Get Ready for a Three-Ring NFL Circus This Weekend
by Gus Jarvis
Jan 20, 2010 | 1432 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Looking toward this weekend’s conference championship games, the only thing that could make me more excited is having the Broncos playing in the AFC championship. But since they choked in that last dismal game of the season in front of their faithful Denver crowd, they will be sitting back watching the games from the couch like the rest of us.

But I digress. The point here is that this weekend’s championship games look to be some of the best conference championship games in recent memory.

For both the AFC Championship, which pits Peyton Manning and the Colts against the rookie Mark Sanchez and the Jets, and the NFC Championship, which features the two highest scoring offenses in the NFL, there are a thousand storylines to follow – all of them good and all of them made for anyone who likes good gridiron action. It’s going to be as good as it gets this weekend. Both games are not to miss.

The action kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. (MST) when Sanchez and burlesque coach Rex Ryan (man am I glad it’s cool to be fat again!) march into Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Obviously, this game looks like its Manning’s to take. He has been called the best quarterback of the past decade. He’s a perfectionist. He knows how to win. It’s Payton Manning and he’s taking on the gorgeous rookie Mark Sanchez. (I say gorgeous because that’s the only comment I get from my fiancée.) Sanchez is untried. He’s prone to mistakes and turnovers. Yet here he is in his first year in the NFL heading into the AFC Championship game and I like him.

I didn’t think Sanchez and the Jets had a chance last weekend when they had to go into San Diego and take on the favorite Chargers. But Sanchez cut back on his mistakes and made crucial completions when the game was on the line. He managed the game – and sometimes game management is all you need to win, especially when the Chargers looked so adolescent and juvenile.

Sanchez can be assured that Manning and the Colts won’t be adolescent and juvenile this weekend but I honestly think they have a chance to win. It may be a small chance but still a chance nonetheless. What I like about this game is it basically puts the traditional defense-first, run-the-ball style of the Jets against the new age, pass-the-ball, flashy, audible offense of the Colts. It’s old style football being run by young Sanchez against new-school style football run by aged veteran Manning. Really, this is as good as it gets.

Had it not been for the way Sanchez and his tough Jets defense ground out a win last week in San Diego, I probably would be going for Manning (because he is a Vol and us Vol lovers don’t have much going on in our lives these days). I may just have to paint my face green and white on Sunday. But no matter who wins, I know it will be worth tuning in

The fireworks will continue on Sunday at about 4:40 p.m. when ye olde man Brett Favre and the Vikings head down to the Superdome to take on Drew Brees and the Saints. Does a matchup get any more exciting than this? I mean, this is what Favre came back for (again and again and again) right?

Call Favre what you will (old, emotional, dramatic, etc.) but this guy is playing like he is 30 again. You gotta love the guy when he steps up in the pocket and just heaves a ball 30-plus yards to the end zone for a touchdown. And he does it over and over again.

Of course, we all have to be excited to watch Brees. He has been good for a long time now but he has yet to prove himself in this situation. If he can go out and out, Favre Favre, the Saints will win.

While the game looks to have the outline of a total offensive shootout, it may come down to the team that plays just a little defense. With Ray Edwards and big Pat Williams, I think the Vikings’ defense has the edge if the Saints plan to establish any sort of running game. But they may just stick to the air attack. Whatever happens I am sure it will just be a football circus in New Orleans on Sunday evening. I can’t wait.
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