What I Learned this Conference Playoff Weekend

This was one fantastic Sunday for football.  The Chicago Bears kept it close, despite using the third option quarterback of Caleb Hanie and the overpowering offense of the Green Bay Packers. Coach Lovie Smith and the Bears should be proud, and they should only have to make some minimal adjustments for next year. The Pittsburgh Steelers won over the New York Jets 24-19 in one tough game.  The Jets nearly made the comeback, but Mark Sanchez could not generate a two-minute offense and move his team down the field quicker. Ultimately, it was Pittsburgh Steelers rushing offense that controlled the clock and the scoreboard. Now Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in one heck of a Super Bowl.

Here’s what I learned this conference playoff weekend:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is a beast, considering he had 121 yards rushing against the stiff New York Jets defense.
  • Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is a beast.  He had 13o receiving yards in his game against the Chicago Bears.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is stifling.  It contained the New York Jets offense to only 50 yards at the half, with 1 yard rushing.
  • The New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez needs to practice the two-minute drill more.  Hopefully, it’s not Donovan McNabb‘s two-minute drill. Sanchez should shoot for Peyton Manning’s two-minute drill.
  • The New York Jets running back LaDanian Tomlinson‘s tank isn’t quite empty, but he is no longer the threat he was when he was the San Diego Chargers.
  • Although Packers running back James Starks isn’t Ryan Grant, he has shown tremendous potential.  Whether the Packers win or lose in the Super Bowl, the starting position in their backfield may be up for grabs next season.
  • Both quarterbacks Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers and Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger are strong and mobile.  It will be interesting to see how they will fare in the Super Bowl.
  • However, both Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger performed miserably in their previous game. Rodgers had a 55.4 quarterback rating on 2 interceptions and Roethlisberger had a 35.5 quarterback rating on 2 interceptions. But their respective defenses stepped up at the right time and helped them win the game.
  • Good Caleb Hanie is much better than Bad Jay Cutler or Bad Todd Collins.  Good Caleb Hanie may even be better than Good Jay Cutler, but that will be determined next season.

Now, let’s get ready for the Super Bowl with pizzas, chips, sodas, assorted “adult beverages” and whatever else that might be cooking.  Although it shouldn’t be shootouts like the past Super Bowls, this game will be physical and could have as much drama as some hockey games.

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