If you think the Packers' 38-13 win over the Giants had anything to do with a boat, I feel sorry for you.
That theory holds no water.
And if you spread it, you are trying to gain attention. As a talk show host, I'm going to wear oven mitts to handle these scorching-hot takes.
Nine years ago, Tony Romo's Cowboys had a first-round bye, and the quarterback spent part of that week in Cabo with then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson. I had no problem with this, as Romo wasn't scheduled to be at work. Jason Witten took that Cabo trip, too, but he wasn't dating a starlet like Romo, so the hard-nosed Witten slipped under the radar. And the tight end (rightly) didn't catch any heat. Romo shouldn't have, either.
Mike Tomlin once told me in a radio chat that he went away skiing during a bye week. Crickets. It's Mike Tomlin.
Odell has a reputation. So does Bieber. So suddenly it's something?
No Giants player missed a second of work. It was a non-story last Monday. It was a non-story last week. It was a non-story on game day. The outcome of that game had nothing to do with a boat.
And yes, it's not lost on me that I am writing a story about this non-story. I had to. It was discussed so much during the broadcast and on social media that my head nearly exploded.
Here's the truth: A flawed Giants team predictably lost on the road against a sensational quarterback.
That was vintage Aaron Rodgers right there. He's the story. The best and most talented quarterback in the NFL today played brilliant, dreamy football. And when I say "brilliant" and "dreamy," it's not hyperbole. Green Bay's first score of the day came on a play only Rodgers can make, with the QB dancing in and out of the pocket for nine seconds before delivering a strike to Davante Adams. A Hail Mary at the end of the first half? Obviously. In the last couple of seasons, Rodgers somehow has taken the prayer aspect out of the last-gasp prayer. In the second half, with Jordy Nelson (Rodgers' favorite target, his Linus blanket) sidelined by injury, the Packers signal-caller continued to spread the ball around and shred the "NYPD" (New York pass defense).
And to think, the Packers' offense was completely stuck in the mud for the first 25 minutes of this wild-card bout on the (literally) frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, punting on each of the first five possessions while gaining a grand total of 51 yards.
Well, Rodgers ended up owning the Giants' vaunted defense, with 362 yards passing and four touchdowns. And that's the story from the game.
That's the story!!!!!
The better team with the better quarterback won the contest by 25 points.
But did any of that have anything to do with a boat? No chance.
An honest explanation here: The three-time Pro Bowler was over-amped -- and, inherently, out of whack -- in his first playoff game. Beckham has a history of spiraling and becoming unglued when his rare talents are held in check. There's a snowball effect to his in-game struggles -- a spiral of decline that ended with him reportedly punching a hole in the wall in the postgame.
No. 13 wasn't the only pass catcher to come up empty on Sunday. New York's receiving corps appeared to have a collective case of the yips. And after a hot start from Manning -- which had many momentarily believing we were witnessing the return of "Playoff Eli" -- the Giants QB reverted to what he's been all season: lackluster. That's an adjective that can also be used to describe Big Blue's O-line and ground game for the bulk of this season. Oh, and the Giants' special teams were dreadful. What were you thinking, Bobby Rainey?!?!
Rodgers has gotten plenty of deserved credit during this seven-game win streak, but the Packers' defense also has made plays during the hot stretch -- and the unit did so again on Sunday, forcing a pair of Giants turnovers. Now Green Bay is on to Dallas for a Sunday showdown the football world can't wait to see: Aaron Rodgers against the best team in the NFC. It's going to be an amazing game.
This Packers team is explosive, having averaged 31.9 points per game since Week 12. This Packers team is battle-tested, boasting a 6-2 record against playoff teams this season (including Sunday's wild-card win) -- that's the best mark in the NFL. And this Packers team is simply better than the Giants group it just dispatched for the second time in the past three months.