Saturday, January 06, 2007

Colts get defensive, Dallas goes out with a bungle

Colts, Seahawks epitomize the "survive & advance" theory in less-than-impressive wins

Indy's defense finally makes an appearance, just in the nick of time
Colts 22, Chiefs 8
Line: Colts -7

Is it possible for the Pats to trade for Ty Law before the next round of the playoffs start? Or the Chargers? Because the former New England safety sure has Peyton number. The wily veteran picked off the befuddled Manning three more times tonight to bring his total to 7 INTs in the last two playoff games these two have squared off against each other.

Unfortunately for Law & the Chiefs this time the performance didn't result in a win as the revitalized Indianapolis defense manhandled Larry Johnson & the Chiefs offense to the point of embarrassment.

The team that had allowed 170+ yards per game on the ground this season gave up only 44 today, 32 to LJ who had been #2 in the league this year with over 1800+ yards rushing. The entire Colt defense allowed a mere 126 total yards, and the rest of the Chiefs' offensive numbers were just plain ugly: 7 first downs (none until 3:26 left in the 3rd quarter), 1-11 on 3rd down, 4 sacks allowed, and a drive chart to puke over.

How about 6 punts, a missed field goal, 2 interceptions, a fumble and one touchdown. Does that sound like a formula for winning a playoff game? I didn't think so either.

The Mannings were not much better. Peyton (30-38, 268yds, 1 TD, 3 INTs) did not have his best game, and perhaps it was fitting justice that it was those guys on "the other side of the ball" that bailed his ass out this time. I guess you won't hear him complaining about not being able to be on the field all the time to help procure the win this time.

Now the Colts have to travel to Baltimore and take on the ravenous Raven defense. Is the Indy D for real, or was that just a one game blip, a perfect storm that coincided with the return of lightning rod safety Bob Sanders, a sloppy Chief team, and an terrible coaching job by Herm you play to win the game yet I can't seem to win the big one Edwards?

One thing's for sure: if Manning throws 3 more picks against the Ravens he and his team of minions will not be advancing to the AFC Championship game.

He'll be heading to a psychiatrist's office to try and have the nightmares of Ty Law haunting him removed from his memory bank.

Dallas bobbles its chance to advcance in a wild Wild Card game in Seattle
Seattle 21, Dallas 20
This game was the exact opposite of the first one: exciting, competitive, balanced and with a thrilling finish.

Unfortunately for Cowboys fans it was yet another heartbreaking finale to a promising season as the former toast of the league, QB Tony Romo, got toasted by a botched snap on what could have been the game-winning kick by Martin Grammatica with just over 1:00 left in the game.

Up to then it was a see-saw affair that had the Cowboys take a 10-6 lead just before halftime on a 12-yard-TD pass from Romo (17-29, 189 yards, 1TD) to Patrick Crayton, but the 'Hawks took the lead right back on a score from Matt Hasselbeck to Jerramy kick me in the groin Stevens(5 recs, 77yds, 2 TDs, no groin hits) But the play that happened next could have been the tide-turner that gave the contest to the 'Boys.

On the ensuing kickoff after Stevens' TD Dallas' Miles Austin returned the kick 93-yards for a momentum-swinging, soul-crushing type of score that made it 17-13 Dallas in the blink of an eye. Seattle was shellshocked and it looked unlikely it would get up off the Starbucks-stained mat.

But after Little Martin nailed a 29-yard FG 4 minutes into the 4th to make the score 20-13 Cowboys, things really started to get squirrelly.

Backed up against their own end zone Dallas ran a little swing play to Terry Glenn. After he slipped down and struggled to regain control of the ball he got up and attempted to gain some positive yardage out of the play. Wrong. Glenn was popped by Seattle's Keith Jennings and the ball flew backwards into the end zone. As Seahawks flew around trying to land on the ball it went out of the end zone for a safety, making the score 20-15 Dallas with 6:00 to play.

It really got interesting when Seattle took the free kick and drove 50 yards in 4 plays, capped by a gorgeous 36-yard touchdown pass from Hasselbeck(18-36, 240 yards, 2TDs, 2 INTs) to Stevens for a 21-20 Seattle lead with 5:00 to go. The try for 2 points failed, and Romo had 4:24 to mount the winning drive.

Which he did. He took the ball all the way from Dallas' 28 to the Seattle 2 yard line and put the team in a position to win its first playoff game since 1996. A key play came on 3rd & 1, when Jason Witten turned and barrelled ahead for an apparent first down at the 1, but replays proved he didn't get the spot.

Tuna nearly went for it on 4th & 1, which in hindsight might have been a better idea, but instead lined up for the chip shot kick.

After a timeout they lined up for the 23-yarder, and Romo would be the handler, as he has been for two seasons, you know seeing as he was a scrub up until just 2 months ago. Well the grinning gunslinger bobbled a perfect snap, got up and tried to race for the end zone but was tripped up from behind in a highlight reel-worthy, game-saving tackle by Jordan Babineaux, stopping Romo one yard shy of the first down that could have ended Seattle's NFC champion reign.

I've said it before but this time I really mean it- THE BLOOM IS OFFICIALLY OFF THE ROMO. Nothing like blowing a playoff game because you can't get a snap down? Think all the members of his fan club will be patting him on the back now, yukking it up over which singer he is actually dating and so forth?

This guy will be lucky to recover from this disaster, and if he does he might not have the same coach guiding him.

That's because this could have been the Tuna's last game. That decision will most certainly come in the next few days, and will depend on whether a certain obnoxious wide receiver will still be wearing a star on his helmet next year.

But one things definite: Romo needs to spend more time getting better on the field than getting hookups off of it.

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