Home field advantage played out perfectly for odds makers over the weekend, as Philadelphia, Atlanta, New England and Pittsburgh all rolled the table as favorites. Based on their criteria you can look for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to be the odds on favorites for the Big Dance this year – right?
It won't happen.
New England will easily pull the numbers on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, despite the rookie's remarkable season. Look for the Michael Vick Experience to slide in just as easily in the City of Brotherly Love.
Final outcome – Patriots owner Robert Kraft hoists his third Lombardi trophy in the last four years, firmly establishing him as one of the greatest franchise owners in the modern era.
The Big One -
Minutes after Peyton Manning had left Foxboro field, the age old question of his ability to win "the big one" reared its ugly head. Critics were quick to note that Manning is 0-7 when it comes to even reaching the Super Bowl, and while his regular season numbers continue to set records, his post season performances have hovered just slightly above average.
Unbelievable – I haven't heard talk like that since the John Elway and the Denver Broncos folded up against the Wild Card Jacksonville Jaguars in 1987. One year later Elway and Company grabbed the first of back to back Super Bowl trophies.
By The Numbers –
7 – number of years Peyton Manning has played in the NFL
7 – number of touchdowns Indianapolis scores during opening round playoff victory
7 – number of consecutive losses by Indianapolis at Foxboro Stadium
7 – number of consecutive wins for New England quarterback Tom Brady in the playoffs
7 – number of years it may take before Denver gets its first post-Elway playoff win
He's Got the Look -
Speaking of Denver, is it just me, or is Jake Plummer starting to resemble Adam Sandler's homeless caddie in Happy Gilmore?
This weeks' "I Guess I Blew It" Award goes to Vikings backup center Cory Withrow for failing to leave the field during Minnesota's fake field goal attempt against Philadelphia.
The plan called for Withrow to go to the sidelines while the kicking team came on the field, Randy Moss would jog towards the sidelines - stop just short of going out of bounds – then hit the corner of the end zone and connect on a pass from current holder and once upon a time quarterback, Gus Ferotte.
Bad plan, Worse execution – Withrow never went to the sidelines, leaving the Vikings with eleven men on the field. In the confusion Moss was called off to avoid the penalty, leaving Ferotte out to dry with no eligible receivers open.
A hard of hearing offensive lineman and an aging veteran most noted for head butting a concrete wall – it was almost priceless.
This weeks' "I Guess I Blew It Twice" Award goes to Jets kicker Doug Brien who tanked on two consecutive field goal attempts in the closing minutes of New York's 20-17 overtime loss to Pittsburgh.
Brien could have sealed the victory in regulation from 47-yards out but the ball bounced off the crossbar. His second effort, which would have sealed the Jets victory came from 43-yards out and sailed wide left.
Good luck in your future job search Mr. Brien.
How weird is this? –
Former Raiders center Barrett Robinson, yes the same Barrett Robinson that went AWOL in Tijuana, Mexico the night before the 2003 Super Bowl, was shot and critically wounded Saturday night during a struggle with a South Beach, FL. police officer.
Barrett was shot several times in the "torso area" according to investigators, when he was confronted as a burglary suspect on the second-floor of a building which houses a nightclub, gym and jewelry store.
It's hard to imagine what an ex-Raider, recently dropped for testing positive to THG, would be doing on the second floor of a club-gym-jewelry store during a supposed burglary, but whatever it was; it couldn't have been good.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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