I will need to call my friend Joe today to make sure he's not standing on the edge of a bridge somewhere, as his beloved Patriots have finally lost a playoff game.
I didn't see a minute of the game, I'm sorry to say (I spent the night dining, drinking, and dancing with my incredibly hot wife at the Temple Shalom 40th Anniversary bash instead), but it sounds like the Pats gave it away. Five turnovers? You can't win a playoff game turning the ball over that many times.
However, it also sounds like bad calls, and a terrible defensive pass interference call in particular, had a BIG impact early. You start to get into dangerous territory quickly when you ask things like, "What happens if that call in the first half gets overturned?", especially when the Pats wheels really fell off following the call in question. However, it's got to be asked: What happens if that call in the first half gets overturned?
Regardless, Brady, Belichick, and Vinatieri all showed themselves to be human after all. It's too bad, but it had to happen eventually.
The Colts game today will be very interesting. It's hard to say where the Colts heads are right now, with nothing to play for over the past month or so, as well as the Dungy family's recent tragedy. They should beat Pittsburgh handily, and they should stomp the Broncos next week just as handily. However, time will tell. If I were gambling, I'd probably stay away from this game.
Over in the NFC, I am happy to see that the Redskins are done. What a bunch of frauds. The good news is that they probably think they're close, so perhaps they won't change much in the off-season. Assuming Shaun Alexander's bruised melon is OK, Seattle should be the class of the NFC and should not have trouble with the winner of Bears-Panthers (Carolina should win what I think will be one of the most boring playoff games ever).
And to round out the predictions: Peyton Manning will have no trouble with the Seabags. I would take Indianapolis regardless of the point spread, as I think it would be a blowout of Cowboys-Bills proportions.
Final NFL note for now: I really hope Carson Palmer's injury is not as bad as was being reported earlier in the week. In case you didn't already know it, this ought to remind you that you shouldn't take ANYTHING for granted in sports.