..Pack and Saints conveniently eliminated
Well fans, who would have dreamt that the Cheese would play such a thoroughly rotten game to exit the playoffs early. What tipped me off to the bad day ahead was when 203 pound Pack safety Charlie Peprah missed the tackle on the 215 pound NY wideout Hakeem Nicks, banging in to him full on without bothering to use his arms to wrap up. What do you know, he bounced off, and Nicks went his merry way. I am so thoroughly sick of seeing defensive backs try to make tackles without using their hands or arms, that I would advocate that their contracts contain clauses fining them for the practice.
Iíll never forget the losing Vikes effort years back, in which one of their more memorably boneheaded linebackers, Dwayne Rudd, I think, made a similar big hit on an opposing receiver, and was standing in a pose of triumph, flexing his biceps, as the missed tackle scampered away towards the end zone.
As a football fan, I am hermaphroditic, in that I am perfectly happy to root for the Pack when the Vikes are out of it, a common occurrence these last few years. So it was with deep chagrin Ė (well, maybe tinged with just a little amusement) Ė that I watched the perfectly awful play of the Cheeseheads last Sunday. Missed passes, dropped passes, not only fumbles, but fumbles at crucial moments, missed tackles, and blown coverages; what, at all, did they do right, except benefit from some of the worst officiating I have ever seen. When is the last time youíve seen the Hail Mary into the end zone work? I can remember a young Ahmad Rashad catching one against the Vikes for an improbable win against the Browns over twenty years ago. Thatís it. Charlie Peprah further distinguished himself last Sunday, playing a big part in giving up this latest Hail Mary. Do you suppose heíll be back next year?
The Patriots should be happy that the Giants and 49ers have done the heavy lifting of Green Bay and the Saints out of this yearís playoffs. These would be the teams with the most fire power, the most difficult for the Patriots to get by. As it is, both of the remaining NFC contestants have probably already played the best games they are capable of, and not likely to match those efforts, or draw the same kind of luck in the Super Bowl. Should be a year for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.