It’s been too long since I’ve done a Surviving the Watercooler post, but I promise people will be talking about yesterday’s games for more than just next week. If you haven’t read a StW post before, my goal is to help make certain people who don’t follow sports all that closely, or didn’t watch these particular games, are able to keep up with the office gossip and speculation come Tuesday morning. It was nice to have MLK day give me an extra day to get this post up.
AFC Championship: New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts
Quick Primer: This game was pretty awful to watch. There was a slight glimmer of hope for the Colts when they were down 14-0 and intercepted Brady. It was only 17-7 at half time, but then the Patriots scored touchdowns on their first four second half possessions. The 45-7 final score accurately reflects just how one sided this whole affair was. It was the second game of the day and quite the letdown after how exciting the NFC title game was, but more on that in a bit.
Useful Saying: (Insert any one of a hundred ‘beating a dead horse’ jokes)
Response if someone else says that: Haha, I get it! It’s because the team that lost has a mascot that is a horse and the game was a blowout. It’s a joke! I get jokes. It isn’t actually the biggest blowout in AFC championship game history, that would be Buffalo’s 51-3 win over the LA Raiders in 1990. It was still an ugly game though.
Useful Saying: Tom Brady is now without a doubt the GOAT(greatest of all time)
Response if someone else says that: Getting tough to argue against that. Even though this game wasn’t against Peyton Manning, it was still a statement to soundly destroy the team that just beat Manning’s team on their home field. Brady will be the first quarterback to start six superbowls and by himself now has the same number of playoff wins(19) as the entire Philadelphia Eagles franchise.
Useful Saying: Bill Belichick’s status as a Sith Lord is now confirmed. Can you believe he ran up the score like that?
Response if someone else says that: They’re all pro athletes so a 45-7 score in the NFL isn’t quite the same as a 161-2 highschool girl’s basketball game(yes, that also happened last week). I also can’t really criticize Belichick for keeping his foot on the gas pedal by keeping his starters in and going for it on fourth down when the Packers lost precisely because they didn’t do that. Speaking of the Packers…
NFC Championship game: Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
Quick Primer: Six turnovers in the first half, a fake field goal, a comeback including an onside kick, two lead changes in the last minute and a half, questionable coaching decisions, players staying on the field with one functional arm, and overtime all in one game? What I’m trying to say is that I can’t write a quick primer for this. Anything I type will be woefully inaccurate. The incredibly short version is the Packers jumped out to a 16-0 lead and had a 19-7 lead with five minutes left in the game but still found a way to let the Seahawks take the lead and win in overtime.
Useful Saying: HOLY CRAP WHAT A GAME!
Response if someone else says that: I KNOW RIGHT!?!?
Useful Saying: Seriously, the Seahawks managed to overcome five turnovers, scored 15 points in the last five minutes which needed both a successful onside kick and a two point conversion, had their other points come from a fake field goal that went for a touchdown, and had Sherman out there with an injured elbow and he managed to use just one arm to defend Jordy Nelson. They deserved to win this game.
Response if someone else says that: They certainly deserved the win, BUT it shouldn’t have been within their reach to begin with. The Packers had 4th & 1 from Seattle’s 1 yard line twice in the first quarter and came away with a field goal each time. How you only score 16 points off five turnovers might be a testament to the other team’s defense, but I also think it shows fear on Green Bay’s part. These two teams played the first week of the season and Rodgers didn’t even attempt a pass towards the side of the field Sherman was covering. I think McCarthy(the Head Coach for the Packers) was scared and desperately wanted any points he could get, not thinking about the fact that he has a top five running back who averages 4.6 yards per carry. You don’t let the defending champions continue to think they have a chance in their own building. You need to go for a knockout punch and Green Bay wouldn’t do it. This is also why I mentioned I can’t criticize Belichick for his actions in the other game.
Useful Saying: Well when you put it that way McCarthy should be fired!
Response if someone else says that: Hold up. He’s got a 94-49 record, not counting his 7-6 mark in the playoffs, since taking over in 2006. He has five division titles, seven playoff appearances, and a superbowl title in that time. Do I think he got completely out coached by Pete Carroll again? Yes, but before you talk about replacing him look at another team in the NFC North. Lovie Smith got fired from Chicago after going 81-63(10-6 in the year he was fired) and now that team can best be compared to a dumpster fire…a large dumpster fire…a large dumpster filled with tires and dog hair all of which is on fire. It isn’t like there are a plethora of qualified head coaches looking for jobs right now and if you fire McCarthy I can guarantee you’ll feel awful watching him succeed elsewhere.
Preliminary Superbowl Prediction: Please note at this time last year on this blog I was picking Denver to beat Seattle and we remember how well that went. With that said, my early lean is Seattle. I always fear a team that has faced adversity and still pulled it out. A lot will depend on the couple injuries Seattle suffered during the win over the Packers, and I don’t think either team will blow out the other. I want to emphasize this is a lean and there are many good cases to be made for a Patriots superbowl here. As long as it’s a better game than last year I’ll be happy.
As always, questions, comments, and criticisms are welcome. Answers are guaranteed.