January 13, 2005
Erica's Take: New England vs. Indianapolis
BY: Erica Mari
Well if last week didn't show how true the statement "Any Given Sunday" is, then I don't know what does. What a week in football! The electric Chargers were discharged by the New York Jets in a nail biter out in San Diego. Needless to say, anyone with a little kicking experience may want to send a resume over to the Chargers camp.
The St. Louis Rams became the first 8-8 team to win an NFL playoff game after beating the Seattle Seahawks over the weekend. For now it looks like Rams quarterback Marc Bugler once again reassured everyone that the arrogant and former Rams QB Kurt Warner leaving town was a good thing. Warner is also now on his way out of New York after deciding he's not happy backing up Eli Manning with the Giants.
Unfortunately for the Packers, the Vikings put so many holes in the cheese that swiss may be the new brand out of Wisconsin after Minnesota easily beat Green Bay 31-17. However the talk after the game was about Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss. But there's not much else you can say there, other than I guess it was just "Randy being Randy".
And finally there was Indy. What can you say? The Colts were simply stronger and faster in their 49-24 victory over the Denver Broncos.
This week promises to exude some of the same high caliber excitement. If this week is like last week with our boys in the mix I may need to call 9-1-1. I also don't think I can take another roller coaster ride this week like the one we had last year with the Colts in the AFC championship game.
The Colts are not without injuries but one of their best weapons, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, is healthy. He scares me, and without Ty Law to shut him down, covering him could be quite the task. To make matters worse, on the other side they also have Reggie Wayne who racked up 10 catches for 221 yards and 2 TDs last weekend.
Please, please Santa, I know Christmas is over but let Peyton Manning be Peyton Manning and hold true to form by choking when it counts. With cornerbacks Ty Law and Tyrone Poole both sidelined, this could be quite the game. Defense wins championships but the good news is Indy doesn't have one, ranking 29th in the NFL. Needless to say I love Tom Brady in a pressure cooker, especially at home on a cold Sunday.
The key for our defense this week will be to continue to be physical and jam the wide receivers at the line. Belichick always seems to have Manning's number and I think the same will be true this week. Also in our favor is history. Manning was again named MVP this year, and after being named co-MVP with Tennessee Titans QB Steve McNair last year, the Patriots handed both Manning and McNair a big fat loss en route to their return to the Super Bowl. Call me superstitious but I will be sitting in the same place eating the same food and drinking the same drink as last year. I see a nail biter this weekend at Gillette but I still plan to be here next week.
POTENTIAL STUD OF THE WEEK: I think that Troy Brown may end up being the man this week. The reason? If there is one person who seems to know just what a receiver is going to do and is able to be there before he is, it would be my boy Troy.
NFL PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS
NY Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers: I have some upsets to predict. I see the J-E-T-S pulling out another victory, this time in Pittsburgh. There is just something about those boys from Marshall. There is no doubt that Curtis Martin can run but I think an injured Roethlisberger from Miami of Ohio will be outmatched by his rival. I also believe The Bus is too old to carry the load against an amped Jets defense and will have to be put back in the garage. MY PICK: Jets
St. Louis Rams @ Atlanta Falcons: I think the Falcons will be downed by the rejuvenated Rams. Just a hunch, but I tend to go with momentum. Not too much else to say about this one. MY PICK: Rams
Minnesota @ Philadelphia: The Eagles may also find Randy Moss showing them some moonshine in the end. Without Terrell Owens, the Eagles look like a lost team. Also I think that not playing for over a month may have left some rust on the wheels.
If all holds true, hopefully we will be here next week saying what a genius I am and getting ready to give an old New York beating at Gillette.
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