Quarterbacks – Divisional Playoffs
Tom Brady was…well…Tom Brady was Tom Brady. He was on fire. He was cool and calm. He delivered under pressure. He didn’t force things. He took what the defense gave him. He made a couple passes that required good grabs by his receivers. His two incomplete passes were catchable. He was a model of what a QB should play like.
Brett Favre was pretty darn good himself. He didn’t panic when his team got back early. He didn’t change the game plan and revert to the Farve of old. He let his running back redeem himself. He spread the ball around, and continued to look for Greg Jennings in the Redzone. His off-balance underhand throw was a pass that only #4 could have made.
Eli Manning crept a little out of his brother’s shadow yesterday. He took the show on the road, and didn’t back down to the heavily favored Cowboys. He didn’t set the world on fire, but he did not make the mistakes that have plagued him from time to time. He did enough to win. That’s all that matters.
Philip Rivers played a solid game. He had 264 yards passing and three TDs. With Gates hurting, he turned to Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers. He ended up hurting his knee making him questionable for next week. His backup, Billy Volek, scored the game-winning TD on a QB sneak.
Peyton Manning - Manning threw for a ton of yards (402) and three scores. The Chargers did something you don’t ever want to do. They gave him not one, but two chances to add to his comeback totals. It wasn’t there though. He took some odd shots down field when they just needed to move the chains, and he look panicky throwing incompletions in his last two fourth down attempts. He was facing pressure both times, but not to the point where he couldn’t have planted both of his feet and fire a strike rather than attempting on off-balance miracle. If he hung in tough and took the hit to deliver a better pass, we’d be talking about another Patriots-Colts playoff game.
Tony Romo – The good news for Tony is that he has all the time in the world to take Yoko Romo to any paradise he sees fit. Of course, the bad news is a second straight playoff game goes up in smoke. Tom Brady dates hot, famous women. I’ve never heard of him taking a vacation during a playoff run. I’m not blaming Jessica Simpson, but Tony should have known better.
David Garrard – He played a near-perfect game. Problem is almost have to be perfect in order to beat the Patriots. Going into the game, the Jaguars running game and defense were considered to be the recipe that could spoil the Patriots chance at a true undefeated season. Unfortunately for them, Bill Belichick had way too much time to prepare for them. He basically took away the running game, and simply took what the defense gave him. Garrard played an outstanding game. He just had the misfortune of playing the New England Patriots.
Matt Hasselbeck – Matt played a decent game. It’s tough playing on the road in the snow without a running game. It didn’t help that D.J. Hackett and Deion Branch were limited. Saturday just wasn’t his day.