The elite eight.
Brooks: Divisional-round preview
Bucky Brooks examines the matchups and lays out
a path to championship weekend for each surviving playoff team. More ...
Usually it's a college basketball term -- not during the second week of January, and not when over half of those teams are fully capable of winning the whole Chalupa.
Let's be honest: Wild Card Weekend ended up being a platter full of snoozers. Nonetheless, the byproduct of those mostly one-sided affairs was some top-notch football from winners, especially the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. Five of the last seven Super Bowl winners were forced to play in the opening round of the playoffs, and it's quite possible this year's champion could further the trend.
Of course, Denver -- and its football team, too -- might have something to say about that. In fact, I asked if the Broncos were the top club in the NFL Monday night on Twitter ...
A lot of people feel like Mr. Desert Storm right now. As far as Jonathan's question is concerned, I skipped the BCS National Championship Game to watch the new "Texas Chainsaw" movie. Just take away my man card now. My focus is on the NFL (except when cheesy, gratuitous, one-half star horror movies come out).
Until then, let the dissension commence ...
... on to a different point. One concern could be the possibility of head-coaching opportunities becoming a distraction for offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Not saying that will happen, but it can happen. Stories abound about former Patriots head coach Bill Parcells taking calls from the New York Jets the week of Super Bowl XXXI, as his New England club was preparing to play the Green Bay Packers. Just saying, these guys are human, and McCoy has never been a head coach before. Wouldn't it be a distraction for you?
Oh, one more thing: How imposing would the Falcons be with a healthy Brent Grimes right now? Gooooood night.
Then there's Smith. When he's right, he's the best inside-outside D-lineman in pro football. Not sure how much two weeks can do for a torn triceps, but his health IER presence will do much for Aldon Smith on passing downs.
A) Andrew Luck barely completed 50 percent of his passes, while averaging a miniscule 5.3 yards per throw.
B) Everything Anquan Boldin.
... Now, just so we're not totally Positive Perry here, it's important to note that the run defense is still struggling. The Colts and their mediocre (if that) offensive line pushed around Baltimore's front seven enough to rack up over 150 yards rushing at 5.1 yards per carry. Can't have that happen against Denver, with a resurgent Knowshon Moreno in the backfield.