Friday, January 13, 2012

NFL QBs Sizzle Into the Playoffs

The Wild Card games last weekend threw a spotlight on sensational quarterback play in memorable match-ups. And that happened while the “best” teams had a bye week-- while the Patriots Tom Brady and the Packers Aaron Rodgers had the weekend off!

Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford threw for 380 yards and three TDs in the Lions-Saints NFC Wild Card game. For the Lions, Stafford's favorite target was the unstoppable Calvin Johnson who caught 12 balls for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns. But it was not enough to beat the Saints.

Drew Brees of the Saints threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns. The Saints also chalked up 167 yards rushing versus the Lions 32. The Saints were able to hold the ball a full fifteen minutes longer than the Lions. Brees, the rushing game and possession difference –all lead to a 45-28 win for New Orleans.

Brees was near perfect--continuing an extraordinary regular season in which he had seven straight 300-yard games. For the regular season, Brees has 468 completions on 657 attempts for 5,476 yards giving him a remarkable completion rate of 71.2%. He has thrown for 46 touchdowns and has a QB rating of 110.6.

But the Lions-Saints game was not the only game that featured excellent QB play last weekend.

In a game that wasn't close at all, Eli Manning's New York Giants pounded the Atlanta Falcons 24-2. The Giants complimented Manning's passing game with a solid rushing game. Manning completed 23 passes in 32 attempts for 277 years and an 8.7 yard average for 3 touchdowns.

In a sensational David versus Goliath contest, the Denver-Pittsburgh Wild Card game, Tim Tebow slung for an incredible 316 yards on 10 completions and threw for two touchdowns. In his first play in OT, Tebow's aim was right-on when he connected for an 80-yard pass play to Demaryius Thomas. Thomas, who seemed to have wings on his feet, flew past Steeler defenders to the endzone. In addition to his pass yards, Tebow had 10 rushes for 50 yards that gave him a 125.6 QB rating. But on the other side of the ball, a beat-up Ben Rothlisberger displayed his legendary toughness as he hobbled through the entire game and was able to match the Broncos score for score into the overtime period.

At rest last weekend was Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Brady has 401 completions in 611 attempts for a 65.6% completion rate, 5235 yards, 12 interceptions, and 39 TDs—his QB rating stands at 105.6. Rodgers has 343 completions on 502 attempts for a 68.3% rating and 4643 yards and 45 TDs. He only has 6 interceptions this season and his QB rating is 122.5.

Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout by Patrick McCaskey.

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