The second week of the NFL Playoffs is in the books. There's been a little more controversy than we're used to; see, eight playoff games were scheduled but as far as I can tell only two games were actually played. I'm not sure exactly what's going on and whether the NFL is planning to re-schedule the games that weren't played. It seems like they'd have to, right? I mean, how are you supposed to keep going in the playoffs when only the Cards-Packers and Chargers-Jets games even took place?
I kid, of course. These six "missing" games actually took place. But they may as well not have. Every single one was over in the first half as one team after another simply rolled over. My beloved Patriots were among the casualties. The only good game of the Wild Card round was the ridiculous Cards-Packers shootout, as both teams set their respective skill levels to All-Madden and cut loose. The game was even decided in Madden fashion as a sack led to a freak turnover and still more scoring. And now it was all irrelevant because both teams are out. I'd rather be a Packers fan, because at least your team went down fighting. How many teams can say that at the end of this season? Not mine, certainly. Any wind in the Cardinals' sails was snuffed out by their fumblicious defeat at the hands of the Saints. Finally, yesterday's Chargers-Jets game was a pretty entertaining defensive struggle that ended in anticlimax.
The Jets are a team we all should have seen coming. Every year in the recent past has seen a discredited team come out of nowhere to reach the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl. The Cardinals last year, the Giants the year before that, the Patriots the year before that. The Jets have some unique advantages this year. Because their last two opponents in the regular season (Indy and Cincy) rolled over, they were allowed to get some free momentum. And with the two dominant wins over Cincy and now the win over San Diego, their momentum is truly unstoppable. Why? Because of Rex Ryan.
Look at that dude. When that kind of mass gets rolling with serious momentum...well, it's just physics at that point. Momentum is purely a function of mass and velocity, so the Jets are able to attack the problem at both ends with their high-octane defense and their coach's low-octane metabolism. I will congratulate Mr. Ryan on remedying a failing of his from earlier in the season: namely, his tendency to hoard time-outs so that he might eat them later. Can you eat time-outs? Unfortunately, no. They're not tangible things. But they are things, so Rex assumes he must be able to eat them. Most stuff in the world can be eaten.
Rex Ryan is actually a good coach, as evidenced by his team's defense and the fact that he actually makes good decisions. Norv, trotting out Nate "LOL" Kaeding for a 48-yard attempt when you have 4th and 2 is not a good idea. Onside kicking against a team that's expecting it when you have 2:16 to play, down 3? Not a good idea. Kick it deep against the "Hands" team and force the Jets to play safe. Rex couldn't have gone for it on 4th down from his own 30, but he sure could from yours! Ugh. Of course, I shouldn't be talking smack about other coaches. Beel Beelichick never figured out how to make the defense work, never adapted the offense to the conditions on the ground and somehow expected everyone to believe that Lawrence Maroney was going to be a quality running back. Remember months ago when I wrote that Maroney sucked and would never do anything? That's what happened. And I can't even really take credit for that, because everybody knows Maroney is awful. Ask any Pats fan how he feels.
This is Jim Caldwell. That's actually not a JPEG. It's an embedded video of him on the sidelines yesterday. If you wait to about the 3-minute mark, he blinks and you can totally tell. Anyway, Jim Caldwell does absolutely nothing. Peyton runs the offense, some other guy runs the defense and Caldwell...wears a headset? I bet he's just listening to music and spacing out. That's what I'd do if I got to coach Peyton Manning. I'm convinced he will be the downfall of them at some point, because in a league based on coaching that has to come up. Right? I feel like it did for Norv and Wade this weekend. It will come for Childress next weekend; Sean Payton is a good coach. Brad Childress just makes propeller noises into his headset mic and orders low-percentage passes in obvious run situations. They'll never see it coming!
Rex is a good coach, he's just kinda obnoxious and quirky. I actually dig the way he stores his red challenge flags in his mouth during the game. I bet he keeps all kinds of other useful things in there. His neck fat is actually substantial enough that I'd believe he has a kind of pelican-like pouch in there. He can store things like his keys, or a snack for later. Hmm...now that I think about it, that wouldn't really work because you'd drool all over the place. But then, how do squirrels and chipmunks store food in their cheeks without drooling? The world is a mysterious place.
Finally, it's entirely possible that Kurt Warner will retire after this season. I'm conflicted about this. On the one hand, I like Kurt Warner and he's played well. I think he deserves to make the Hall of Fame after what he's done in Arizona. On the other, the hilarity of the Matt Leinart Era is something I'm really looking forward to. How many backup QBs are running jokes even before they take over? To illustrate what I'm talking about, the picture at right is the second image that appears on Google when you type in "Matt Leinart." The first image had a broken link so I couldn't use it, but I'll just tell you it involved a beer bong and let your imagination do the rest. After the party shots are a couple of Matt at USC. You have to go a ways before you see an image of Leinart in an NFL uniform playing football. Which is normally the sort of activity I like associated with my QBs--I'd just kinda rather have them throwing footballs and exercising than partying in hot tubs. Dunno what it is. Kurt Warner loves Jesus so much that he doesn't even own a hot tub. Let alone many hot tubs, that would necessitate an entire busload of co-eds. What is he gonna do...with a hot tub?
In case you didn't know this, Jesus hates hot tubs. Their combination of moisture and heat promotes fungal infections, and fungus is a holy abomination because it feeds on the dead. Thus, owning a hot tub goes against the teachings of Christ. If you want to learn more, you can read about it in the Bible!