The wild card round of the NFL playoffs two weekends ago was simply amazing. Indianapolis had a great 28-point comeback. New Orleans and San Francisco each won on a late-second field goal. San Diego overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit to be the only team of the weekend to win by more than one score.
But as is the general rule with sequels, the second go-around isn’t usually as good as the original. The divisional round proved that point this past weekend.
A week after all of those great games, the games on Saturday and Sunday were complete duds. Totally disappointing. And I feel like the excitement of the playoffs is coming way down.
First on Saturday there was the semi-beat down by Seattle on New Orleans. Okay, yes that game was close in the end. I’ll give you that, but did anyone really doubt that the Seahawks were going to win that game, especially after they went up 16-0 and 23-8. That game had blowout written all over it, even before the game began, and aside from a lucky/misplayed onside kick, it was just that. Next.
Then the Patriots just dismantled the Colts. Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck was unlucky (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and threw a near pick-six on the opening possession and that was basically the game. New England went up 21-7 early in the second quarter, and while Indianapolis cut the deficit down to 21-15 and 29-22, but like the earlier game, it really was never in doubt. Next day, please.
Sunday’s early game really featured the only game that I, and many others without rooting interests, interesting. Despite not having a natural rivalry, San Francisco and Carolina where very talkative and the game was extremely chippy. Both teams were doing their best to get in as many shots as possible. But even this game proved boring after a while. Carolina made it interesting going up 10-7 in the second, but San Francisco really took over and put the game away.
The finale of the weekend was one of the round’s best potential games. San Diego was the only team this season to beat Denver at home and many thought the Chargers could do it again. Wrong. Denver went up 17-0 in the third quarter and while the score wasn’t nearly as high scoring for the Broncos as it was in the regular season, they really were dominating the game. San Diego made somewhat of a game of it, coming back to cut the deficit to 24-17, but it really was never in doubt.
I guess in the sports world it’s a good rule of thumb to never get your hopes up and this past weekend’s games were a good reason why. Neither of them were particularly interesting, especially to neutral observers.
Hopefully the two conference title games won’t disappoint. I mean, we do have Manning/Brady Bowl XV to look forward to. I’m not getting my hopes up.