Ladies and gentlemen, it's the NFL Playoffs. The march to the the big game in Indianapolis began this Saturday with the Bengals playing the Texans, the Lions playing the Saints and continued on Sunday with the Falcons playing the Giants and the Steelers playing the Broncos.
This edition of a playoff weekend wrap up is brought to you by the number 15 and the letter "T". Why? Four words... Mr. Timothy Richard Tebow. Let's break it down...
Steelers/Broncos - The Broncos lead the Steelers 20-6 going into halftime. In typical Steeler fashion, the Steelers tied the game at 23-23 with about 2 minutes left in the game. When the Broncos were forced to punt their next possession and the Steelers couldn't get the 4th quarter magic drive done, the game was sent to overtime with the new playoff overtime rules that went into effect last season. The rules: if the first team that gets the ball scores a touchdown, the game is over... if the first defense scores a touchdown, the game is over... if the first team to get the ball scores a field goal, the defending team would receive a chance to have the ball. On the first play of overtime, Tebow throws a stripe to Demaryius Thomas who goes 80 yards to score the game-winning touchdown. Tebow Time resumes and the 8-8 Broncos knock off the defending AFC Champions. NEXT WEEK: The Broncos visit the Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Will Tebow Time continue or will the Patriots have a repeat performance of the Week 15 41-23 beatdown of the Broncos?
Bengals/Texans - I'll admit I missed this game this weekend so I don't have too much of a story to tell about the game. From what I gather, the Texans led 17-10 at the half and shutout the Bengals in the second half winning the game 31-10. I'll give credit where credit is due with Cincy quarterback Andy Dalton having a heck of a rookie season. This kid is going to be a star provided he doesn't have a sophomore slump. Kudos also for the Texans winning their first playoff appearance in franchise history. NEXT WEEK: The Texans head to AFC North Division Champion Baltimore Ravens. Will the Texans continue to ride a wave of momentum and challenge the Ravens or will this be another repeat performance of the Week 6 Ravens 29-14 victory?
Lions/Saints - The good news for Detroit? The Lions reversed several years of poor performances and made the playoffs. The bad news for Detroit? Drew Brees put up ridiculous numbers again as the Saints came from behind at halftime to cruise to a 45-28 victory. I will continue to say it now... Provided the Saints and Packers win next week, I believe the Saints may be the only team that could seriously end the dream of repeat Super Bowls for the Packers. Both teams are playing well, but the Saints are on fire. However, there's still a week before that potential showdown. NEXT WEEK: The Saints visit the 49ers and what should be an interesting battle. Will the Niners defense stifle Brees and Company or will Black and Gold continue to score at will?
Falcons/Giants - Poor poor performance for the Falcons. I seriously thought they would do better against the anything but consistent Giants team. The final score was 24-2 Giants. The Giants defense basically held Falcons QB Matt Ryan to 199 yards and no touchdowns and smothered the rushing attack holding Falcons starting running back Michael Turner to a measly 41 yards. Meanwhile on the other side of the ball Eli Manning continued his best NFL season tossing three touchdown passes as the Giants won their first playoff game since winning Super Bowl XLII. NEXT WEEK: The Giants visit the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Will Eli continue his incredible run (where he doesn't have to be in big brother Peyton's shadow - Kudos Ang's Dad) or will Aaron Rodgers and Company continue their march to make it to the Super Bowl in back-to-back years?
That's the wrap up. For those that are interested, here's the schedule of next weekend's games:
Saturday, January 14
Saints @ 49ers - 4:30 p.m. ET Fox
Broncos @ Patriots - 8 p.m. ET CBS
Sunday, January 15
Texans @ Ravens - 1 p.m. ET CBS
Giants @ Packers - 4:30 p.m. ET FOX