STAMFORD, CT – This Giants’ fan sure enjoyed watching the Cowboys and Eagles both getting absolutely waxed on Super Wild Card Weekend. I’m going to focus on Sunday’s games today, mainly because they were the only two I saw from start to finish. But also because they were awesome games. The Lions found a way to hold on at home, while the Cowboys lost in their own building for the first time all year. Both of these games were great fun to watch and had a lot to unpack. I’ll take a stab.
It wasn’t a surprise to see the Green Bay offense have a good game or Dak melt down in a playoff game. But where in the name of Randy White was the Cowboys’ defense? When the ‘Boys were trying to get back in the game early in the third, this unit was at its worst.
There was next to no resistance to the run game and Aaron Jones, and they waited way too long to stack the box. And even without committing to stop the run, they still left Packers’ receivers to roam the secondary as freely as a hawks in the open sky. Romeo Doubs had a long gainer with nary a defender in site. And it doesn’t seem possible, with 11 defenders on the field, to be as open as Luke Musgrave was on his TD. He could have caught the ball, done ten burpees, got up and waved to his momma, and still run five yards before a defender got to him. ‘Twas an embarrassing performance by the Cowboys all around.
Other than Taylor Swift( national treasure) celebrating a Kelce TD, nothing beats a camera shot of Jerry Jones reacting to his team getting crushed. Jones is up there with the most unlikable people in sports, with guys like Dan Snyder, A-Rod, Lance Armstrong, and Short Matt.
I Like It, I LOVE It, I Want Some More of It
At the time the Packers drafted Love, it looked like a huge mistake. They had a team built for a championship run and a key piece could have helped. Their star QB had plenty of tread left on his tires and all they did was piss him off.
But, maybe the Packers know what they’re doing. The team is owned by the fans and there is no GM with his ass on the line if they don’t win a championship. So their focus seems to be to on putting a quality product on the field year after year. This allows them to draft a QB before they need one and groom him for the role, for better or worse. This business model might hinder them in pursuit of championships, but it keeps them out of QB hell. It is not easy to find the right guy and train him on the fly. This is what the Jets tried to do and they had to go out and take a chance on the old guy Love was replacing when Wilson couldn’t handle the job. But maybe he would have if he were drafted by a team like Green Bay, and had a few years to apprentice.
Love played the game of his life and only two late incompletions prevented him from having a perfect passer rating in his playoff debut. The Packers rebounded from a two and five start as well as a loss to the lowly Giants. Love has had some growing pains, but he looks poised to become another elite Packers QB.
On the backburner of the “Stafford returns to Detroit” narrative was Jarred Goff playing against his old team. The QB described how he was “broken” when he was traded to Detroit, and he seemed like a placeholder until the rebuilding team could find their guy. He credits Dan Campbell for building him back up and management built a top notch offensive line to protect him. The man has been reborn. Goff did enough in a strong first half, along with fellow Rams cast-off Josh Reynolds, to get the win.
When Goff completed a hitch to superstar Amon-Ra St. Brown and realized the game was won, you could see the emotion lifting. Revenge acquired. It was a nice moment for a guy who seemed destined for a backup role. Kudos to Campbell and his staff for the successful reconstruction project.
Strong Showings in Defeat
Props are also due on the losing side to Matt Stafford, who fought through a bleeding and beaten hand as well as a shoulder issue that looked like it would end his night. There is no questioning this man’s toughness. He came close with a third down throw to Puka, that probably should’ve been called a penalty, to winning this game.
Speaking of Puka, what a beast. This dude has a strong future ahead of him. The Rams’ insistence of going to Cooper Kupp repeatedly in the red zone seemed to be a tactical error. This led to field goals instead of TDs and probably cost the Rams the game.
This was a riveting battle. And on the bright side for the Lions, they’ve earned a home game next week versus Bucs. With the way the Packers played against the Cowboys, the Lions now have a reasonable chance to host the NFC Championship game.
We all wrote-off the Chiefs, but there path to the Championship game is there. They always manage to beat Buffalo and it’s not hard to see them doing it again. Man, did CJ Stroud and the Texans make Cleveland’s defense look bad. It will tough to get by Baltimore, but it looks more likely now. The same goes for the Packers at San Francisco. I think the Bucs have a shot against the Lions, with Mayfield looking healthy enough. The Lions defense is good at shutting down the run, but the Bucs are used to not having a running game to lean on.
That’s it for me. Come back tomorrow for one Angry Mother Facker, Ward.