Now THAT was a good game.
The Saints are headed to the Super Bowl for the first time ever. Brett Favre is done for the year. The matchup most of us have been waiting for since the middle of the season will take place less than two weeks from now in Miami. Suffice to say: I enjoyed Sunday's Conference Championship action.
A couple thoughts from the weekend:
- Now I know why Brett Favre turns up the drama meter whenever he can--people eat that s**t up. When Favre was on the ground like a dog playing dead and then sought assistance as he limped off the field, was it not entirely obvious to everyone watching that he would soon be back in the game firing laser beams all over the field? What were the odds that Tarvaris Jackson would see even a half-second of playing time in the NFC Championship game? 1-in-10,000? 1-in-10 million? And yet, when Favre returned for the Vikings' next series, the Vikings faithful at Buffalo Wild Wings went crazy. Had they never seen Brett Favre play before? Were they not aware of the fact that he has his SAG card and that he is a master thespian? C'mon, people, it was in the script! Page 28: Favre is hit and remains down. He gets up limping and asks for help as he leaves the field. A few seconds later, the camera spots Favre as he lays on a training table in apparent agony. (Skip to next Vikings series.) Favre returns to the huddle gingerly, unsure if he can go on. Hut hut hike! Favre drops back, plants his feet, fires a bullet over the middle. First down! Favre limps down the field. Repeat previous sequence until game ends.
- Part of me was very, very happy when the Saints won the overtime coin toss, moved the ball down the field and made the game-winning field goal, all with Favre sitting on the bench. But part of me can't help but acknowledge how utterly stupid it is that Brett Favre, perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time, never even got to take the field in the extra period of the NFC Championship game thanks to a coin toss. College overtime is so much better.
- Will the Saints be able to hang with the Colts? While the Colts did fall behind 17-6 to the Jets, they dominated from that point on, winning by 13 in the end. They still haven't lost a game this year when they were trying to win, and they've won their two playoff games 20-3 and 30-17. The Saints, on the other hand, were nearly doubled up in yardage by the Vikings, 475-257. Only the Vikings' five turnovers kept New Orleans in the game. The somewhat disparate performances led to a bigger-than-expected spread--the Colts are favored by anywhere from 3.5 to 5 points depending on the sportsbook, rather than the 2.5 or 3 many expected.
- Adrian Peterson is a phenomenal running back with ridiculous potential. But he will never crack the list of "Best running backs ever" if he doesn't stop putting the ball on the turf. He fumbled seven times this season and twice more in the NFC Championship game. He will never earn the full confidence of his coach and offensive coordinator if they can't be sure he's going to keep the ball to himself.