NFL Playoffs Reveal Power Shifts

As the first weekend of NFL Playoffs is half-over, a few things seem clear.

Dallas and San Diego are the hot teams in the NFL. Dallas currently features almost every individual player reaching a peak performance level when it counts. I couldn’t conceive of thinking this earlier this year but (similar to what I thought of the Yankees before the season and with what they did) I can see them getting to the SB, finishing the season just like Arizona did last year, but with more of a chance than Arizona had to win it all. San Diego is the AFC’s hot team, and may well continue that streak to the season’s final game.

It will be very interesting if these two teams do meet. Both have head coaches that were fabulous coordinators, absolute disasters in their prior head coaching jobs, and had poor starts with their current teams, but have learned to concentrate their own coaching in their areas of expertise, Wade on defense, Turner with Rivers and parts of the offense, and left other areas to other experts, and the results may be history. Kudos to two coaches I thought were in over their respective heads, both of whom I would have fired years ago, if I had been stupid enough to hire them in the first place.

Three teams that had long streaks of invincibility during the regular season, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and the King’s Vikings, are all dead in the water. None of these teams has a chance to get to the Super Bowl. The King will end the Viking’s season with an interception, and Indy and NO have turned the knob to “I Don’t Care Cruise Control” and will never be able to regain their prior momentum.

It will be Green Bay or Dallas in the NFC, and San Diego is likely to face a real challenge from … from …. well, if New England can field enough healthy players, only from them.

A word about the Eagles who embarrassed themselves so badly the past two weeks. I thinks there is a three-fold reason for their awful showing, and all should be obvious. First is the fact of so many injuries on defense, but the second was just as important to their collapse: The distraction and almost total lack of contribution of m vick. If McNabb is their QB, and his contract extension says he is, then they cannot bring vick back. If they keep him (read what I have written about him in the past, and you’ll know my feelings about that) it should only be as the starter. And in his best day he is not the QB a healthy McNabb is. Finally, if you look back to every important game the Eagles have played over the past six seasons, the difference maker in those games that they won as against the games they lost, was a healthy Brian Westbrook. Generally, if he plays, they win the tough games, but if he is hurt, they lose. (They should have handed him the ball more in the 2004 SB).

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