Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke writes that today’s NFC and AFC championship games serve as the real championship Sunday, providing more intensity and drama than the Super Bowl in two weeks because of the desperation of the four teams scratching and clawing to get into the big game.
I’d agree with that. I attended Seattle’s NFC championship win over Carolina during the team's 2005 Super Bowl run, and I remember seeing grown men crying and hugging each other as the confetti came down during the celebration after the game was over. I think there’s probably more raw emotion in championship games, versus the celebratory feeling most fans have with their teams making it to the Super Bowl.
Enjoy the games today.
Plaschke: “Sunday is the greatest single day of the NFL season. Sunday is the real Super Bowl, only twice as much and twice as good.
The two conference championship games played Sunday will be more compelling than the one game played two weeks later, and it won't even be close.
Sunday is the Super Bowl minus the capital letters, Roman numerals and incessant glitz. Sunday is real football, played in real weather, in front of real fans, for real stakes.”
Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated examines the premise of do your really need an elite quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post provides a run down of the top 10 prospects from the East-West Shrine game according to scouts he talked to down there.
Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com provides his top 10 players from the East-West game, which includes University of Tennessee transfer, University of Tennessee- Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman, a possible late-round target for Seattle.
Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post gives us a scouting report on a possible diamond on the rough in defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who played at the East-West Shrine game on Saturday. Hicks was highly recruited out of high school but wound up at the University of Regina in Canada, the same college Seattle Punter Jon Ryan played at. At 6-4, 325 Hicks is raw but has physical tools to dominate.
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports has a nice read on the beginnings of New England’s two tight end sets, and why they are so successful at exploiting defenses with the scheme.
Russ Lande of the Sporting News has Seattle selecting Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in his latest mock draft.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that Miami doesn’t assume they will land Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn in free agency by hiring Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin – but they’re interested.