Sports Perspective - NFL Playoffs: A round of surprises - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective - NFL Playoffs: A round of surprises

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Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:00 am

The NFL playoffs continued this past weekend and so did the surprises. The top-seeded, and Super Bowl favorite Green Bay Packers went down at home in a surprising loss to the New York Giants.

Another team predicted to win the Super Bowl was the New Orleans Saints, who fell to the 49ers in San Francisco.

I am happy to be able to say that Tebow Time is officially over. The Denver Broncos rode their streak all the way to New England where they met a far-superior team in the Patriots, and lost big.

The last of the games was between the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens would go on to win this game as predicted. The Texans, however, didn’t fall easily. Even with all their injuries and their third-string quarterback, they made a name for themselves in the NFL this season.

The divisional round of the playoffs really shook up the postseason picture. The Packers, who had a remarkable season finishing 15-1, put themselves in perfect position to go to the Super Bowl by taking the top seed in the NFC. However, what they didn’t know was that the Giants were their kryptonite.

This wasn’t the only time that the Giants upset the Packers at Lambeau Field in the postseason. They did the same thing during the Brett Favre era, in 2008 when the Giants beat the Packers 23-20 on a game-winning field goal in overtime.

The Giants advanced to the Super Bowl and remarkably beat the undefeated Patriots by a narrow three points.

Another stunning loss was the New Orleans Saints who were riding their nine-game win streak into San Francisco. It appeared that the Saints were nearly unstoppable with the play of quarterback Drew Brees. Brees didn’t disappoint as he threw for 462 yards and four touchdowns. With so many passes (63 in that game) he threw two interceptions.

The Saints had to rely on the pass game often because of the injury of running back Pierre Thomas early in the game.

Although not known for their offense, the 49ers proved they could compete in high-scoring games as they went on to win the shootout (36-32). Most of the credit must be given to 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith, who threw 299 yards and three touchdowns. He also had the go-ahead 28-yard touchdown run late in the game. The 49ers are looking tough to stop and like a real Super Bowl contender.

In the AFC, there were really no surprises. Tebow, and the hyped Broncos finally ended their streak losing (45-10) in New England.

The Ravens pulled out a (20-13) win against the Texans sending them to the AFC championship against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

As another round of the playoffs comes to an end, the Super Bowl picture is no clearer than before. Will it be a repeat of 2008 when the Giants upset the Patriots? Or will history be made and two brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh (of the Ravens and 49ers respectively) coach against each other for the Lombardi Trophy? This postseason is proof that, no matter how much you know about the NFL, it is still full of surprises.

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