AFC: The Curtain Falls & the ‘Luck’ Continues
~ Amy Lignor
Watching Pittsburgh’s ‘Steel Curtain’ turn to saran wrap in front of a home crowd that was beyond frustrated with the constant fumbles and interceptions, was painful this weekend. As the fans left and the stadium turned utterly silent, the Baltimore Ravens walked away victorious. Of course, they celebrated for less than twenty-four hours before realizing that the next team they will stand in front of may not have a Steel Curtain, but they most definitely have a stone wall of Tom Brady and the Patriots, who are far more frightening than anything Pittsburgh could have thrown their way.
Brady is ready. Brady is always ready for the playoffs, with his buddy Gronk and the rest of the Patriots gearing up to make sure that all the experts who said they were basically over, are proven wrong. Brady has even more of a chip on his shoulder this year, considering these same experts said the Patriots were led by a QB that should retire and hang it up. Do the Ravens have a chance? Sure. All that needs to happen is for Tom Brady to decide that three Super Bowl rings is enough for him. Will that decision be made by Tom? I wouldn’t bet on it. The Baltimore Ravens tried, but their season ends in Foxborough next week.
The other AFC wild card game had Andrew Luck on his home turf facing off against the Bengals – a team with a great many problems on offense, yet a defense that knows how to do their job and do it well. In addition, Andrew Luck can have good days and bad days, but whatever day it may be, he always has a smile on his face and pats defenders on the back when they knock him to the turf. Could he really be that admiring of defenses coming for him; or, what seems more likely, is that every time he says: “Thank you, I’ll have another,” it makes the opposing team completely confused. They think he’s basically nuts…but is he? Well…the Bengals couldn’t care less if he is or not, because all they are right now is monumentally angry that after all their work, Luck is the one heading directly to Denver to face Peyton Manning.
Will Manning win? A lot like the Brady/Patriots answer up above: Yes, he will. Luck can play as nicely or crazy as he wants to, but Manning is a man on a continuous mission who is still frustrated that the Seahawks knocked him out of last year’s Super Bowl. Although not looking all that great at the end of the regular season, Manning is still who he is and will not allow the Colts ‘luck’ to continue.
What does this mean? Well, if things go as they should, Manning and Brady will face off in the AFC Championship game. Two Hall of Famers who know exactly what they’re doing, and are sure to give football fans everywhere a fantastic game.
For those sports fans and others out there, take a moment to say goodbye to Stuart Scott. An amazing man who brought energy, intelligence and spirit to Sportscenter, Stuart lost his battle to cancer at the young age of 49 this weekend. His voice, his truth…his imprint on the world will never be forgotten. “Booyah!” We shall miss your voice, friend…RIP.