The AdultFYI Playoffs Week #2

from – OK we have made it to the NFL’s version of the “elite eight” and for most football fans this is the best weekend of the season.

Over the week I have a chance to talk to a number of network analysts about what fans can expect to see over the next 24 hours and here are some the best observations.

Let’s start with the CBS crew of Phil Simms and Dan Dierdorf:

Simms: On San Diego’s chances: It’s the playoffs. There are no guarantees here…You’re going to need a break, most likely along the way, because you can’t just dominate every game from start to finish. So get a break, and then it comes down to match ups…In this league now there are so many guys that can make it happen with the football that you have to get a little fortunate in the draw, and like I said, you need to have one break. You need Ben Roethlisberger to make an unbelievable twisting, turning tackle against the Indianapolis Colts (in 2006). Look back, almost every team seems like they get one of those breaks or they make one of those breaks for themselves to win the Super Bowl. I don’t think this year will be any different.

Simms: On Jets and Ravens: We always say Sanchez and Flacco need their running games, and if that doesn’t work, they can’t win. Let’s think of Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning. If their passing game isn’t working, how big of a chance do they have to win the game? You have to look at it both ways…We’re going from arguably the two best passing teams in the NFL and comparing them to two different teams that do it an entirely different way. So, can the Jets win if they don’t have a great running day? Sure they can. They can still make plays on defense. There can still be a few big pass plays in the passing game from Sanchez. And the same goes with the Baltimore Ravens. I expect the Jets and the Ravens both to try and sneak a few more passes in their game plan to keep it a little balanced because the competitive level is going up and so is the environment they’re playing in.

Simms: On Arizona QB Kurt Warner: He is about as relaxed playing the position as I’ve seen anybody in a long time. There are a lot of ways to play it, a lot of ways to get it done. Peyton Manning has high energy and everything is a little frantic, that’s the way he operates. And Kurt Warner is just the opposite.

Dierdorf: On New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan: He (Rex Ryan) is a breath of fresh air. You ask him a question and he’s got a direct answer to your question. So many coaches are concerned about speaking in “coach speak.” They don’t want to give away anything that they think may help the other team. They’re very guarded in what they say…When he thinks it, he says it. And quite frankly, his production meetings are a lot of fun.

Dierdorf: On Jets vs. Chargers: If the Jets can’t run the football effectively against San Diego, they can’t win the game. I just don’t think their passing game is capable of stirring them a to a playoff win. So, how aggressive will the Chargers be in trying to stop the Jets running attack?…The Jets are so one dimensional offensively that that’s where the whole game turns. Can the Jets run the football against San Diego? Because if they can’t, I don’t see any way they can win.

Dierdorf: On Baltimore: Baltimore is a team I just don’t want to see in the playoffs if I’m the opponent because they just bring such a physical style. Baltimore is finding themselves right where they were last year. They had to go play the number one seed in the AFC last year with the best record in football in Tennessee and they knocked them out of it. Baltimore goes to Indianapolis with a lot of confidence.

The FOX team of Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston talk about the NFC games:

Aikman on whether Favre has more pressure to perform in the playoffs: “I don’t know that there could be more pressure on Brett as he goes into Sunday’s game than what there was at the beginning of the season with the expectations that were out there for him. He obviously surpassed what anyone thought he would be able to do. Because he has accomplished so much, if the Vikings fail to win the Super Bowl I don’t know that Brett walks away feeling as if he left something on the table.”

Aikman on whether the Cowboys have gotten over ’the hump’ with last week’s playoff victory: “I was booed out of the stadium after I won three Super Bowls. There’s no resting your laurels. The first win is the hardest and it has been for this club and Tony. He’s handled himself extremely well. I’ve always disagreed with those who have questioned his ability to rise to the occasion or his ability to compete in pressure-packed situations. Not to say that he’s always played well in those situations, because he hasn’t. But it’s not because he doesn’t look forward to being in those moments. Until you go out and get it done people will constantly question it. To finally have them stop talking about the lack of playoff success for the last 13 years is big but if that’s it, I can tell you there’s an owner in Dallas that’s not going to be real thrilled.”

Johnston, points to in-game adjustments by head coach Sean Payton as a main ingredient to the Saints success this season. “What separates good coordinators from great coordinators is how they implement their plan during the game. Sean is one of those great guys. Obviously, the preparation during the week is very important,” said Johnston. The former Super Bowl-winning fullback predicts that Payton will have some interesting play designs come Saturday. “This weekend, Sean is going to find something wrong with the Arizona Cardinals. Once he finds a weakness or a matchup the Saints feel they can exploit, they’re going to go after it until Arizona proves they can stop it. If Arizona puts a stop to that it, he’s going to have to go in a different direction and will make you stop that one. Those adjustments will decide the game.”


School’s out, now here’s how the AdultFYI football pool looks at this weekend’s games:

Jeff Mullen, 180-80: Baltimore, San Diego, New Orleans, Minnesota
Danny from Foxxx Modeling, 179-81: Indy, San Diego, New Orleans, Minnesota
Scott David, 179-81: Indy, San Diego, New Orleans, Dallas
0&16 Chuck, 178-82: Indy, San Diego, New Orleans, Minnesota
Gene Ross, 176-84: Baltimore, San Diego, New Orleans, Dallas
Sean from Porn Legends, 175-85: Indy, San Diego, Arizona, Dallas
John Grey, 173-87: Indy, San Diego, Arizona, Dallas

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