Today’s games were incredible, to say the least.
What the majority of the football world expected to be a Saints blowout turned out to be a shootout, with the Seahawks winning 41-36.
Marshawn Lynch provided arguably one of the greatest runs in NFL postseason history, rumbling 67 yards for the game-winning touchdown with just over three minutes remaining. Lynch broke eight tackles on the play, including a phenomenal stiff arm of the Saints’ Tracy Porter.
Porter provided the signature moments of last year’s postseason, intercepting Brett Favre in the closing seconds of regulation in the NFC championship game against the Vikings. The Saints won 31-28 in overtime, advancing to their first Super Bowl.
And in the Super Bowl, Porter intercepted Peyton Manning and returned it 74 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.
This year, he again was involved in one of the signature plays of the postseason. Getting stiff-armed to the ground by Lynch on the game-winning touchdown was probably not what Porter had in mind.
The Seahawks will play either the Bears or the Falcons next weekend. If the Eagles beat the Packers tomorrow, the Seahawks will play the Falcons. If the Packers beat the Eagles, the Seahawks will beat the Bears.
In the second game of the day, the Jets and Colts game went from a boring one into an incredible one.
After Colts quarterback Peyton Manning led a two-minute drive, future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri provided a 50-yard field goal to give the Colts a 16-14 lead with 53 seconds remaining.
Then Brad Smith returned the kickoff to the Jets’ 45-yard line, giving Mark Sanchez time to lead a game-winning drive.
The Jets won 17-16, on Nick Folk’s walkoff 32-yard field goal.
Folk’s field goal is only the second come-from-behind, walkoff field goal in NFL postseason history.
Matt Bahr of the Giants provided the only other one, a 42-yard field goal to defeat the 49ers 15-13 in the 1990 NFC championship game.
This marks the seventh time in Peyton Manning’s future Hall of Fame career that his team lost their first postseason game (1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010).
They have scored an average of 15.29 points per game during those seven losses. Colts fans will defend Manning to the point of throwing every other player on the team under the bus, but the numbers don’t lie.
You’re not going to win a playoff game if you only lead your team to 16 points, regardless of whether you lead a two-minute drive.
The Jets will automatically play the New England Patriots next week, regardless of tomorrow’s Kansas City-Baltimore outcome.
And for the big game of the weekend, Michael Vick and the Eagles take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in approximately 17 hours and five minutes.