Wayne Root: A Look at All 4 Playoff Games
WAR LOOKS AT ALL 4 NFL PLAYOFF GAMES
By Wayne Allyn Root
JETS vs PATRIOTS---A quick review is in order so we can keep up with "the mouth." Rex Ryan said it was him against Peyton Manning. Then he said it was personal between himself and Coach Bill Belichick. I can't wait to see if the Jets continue to win the headlines will read: Rex Ryan is calling out Lombardi! We'll find out if this style really does take the pressure off Sanchez and the rest of the team. (leave it to Ryan to use this as a way to take his own sex scandal with his wife off the front page). Many are pulling for the upset so we can send the Nielson ratings thru the roof watching the post-game interview. It's enjoyable trash talk but tweaking Tom Brady may have "lit the flame into a flash fire". note: do you remember losing your last game there something like 45-3? Nice win on the road for the Jets last week and this will certainly be a different game than their regular season match-ups. It will be in the trenches type of playoff grid. As far as the game, Mark Sanchez is 3-1 in playoff games and will quietly do his job...WAR knows if it will be enough or if the Patriots will continue to amass offensive points and a record number of turnovers.
SEAHAWKS vs BEARS---I say when Pete Carroll is finished with coaching he should be issued a megaphone and some pom-poms. He's all about having fun. He's about the opposite of what the media says is allowed in the NFL. The media says his "slap them on the back rah rah rah stuff" won't work. Well it worked last week. A key note was that they not only beat the Saints but they came from a double digit deficit to do it. Now having defeated the World Champions and having defeated the Bears earlier this season will they be intimidated? Will the match-ups produce a somewhat different result than in game 1? Cutler had his worst outing of the year against the Hawks. The Bears were 0-12 on 3rd down conversions. There's one question for Pete: how do you replace your 12th man? Your great home field fans? Maybe it will be so cold in Chicago the noise from clapping will be deafened from the heavy gloves. WAR has some great thoughts, game plan knowledge and the change of defensive schemes brought on by both clubs. Stay tuned.
BALTIMORE vs PITTSBURGH---Since Baltimore defeated Kansas City and turned their attention to the Steelers game it's been referred to as Armageddon, World War III and "personal between the two cities." And Rex Ryan had nothing to do with these remarks. "The team that wins this game is going to be the most violent team, the team that is most physical." These 2 teams have long been defined by their defenses, so it's natural that the two AFC North powers have embraced a back-and-forth rivalry characterized by their physicality and down-to-the-wire finishes. So the question looms for this game; will it be defense killing each other or do you start the handicapping process with the Quarterbacks? The Steelers have won the last six installments of one of the NFL's fiercest rivalries when Ben R. has played. Pittsburgh and Baltimore both finished 12-4 in the regular season and scored 27 points apiece in their two meetings, each winning by a field goal on the other's home field. Five of the seven meetings over the past 28 months have been decided by three points, one by four and the other nine. The reason one starts looking at the QB's is simple; success on the ground figures to be unlikely considering the Ravens and Steelers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 28 combined playoff games. WAR has plenty in his arsenal handicapping this game.
GREEN BAY vs ATLANTA---What a story-line between 2 great NFC Quarterbacks. Leading the NFC-best Falcons into their first home playoff game in exactly six years, third-year quarterback Matt Ryan looks for his first postseason victory as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to build on his first playoff win. The third-year quarterback, 20-2 at home during his career, is expecting a different result at the Georgia Dome than when they lost 2 seasons ago in the wildcard game. On the other hand, last week in Philadelphia was the Packers' first road playoff win in five tries and their first postseason victory with someone other than Brett Favre starting under center since Jan. 8, 1983. So the questions are many; will the crowd be the 12th man? Will Green Bay's defense keep them in the game as they have done all season long? Or is this a magical place to play for Matt Ryan judging from his comments; "I think the dome has been a tough place for teams to come in and play this year," Ryan, who set career highs with 3,705 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, told the Falcons' official website. "The atmosphere has been electric. I think specifically for us offensively, it's a benefit to be at home."
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