OK here we are at NFL Playoff week two and as you might expect there is no shortage of media analysis of the games so let’s get going!
There will be plenty of pre and post game action with The NFL Network and ESPN getting started at 11am both days.
FOX and CBS will be doing pregame shows 1 hour prior to the kickoff of their respective games.
All radio will be on Westwood One - ESPN 980AM in Washington and 105.7FM The Fan in Baltimore.
CBS 4:30PM Baltimore at Pittsburgh
From CBS the man that will be part of the broadcast team in Pittsburgh DAN DIERDORF: If I had to pick something that’s intriguing me right now it’s the two offensive tackles of the Steelers and can they somehow control the Baltimore pass rush. The offensive line, the Steelers found a real gem in their rookie center Maurkice Pouncey, but the rest of their offensive line has struggled all year…One of the critical aspects of that game to watch for is can they protect Ben Roethlisberger? Can they keep Suggs and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens from totally collapsing that pocket. Because Ben has been on the run most of this season and this is the type of a game where it could really hurt them.
CBS analyst PHIL SIMMS: You know people talk about Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed. They go ‘Are they that important?’ Yes, they are that good physically but what it does… it gives confidence to everybody around them. They feel better. I mean if I was a corner I’d go, ‘Hey I feel a little better out here because Ed Reed is going to cover up my mistake if I do make one.’ I think that’s huge when you talk about these two football teams.
ESPN Analyst and Ravens Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer: “This game has all the elements to it, drama because it’s a divisional game, big personalities and the big, sloppy element of old-school football…What scares me the most of this game are two teams that are built on their physicality…I’m scared that this game is so evenly matched, it usually comes down to the last possession, a field goal is going to be dictated by a yellow flag…I’m hoping that a flag doesn’t dictate the outcome of this game, but my gut tells me it will.”
FOX 8pm Green Bay at Atlanta
Dilfer on the Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his mechanics:“I speak on this subject with intimate knowledge because it really hurt my career. The limiting factor in reaching your athletic potential is wrong mechanics. It doesn’t mean you can’t be good, but you’ll never reach your full potential with wrong mechanics…You look at a guy like Jay Cutler and your jaw drops with all the potential he has. But then you’re frustrated because you wonder, does he not understand how good he could be if he just fixed and dedicated himself to fixing some very basic principles of his mechanics? … He could be an elite player in this league, but he won’t be until he dedicates himself to dealing with the basic things that will bring out and maximize his potential. They tend to show up, the laziness with his mechanics, the flaws show up, late in games, red zones, critical downs, tight games.”
Sunday 1pm FOX Seattle at Chicago
Leon Washington a factor as far as Seattle is concerned?:
NBC and Inside the NFL analyst CRIS COLLINSWORTH: He’s going to have to be because they’re going to have to match the special teams of the Chicago Bears which is one of the better special teams around. But at the end of the day you know Mike Williams and Matt Hasselbeck had a really good day last time, I think Mike Williams had over 130 yards, something like that, receiving. I think you’ll get Charles Tillman this time chasing him all over the field this time. But I think the addition of Julius Peppers, and I know it’s been talked about before, but what a difference it made for the Chicago Bears. One of the biggest free agent acquisitions and almost immediately, along with the return to health of Brian Urlacher, the Bears are legitimate.
Sunday 4:30pm CBS Jets-Patriots
Phil Simms: The Jets have to change that score 45-3. One thing, they better change is their philosophy on defense. I can’t imagine they’ll be as aggressive as they were the first time because they lost that battle almost every time. But the Jets are different. They’ve shown they can change. They did so late in the year, they did against the Colts, and their offense is a different offense this time around. And Mark Sanchez has played some games, Chicago and Pittsburgh, cold weather where that offense changed and he really prospered. He did very well.
On Jets’ Rex Ryan making it “personal” against Pats’ Bill Belichick)
DIERDORF: I don’t really believe Rex is saying that to take the pressure off his players. I think Rex is saying that because Rex really believes it. And Rex needs to figure out that coaches don’t block, tackle, catch, or anything else. And it just bothered me. And I like Rex a lot but, you know, it really just bothered me a little bit when he said I finally beat Peyton Manning. Well first of all the Jets beat the Colts. It wasn’t Rex Ryan beating Peyton Manning. And now when he says it’s just myself against Bill Belichick, no, it’s about the players. And it’s always going to be about the players. And Rex needs a reality check in my estimation.