BY Christopher Dauer
This past weekend wasn’t really that dramatic. Each game was a hard fought battle and each team handled their win or loss with class.
The Kansas City Chiefs at the New England Patriots
Of course the Patriots won. Is that even a question? Julian Edelman returned and seemed to be the spark for the Patriots as they snuck by the Chiefs. It wasn’t a blowout, but the Patriots looked like their early season form and that means trouble for anybody who faces them next. The Chiefs’ 11-game winning streak came to an end. Final Score: 27-20
The Green Bay Packers at the Arizona Cardinals
Nothing mattered until the fourth quarter. You could say that nothing really mattered until Green Bay’s final drive. Aaron Rodgers was faced with a fourth and twenty from close to his own end zone. He drops back, scrambles and completes a 61-yard completion to Jeff Janis. After a couple more plays, Green Bay had time for one more play before the clock expired. Rodgers steps back, scrambles again and throws a 41-yard Hail Mary pass. It’s up in the air and caught by Jeff Janis for a touchdown as time expired. It’s Aaron Rodgers. What else would you expect? He threw a game ending Hail Mary to win against the Lions earlier this year. Now he did it to force overtime. The coin toss to start overtime summed up the game on how badly the officials did their job. The official tossed it up and the coin didn’t even flip. They had to redo it and the Arizona Cardinals chose to receive the ball. Larry Fitzgerald had a 76-yard reception and had the game winning touchdown catch. Final score: 26-20.
The Seattle Seahawks at the Carolina Panthers
The Panthers were absolutely dominant in the first half. They led at halftime 31-0. This wasn’t the case in the second half. The Seahawks tried to make it a game and seemed like they actually wanted to win, but the Panthers played with their emotions. After being up by so many points, they kind of took it easy just to make sure they were healthy for the next round of the playoffs. Final Score: 31-24
The Pittsburgh Steelers at the Denver Broncos
The injured Steelers put on a commendable performance being that they led throughout most of the game. The Broncos just took the lead when it actually mattered. Two great quarterbacks had a great game against each other and only one turnover was created between both teams. The Steelers fumbled once and it led to the game winning touchdown by the Broncos. Both teams showed great sportsmanship in greeting each other after the game and actually having heart-felt conversations. Final Score: 23-16
Wild Card weekend resulted in all four road teams winning. This week, all four home teams won. This means that now 12 out of the last 13 Super Bowls will have featured either, Ben Rothlisberger, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Whether it’s Tom or Peyton this year will be determined soon.
AFC Championship: The New England Patriots at the Denver Broncos 1/24 3:05 p.m.
If you’re like me, you’re tired of this Brady and Manning matchup. This is the 17th time they will play against each other and it’s the same old stuff. Will Manning beat Brady? Will Brady beat Manning? Who will finally say they are better? It’s only the once in a lifetime chance they’re playing for. Once in a lifetime? For them, nothing has ever been once in a lifetime. They constantly face each other and seem to go to the Super Bowl every other year. Who really cares what happens this time?
NFC Championship: The Arizona Cardinals at the Carolina Panthers 1/24 6:40 p.m.
Based on Carolina’s past performance, they should breeze their way to a win. The Cardinals had some help from officials in order to get here and I don’t see their luck continuing. It’s a battle of two past number one draft picks and Heisman Trophy winners. Both teams have rarely gone to the Super Bowl, so a win would really be a once in a lifetime experience.
Both one and two seeds face each other and three former number one picks play this weekend. We’ll see who’s really the best of the best.