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And Another Thing


A few thoughts while wondering who Rex Ryan will make it personal with this week

My guess is Franco Harris. Or maybe Frenchy Fuqua.

Anyway ... a few ruminations about the status of the NFL playoffs, after watching four games that, save for one, didn't go at all like the Great Guru of the Blob thought they were going to go:

  • Did anyone notice that all four teams remaining in the playoffs play outdoors?
As the good Lord intended, needless to say.

  • Apparently, the 1 vs. 6 seed matchup in the NFL playoffs has become what the 5-vs.-12 is in the NCAA tournament -- the kiss of death. Both sixth seeds (Green Bay and the Jets) won.
  • Give Rex Ryan his props. The man loves to exercise his mandibles, but he backed it up with a masterful game plan. The signature moment of the game, for me, was the play in which Tom Brady wandered his pocket for five minutes (or so it seemed) looking for an open receiver, and couldn't find one. Finally just threw an exasperated incomplete to a covered receiver because he literally didn't know what else to do.
Verdict: The Mouth That (Bleeping) Roared coached Darth Hoodie, aka Bill Belichick, off his feet in this one.

  • Speaking of which, this may have been one instance where the Patriots' fabled cool under fire betrayed them. Down 10 deep in the fourth quarter, they were sauntering to the line of scrimmage as though they had all the time in the world. Being cool under fire is one thing, but at some time, you do have to play with some sort of urgency. The Patriots did not.
  • If I had to put all my chips on one play, I'd want Ben Roethlisberger playing quarterback for me. The man throws more great balls with a game on the line than anyone else in football, with the possible exception of Brady.
  • Or Mark Sanchez, who two weeks in a row was wildly inaccurate at times until it got down to cases. Then he delivered a ball to Santonio Holmes that should be bronzed -- as should the catch Holmes made on it.
  • Best line of the weekend: Jets linebacker Bart Scott saying the Patriots defense "couldn't stop a nosebleed."
  • Anyone notice that since 2005, Peyton Manning has a better playoff record (6-5) than Tom Brady (5-5)?
  • Anyone notice that, for all his brilliance against Atlanta, Aaron Rodgers did it while dodging pass rushers on nearly every play? The Falcons spent so much time in Rodgers' backfield they should have been charged rent.
Doesn't bode well for the Packers going up against Julius Peppers and Co. next week.

Ben Smith's blog.