The Pittsburgh Steelers actually won a home playoff game.
It has been that kind of year in the NFL. The Steelers haven’t seemingly won a home playoff game since Jack Lambert had teeth. But the ball certainly bounced their way on Sunday. Honestly, when the ball falls out of the sky and hits your blocker in the head, well, that is going to be your day.
And sure, the Steelers player pretty well against the Chargers. They opened the second half with an impressive scoring drive. The Chargers answered with an impressive kickoff return by Darren Sproles. But on the next play, deflection, interception, ball game. Hard to win a game when you run only one offensive play in the third quarter.
But let's not focus on the negative. The Chargers aren't as good as we thought they were, and probably never will be as long as Norv Turner is in charge.
But San Diego did keep the Patriots out of the playoffs, ended Mike Shanahan's career in Denver and ended Gomer's season. That's almost better than a Super Bowl title right there. That's like the NFL version of falling on the grenade. The Chargers sacrificed for you ... show some respect.
The Kurt Warner Machine once again proved the doubters wrong. With only The Hater Nation believing in the Cardinals, the team came up big. In fact, THN was the only online entity to believe that the Cardinals would be hosting the NFC Championship Game.
Has the media learned it's lesson about the Cardinals or will they spend the week harping on the Eagles' lopsided win on Thanksgiving? Yeah, what do you think? Not that any of you saw that game, because it was on NFL Network.
The Cardinals were certainly outplayed in that game. It was a cold Thanksgiving night in Philadelphia. People who live in Philadelphia don't want to be in Philadelphia, let alone a team that had already wrapped up its division. The Eagles had everything to play for that night, the Cardinals not so much as they had already assured themselves of winning the NFC West.
But that's cool.
The Cardinals have done the impossible this season. They won the division and actually hosted a playoff game. The Cardinals went to the East Coast and won without Anquan Boldin. So when the nation backs the Eagles this week, you have to imagine that’s just the way the Cardinals want it.
WELCOME BACK ELI
Eli Messiah's run as a legitimate NFL quarterback has mercifully come to an end. Or as Lil' Hater so eloquently put it, "Our two-year national nightmare has come to an end." But only if one of those errant Eli throws could have taken out Joe Buck.
Messiah can now rightfully take his place with Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer and Jeff Hostetler as average quarterbacks who have managed to win a Super Bowl. The Messiah has a ring, and you can never take it from him. The media voted him Super Bowl MVP because of his family name. But never again, will we ever have to hear that the Messiah is anything but an average quarterback. He's been exposed. Even the most ardent Giants fan will have to admit that Eli will never be an elite quarterback. He's just not.
And did you notice the look on Eli's face during the game? He had that, "How long is my daddy going to make me play this game look," like some uncoordinated kid playing rec league hockey while his dad lives out some sports fantasy. Eli, you are a grown man. You can retire now. You don't have to fake an injury like your brother, Cooper.
But hey, when you combine Eli's "Welcome home" party with Gomer's traditional early exit, well, life is good. Today is like an Irish Wake. Time to celebrate what's good in the NFL.
- Awesome part of the Giants game: Coach Tom Coughlin challenged the spot of the ball in the fourth quarter. Referee Mike Carey went under the hood and when he returned, offered this explanation: "The call on the field was correct." As if Carey was pissed that he was even challenged on the spot. Yes, how dare you Coughlin. But when you're the Giants, and you get all of the calls going your way, you can't blame Coughlin for being stunned when his team isn't given the benefit of the doubt.
- Now that the Giants are eliminated, the Ravens look to become the second team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl despite its quarterback.
- Kind of torn on Donovan McNabb's phone call on the Giants sideline. Not really, it was awesome. Honestly, would we all be giving him a free pass if it was any other team he did that against? But doing it against the Giants makes it seem so right.
- There's a lot being made of McNabb making his fifth NFC Championship Game. People realize that he's won only one of those games, right? The Eagles had Tampa Bay at home and lost. They lost to Jake Delhomme and the Panthers. He's not losing to Jim Kelly's Bills or John Elway's Broncos. He's lost to Brad Johnson and Delhomme. Why are people making this out to be a good thing for McNabb?
- Oh yeah, that other quarterback he lost to in an NFC Championship Game? KWM.
- Joe Flacco ... 60 minutes from the Super Bowl. The true bummer of the Super Bowl is that the Ravens or Steelers are going to make it. The Chargers and Cardinals would have had the best Super Bowl ever, or at least the highest scoring.
Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston are so superior in terms of broadcasting, nobody noticed that the No. 2 team got the prime time game on Saturday night. Buck and Troy Aikman called a game most of you probably slept through.