JAY DAVIS: Sunday is best NFL day
The NFL could not have had a better weekend than it just had. The Divisional Championship games are the dream matchups the league wanted.
Sunday is the best day of the year for true football enthusiasts. The Super Bowl is all about pomp and circumstance, hours pre-game hype, followed by more pre-game hype, followed by pageantry and a little more hype, which finally leads to a football game. It is also a day full of food and adult beverages with family and friends getting together for a day that has little to do with football until the kickoff finally happens.
But the Divisional Championship games, now that is football!
The matchups in the NFC and AFC could not be any more different. The NFC features two teams that want to hit you in the mouth with their defense. The AFC features two quarterbacks who will one day have their bronze busts enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
New England and Denver will meet in Denver for the AFC title in the first game. This is all about Payton Manning versus Tom Brady. The two greatest quarterbacks of this era are squaring off for the fourth time in the playoffs. Brady has won two of the first three. His legacy is entrenched. Manning’s legacy is not. Manning has just one Super Bowl title to show for all of his past glory. After setting new records for touchdowns and yards, Manning needs that second title to cement his name with the best of all time. Brady meanwhile, could move to the very top of the list if he leads this Patriots team all the way to the championship.
San Francisco at Seattle will be good, old-fashioned, smash-mouth football. While the AFC game may be decided by which team scores last, this game might be decided by which team scores the first touchdown. The 49ers and Seahawks are led by their dominant defenses. The quarterbacks are just second-year kids in Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Bodies will be bruised and carried off the field in this one.
This is the Sunday that the NFL is really all about. I’ll be easy to find come Sunday afternoon. Just don’t call or text unless it’s about the game.