Some Thoughts On Divisional Saturday

(Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

1. What the fuck was Marques Colston thinking? When Marshawn Lynch broke a 31-yard run for a touchdown with 2:40 left in the game to give the Seahawks the 23-8 lead, everyone figured the game was over. But Drew Brees didn’t think so.

Brees led the Saints on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a Colston touchdown with 26 seconds left on the game clock. An on-side kick, some luck, a two-point conversion and the game would go to overtime. Colston recovered the on-side kick. With 11 seconds on the clock, Brees connected to Colston for 13 yards to the Seattle 38-yard line.

All Colston had to do was go out-of-bounds to stop the clock, and perhaps Brees could throw up a prayer to tie the game. But instead Colston did this (click to video because the NFL is too mentally retarded to allow embedding video).

So Colston scored the touchdown, grabbed the on-side kick, but all of that was for naught. Instead of going out-of-bounds, he tries a lateral that goes awry to put it generously. Despite all the good he did, the only question remains: what the fuck was he thinking?

2. This was only the ninth 23-15 game in NFL history. Here is the list of all eight previous 23-15 games in NFL history:

3. We’re halfway to an all-NFC West NFC Championship Game. In the 2010 season no NFC West team had a winning record. By default the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks was the playoff representative of the division. Also because they were a division winner, the Seahawks got to host a playoff game. Because life just isn’t fair, the Seahawks beat the Saints 41-36.

Three seasons later the NFC West has two of the better teams in the NFL. In fact, Arizona Cardinals went 10-6 and did not make the playoffs. Again, because life isn’t fair.

If the 49ers beat Carolina tomorrow, next week will see an all-NFC West Championship Game. Three years ago that seemed unfathomable.

4. Fox announcers trump the CBS announcers. Fox made the right decision to give Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch a divisional playoff game. I suppose CBS also made the right decision in giving the retiring Dan Dierdorf a final hurrah. But thinking about it, I think Fox has the better announcing teams.

5. LeGarrette Blount’s Night. This is how I remembered first learning about Blount:

Funny thing was I thought he wasn’t completely wrong.

Anyhow he gets lost in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, gets to the Patriots and voila! With four rushing touchdowns he came one touchdown shy of Ricky Watters’ record of five rushing touchdowns in a postseason game (1/15/94, SF vs. NYG). He also avoided a 19-way tie with players with three rushing touchdowns (which includes Shaun Alexander, Curtis Martin, Larry Csonka, Emmitt Smith, Otto Graham and Adrian Peterson.)

I’m not saying Blount is a good guy, that he changed his ways, that he’s reformed or anything like that. I don’t know the guy.

But he’s a good football player.

6. Luck v. Brady. Some people thought this game would come down to this.

Andrew Luck: 20/41, 331 yards, 2 TD.
Tom Brady: 13/25, 198 yards, 0 TD.

The Patriots won 43-22. Not included in the numbers above was Luck throwing four interceptions. That’s seven interceptions by Luck in two weeks in the playoffs after only throwing nine interceptions in the regular season. Ouch.

Although Brady would have a shitty fantasy game, with Blount’s four rushing touchdowns and Stevan Ridley’s two touchdowns the Patriots just stomped all over the Colts.

New England ran for 234 yards. With 267 rushing yards against the Bills in the final week of the regular season, that marks the only 200-yard rushing games the Patriots had. With 185 passing yards it also marked only the third game all season Patriots had more yards on the ground than in the air.

7. This was the only 43-22 final score in NFL history. That’s it.