Ravens 33 - Patriots 14
In one way, it is almost as if there is a passing of the torch going on right now or the end of an era. At the same time, I realize this may just be my perception. It may just be a sign that they need to retool some elements and rebuild.
Anything than could go wrong has gone wrong for them the past two years, as far as injuries go.
Last year it was Brady out for the season, this year it has been Welker hurt when it counted the most. There was some discussion about Brady playing with hurt ribs, there were times that I felt like Moss was quitting on the team. I don't know, only the team knows these things and they have denied these accounts.
What I did see of this ball game, it looked like the Ravens put lots of pressure on Brady, more than he's used to when they are winning. Greg, our resident Pats fan, has said in the past that the offensive line was not particularly good this year. It seems quite feasible that some work needs to be put into it...if they want to allow Brady the opportunity to keep throwing in "Hall Of Fame" fashion.
When the Ravens are good, this is the way they play: Tough defense and physical running attacks on offense. These are the things that Baltimore will need working for them, to have any chance to go further. They overran a banged up group of legends that will likely be back, but can they beat the juggernaut of the regular season the same way?
Cardinals 51 - Packers 45
Over 1000 total yards for both teams combined, 59 first downs, and no defense at all until the very end, when the game was on the line. This was the best game to watch the entire weekend, if you didn't have a dog in the fight. Otherwise, your nerves are shot today.
One would have thought that Arizona was going to rout the Pack, with the way the game started out. But after a scoreless 1st quarter, GB was able to crank up the offense and make a game out of it. Although I have been highly critical of Aaron Rodgers in this forum, he showed that he has the talent to be a great QB.
The Arizona offense must be damned good, because they just scored 51 on the second ranked defense in the league during the regular season. The impressive thing was, they did without one of their best receivers. Imagine how good they can be if they are healthy and on top of their game.
In my estimation, Kurt Warner has made his case for getting into the Hall of Fame and will only solidify that claim the longer he wins. Many think he already has, but you know how fickled the Hall voters can be sometimes. I think he will have a good day against New Orleans, next week.
Well that's the first round. The stage is set for the division round next week and we will post on these match-ups later in the week.