Monday, January 17, 2011

NFL Divisional Round Review: Take that, Houshmandzadeh

By Jeff

There is no weekend update this week because I only watched football. So this is more of a general review of the NFL playoff games from the weekend.

Rather than go into all the statistics about how the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger own the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco in the playoffs (Flacco is 0-2 in the playoffs, and 0-6 overall against the Steelers when Roethlisberger plays), I want to take this time to point out how fitting it was that T.J.Houshmandzadeh choked in the big moment. If you missed it, the Steelers won 31-24 and Houshmandzadeh dropped what would have been a first down catch on a 4th and 18 play in the final minute of the game.
Just writing his name annoys me.

This blog does not like Houshmanzadeh. It's not the ponytail he used to sport, or his funky name I hate. It's the way he talks so much considering he hasn't done anything in his career to back it up. At the end of his stint with the Cincinnati Benagls, Houshmandzadeh cried about the potential of the franchise tag being placed on him. He even went so far as to tell his coaches he would not show up to any workouts if he was tagged.

Then there was the "Madden 10" boycott he staged. Apparently the creators of the popular "Madden" series rated him a 91, and Houshmandzadeh was very upset about it. He complained that the system he was in hurt him and he would never play the game until the rating was fixed. Would you want a player on your team who is more concerned about his "Madden" rating than going to offseason team workouts?

Then there was his moaning in Baltimore this season. Houshmandzadeh didn't think he was getting enough balls thrown his way, and he shared his frustration with the media. Well, he was just released by a Seattle Seahawks (where he also complained about targets) team that wasn't exactly deep at wide receiver and signed late with the Ravens. Did he really expect to be the No. 1 or No. 2 guy?

To top it all off, Houshmandzadeh said that he has made those catches throughout his career. This would be false. This was Houshmandzadeh's third playoff game in his career. In those three games, he has combined for eight catches, 91 yards and one touchdown. Yeah, he's really made a career of making those big catches.

Seeing him drop that ball brought a big smile to all Steelers fans. Not just because it clinched a spot in the AFC Championship for their team, but because it was such a phony that dropped it.

New York Jets 28, New England Patriots 21: Wow. While it was easy to predict that there would be no repeat of the Patriots' 45-3 domination from earlier this season, I don't think many people outside of the Jets' fan base that thought Sunday's game would go like that.

Tom Brady looked scared and frustrated the whole game. I think the best example was when a pass rusher came through clean and Brady just chucked the ball into the turf in the general vicinity of a downed Danny Woodhead. Brady's body language just seemed to scream "What the hell is going on?"

The game actually reminded me of the Steelers-Indianapolis Colts Divisional Round game in 2005. The Colts had destroyed the Steelers in the regular season, were the No. 1 seed and had a pass-happy offense that no one seemed to be able to contain. But the Steelers just kept sending the house and really threw off Peyton Manning's rhythm. That's exactly what the Jets did to the Pats on Sunday. Brady was not used to running for his life and his game faltered because of the pressure.

Are we really supposed to believe this guy
knows more about sports than us?
I love that Dan Shaughnessy said that no one expected much from the Patriots coming into this season. I'm pretty sure everyone expects Brady and Bill Belichick to do great things and make the playoffs. The only time no one expected anything from the Patriots in this millennium is when Brady's knee was destroyed in the first week of the 2008 season.

One more thing. I like how Patriots fans are upset with the lack of class the Jets showed in victory (Bart Scott is crazy). Really? Your team got caught videotaping other teams' signals. How is that classy?

Now we have the Steelers-Jets in the AFC Championship. It should be a very physical and fun game. I'll have a more in depth preview later this week.

Green Bay Packers 48, Atlanta Falcons 21: All you have to know about this game is Aaron Rodgers was incredible. He made Atlanta pay with his arm and his legs. We might finally be seeing the Packers team everyone was talking about before the season started. Their offense looks unstoppable and their defense is punishing opponents.

And this is now the ugliest collection
of photos to grace this blog.
The San Francisco 49ers have to be kicking themselves at least twice a day for passing on Rodgers. Instead, they have had Alex Smith, Shaun Hill, Troy Smith, Ken Dorsey, Tim Rattay, Cody Pickett, Trent Dilfer, Chris Weinke and J.T. O'Sullivan start games for them since the 2005 draft. Hmm. This could be a big reason the 49ers have sucked for so long.

Chicago Bears 35, Seattle Seahawks 24: I'm not sorry for all the mean things I've said about Jay Cutler this year. He's a jerk. But he played a great game Sunday. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another two. Only two quarterbacks in the history of the NFL have done that in the playoffs.

The magic just wore off for the Saints. It started in the first couple of drives. Matt Hassellbeck was hitting his receivers and they just weren't bringing the ball down. Chances are you're probably going to lose when you punt the ball on your first seven possessions.

This game also showed that Marshawn Lynch is not that effective when proper tackling is used against him. Other teams might want to employ this strategy against him in future contests.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home


  1. You said you weren't going to list stats, but then you did - I'm calling shenanigans.

    Can we all agree to never mention Shaughnessy ever again? I can't stand him and he makes Bill Simmons look unbiased. The last straw for me was him blasting Pittsburgh because he didn't like the Winter Classic being held there. That, and he looks like a retarded Carrot Top.

  2. I listed a tidbit. I could have gone into passer ratings, turnovers and all that stuff. I just had to point out how everyone loves Flacco but he can't beat Ben to save his life.

    Retarded Carrot Top? Might be the meanest thing you've ever said. But yes, this will probably be the last mention of Shaughnessy. That Winter Classic column was terrible. Stoosh at The Pensblog claimed he wasn't even there, but I can't confirm or deny that. Either way, his argument was crap. Basically because it wasn't in a historic venue, it was bad. Tool.