A lot happened over the weekend. Some good, and some not so good. Let’s take a look.
1. The Steelers are back in the AFC Championship: On Saturday the Steelers beat the Ravens in another hard fought blood bath in Pittsburgh. These two teams hate each other and it showed once again. The Ravens got out to an early lead then got sloppy. This opened the door for the Steelers to mount a comeback. Once the momentum shifted to the Steelers the Ravens never seemed to recover. They made a valiant effort to hold on, but then Roethlisbergerdid his thing, hooked up on a big play, and iced the game for the Steelers. This was great because it vanquished the hated Baltimore Ravens, but put the Steelers within one win of yet another Super Bowl appearance, every Clevelander’s nightmare.
2. The Jets upset the #1 seeded Patriots in Foxboro: As if the Steelers being one win away from the Super Bowl isn’t bad enough, now former Brown Braylon Edwards and the Jets are within one win of the Super Bowl. Great… could it get any worse? The Jets basically dismantled the Patriots in all areas of the game. They were able to control the explosive Patriot offense behind an oustanding defensive performance and Mark Sanchez made zero mistakes and utilized all his weapons. Belichick and Brady are now 0-3 since the debacle of Super Bowl XLII and will need to reload in the 2011 draft if they want to make another run at a title.
3. Chicago asserts its dominance: And the real Seattle Seahawks finally showed up. This game was over by the second quarter. The Bears jumped out to a huge lead early and never looked back. Jay Cutler looked amazing and appears to have settled into his role as quarterback of the Bears. The defense is firing at on all cylinders. The Bears look scary good right now. The Seahawks looked overmatched and really had no business being in the game. They proved their point the previous week in dismantling the Saints. They also weren’t helped by having to travel to Chicago in the snow and cold for a 1 pm game. That’s never good for a west coast team.
4. Aaron Rodgers is a beast: And the Packers are rolling, just ask the Falcons. Rodgers’ stat line was absolutely ridiculous, 31-36, 366 yards, three touchdowns throwing and another running. He couldn’t have played better and now he has the Packers one win away from the Super Bowl. Speaking of which, that one win will have to come against their hated rival, the Chicago Bears. It has all the makings of being a truly epic NFC Title game. Two of the game’s classic franchises in the freezing cold, snowy setting of Soldier Field. Someone call NFL Films and tell them to set up their cameras ASAP. I smell a potential “Greatest Games Ever Played” type of game. Meanwhile, the Falcons… wow. Better luck next year.
5. The indifference of the Pat Shurmur era: The hiring of new Browns coach Pat Shurmur has had sometime to set in and I can honestly say that the general consensus of the decision is extreme indifference. The response has been luke warm at best. No one is really excited about this and I can’t blame them. What’s there to be excited about? We know nothing about Pat Shurmur and will have to reserve judgement until after the Br0wns actually play a game.
6. Newsflash! The Cavs still suck: The Cavs lost to both the Jazz and the Nuggets over the weekend. That runs the current losing streak to 13 games and counting. They’ve lost 23 of the last 24. Right now their record is 8-32. Ouch. They have the next few days off and will play again on Wednesday at home against the Suns. When will they finally win another game? I have no idea. Stay tuned… or don’t. When’s the draft?
7. Albert Pujols has put his foot down: Cardinals first baseman, Albert Pujols, has put his foot down about his pending free agency. The Cardinals are currently negotiating an extension with Pujols but little progress has been made. In fact, Pujols has come out and said that if a contract extension can’t be settled on by the time the season starts he will stop all negotiations. He doesn’t want contract talks to be a distractions for himself and his teammates. As if the constant questioning about whether or not he’ll be back in St. Louis won’t wear on them. Just ask the Cavs. If Pujols doesn’t want to be a distraction he will reach an agreement with the Cardinals to keep him in St. Louis the rest of his career. If not, it might be a long season in St. Louis. One thing is for sure. If Pujols hits the market, the Indians probably won’t be first in line for his services.
8. And just because I prefer to have an even number for things like this: Here is a highlight of Blake Griffin from the other day versus the Heat. He gets into a little argument with Mario Chalmers and the Three LeDouches. You can just see him thinking as he’s walking away from it, “ok, a$$holes… I’ll show you.” And he shows them alright. It’s not his best dunk, not even close, but you gotta love the post dunk stare down of the Heat. Blake Griffin… you are my new hero. Are the rest of you as excited for the dunk contest as I am this year? Seriously, Griffin is an absolute beast.