• I picked the Patriots to win the AFC Championship Game by 8 points. Incorrect.
  • I also thought that for the Broncos to win, Wade Phillips would need to have the game of his life, and I think he did. Denver sacked Tom Brady 4 times, knocked down 10 passes, and hit Brady 20 times. That’s a sensational performance.
  • The game was kind of reminiscent of the way the Giants upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl the first time, right?
    • Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware just decimated Sebastian Vollmer and Marcus Cannon, just like the Giants took over in 2008 up front. Brady was harassed from the first possession of the game.
  • I know they don’t have 32 open defensive coordinator jobs every off-season, but it’s kind of amazing that Wade didn’t even have a job last year. This guy was doing spots on In The Loop every Friday, and now he’s coaching a Super Bowl-caliber defense.
  • Despite the fact that it came in a losing effort, Brady’s pass to Rob Gronkowski on 4th and 10, with the game on the line, is as good of a play as you will ever see in that type of spot. Launching a pass deep to a guy covered by 2 defensive backs, with your season on the line. Just an amazing play.
  • Gronkowski clearly wasn’t 100%, but put up 8 receptions, 144 yards, and a TD. And where the heck did he come from on that touchdown reception?
  • Remember New England’s loss in Miami on Week 17? May want to have that one back.
  • I have no way of proving this (other than the results), but my intuition is that home field advantage was pretty big on Sunday. Both the Broncos and Panthers are really in their comfort zones at home, specifically on defense.
  • Carolina went two entire months without a win last season, demonstrating that patience is needed in the NFL, specifically as it relates to Ron Rivera.
  • I would be sick if I were an Arizona Cardinals fan. Steve Keim and Bruce Arians have done an excellent job building that roster, which is tremendous. But man, Carson Palmer really didn’t play well in the playoffs. Last week he was able to bounce back, but that was a complete stinker in the NFC Championship Game. How many chances will the Cardinals have like this one?
  • Two plays that stand out to me: Palmer getting intercepted in the end zone right before halftime, and his pick at 34-15 down, with a little under 12 minutes to go. Both were made by Kurt Coleman, deep in Carolina territory. On the first, Arizona could have cut it do 24-14 at halftime. On the second, a TD would have made the game 34-23, with another two-point conversion. It would have been a long-shot at that point, but the INT really sealed the game.
  • I legitimately haven’t seen Ted Ginn look that good since he was a freshman or sophomore at Ohio State.
  • Hey, Josh Smith is here to rescue the Rockets season.
  • One point I made last year about Josh: the way this team’s offense is designed (a lot of volume shooting, 3-pointers, and freedom) allows them to absorb Smith’s mistakes far easier than the majority of NBA teams.
  • The biggest thing that stood out from the Rockets games this weekends was the ball movement offensively, which Smith obviously helps. It seemed like they were consistently making the extra pass, and getting the ball into the corner at every opportunity.
  • Corey Brewer played with outstanding effort against the Bucks and Mavericks. That’s what he is paid to do.
  • I’m still trying to process through my thoughts on David Blatt’s firing. Here’s one: realistically, almost every NBA team is playing for 3rd place this year, and in no place is that reality felt harder than Cleveland.

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