Anything can happen in the playoffs
Published 5:49 pm Friday, January 9, 2015
After watching the NFL playoff games on television last weekend, I came to one very firm conclusion.
There is not a clear-cut favorite to walk off with the Lombardy Trophy as Super Bowl Champions.
Any of the teams that are left in the playoffs are capable of winning it all. It is a very balanced field of playoff teams.
The most intriguing matchup to me will be the one American Football Conference match up between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos in Denver. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a former Colt who quarterbacked Indianapolis to their first Super Bowl Championship.
Andrew Luck, the current Colts quarterback, and Manning, were both first overall picks in the NFL draft when they came out of Stanford University and the University of Tennessee, respectively.
Ironically, the Colts would not have been able to draft Luck first overall had it not been for a Manning neck injury that caused him to miss an entire season. Their record fell drastically, giving the Colts the first overall pick in the next draft and the opportunity to take Luck.
There is an old saying in sports that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. No one has had more draft day luck then the Colts. The opportunity to draft two of the greatest quarterbacks in the game number one overall is just a matter of pure good luck.
The NFC match up between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay is also very intriguing.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers is arguably the best quarterback in the league and is very familiar with playing in extremely cold temperatures. I think he will have an edge over Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, especially if the temperatures dip below zero, which they often do this time of year in Green Bay.
The other NFC playoff game between the host Seattle Seahawks and the visiting Carolina Panthers also has its share of subplots.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who played his first three college seasons with the N.C. State Wolfpack and his final college season with the Wisconsin Badgers, is a strong passer and very elusive runner. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who maintains the same two traits, led the Auburn University Tigers to a National Championship.
The other AFC playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots should be a chess match. Both are led by outstanding coaches—John Harbough of the Ravens and Bill Belichick of the Patriots. Joe Flacco of the Ravens and Tom Brady of the Patriots are also two of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Brady is himself a tremendous story. While most of the outstanding quarterbacks in the NFL were first round draft choices, he was a sixth round draft choice out of the University of Michigan.
When the Wolverines won their last National Championship, their starting quarterback was Brian Griesy, son of former Miami Dolphans All Pro quarterback and National NFL Hall of Famer Bob Griesy. Brady was Griesy’s backup during that National Championship season. Brian Griesy had just a brief NFL career. Anybody could have had Brady in the draft. It is just truly ironic that an extremely talented player like Brady lasted until the sixth round.