3. Another team that has a habit of crapping itself in the playoffs is the Dallas Cowboys. This year was no different. America's Team still hasn't won a playoff game since Barry Switzer was their coach in the mid '90s. They fell 21-17 at home to a Giants team they had beaten twice during the regular season.
It's hard to figure out how the Cowboys lost. They ran 69 plays from scrimmage, while the Giants ran only 41. Marion Barber rushed for 129 yards, while Brandon Jacobs led the Giants with only 54. If you looked at everything in the box score except the final score, you would have thought the Cowboys won pretty handily. Except for one thing. The Cowboys got flagged for 11 penalties totalling 84 yards, which is almost as many yards as the Giants had running the ball. When you give the other team a third way to move the ball, it's hard to win.
4. Of course, the blame for this loss is going to fall on Tony Romo. The town fathers are all stroking their beards and clucking their tongues at him spending a vacation in Cabo with Jessica the week before the game. I don't know how much that affected the way Romo played, but those town fathers are right to get on his case about that. That was stupid. Why would you call yourself into question like that? It was just absolutely stupid on Romo's part to not go get his ya ya time with Daisy Duke AFTER the playoffs, and not before. Now they're never going to let this thing die. Stupid.
5. Green Bay shook off an early 14-0 deficit facilitated by a pair of Ryan Grant fumbles, and mauled the Seahawks on a snowy day at Lambeau, 42-20. That's right, the Seahawks D and their 15 Pro Bowlers pissed away a two touchdown lead like it was nothing, and got 42 points hung on them in a playoff game. And they let Ryan Grant run for 201 yards and 3 TDs against them. How's that for overrated? I am so sick of the Seahawks making the playoffs every year because they never lose at home and the NFC West is eternally awful. Weak.
6. Rounding out the field for what is now being dubbed "Championship Weekend" will be the 17-0 Patriots. They played their best game in a while, and cruised past the Jaguars 31-20. Tom Brady completed on obscene 26 of 28 pass attempts, and Laurence Maroney rushed for 122 yards and a TD. They also completely shut down the vaunted Jacksonville running game, rendering Fred Taylor and MJD completely ineffective. This team looked like like it was becoming vulnerable towards the end of the season, but not after this game. They're better than they've ever been. Of course, as Patrick outlines in his post, they've now got a little off the field problem of their own.
7. Time for an update on the Coaching Carousel of DOOM.
- The Ravens have a new coach, and it is John Harbaugh? Harbaugh's qualifications are being the secondary coach for the Eagles this year, and having a last name steeped in pro football mediocrity. On the plus side, this is a great hire if the Ravens have to play USC next year.
- Jim Mora Jr. interviewed for the Redskins job, but has removed his name from consideration.
- Jason Garrett has taken himself out of the prospective head coach hopper, and is staying in Dallas, where he will resume his role of being the boogeyman in Wade Phillips' closet.
8. A man in Pardeeville, WI was cited for disorderly conduct after he restrained his 7 year old son in a chair and taped a Packers jersey to him after the boy refused to wear one. The man's wife has gotten a restraining order against him and photographed the incident on her cell phone for police. He originally faced felony charges of false imprisonment and causing mental harm to a child, but those charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Way to go all Jack Bauer on your 7 year old, douchebag.