Another exciting weekend of playoff football is in the books and, in our 3-way competition for predicting winners, I came out on top of Divisional Round Weekend with a 2-2 record. As a result, I get a brief open forum on the blog to recap the weekend and basically run my mouth about a topic of my choosing.
Yesterday, less than 24 hours after it was determined the Vikings two biggest rivals would face one another in the NFC Championship Game, I couldn’t even bring myself to recap Divisional Round Weekend here on the blog. How disgusting is it that the Bears and Packers will battle in the NFC title game for the right to go to the Super Bowl? I mean, it’s great drama, I get that. But the Vikings biggest rivals are playing to go to the Super Bowl. Yuck!
Let’s talk about something else for a while, then I’ll get into Bears-Packers. Last weekend’s games provided football fans with more drama and excitement as the playoffs roll on. By now we’ve all heard enough reaction and post-game analysis, so I’ll keep my thoughts brief. Here is one observation from each game…
– Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have the strongest arm and he isn’t the most cerebral signal-caller, but he’s a gamer with lots of postseason experience. I wouldn’t choose him if I were starting a franchise and I wouldn’t choose him as my QB for 1 season, but given the choice of any QB for 1 big-time game, Roethlisberger is as good a choice as there is in my opinion.
– I don’t want to keep the emphasis on QBs in each of these observations, but obviously Aaron Rodgers was the story of Saturday night’s game between the Packers and Falcons. It was a 1-man show for Green Bay. The one thing that stuck out to me, though, over anything else, was how Rodgers was able to escape Falcons pass rushers. Atlanta dialed up the right playcall defensively many times, but Rodgers was just better than even the best defensive playcall.
– Soldier Field is always one of my favorite road trips of the year and I think that place is at its best in conditions such as what we saw on Sunday, with snow and wind and poor footing because of the beat-up turf. Yes, Soldier Field has some of the worst surface conditions in the league, but it’s awesome to watch the game of football played in less than perfect conditions.
– This is no news flash, but the Jets victory over New England underscores the value of having a shutdown CB such as Darrell Revis. There were times when Tom Brady had all day to stand in the pocket and survey the field, but New York maintained its coverage of New England’s receivers. I guess when one man can shut down an entire third of the field it makes it much easier for the 10 other defenders to take care of the other two-thirds of the field.
Okay, on to the Vikings fan’s guide to watching the NFC Championship Game. With arch rivals Green Bay and Chicago playing in the conference title game, the path of least resistance is to refuse to watch the game and do something else instead. But from one football fan to another, I urge you not to do that. While we’ll surely cringe to see one of those teams celebrating a Super Bowl berth, it will be good drama and the game will likely be entertaining until the end. In addition, we’ll also get to see one of our rivals deal with the heart-breaking reality that they came up 1 game shy of reaching the Super Bowl – we all remember what that feels like, right?
I’ve decided to be a Chicago Bears fan for a day. While I enjoy going to Lambeau Field more than any other place every year, Soldier Field is a close 2nd. And the actual fan base of the Bears is much easier to tolerate than the fan base of the Packers. On top of that, my cousin lives in Chicago and has become a quasi Bears fan (except when they play the Vikings or Dolphins) so for his sake I’d like to see the city of Chicago celebrate another Super Bowl appearance.
But that’s just me. What do you think, Vikings fans? What do you want to see happen in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game? Let us know in the comments section below.
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