Friday, January 18, 2008

PHN Playoff Breakdown

B-B-B-B-Baby you aint seen nuthin yet

First, let's get the NFC Championship game out of the way. After breaking down film and talking with myriad experts, I have formulated a solid prediction of the Green Bay vs. New York Giants game: Stuff will happen, somebody wins, final score something-to-something. Great, now we can move on to the epic Clash of the Titans (if you ask the national media, there's really only one Titan in this game). Unlike other blogs and mainstream media, we at PHN actually go INSIDE the game, to bring you key matchups that will determine the outcome of the game.

Matchup number 1: Philip Rivers' Mouth vs. the entire Gilette stadium

Let's see, I'm gonna tell Vrabel he's a pig-humper, multiply that times 2...

This is probably the most important matchup of the game. The Chargers are 2-0 in contests where Philip trashes the opponent and/or it's fans, and I would even go so far as 3-0 if you count the "come an git sum" hand motions to Raider fans in Oakland. While the health of his knees are will determine whether or not he plays, it's the health of his tongue and vocal cords that could very well determine the outcome of this game. "Ya'll go home and eat sum flippin clams, yeeee haaaa!" How someone's trash talking is this effective sans profanity, I have no clue.

Matchup number 2: Eric Weddle vs. Wes Welker

It's no secret, when teams take away Rand Moss, Wes Welker is the main man. His three yard catches followed by a 5-yard Blanka-style roll eat up crucial yardage and keep drives going. Readers of this blog know I'm a huge Weddle fan, he has the speed, strength, versatility and awareness to at least hang with Welker in the slot. No doubt they will sometimes blitz Weddle to create some confusion (hard to do with Brady), but if E-Dub can stick with the Welk, it will be a huge part to stopping the Patriots.

This guy's a little bee-snatch

Matchup number 3: Moss vs. Crime Time

This is huge. This could be the Chargers secret weapon, the ability to leave Randy Moss in single coverage and focus on rushing Brady and stopping the other Patriots receivers. Cromartie winning this matching could mean the difference between touchdown scoring bombs, and 5 play drives ending in a punt. The man is a physical freak of nature, maybe the best athlete in the NFL, and a protype DB to stop Moss. But will the Cro-Man bite on the cleverly designed Patriot routes and double-moves? Probably so, but it's going to be fun to watch them go up for jump balls.

Grand Larceny!

Matchup number 4: Refs vs. Chargers Defense

Anybody that has watched the Patriots this year can attest to the fact that merely brushing a New Enlgand receiver with a hangnail downfield or subjecting Tom Brady to your extreme halitosis can result in a game-changing penalty. And anybody who watched the Colts game saw that it was one of the worst officiated games in recent memory, with most of the calls going against the Bolts. E-Weezy gets called for a hold killing a Cromartie return, while just the day before Welker springs Maroney for a big run with a blatant fist-full of jersey. How Phil Luckett is still employed after fucking up a coin toss, we'll never know. Far be it from a blogger to speculate on hidden NFL agendas and how they play out on Sundays, but a lot of what we've seen this year reeks. The Pats will not change their game plan, but the Chargers need to make sure and time their hits right to avoid the piss-colored hankie.

Matchup number 5: LT and Gates/Buster Davis vs. the Ghosts of Chargers Past

It's no secret, Rodney HGHarrision and Senior Seau are both old and slow. Just go back and look at Senior trying to cover Bryan Westbrook against the Eagles, it looked like a bad game of tag. The Bolts need to exploit these weaknesses on offense. Circle routes and middle screens to LT may be effective, and pretty much anyone in the slot will be able to burn Harrison, including Gates and rookie Buster Davis. They were both able to burn supposed Denver "shutdown corner" Champ Baily in two earlier games versus the Donkeys. And of course, Charger fans all remember the nice send-off we gave Senior, and his "I'm not retiring, I'm graduating" speech, only to come back to the Pats the year after a heartbreaking playoff loss to them. Strange bedfellows, indeed. But he is a U$C Trojan, so what else did you expect?

Goodbye Junior, time to institute the "Early Bird Special" at your restaurant

Whew, that was intense. Not to say that these will be the only important matchups of the game, but these are the ones that stick out in the minds of the PHN NFL editorial staff (basically, me). Please enjoy the game, and feel free to check these predictions on Monday, and leave a comment about how swart we are!

And one final note on the NFC game, let's not forget about this ultimate d-bag moment:

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