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2010 NFL Conference Championship Recaps



Packers 21, Bears 14

  • This game looked like it was going to be a 56-0 blowout. On Green Bay's first drive, Aaron Rodgers hit Greg Jennings on 22- and 26-yard passes. After a 6-yard run and a 6-yard completion to James Starks, Rodgers connected with Jordy Nelson for 22 yards. Two plays later, Rodgers ran into the end zone on a play-action bootleg. Bang. Game over.

    Well, not really. The Bears did a great job on Rodgers for the rest of the game. The Packers scored just one more offensive touchdown, and the Bears forced Rodgers into a red zone interception. Chicago had a chance to win at the end, but Mike Martz's moronic play-calling thwarted that effort.

  • Rodgers went 17-of-30 for 244 yards, one touchdown (rushing) and two picks (one of which wasn't his fault). He completed seven passes of 20-plus yards. However, the opposing quarterback was the bigger story.

    Jay Cutler was anemic in the first half, going 6-of-14 for 80 yards and an interception, as he constantly overthrew his receivers. Cutler suffered some sort of mysterious knee injury in the second quarter and took himself out of the contest. Despite Brian Urlacher calling him the P-word on the sidelines, Cutler refused to go back into the game.

    I'll have more on this in the power rankings, but Cutler is a major wuss. Philip Rivers played in the AFC Championship on a torn ACL a few years ago, yet Cutler couldn't go because of a little boo-boo? Are you kidding me?

    As this happened, forum member Ryguy commented, "Can't wait to hear what Cutler's injury is."

    Hyperborean quickly answered, "Sand in vagina."

  • After backup quarterback Todd "Tom" Collins embarrassed himself in the third quarter, third-stringer Caleb Hanie stepped in. This invigorated both the crowd and the forum:

    Cal Hanie time!!!!

    Good. They are putting Hanie in. They have a chance.

    Thank god, apparently Hanie is going in.

    Caleb Hanie!!!


    Hanie didn't disappoint, going 13-of-20 for 153 yards, one touchdown and two picks. He led two scoring drives and looked infinitely superior to Cutler. As mentioned, however, Martz screwed Hanie out of a legendary comeback with an awful end-around on a key third down on the final drive.

  • Some key performers: James Starks was very impressive, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He broke tackles all afternoon. Greg Jennings, meanwhile, hauled in eight balls for 130 yards.

    On defense, B.J. Raji had a pick-six. Sam Shields collected the other two Packer interceptions to go along with a sack and forced fumble.

    As for the Bears, Matt Forte had to do it all by himself for three quarters; he rushed for 70 yards on 17 attempts and caught 10 balls for 90 receiving yards.





    Steelers 24, Jets 19

  • I thought the strength of the Jets was supposed to be their defense. If they were going to lose, it was going to be on Mark Sanchez, right?

    I don't know what happened to New York's stop unit in the first half. Even though the defense held Ben Roethlisberger to 7-of-14 passing for 96 yards and an interception prior to intermission, it could not stop the Steelers. Rashard Mendenhall trampled the Jets for 121 yards on 27 carries. Isaac Redman, meanwhile, chipped in with 27 yards on just four attempts.

    Rex Ryan's defense showed no interest in tackling. It was pathetic. The Steelers actually had more points (24) by halftime than New York ran plays (22).

  • The Jets were better in the second half - perhaps because Maurkice Pouncey injured his ankle - allowing Mark Sanchez to nearly engineer a miraculous comeback. Sanchez went 20-of-33 for 233 yards and two touchdowns, but was ultimately betrayed by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's slow and shoddy play-calling inside the red zone.

    I really have no idea why LaDainian Tomlinson got the ball on the most important play of the game. On 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line of a 24-10 contest, Schottenheimer called for a Tomlinson carry. Tomlinson was predictably stuffed at the goal line. He gained just 16 yards on nine carries, while Shonn Greene generated 52 yards on the same amount of attempts. It's almost as if Todd Haley kidnapped Schottenheimer and took over the play-calling.

  • Having said all that, Sanchez shouldn't have been in that position to begin with. I can't get over how bad New York's defense was. As I wrote in the forums, "The Steelers haven't looked this good against any playoff team all year. I don't get it."

