My New England Patriots beat the Jets on Sunday 37-16 to advance to the next round of the AFC playoffs. They'll face the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon.
The Jets presented a tough challenge for the Pats--the score belies a contested game until the fourth quarter. The Jets have a lot of talent and, now, with Mangini (a former Patriots assistant coach) they are very well coached.
San Diego presents an entirely different challenge. They are so talented on both sides of the ball, they will be tough to stop. Belichick is a master of game planning to stop one player; so I'll imagine they'll scheme to make Rivers beat them rather than their MVP, offensive player of the year running back. Of course, even if they beat the Chargers, the Pats would then have to play either the Ravens or the Colts: neither one a picnic in the park.
On Saturday, I watched the last quarter of the Dallas-Seattle match-up. Dallas had a chance to win but their young quarterback miffed the hold for a field goal and then failed to make the first down or a TD after recovering the ball. A very tough and heart-wrenching way to lose. I had no dog in this race, but I'd hate to be a Dallas fan: my Cowboy fan friend Joe Duarte's response to the game. I do give Romo some credit for immediately picking up the ball on running for the end zone, that was quick thinking and a few inches more and he might have made it. That's what is so great about football: a few inches either way and you can be a hero or a goat.
Eagles @ Saints. I'll go with the Saints in this game. They are at home, and the Eagles just barely escaped from the Giants.
Colts @ Ravens. This is tough; a lot of drama to this game. Colts return to Baltimore. Manning against the Ravens D. I'll go with the home team again.
Seattle @ da Bears. Kind of depends on the weather. If it's a typical January in Chicago, no way Seattle wins. Otherwise it could be close, especially if Rex Grossman doesn't control himself. I'll have to go with the home team again.
Pats @ Chargers. I can't be objective here. It'll be tough, but Pats will pull it out in a classic Pats fashion.