Reflecting Championship Weekend

Windy City Gridiron is enthusiastically backing Rex Grossman and writes an apology after America was denied the feel good story that is New Orleans. You can feel the crazy excitement of a Bears fan seeing his team get into the Super Bowl.

Stampede Blue believes this was the best AFC Championship game... ever.

I believe Jim Nance is one of the better golf commentators around. But there's nothing more irritating during an NFL broadcast when they enthusiastically point out a missed call. "The heel is on the goal-line, the heel is on the goal-line, the heel is on the goal-line." Then replay showed that Jabar Gaffney never touched out-of-bounds. I understand the world of television and adversity driving ratings. But damn, chill out Jim.

What were the odds that Jeff Saturday, Dan Klecko and Logan Mankins would score touchdowns? In the same game? A vigintillion to one?

The winning teams scored a combined 38 points in the fourth quarter -- 55 in the second half.

The Bears defense beat the Saints. Look at the Saints first six drives -- punt, punt, fumble, fumble, punt, punt. Then after the Saints scored their second touchdown (88-yard pick pass to Reggie Bush), the Saints went missed field goal, safety, punt, fumble, interception, turnover on downs and turnover on downs.

The home team, this post-season, went 8-2.

The Colts offense smoked the Pats offense if you compare the two.

  Pats Colts
First downs 17 32
3rd down % 36% 53%
Yards 319 455
Time 28:45 31:15

Why does it seem like opponents feel they can rush against the Colts? Because the Colts rush defense allowed 173.0 yards per game? In the post-season, the Colts rush defense is the headline. They are allowing 73 yards per game. Corey Dillon's 7-yard touchdown with 10 minutes left in the second quarter was the first score surrendered on the ground.

There were eight fumbles Sunday (Saints 4, Colts 2, Pats and Bears 1)

Drew Brees had two fumbles, two intentional grounding calls (one for safety) and an interception. Brees is responsible for nine points given up. The intentional grounding while in the end-zone accounts for two points. Brees fumbled the ball with 13:45 left in the fourth. The Bears recovered and the offense scored a touchdown. Nine points. Marques Colston fumbled at the Chicago 46. The Bears offense drove and scored a field goal. There's another three (we're up to 12 points allowed by self-collapsing results).

Ironically, Brees had the highest passer rating of all four quarterbacks this weekend.

Admittedly, those 12 points, at the end of the day, wouldn't cut the deficit to a win. But look at it this way. If Brees doesn't fumble or throw a pick and if he doesn't get flagged for intentional grounding on a third-and-three, all in the fouth quarter, this game has a different outcome. Did the Bears win? Obviously. But the Saints looked like a team that should have been eliminated in the first round.

Peyton Manning led touchdown drives of 76, 53, 64 and 68 yards. Add that to field goal drives of 66, 80 and 59 yards. The drives in which the Colts had to punt ended with 7, -12, -7 and zero yards.

For a time, I thought Rosevelt Colvin, if the Patriots won, would be the reason.

Here's the updated story line. It wasn't Tom Brady's inability to conduct his comeback magic; it's that he doesn't have the help (read: the-soon-to-be-cut Reche Caldwell). While I'm partially in agreement that Brady has no help, he did throw the interception to Marlin Jackson that sealed the Colts win. But Caldwell can sleep for the next few weeks knowing he's hated by nearly 99% of the Patriots population.

The Bears offense went three-and-out... six times! The other three teams went three-and-out eight times... combined.

The next two weeks will have a lead storyline of two great friends breaking the color barrier as head coaches in the Super Bowl. While I'm sure they are thrilled to lead the way for younger generations, I'm convinced both want to be known for their coaching first, heritage second -- if the media allows it.

The Colts had three drives of 14 plays or more Sunday. The other three teams had three drives of 11 plays -- combined.

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