    The Jets simply didn't have an answer for Roethlisberger's scrambling. Big Ben's passing numbers were hardly impressive (10-of-19, 133 yards, 2 INTs), but he evaded enough pass rushers in the backfield and picked up a few key first downs (and a touchdown) to keep the ball out of Sanchez's hands.



    For more, check out my updated 2010 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Monday morning.

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    Adam C 10-22-2012 04:41 am xxx.xxx.xxx5.56 (total posts: 1)
    34     12

    According to the rules if Freeman stays in the pocket that play at the end is a touchdown but apparently the NFL rules committee never saw a situation where a QB rolls out and the DB just decides to push the WR out of bounds so he can't be eligible. Once again the NFL rules committee clearly shows they don't know what they're doing.
    JC 10-21-2012 10:21 am xxx.xxx.xxx1.57 (total posts: 2)
    6     5

    the arguments above leave out injury risk of a free kick vs a kneel down. Also, the whistle blew on the Lynch fumble early and the replay showed Lynch recovered his own fumble. I think it would have changed the ball position by about a yard or two.
    KMOB 10-20-2012 02:58 pm xxx.xxx.xxx3.28 (total posts: 1)
    30     32

    Declining the safety is 100% the right move. There have been 0 fumbles on kneel downs in over 800 attempts since 2010, as recorded by ESPN. The Rivers fumble Walt refers to was not on a kneel down - they were in regular offensive formation and Rivers was not simply about to take the snap and kneel.

    The Seahawks would have had over 40 seconds, and while it is unlikely that they score twice, the possibility exists. Not only that, why would a coach with Super Bowl aspirations expose his team to a dangerous special teams play, followed possibly by additional defensive and special teams plays on top of that? Why not ensure your team is as healthy as possibly while still preserving a win which, according to recent statistics, is 100% guaranteed?

    I don't see anyone up in arms about the times that RBs (I can picture MJD doing it at least once) have chosen to go down at the 1 yard line so their teams can kneel it out rather than score a touchdown. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3fVn8TE2XM - this is with his team BEHIND and still needing to make a FG. And he got praise form every corner.

    Just because it costs you money doesn't mean it's the wrong play.
    lol walt 10-19-2012 02:48 pm xxx.xxx.xxx26.3 (total posts: 6)
    143     7

    I love how walt does this. Anyone who frequents this site would know that walt is the best at making his point of view sound better after he is wrong. He does this even better than I do.

    Directly from above...

    "What's more likely to happen:
    A) Fumbled snap on a kneel down (has happened before)

    Or

    B) Onside kick recovery
    60-yard touchdown
    Onside kick recovery
    30-yard play to put the team in field-goal position
    Field goal
    ...All in 22 seconds and no timeouts?"

    I love walt so easily forgets to mention the little fact that seattle would still need to score a touchdown with no timeouts if you choose A. Yes, in order for A to work out, you ONLY need to fumble the snap...you wouldn't need to go 80 yards down the field with no timeouts or anything like that.

    And he seems to mention "22 seconds" quite a lot even though by now it is well known that there was in fact 43 seconds left at that point. lol walt
    wow you're bitter about that declined penalty 10-19-2012 02:10 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.232 (total posts: 1)
    10     7

    you can rationalize all you want about Harbaugh's decision to decline. For a safety standpoint, it's much safer for his players to not have to play a kick off return. Bottom line, you are just seriously bitter about the two points for the cover.
    foggwest 10-19-2012 01:28 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.75 (total posts: 1)
    7     6

    @ Stewart [ as well as others ] : Unless there has been a rule change that I'm not aware of, the team that committed the safety has the option of a free kick from their own 20 yard line. The free kick can be either a punt or a kickoff. In the last few years more teams have gone to using a punt because of the hang time allowing for better kick coverage. In the case of last night's game the Seahawks would have used an onside kick if the safety stood.
    Am I the only one that thought the penalty in the end zone was questionable ? The referee called it a ' chop block' not holding. On the replay the lineman hit the defensive player around the waist from the side which looked legal to me.
    Intelligent Human Being 10-19-2012 01:07 pm xxx.xxx.xxx0.19 (total posts: 2)
    70     63

    I have many friends who gamble heavily and think they are gods gift to betting, know everything under the sun, and are never wrong. When they lose a game, and something out of the ordinary happens, or even when the game is normal, they all go to the same excuse. The games are fixed, there is this huge conspiracy against gamblers so vegas can make money. Its a coping mechanism used to soothe their bruised egos. I got news for you, Walter included, you are not always right, games are not fixed, vegas makes enough money from idiots like you, get over it. By the way, I bet games as well, not as heavy as some of you. I win some, I lose some, regardless of winning or losing I don't ever blame anyone else for what happened.

