Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are teacher’s pet, but can their teams survive the AFC Divisional round? The NFL Playoffs are heating up and so is the debate. Dan Salem and Todd Salem tackle this topic head on in part one of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate sports.
Things are getting heated up now in the AFC Divisional round. There was a historically great game and an upset in round one, but now Peyton Manning and Tom Brady get to play. And the New England Patriots are going to have their hands full with Andrew Luck and his Indianapolis Colts. Luck has been very lucky, but Tom Brady is… you know… great.
This quarterback duel is something to relish, an all time great battling a hot young star. Both teams’ injury woes are well documented, so I’m leaning heavily on personal history for this game. As a New York Jets fan I’ve seen my fair share of Patriots’ games, namely New England putting a beat down on my Jets. Or Tom Brady consistently scoring on the final drive of the game for the win. Or Bill Belichick doing something Belichick-like that works.
I like the Patriots. I like Tom Brady at home. I like Bill Belichick against any other coach. And I like the prospects of Brady versus Manning in the championship round. Bring it!
That Indianapolis win was double-sided. Sure it was a spectacular comeback victory, especially against a defense as (usually) stout as the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, because of all the Chief injuries, it is hard to say the Colts came back against anything other than a depleted roster. And remember, they also got down 28 points against a depleted KC offense! Every NFL analyst out there is going to start an argument with, “if you had told me,” but I’m still going to do it.
If you had told me Jamaal Charles would get hurt during Kansas City’s first drive of the game, and that the KC defense would give up 45 points, I’d guess the Chiefs would lose in a blowout. The game wouldn’t be close. So the fact that they were able to take such a commanding lead and finish with 44 on the scoreboard says something about what Indy is able to do on the defensive end; namely, not much.
This bodes well for Tom Brady and the Patriots. I mean, if Alex Smith can throw for 378 yards and 4 touchdowns…
As for the Denver Broncos – San Diego Chargers game, if you recall, Denver’s final loss of the season was at home to San Diego. In fact, Denver’s only three losses this season came against the other three remaining AFC playoff teams…for whatever that’s worth. In that game, San Diego ran the ball 44 times against the Broncos. Ryan Mathews tallied 127 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The interesting thing is that SD’s upset victory in round one of the playoffs was the result of a similar game plan. The Chargers ran the ball 40 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns against Cincinnati.
On the season, Denver was pretty stout against the run, finishing 7th in the league. However, San Diego uses the running game to not only move the ball and score points, but also keep the opposing offense off the field. That is a perfect strategy when playing the Denver Broncos. SD allowed a total of 48 points to the Broncos in their two regular-season meetings. Compare that to what Denver did against KC this year: 62 points and two wins. The Chargers are also coming in hot, having won five in a row counting last week’s wild card win. I like San Diego’s chances.
I’d love to see Philip Rivers and the Chargers keep their Cinderella run alive, but don’t take away my Brady versus Manning. Don’t do it! Although a bit over-rated and definitely one-sided (Brady’s), nothing beats two Hall of Fame quarterbacks facing off.
[Part two on Saturday - The NFC gets wild]