Championship Sunday has come and gone making there one real game and one not so real game (the Pro Bowl) of pro football left. After watching the two games played Sunday, fans are undoubtedly in store for something special in two weeks when the Sunday’s winners meet in Super Bowl XLIV.
I do not know what beer I will drink in two weeks I did enjoy a few Hopitoulas brews from the New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company while watching the championship games. This unique West Coast style beer uses six malts and six hops to create a sweet, refreshing taste. At 6.5%ABV a few too many would make it hard to remember the end of the game too. Dry hopped for three weeks, this IPA takes about a month and a half to create, but is well worth the wait.
Jim Caldwell had to be a little anxious leading up to kickoff. If the Jets were to win he would ever hear the end of it from the media and fans since it was he victory that the Jets had over the Colts in week 16 that propelled them into the playoffs. Peyton Manning and company had to be eager to prove that they were truly the better of the two teams as well.
The first half made it seem as if the Colts might have made a huge mistake. Big plays by Mark Sanchez helped the Jets get out to a 17-6 lead. Not one to lay down, Manning lead the Colts on a late touchdown drive to close the lead to 17-13 before the end of the half.
When the second half kicked off it quickly became clear that the sleeping giant known as the Colts offense was alive and kicking. After only getting 3 points with the first three drives of the first half, the Colts offense scored touchdowns on two of the first three drives of the second half.
What really made the difference was the way that the defense clamped down on Mark Sanchez and the Jets. Neither Shonne Green nor Thomas Jones were able to get going; both running backs barely cleared 40 yards apiece. The longest drive the Jets were able to muster in the second half was the 45 yard one to end the game after the Colts went into a prevent defense.
In the end the better team was obvious, but the Jets and especially Mark Sánchez proved that they will be a team to watch in the future.
With all the hype going into the defensive prowess of the Jets vs. the offensive fire power of the Colts, it was the NFC Championship that people expected to be an offensive shoot out. When two quarterbacks like Brett Favre and Drew Brees call the plays an offensive explosion is likely.
Neither team disappointed when it came to offense. Brett Favre seemed to almost move the Viking offense at will throwing for over 300 yards on the day, but with two interceptions and only one touchdown. Adrian Petersen provided the scoring drive as he accounted for three of the Viking touchdowns on the way to gaining 122 yards.
Drew Brees did not have as much luck racking up the yards as Favre, but his pin point accuracy and strong-arm did throw for 3 TDs and 197 yards. Pierre Thomas scored the other Saints TD and led New Orléans with 61 yards on the ground.
Turnovers were the difference-maker in the game. Favre moved the Vikings at will, but the offense could not hold onto the ball putting it on the ground six times (losing three) to go with two interceptions. Four times the Saints went three and out. Of their two scoring drives, they only had to go 37 yards and 7 yards to get in the end zone.
In the end it was an interception by Favre that sent the game to overtime where Pierre Thomas set the Saints up after a 40 yard kickoff return. Less than 40 yards, later Garrett Hartley lined up to put one through the uprights and send the Saints to Miami.