Jan 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) talks with San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) after the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos beat the Chargers 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers MMQB: NFL Divisional Weekend Wrap Up

What We Learned in Divisional Playoff Weekend in the NFL:

  • Seattle’s defense is ridiculous
  • Colts run out of Luck and let Pats run all over them
  • Kaepernick out-douches and out-plays Newton
  • Denver’s defense outshines their record-breaking offense

For some reason I can’t stop thinking about Omaha. Weird, huh? Anywhoo, we’ve completed two of the best weekends of the year in the NFL. Wild Card Weekend and Divisional Weekend are by far my favorite weekends of the NFL season. Something about two days’ worth of football on the weekend makes me a happy girl.

The New Orleans Saints were out to prove that they could win on the road and they couldn’t have had a bigger test than to go into Seattle’s stadium and try to upset the top seed. Unfortunately for New Orleans and their typically prolific offense, Seattle’s defense is friggin ridiculous. Drew Brees couldn’t get anything going offensively and couldn’t get the ball into the endzone until the fourth quarter. Seattle’s suffocating defense along with Marshawn Lynch’s 140 rushing yards was too much for the Saints to overcome.

The Saints tried to rally late and with a last second play Marques Colston committed one of the most bone-headed plays I think we’ve seen in the playoffs. The Saints had the ball on their own 41 with 24 seconds left. He completed an 8-yard pass to Jimmy Graham and then spiked the ball to stop the clock. Then quickly found Colston near the sideline with about 11 seconds left on the clock and Colston instead of stepping out of bounds to stop the clock inexplicably threw an illegal forward lateral that landed at the feet of Darren Sproles. The result was a ten second run off and the end of the game. No doubt that play will stay in the mind of Saints fans all offseason as that has got to be the dumbest way to lose a playoff game I can remember.

So perhaps Andrew Luck isn’t the second coming of Peyton Manning after all? The man throws interceptions in the playoffs as if he’s wearing a Bengals uniform or something. The Patriots, particularly LeGarrette Blount, ran all over Indy’s defense. The Patriots basically imposed their will on the Colts, without the arm of Tom Brady even being necessary. All of a sudden Blount has become an unsung hero and we can all hear about Bill Belichick’s genius coaching move by putting the ball into his hands. Can I just say one thing about the pregame interview between Cowher and Belichick? I know it’s irrational but part of me still hopes that Cowher would have just clocked Belichick instead of doing that sappy interview. Bill Cowher you may be over the sting of the 2004 AFC Championship game where the Patriots clearly cheated but some of us aren’t. Some of us still get upset about it all over again until they have to follow the counselor’s advice and go to their happy place.

So last season I made the decision that Colin Kaepernick’s move of kissing his bicep after scoring a touchdown was quite possibly one of the douchiest things I’d ever seen. Well, I was wrong, Kaepernick taking Cam Newton’s douche “Superman” pose was just a step up (or down I guess) on the douchey scale. Nevertheless I think that this game is going to be overshadowed a lot by talk of the more “battle-tested” team winning. Carolina was called for 8 penalties for 73 yards and gave San Francisco 5 first downs via penalty. That, along with the Panthers going 0-3 in the Red Zone sealed their fate and will send San Francisco and their overreacting head coach to Seattle to see if they can keep this road winning momentum going.

This season the Denver Broncos broke all of the offensive records a team can break in one season. Last season, the Broncos had an impressive regular season as well only to see it go up in flames after a Joe Flacco heave and hope in the second overtime ended Denver’s championship hopes. With San Diego sneaking into the playoffs and having the fortune of drawing the Bengals as their first opponent you would have thought that the stage was set for Peyton to unleash the beast and throw a gazillion touchdowns to secure the Broncos’ hopes of hosting the AFC Championship game. The beast that was unleased on Sunday evening was the Broncos defense. They held San Diego without a score until the fourth quarter and held them to 4 of 12 on third downs. They got after Philip Rivers, sacking him four times for 23 yards. They held San Diego to 65 rushing yards and they’re going to need that run defense against the suddenly rush-heavy New England Patriots. Brace yourselves, it’s Peyton vs. Brady week and it’s going to make you want to shoot yourself.

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Tags: Andrew Luck Colin Kaepernick Drew Brees LeGarrette Blount Nfl Divisional Playoffs Nfl Playoffs Peyton Manning Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Tom Brady

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