What we learned on Wild Card Weekend

What we learned on Wild Card Weekend

-Chris Schisler

Common Sense Football

Wild card weekend was phenomenal entertainment. We saw one of the most impressive comebacks in history and two of other games came down to last second field goals. If the divisional round is anywhere near this good we are in for a serious grid iron treat. Here is what we learned this weekend:

1.) The moment is too big for Andy Dalton

Face it Cincinnati, your quarterback is a quarterback slot machine. You work him a little bit and you get the turnover jack pot of your defensive dreams. Andy Dalton has played in three playoff games in his short career. He has 6 interceptions in these 3 games. Congratulations Andy, you won the AFC North. Of course you had to wait to the Ravens and the Steelers both had a down year.

Andy Dalton is a hype machine. Every time I turned on the television this offseason I had to hear how the Bengals were contenders. I mean think about it everyone. They have two highly thought of coordinators, a boatload of talent on both sides of the ball and the AFC North is finally bad enough for them to be the faulty kings of the division. How are they not contenders? Oh yeah, I forgot their quarterback chokes in the big moment. Their quarterback is accurate unless it matters. The Bengals quarterback loves it when he is ahead in the game so he can hand the ball off a bunch and look like a pro.

Dalton is not a bad quarterback but he is merely serviceable. If I did not have to hear about how great he was all the time, I would resent him significantly less. But he is sellable to the national media in a way that some other quarterbacks (who actually win things) are not. The Bengals thought they had the guy who would take them to the promise land. Instead they found the guy who will forever cause them to fall short.

2.) The Colts have a lot of fight in them

The Colts have a ton of talent. They also have the tendency to lay an egg. They have the ability to beat teams like Denver and Seattle too. In short the Colts are a hard team to figure out. You never know what team you’re going to get. It’s either the world beaters or they don’t show up. On Saturday evening however you saw both versions of the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts were down 38-10 and well they looked like the team who was going to lay an egg. Then something unusual happened. Robert Mathis caused a turnover, DaRick Rogers caught a bomb and the pressure was back on the Colts. The comeback started and then Andrew Luck makes a mistake throwing an interception- you think well that kills the comeback-they still comeback. Not only can the Colts have multiple personalities they can go back and forth between the two.

The Colts have so much talent. We knew that. We did not know they had this much fight in them. The same team that got helplessly thrashed by the Rams and the Cardinals mounted a comeback for the ages. Andrew Luck was masterful in his comeback and his teammates seemed to share his short memory. The Colts never sulked and they never backed down. There was no finger pointing there was no crying and absolutely no quit. We found that there is one thing we can expect from a Chuck Pagano led team. They will be resilient and tough as nails. It was a spectacle to see, that is for sure.

3.) New Orleans Can

The entire week it was a broken record of “New Orleans can’t.” People said they could not win on the road. People said they could not win in the cold. People said they could not win in Philadelphia. These people were wrong.

The Saints can. They are a contender and they beat a streaking hot Eagles team. They overcame in game injuries, they did not let Philadelphia’s momentum snowball. The Saints like the Colts were resilient in the face of doubt. They packed their run game and their defense and they won a road playoff game.

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