• I just got finished watching season one of the deliciously dark and twisted “Dexter
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” (best TV show I’ve seen in ages, by the way) yet I swear not even the most gruesome episode displayed anything as stomach-turning as the frostbite stricken face of Giants coach Tom Coughlin. By halftime, he seemed to have lost all traces of humanity; instead looking much more like a goblin which had somehow escaped the forgotten realm of Middle Earth.
• Speaking of gruesome, what a horrific second half performance from Brett Favre and the Packers. Both should be lauded for a tremendous comeback season in ’07, but their overtime loss to the road warrior Giants must be a bitter pill to swallow. New York came into Lambeau Field and smacked Green Bay in the mouth from the outset, yet wasted so many opportunities that the Packers still had plenty of chances of their own to steal a victory. Unfortunately for the Cheeseheads, Brett Favre circa 2005-2006 came out of the locker room after halftime and sealed his team’s fate with one of his classic “What the f*** was he thinking?!?” throws in OT. Even Hall of Fame quarterbacks have bad days, but Favre owns some truly epic postseason stink bombs (six picks in St. Louis, that horrific interception against Philly in 2004, and now this). It’s performances like this that will ultimately leave him lacking when compared to the best of the best at his position.
• I’m sure there will be plenty “Team of Destiny” talk surrounding the Giants over the course of the next two weeks. Don’t believe the hype. While Eli and company are a great story, no team has been touched by fate quite like the New England Patriots. In case you haven’t noticed, the Pats have spent the better part of the last two months playing a significant notch below the impossibly high standard they established during the season’s first ten weeks. However, they caught a break when San Diego knocked off Indy, then brought a beaten and bruised line-up to Foxborough. Now the Patriots get a Giants team which features a swiss cheese secondary in Super Bowl XVII. Don’t get me wrong, the Giants earned a rematch thanks to three stunning road victories over NFC division winners. And New York certainly gave the Pats all they could handle in week 17. But unless Tom Brady dumps Giselle Bundchen for Jessica Simpson before the big game, New England will win its fourth Super Bowl title by double digits. Playing in presumably perfect weather conditions, the Patriots’ offense will be back to its high octane best. Look for a monster game (think five TDs) from Brady, another MVP trophy, and increased (and deserved) discussion about his place among the all-time greats.
• Last but not least, it’s good to see Norv Turner return to form. Down nine and facing 4th and 10 from Pats territory with less than ten minutes to go, Turner ordered his club to punt the ball to the best offense in NFL history. Naturally, San Diego never saw the ball again. If you want to beat the best, you gotta show at least a little testicular fortitude. Unfortunately for the Chargers, their coach displayed the endowment of a five-year-old boy stepping out of frozen pond in the middle of January. Well done, Norv. Well done. – Jason Friedman