    Side note, never ever hear games are fixed by people winning the bets...hmm that makes you think doesn't it? Stop crying like babies and Man Up.
    Stewart 10-19-2012 01:07 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.226 (total posts: 1)
    10     8

    How could Seattle have attempted an onside kick? Don't they have to punt after a safety? You can't recover a punt unless it's touched and either fumbled or muffed.
    blapblap 10-19-2012 12:57 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.46 (total posts: 1)
    9     12

    it was the correct call. ...
    Sake Master 10-19-2012 12:47 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.52 (total posts: 1)
    5     6

    I wouldn't have bet this game, laying too many points
    RichmondPete 10-19-2012 11:57 am xxx.xxx.xxx.189 (total posts: 1)
    7     9

    If it was fixed then why did they call the safety in the first place? Are you suggesting that Harbaugh himself had money on the game?
    Intelligent Human Being 10-19-2012 11:19 am xxx.xxx.xxx0.19 (total posts: 2)
    69     5

    For all of you idiots complaining this game was fixed. Did all of you forget that the safety happened because of a call made by a referee. Then Harbaugh decided he wanted to take the ball immediately rather than risk a special teams play where ANYTHING can happen including getting a player hurt or possibly losing the ball. His job as a coach is to win the game, not cover spreads. And if the game was so fixed, then why on earth would the referee make the holding call in the end zone to give san fran those points? But its so fixed that Harbaugh said no, I bet the seahawks you silly referee, take those points away that you gave me because you are fixing the game wrong. Christ people, get your heads out of your asses and stop seeing games from a degenerate gambler's point of view. Bunch of idiots, and by the way if you had any intelligence whatsoever you were betting the under last night and not worrying about spreads. Stop making excuses for being bad at gambling.
    Booby HIll 10-19-2012 11:05 am xxx.xxx.xxx1.20 (total posts: 1)
    58     7

    He made the call to decrease chance of his players getting injured. It's that simple.
    "do you guys know" is an idiot 10-19-2012 09:53 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.30 (total posts: 1)
    17     7

    there is no such thing as a punt kick off, its a drop ball kick off and follows the same kick off rules. you can still go for an onside kick. in fact, it may be easier considering the kicker has more control of the ball.
    Chris 10-19-2012 09:13 am xxx.xxx.xxx26.3 (total posts: 6)
    52     23

    Also just read the last paragraph here:

    "*Note - Many are arguing that Harbaugh made the right call because the Seahawks would have attempted an onside kick. No, he didn't. What if the 49ers fumbled the snap on the kneel down, a la Philip Rivers? Going up two possessions with 20 seconds remaining would have been the right move. Even if the Seahawks recovered, they would've had to have scored twice. "

    Rivers didn't fumble on a normal kneel down play to end the game. He fumbled trying to center the ball for a field goal. It is not the same thing. You never see anyone fumble on game ending kneel downs.

    Also, there were more than 40 seconds left at the point when San Fran. declined the penalty, not 20. Seattle definitely had a greater chance of winning the game if they were able to kick off.





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    2013: 2013 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
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    2013 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
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    2013 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLVIII Recap - Feb. 3
    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Blog - Feb. 2


    2012: Live 2012 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2012 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
    2012 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
    2012 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
    2012 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 1
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    Super Bowl XLVII Recap - Feb. 4
    Super Bowl XLVII Live Blog - Feb. 4


    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
    2011 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
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    Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6


    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
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    2010 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 9
    2010 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 13
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    Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6


    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
    2009 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 10
    2009 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 10
    2009 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 14
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    Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7


    2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
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    NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 8
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    NFL Wild Card Playoffs Review - Jan. 4
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    NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog


    2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
    Quarterback Rankings - June 25
    NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
    Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
    The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
    NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
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    NFL Week 15 Wrap-Up - Dec. 16
    NFL Week 16 Wrap-Up - Dec. 23
    NFL Week 17 Wrap-Up - Dec. 30
    NFL Week 18 Wrap-Up - Jan. 6
    NFL Week 19 Wrap-Up - Jan. 13
    2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3


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