In most years this quarter of the season is the most predictable. Only one real upset in my eyes and that was Hawks v Bills. Everything else played out as I would have called it. Yes I would have taken the Fins. At very least that was a toss up.
I need to watch the Bills. A couple years ago talking about the Cutler era Fins I said they were the hardest team to get a handle on. They'd win 7-8 games, and when I'd watch them (v Saints, Niners or on a night game) I couldn't figure out how they won any games.
The times I've watched the Bills they've been hugely unimpressive. Allen in particular seems to just blow up in a big game. Time for a relook at them. Until I can fit that in, I'm still picking the Fins.
It was a big game for the Saints. The team loves Drew Brees. They knew it was a big game for him personally to match up against Tom Brady on national TV. They rose to the occasion. Tom Brady's teammates hate him. So maybe that's the difference.
With Thomas and Sanders in the line up it really changes the Saints defense. I know that seems odd, but Allen plays complimentary defense. With those guys out he took the risk out of the defense. Bend don't break. With them in, and the ability to break big field stretching plays returned, the Saints played pressure defense. They tempted Brady to go long, getting in a shootout was ok. He couldn't deliver. That performance was why I predicted poor playoff performance for the Bucs.
The highlight of the week though was Gregg Williams on the sideline Monday night covering his mouth covered by a face mask with his play chart, over and over again. Habit? Maybe, but there's also that IQ hovering around 85 thing.
If you want to see something dismal look up the Jet's defensive team stats.