I want to talk more about certain teams’ decision to fire or not to fire their coaches/GMs. But first I want to put down here some of my thoughts about the upcoming games between the Broncos and Patriots and the 49ers / Seahawks.
The first thing that no-one is talking about in their analysis of these games is the significance of injuries during the games. In every playoff game so far this year, there have been one or several key players that have been knocked out and, hence, totally changes the complexion of the game. Starting with KC losing Jamaal Charles and his back-up as well as them losing their best Defensive back. After which they could neither score nor stop Indianapolis from scoring. Similarly, with New Orleans losing their best defensive player.
So, whoever you think will win these games, the football gods probably have other plans.
Manning vs. Brady:
Both of these guys are unquestionably Hall-of-Fame QBs. The question is where do they fall amongst the paradigm of QB immortals. Unitas, Montana, Elway, Marino, Favre, then Manning and Brady?? (jk)
There has been a lot of talk about how Peyton has choked in the big games, so if he loses this one it will cement his reputation for all posterity. However, consider the conversation if Peyton wins and Tom Brady loses another AFC championship (or even if Brady wins and looses in the Super Bowl). A) Although Manning had played in one system his entire career in Indianapolis, his coach was always the low-key Tony Dungy and then Jim Caldwell. It’s hard to remember who his Offensive Coordinators were. Instead, Peyton has seemed to do it all on his own. Meanwhile, whenever anyone mentions the greatness of Tom Brady, they always manage to add Bill Belichick into the conversation somewhere. Although he has had a continuous flow of OCs and the players around him, the one constant has always been Belicheck.
This can also be seen from the other direction: Bill Belichek has not done anything as a head coach without Tom Brady as his QB. He flopped in Cleveland, and after the NY Jets HC fumble, he didn’t light the world on fire in NE until Bledsoe got knocked out of the game and Tom Brady came in and led them to the SuperBowl. All of Belichek’s ‘greatness’ can then be seen ONLY when he had Brady as his QB.
Another possible knock on Brady is that he won 3 Super Bowls in his first 4 years as a starter when he was still learning the game and the rest of the team carried him. Since then it’s hasn’t been very different between him and Peyton. They’ve both been made the post-season almost every year, but only been to 2 SB’s (Peyton 1-1, Brady 0-2).