Monday, January 05, 2009
In Arizona on Saturday, the Arizona Cardinals took advantage of the home field and stopped the surprising Falcons 30-24. Michael Turner couldn't get going (42 yards on 18 carries) while Matt Ryan looked like a rookie in his first playoff game, going 26 for 40 but for just 199 yards while throwing a pair of TDs and INTs. Meanwhile the Cardinals came out and put the ball into the hands of running back turned offensive lineman turned running back Edgerrin James (73 yards on 16 carries) and Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald combined for almost 200 yards receiving and a pair of scores.
Staying on the West Coast, the LT-less San Diego Chargers once again took down the Indianapolis Colts, 23-17. Darren Sproles rushed for 105 yards and the game winning TD in overtime. Peyton Manning, who threw for over 300 yards and a score, was without a running attack (64 yards rushing for the Colts) as the offense mustered just 24 4th quarter yards. The loss knocks Manning's career playoff record down to 7-8, marks the 3rd time in 4 years the Colts have gone one and done in the playoffs, and the question has to be asked--was the 2005 Super Bowl an aberration? Meanwhile, LT thought the Colts showed a lot of class even though they lost in the playoffs again, and he thinks that both of those things come from the head coach.
In Miami on Sunday we saw a rematch of Week 7 as the Ravens handled the Dolphins 27-9. 4 picks by Pennington and 137 yards rushing from their two backs helped the Ravens mask an otherwise lackluster performance from Joe Flacco (9 of 23, 135 yards). The Dolphins had set a mark for fewest turnovers in 2008, giving the ball up just 13 times, but coughed the ball up 5 times while Chad Pennington and Ted Ginn Jr probably coughed up a little blood after hits they took. The only thing more painful than watching those hits was hearing the word Wildcat uttered every 15 seconds while Miami was on offense.
And rounding out this weekend's action, the Philadelphia Eagles, led by Donovan McNabb (who will probably still be the ire of Philly fans) and his 300 yards through the air, took down the Vikings 26-14. AP was held to just 83 yards and Tarvaris Jackson completed just 15 of 35 passes--where have you gone Randall Cunningham? Oh yeah, A$ante $amuel set an NFL record with is 4th career playoff INT return for a TD. That'll get your dollars up A$ante.