the minds of Harbaugh and the entire 49er team…but it looks as though the 49ers will have to wait until next year to make Pete eat his words!

GO 49ERS!!!

Liberty or Death on January 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Unfortunately, the NFL Coach of the Year Award is only for Head Coaches.

Arian’s official title was interim head coach and I think I heard on ESPN that he does qualify.

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Yup, that title would definitely qualify him, but it would also qualify Aaron Kromer and Joe Vitt of the Saints. Kromer went 2-4, followed by Vitt who went 5-5.

The NFL should create a special award for Arians. Call it the “Chuck Pagano Award”!

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Dang New England is impressive.

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Is it time to use the “blowout” word?

tommyboy on January 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Dang New England is impressive.

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 7:09 PM

…and it’s depressing me!… (though I do like Tom Brady).

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM

…and it’s depressing me!… (though I do like Tom Brady).

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Is that because he’s a Michigan man?

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 7:39 PM

…and it’s depressing me!… (though I do like Tom Brady).

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Is that because he’s a Michigan man?

gophergirl on January 13, 2013 at 7:39 PM

…yes…though I’m a State fan!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:50 PM

…damn the socialist state!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

…damn the socialist state!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Who’s surprised? At least Houston didn’t get completely blown out!

I don’t give Baltimore much of a chance next week, and consider Atlanta-SF a tossup, but I’ll go with Atlanta.

Anti-Control on January 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Good lord, the second half of the Falcons-Seahawks game shaved a few years off my life. That was a draining experience. But we won, the curse is broken! Riiiiiiiiise up, Falcons!

Lawdawg86 on January 13, 2013 at 8:06 PM

I don’t give Baltimore much of a chance next week, and consider Atlanta-SF a tossup, but I’ll go with Atlanta.

Anti-Control on January 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Betcha a nickle you get em’ both wrong. I see a Harbaugh bros rematch in the SB.

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 8:13 PM

…well…there is a Texas Rangers movie on the tube!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Betcha a nickle you get em’ both wrong. I see a Harbaugh bros rematch in the SB.

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 8:13 PM

I’ll take that bet! :)

The games this year I considered no-brainers, and was willing to have bet money on, straight-up w/o concern for the spread: Packers-Vikings, Baltimore-Indianapolis, NE-Houston. I’ll add NE-Baltimore to that list.

Anti-Control on January 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Texans couldn’t finish any of their drives. That hurt.

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

I went to the Falcons game today and the Dome was rocking that first half! Then the second half started…

I will tell you it took every fiber of my being to not leave after Seattle scored with 31 seconds left. Everyone around me were saying that the Falcons had to find a way to lose the game and keep the monkey on our backs.

But we all chose to stay and hope for a missed extra point or a kickoff return for a TD. If there was ever a city that needed a lucky break in professional sports, it is Atlanta. Very few people left after the Seattle TD.

The last 30 seconds was amazing! The fans went crazy and I couldn’t hear myself think, is this really happening?

What a game!

bigjacket on January 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Falcons on top!

Donald Draper on January 13, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Any objective comments on the quality of the “officiating” in the Patriots-Texans game? Didn’t hear all of the details, but apparently there were some specious calls, to say the least.

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Del, came back to the thread this AM just to check and I was hoping someone had mentioned it. Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Special calls designed to keep Houston from another 42-14 @sswhoopin. Was that officiating crew all born in Houston or what. And did anyone know where Ed big guns Hockuli was this weekend? Didn’t see him but I admit I didn’t watch all 4 games.

BTW Ed, nice recovery from Saturday.

D-fusit on January 14, 2013 at 5:52 AM

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Del, came back to the thread this AM just to check and I was hoping someone had mentioned it. Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Special calls designed to keep Houston from another 42-14 @sswhoopin. Was that officiating crew all born in Houston or what. And did anyone know where Ed big guns Hockuli was this weekend? Didn’t see him but I admit I didn’t watch all 4 games.

BTW Ed, nice recovery from Saturday.

D-fusit on January 14, 2013 at 5:52 AM

As usual I turned down the TV sound and was listening to our great radio guy, Gil Santos. He questioned a few of the calls, but since he is a Homer I expected that.

However, I later talked to my brother, who had been watching and listening to the C-BS announcers, and he said both Jim Nance and Phil Simms were also griping about the officials, so it must have been pretty bad.

Del Dolemonte on January 14, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Del Dolemonte on January 14, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Same here, love listening to the radio guys. Sad days for us radio listeners that first Gino retired now Gil. I admit that Scott Zolak has been a great addition, now who will replace Gil? I hope to goodness it isn’t Andy Gresh, I can’t stand that blowhard.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

D-fusit on January 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

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