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Wild Card Weekend

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on January 6, 2008 at 10:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

I'm only batting .500 after week one of the NFL playoffs. I called the Seattle and San Diego wins but missed on the Giants and Jags victories.

First, kudos to Tom Coughlin. I believed the Giants' brass was setting him up for certain failure by bringing him back in 2007. He did a great job of rallying his team from an 0-2 start. His team looked far more prepared than Jon Gruden's team today. Coughlin played his starters last week against the Patriots while Gruden rested his in the regular season finale. Maybe there's a lesson there. Or maybe my hindsight is 20-20.

The Jags showed a ton of guts by rallying to beat the Steelers after blowing a big lead. But, the official who flagged the Steelers center for a phantom holding call wiping out a two point conversion should be reprimanded. It wasn't even close to holding. And the Jags were lucky that left tackle Khalif Barnes wasn't called for holding James Harrison on David Garrard's 30 yard scramble that set up the game winning field goal. Harrison would have been in position to stop Garrard short of a first down. Having said that, Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin should have taken the sure point after the holding call. Instead, he went for the two point conversion from the 12 yard line. That sure extra point and one later after another touchdown would have given the Steelers a three point lead and they may still be playing in the post season.

The Seahawks weren't that impressive but then they rarely are. They just win a lot of games. Mike Holmgren is a great coach. He adjusts during games and during the course of a season as well as anyone in the business. And the Seahawks have done a great job in remaking their defense. They're fast on the perimeter and tough inside. Patrick Kerney has taken the Seahawks pass rush to a new level. Plus, Julian Peterson is one of the top playmaking linebackers in the NFL. But, Matt Hasselbeck is going to have play better if Seattle is going to win at Green Bay.

I figured Vince Young would struggle against the Chargers defense and he did. But, it's a good thing the Chargers offense woke up in time to beat the Titans. I've never seen Norv Turner that animated during a game. It's clear how badly he wanted to do what Marty Schottenheimer couldn't do---win in the playoffs. He's had a lot of pressure on him all season long and it looked like a weight was lifted as he ran off the field after dancing with one of his players on the sidleine. Yes, Norv Turner dancing. Proof that the stakes really are high in the NFL playoffs.

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