Weekend ahead sure to please football fans

Marlow Weldon

Alright, everyone who had the Seattle Seahawks beating the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend please raise your hands.

That’s what I thought.

Since I can remember, I’ve been a fan of the Seahawks, who finished the season at 7-9 and didn’t get into the post season until the very last game when they beat St. Louis 16-6 to win the division, and not even I picked NFC West champs to take Drew Brees et al.

But that’s why the games are played on the field, and not on paper.

Thirty-five year old Matt Hasselbeck, who couldn’t play in Seattle’s final game of the season, really found his form against the Saints, throwing four touchdown passes in the Seahawks 41-37 win over New Orleans.

If we look at the numbers, we shouldn’t have really been surprised by the win.

After all, Pete Carroll had amassed a 92-15 record while coaching in the college ranks, including his time with the USC Trojans, a record that improved to 93-15 when the Seahawks beat the Saints.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, and, after not believing in my Seahawks in the opening round, I took a mighty gulp of the Seattle kool-aid, thinking they would have now problems with the Chicago Bears, especially considering the Bears were coming off a bye and may have had some rust.

Throw in the fact that the Seahawks were again playing on Saturday (see Carroll’s record on Saturdays), and I was convinced Seattle would be playing in the NFC Championship game this coming weekend.

Oops.

Lovey Smith and his Bears squad showed no signs of having not played in two weeks, jumping out to a 28-0 lead by the time the game was three quarters old, and then holding on for a 35-24 win at a snowy Soldier Field in Chicago.

I watched the entire game from start to finish, hoping the Seahawks could find some “rally” magic, and as you can tell from the final score, they put some points on the board, but sadly, they weren’t ever really in the football game.

The game that really surprised me, though, was the AFC divisional game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

Since I don’t live in the U.S., and am a CFL guy first, I feel well within my rights to have a favourite NFC team (Seattle) as well as an AFC squad, despite the many ribbings I incur from my football watching friends.

Well, the Patriots are my AFC team, and have been since the late 90’s, well before the world knew anything about a guy named Tom Brady.

I know the Jets were able to get by Indianapolis 17-16 in the opening round, but I figured that was it for Rex Ryan and his trash talking football team.

And even though the Jets and the Patriots split their two regular season match-ups, I was sure the Jets didn’t stand a chance against Brady and the Patriots.

But when the game started, and Brady, who hadn’t tossed an interception in over three months, threw a pick on the Patriots’ first drive, I knew something wasn’t right.

That funny feeling was further cemented when Jets receiver Santonio Holmes made a spectacular touchdown catch to go up 21-11 on the Patriots, just seconds after New England had closed the gap to 14-11.

So, with both my teams out of the playoff picture, I’m left wondering who to cheer for this weekend when Pittsburgh hosts the Jets and Green Bay heads to Chicago.

Either way, it should be a pretty good weekend for football.

sports@big105.fm

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