BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO & TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com
The 2011 Super Bowl will feature a rematch of 2008’s classic Giants–Patriots showdown. The Giants are coming in hot, but the Patriots are the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Couch Side Show bloggers Chuck Constantino and Trevor Gould weigh in on the matchup.
Trevor Courtland Gould (TCG): The Giants possess a defensive line that makes offensive lineman quake in their shoes. They are athletic, relentless, and have a mean streak to them. When Justin Tuck isn’t repping Subway sandwiches, he is wrecking havoc against opposing offenses. Linval Joseph and Chris Canty are solid tackles, and Jason Pierre-Paul has established himself as one of the premier athletic freaks in the NFL. And when one of them is tired, in comes veteran Osi Umenyiora, who is probably extra angry due to being relegated to back-up duty. This defensive line is scary.
Chuck Constantino (CC): This isn’t even close; the Giants hands down own the scariest defensive line in football. The speed and relentlessness of the front four cannot be simulated during practice leading up to the big game. These big uglies will hit Tom Brady all night.
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
In this week’s episode, Couch Side welcomes special guest Andy Paul, a knowledgeable football fan, to discuss the NFL playoffs, the NBA’s shortened season, a new location for the Winter Classic, Jim Cadwell’s firing, Jeff Fisher’s hiring and Chael Sonnin vs. Michael Bisbing. Click below to listen to Couch Side!
BY STAYSON ISOBE, couchsideshow.com writer
The old adage is defense wins championships.
Finally after a regular season that was dominated by explosive offenses and record-breaking performances, the two teams headed to the NFC Championship proved that a defense that will smack you in the mouth still prevails in this league. Both the 49ers and the Giants seemed to face an uphill battle coming into the weekend, faced with the task of attempting to slow down two of the NFL’s most unstoppable offensive attacks. The Packers and Saints, led by the league’s top two MVP candidates in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, were the two highest scoring teams during the regular season and two of the top three in total offense with the other being the Patriots.
Brees was the orchestrator of New Orleans’ attack, breaking Dan Marino’s 27-year single season passing yards mark this season, and was coming off a postseason record in regulation of 466 yards last week against the Lions. Rodgers on the other hand, showed pinpoint accuracy throughout the season as evidenced in his 45-6 touchdown to interception ratio, leading the Packers to the top seed in the NFC with a 15-1 record.
But on this weekend, neither would advance to the NFC title game. Instead, the 49ers and the Giants ramped up their defense and slowed down these two offensive assaults enough to make a statement. The two teams combined to force nine turnovers and produced seven total sacks of Rodgers and Brees.
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
Everyone knows a lot of headlines surround the infamous NFL playoffs.
It’s up to us fans to sort through them to come up with which one is the most intriguing. Now, it would be easy to go with Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos or the matchup between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals, which features to rookie quarterback going head-to-head. Those are simple, good topics, heading into wildcard weekend. And I like simple. I like easy. So I’ll be breaking down what I believe to be the most intriguing headline for the wild card round: The new faces in the playoffs. It’s the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions, which oddly enough both play on Saturday. Looks like I had better get started:
• Opponent: They’re at New Orleans to clash with the Saints at 8 p.m. EST
• Chances: Although the Detroit Lions have made the postseason before (15 times), the squad hasn’t played when it matters most since 1999. One could argue that the lack of experience will hurt Detroit when the Lions suit up for the Saints. But this Detroit team is different from those in the past. There is just a whole new swagger to the squad. I’m not going ot get fancy with the statistics here, but the Lions are what NFL teams are currently aspring to be. With young, athletic talent like Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, DeAndre Levy and Titus Young there’s no telling what this team could do in the future. And Detroit may just start making its name for the years to come this weekend. A lot of people expect the Lions’ matchup with the Saints to be an offensive battle and it should be nothing short of that. I don’t see Detroit coming out on top, though, because New Orleans is my Super Bowl pick, but it should be the most exciting game Saturday. The Lions could sneak by, however, because of the Saints aging secondary players and because the Seattle Seahawks took down New Orleans last year in the first round.
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
There is always a handful of NFL teams with mediocre records that have high hopes to make the playoffs each season.
Most of the time, it’s teams with a .500 winning percentage (8-8 overall) or with one win over the .500 mark (9-7) that find the final spots in the playoffs. This season, there are 10 teams that could potentially post barely respectable records and still get in. With two weeks left, five squads from the AFC and NFC, respectively, are still in the hunt. It will make for an exciting finale to a season that was almost cancelled because of the lockout. The playoffs are where the excitement is at, but with so many teams on the bubble, the end of the 2011 season should be action packed.
I will be concentrating on the playoff hopes for the two worst teams of the 10 squads that could be playoff bound. With 6-8 records, it doesn’t seem like the Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles will be able to punch their cards into the wildcard round of the NFL postseason. The Chiefs and Eagles should be able to give others searching for that No. 8 spot a run for their money, though.
Here’s a look at what Philadelphia and Kansas City will have to do in order for the squads to make the playoffs: