I think this is what I liked about the playoff weekend:
•Isn't it amazing that everyone in the stadium knows the ball's going to Steve Smith, and he still catches 12 for 218 yards?
•Troy Polamalu is the best big-game defensive player in football. If his diving pick of Peyton Manning hadn't been overturned, it would have gone down as the greatest interception in Steelers history.
•Joey Porter (below) said some dumb things about the officials' cheating Pittsburgh, but he can blitz for me anytime.
January 23, 2006
I think this is what I didn't like about the playoff weekend:
•If the Seahawks are as bad on special teams on Sunday as they were last week, I guarantee they will lose.
•I simply can't believe the Jets would hire Mike Tice. I think it's a one-man horse race starring Eric Mangini.
•How about Manning's sliding his line under the bus (not throwing them under it) by saying, "I'm looking for a safe word here.... Let's just say we had some problems in protection." That'll go over well with a line that had trouble with the Pittsburgh blitz.
I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of the playoff weekend:
•Chad Johnson swore to me twice in the last few days that he did not have an altercation with receivers coach Hue Jackson or head coach Marvin Lewis at halftime of the Bengals' playoff loss to Pittsburgh. I'd feel a lot better about his assertions if Lewis would stop no-commenting this story. And if Deep Bengal, who was in the locker room, hadn't told me there was a loud argument, though not with punches thrown.
•Marv Levy to me on Friday afternoon: "I am not coaching the Buffalo Bills." He does not know who will, though my money is on Jim Haslett.
•Rest in peace, Jack Snow. That was one heck of a good man.
I think I am officially worried about Eli Manning. I spent two hours watching coaches' tape of the Giants' playoff loss to Carolina, and Manning was far worse than he looked on TV. Often at the end of throws he turns his body in a flinching way. If you're a QB, you've got to know it's vital to stand in there and not let the pass rush affect the ball you're about to throw.
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