To quote esteemed sports philosopher Reggie Noble, “this is what it’s all about.” Win and you get a free trip to Miami and a chance for immortality. Lose and you’re forced to take solace in the fact you get paid millions of dollars to play a children’s game. Damn it.
Colts Vs. Jets
In the AFC, the upstart Jets strolled into Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis trying to pull off the unlikeliest of Cinderella runs. And for a half, it looked like Gang Green was going to do just that. Some crucial goalline stands, shoddy coaching by the Colts and a big play by Mark Sanchez and Braylon Edwards had the Jets up by 11.
But Peyton Manning was just too much, even for the NFL’s top ranked defense. With Reggie Wayne stranded on Revis Island, Manning delivered laser beam after laser beam to Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. Jets coach Rex Ryan evidently spent halftime planning his Super Bowl week interview schedule and forgot to make any adjustments, as the Colts did whatever they wanted on both sides of the ball in the second half. The Jets did fight valiantly to the end, and for all the bashing of Marc Sanchez I’ve done, he had perhaps his best game of the year. Still it wasn’t enough. Well played game where the better team won.
Saints Vs. Vikings
Not so well played was the NFC Championship between the Vikings and Saints. The second half in particular featured more juggled balls than a night out in Atlanta. Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin were just two of the culprits, but their miscues allowed the Saints to jump out to a seven point lead late in the 4th quarter.
But the Vikings weren’t done, as they rode Peterson to a tying score and Brett Favre’s arm into field goal range in the final seconds. Alas for Vikes fans, the annual killer Favre interception finally happened, a horrible back across the field heave that torpedoed Minnesota’s chances for a game winning field goal. A coin flip, a few hundred booth reviews and a 40 yard field goal later, and the Saints were going to Super Bowl XLIV.
The best two teams are left. One game and two weeks to get ready for it. Let the hype begin.
So Favre Gone…