Tiff – 10 years ago I predicted the San Francisco 49ers would win the Super Bowl. Why? My sister graduated from Yale University and her classmate was Eric Johnson. You might know Eric Johnson as Jessica Simpson’s baby daddy and soon-to-be husband, but I knew him as the San Francisco 49ers’ 7th round draft pick in 2001. I was so excited that a Yalee was drafted in the NFL that I instantly became his biggest supporter and advocate. The 49ers were terrible that year (and subsequent years), but I said, “In 10 years, the 49ers will be good again and they’ll win the Super Bowl in the 2011 season.” (Ironically, EJ eventually was released from San Francisco and played on the New Orleans Saints for a year.) So here we are. Their performance against the Saints on Saturday was stunning–one of the best playoff games I’ve ever seen. If the 49ers can beat the Giants next weekend–and it will certainly be a battle–then I’m only one game away of being the self-proclaimed greatest soothsayer ever. Thank you, EJ.
Nick– Remember when Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were unstoppable co-MVP’s, and Tom Brady had taken a backseat? What a difference a weekend makes. Now Brady is the only survivor of the three, and looks like the best quarterback in the league again after torching a stout Denver defense. However, besides that game, strong defenses still reigned supreme over strong offenses. Of the final four teams, only one relies on its offense to win games.
Jon – After the 2010 draft, a few eyebrows were raised at the Giants first-round selection. New York chose Jason Pierre-Paul with the 15th pick, adding another defensive end to a roster that already included Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka. The New York media ran wild with questions like “How will all of these ends get enough playing time?” and speculation like “Will the Giants trade Osi?” It’s clear now that the Giants knew what they were doing and figured out how to stay competitive in this league; pressuring the quarterback is a must. It was one of their keys to victory in the 2007 Super Bowl when they handed the undefeated Patriots a loss. It is something that helped them on Sunday in their win over the Packers. The NFL is a passing league and to win, you need to make the quarterback uncomfortable.