TOMORROW: Full reaction to Divisional Weekend on the show and podcast right here on sportswithnick.com and the YouTube channel.
1) How bout dem…Rams?!
The one damn time I picked this team. The one damn time I decided to have faith in the Cowboys in a big spot this is what they do? Don’t let the final score fool you, they got destroyed pretty much from the get go in the most Dallas Cowboys fashion.
At first they of course have to make their fanbase feel confident and did so by scoring right away and taking a 7-3 lead. From there, the Cowboys decided they were the Cowboys again and their offense went into hibernation for 30 minutes of game time until they finally scored again.
This is what makes the Cowboys the Cowboys folks. They make you build confidence in them slowly but surely, and then when it counts the most, they let you down right on cue. We’ve now been through 7 different Presidential terms since Dallas last won a road playoff game 26 years ago. It’s also been 23 years since they won back-to-back playoff games. Saying that stinks is an understatement.
Now I know what many Cowboys fans are saying: ‘Everyone counted us out after we were 3-5 and I am happy with this season.’ How many damn times are you going to say that?! How many times are the Cowboys fans, and more importantly their management, going to accept this as their results. During a week in which the report is they will sign Jason Garrett to a “lucrative contract extension,” there should be more consideration over firing him.
On the Rams side, this is the difference a year and a bye week can make. If you give a coach like McVay an extra week to prepare he is going to pick you apart eventually and that is exactly what they did. The Rams ran the ball over and over and over again and the Cowboys couldn’t of stopped a dry nose bleed if it tried. LA does deserve a ton of credit for what they did and look much better than they did before this week heading into the NFC Championship.
2) Saints squeak past the Eagles
My oh my, I thought the Saints would win this game, but I did not think it would be done like this. Their defense won them this game. Period end of story. The New Orleans defense that has been building momentum held the Eagles to 0 points over the final 49:37 of game time. I don’t care who is at QB for the Eagles or how banged up they are, that is impressive.
Their offense on the flip side looked out of sorts. The Eagles D deserves a ton, and I mean a ton, of credit for what they did to this Saints offense. You hold them to 20 points and you are going to take that.
The Saints did not look their best today, but their 14 point comeback and the resiliency they showed impressed me.
As a major side note, Michael Thomas had 171 receiving yards and a touchdown which has only been done 19 other times in NFL playoffs history. That is no surprise for anyone who has been following his season closely.
For the Eagles, you were possibly one catch away from Alshon Jeffery of winning this game. This one hurts. Yes, Eagles fans should feel good about their season, but the fact that they were that close hurts.
3) Patriots destroy the Chargers
Domination. The Patriots completely and utterly dismantled a team many thought had a chance coming into this weekend and it took them less than 25 minutes of gameplay to do so.
This New England team, after a year of doubt (and rightfully so this time), came out and looked like the Patriots of old. They proved that even a declining Tom Brady, and a possibly not-as-sharp Bill Belichick, with an extra week to prepare and rest are just too tough to beat. They showed they still have that mental edge on their opponents as the Chargers completely self destructed after going down 21-7. And most importantly, they showed they are still a Super Bowl caliber team.
Oh and of course they broke more records as they became the first team since 2003 to score on each of their first 4 drives in the postseason.
The Patriots have now made it to at least the AFC Championship for every single year since 2010…I’ll let you try and wrap your brain around that one.
All I know, is next week vs the Chiefs is going to be a treat and Patriots fans may be wishing they had that home field advantage.
From the Chargers side of things this comes down to two things. 1) Your defense got absolutely picked apart and showed no ability to adapt until it was way too late. 2) Well, this tweet of mine summarizes it:
4) Chiefs dominate the Colts
Kansas City opened up this game looking like a team on a mission and that is exactly what they did. They dominated the Colts at the beginning and didn’t need to do anything from there as the Colts left all their heart in Indianapolis.
My biggest takeaway form this game: Patrick Mahomes is not human. I will remind you we are talking about a 23-year-old essentially rookie who came into this game and did not show any nerves. I was blown away by his performance. While his final stats is not the most impressive stat line he’s shown all season long, it certainly was the most composure he’s shown. Mahomes won the Chiefs their first home playoff game since a little guy named Joe Montana did it in 1993.
That is the scary thing about this game for Patriots fans: The Chiefs did not play their best football. Just think about this, Kansas City didn’t score a single point in the 2nd half until there was 2:23 left in the game and still won convincingly. Imagine if they put together a full offensive performance? More importantly, imagine if their defense plays like they did Saturday.
On the Colts side of things, well it is hard to point much positive out here. Luck did not look good, their defense got picked apart, they looked shook and unprepared to start the game and the list could go on and on. Yes, Indianapolis has a solid young core and a ton of cap room this offseason, but it is hard to not look back at this season and imagined what could have been if you are Colts fan.
5) Next weekend is going to be fun
I mean could you ask for two more entertaining matchups? The Patriots vs the Chiefs is going to be incredible. Two great QBs, one the young GOAT and one the all-time GOAT, two teams with recently history, Patriots playing on the road…the storylines could go on and on.
Oh and if that was not enough, you get to follow up that game with Rams vs Saints. Let’s remember that the last two times these teams faced off they scored a combined 80 points when the Saints won 45-35 on November 4th. Yea, next weekend is going to be fun.
Tomorrow: Full reaction to Divisional Weekend on the show and podcast right here on sportswithnick.com and the YouTube channel.
-Story by Nick Friend