A Super Playoff Weekend
- Peyton vs. Tom- This ain't the Yankees/Red Sox but it's about as close as CBS is going to get in the football department. The Colts and Pats seem to tangle in the postseason every year, with New England usually ending up with more points on the scoreboard. Indy QB Peyton Manning knows all about the numbers and has heard all the "He can't beat New Englandâ€ clamoring, even though his team's won the last two meetings. Still, he hasn't beaten them in the damn AFC playoffs, which is proving an obstacle the future hall of fame quarterback almost annually must face. Brady, on the other hand, has his three Super Bowl rings, but the young man who's been in the news lately more for who he's dating (Victoria Secret's model Gisele Bundchen) than who he's throwing to (three interceptions a week ago). Both QBs are looking for redemption performances. Both want to prove they're the best at their position. Both want to know what South Beach feels like in early February.
- It's a Cold, Cold World- Okay, Saints. Mr. Weatherman says it's going to be a brisk 29 degrees, with a 40% chance of snow showers, this coming Sunday. Brrrrrr. We know you all are used to the relatively calm 65 degree temps of the Superdome, so the chill may come as a shock. But here's the thing sports reporters and Al Roker types tend to forget: The Bears are playing in the same damn conditions! I don't care if you're Mike Ditka, linebacker Brian Urlacher or that drunk dude in section 110, if it's cold, it's cold. The Saints, still riding the high of a gutsy divisional victory against Philly, knows that if they can keep the Bears on their heels with some inventive offensive schemes surrounding Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister and Marques Colston, they're good enough to beat defensive-minded Chicago. In the freezing cold. With the snow.
- Pressure Busts Pipes- Like the case in the NFL most weekends, the pressure (and national TV cameras) will be on the four quarterbacks, Brady, Manning, Chicago's Rex Grossman and New Orleans' Drew Breesâ€”and rightfully so. But the conference title isn't won off the signal caller alone. In the AFC championship, for instance, the Colts' all-of-a-sudden stout running defense will need to again play big, forcing Brady to air it out to a receiving corp that often comes up missing like socks in the dryer. Over on the NFC side, a lot is going to weigh on the special teams. The Bears' Devin Hester is making a case for the 2K7 Deion Sanders, but honestly, last week dude looked frazzled on the big stage. Timidity won't fly this week. If it does rear its ugly head, we know which teams probably won't be flying south for the Super Bowl.
AFC Championship- Indianapolis 27, New England 17
NFC Championship- New Orleans 31, Chicago 21