The first week of the NFL Playoffs lived up to expectations. From huge upsets to shoot outs to the end of an era, if the Wild Card week was any indication of what the future holds, the road to Super Bowl XLIV will be a wild ride.
Cowboys def. Eagles 34-14
The Cowboys embarrased the Eagles as they beat them for the third time this year and the second consecutive week. Felix Jones led the strong Cowboys offense with 16 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Tony Romo continued to silence his critics with a 244 yard game and two passing touchdowns.
The Eagles once again had to play without their running back, Brian Westbrook (who has been injured most of the year) and had nothing on the ground and while Michael Vick completed one pass that resulted in a 76 yard touchdown, Donovan McNabb’s day was not so lucky.
Up next, a great one between the Cowboys and the Vikings and I’m betting the winner will be the favorite to win it all this year.
Ravens def. Patriots 33-14
So much for the Patriots’ post-season dominance. You can’t really blame the Pats who came into the game having lost their top receiver (Wes Welker) in the final game of the season and with a quarterback who has fractured ribs and fingers as well as a hurt shoulder.
You have to give credit to Brady who stuck it out all game despite obviously performing at a level that is far below what he is capable of but the Ravens’ defense and running game overwhelmed the ailing team.
Second-year running back Ray Rice put up 22 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns while veteran Willis McGahee added 62 yards and a touchdown.
Up next, the Ravens face off against the 14-2 Indianapolis Colts.
Cardinals def. Packers 51-45
This was one of the most exciting playoff games of all time. After ending the first quarter down by 17 points and the half down by 14 at the half, the Packers came back strong in the second half as a shoot out between Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner ensued.
The Packers scored 35 points in the second half but the Cardinals answered back with 21 of their own. Kurt Warner, who announced that he will likely retire after the post-season and was playing without top receiver Anquan Boldin, completed 29 of his 33 passes for 379 yards and five touchdowns. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was not any worse as he threw for 422 yards and four touchdowns while being picked off once.
The game would go into overtime where the Packers would fumble away an otherwise brilliant game and the Cardinals returned it for a touchdown.
In total, the teams combined for nearly 100 points, over 1,000 total yards, and 62 first downs.
Up next, the Cardinals take on the 13-3 New Orleans Saints.