NFL overreactions: Peyton needs the Heimlich

Time for Peyton Manning to Retire?
Time for Peyton Manning to Retire?

All of the home teams would have won and advanced to the conference championship round if it wasn't for that team in orange and that pesky old quarterback with the forehead.

And then there were four.

And somewhere the Detroit Lions, wherever they all scattered to, are celebrating.

From "The Reversal II" to all of the premier quarterback duels that we saw in the divisional round, this round of the playoffs gave us the one thing that the wild card round a week ago didn't: excitement.

Whether or not you believe that Dez Bryant caught that ball, or whether or not you think Brady is better than Flacco or if Andrew Luck is just getting lucky, the divisional round of the NFL playoffs gave all of us something that we actually had to watch and something that we couldn't just see in highlights on 'SportsCenter' or online.

So let's take a look back at the weekend that was, and let's remember those who were not fortunate enough to continue their journey to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX in a few weeks.

Russell Wilson defines franchise QB

If there was any athlete that could be the next "Derek Jeter" regardless of the sport he plays, Russell Wilson is it.

The short quarterback is on the verge of leading Seattle to a place no NFL team has been to in over a decade: a Super Bowl repeat.

Of course, Wilson will tell you himself that he's got this handled.

"Sometimes I think I'm made for these situations," Wilson said after Seattle's 31-17 win over Carolina on Saturday.

Wilson finished Saturday's game in his standard postseason greatness-like fashion, recording a 149.2 passer rating against the Panthers, fifth-highest of all-time in the postseason.

Even with a group of receivers who are decent at best, Wilson found a way to lead the Seahawks offense on a night where their rushing game struggled with Marshawn Lynch rushing for just 59 yards.

Just take a note everyone, Saturday's performance was just a sign of things to come for the rest of the postseason for Seattle.

Hope that the 12th Man is ready for a repeat.

Andrew Luck sets eyes on Lombardi trophy after forcing Peyton to choke (again)

The greatest quarterback in NFL history needed help getting the embarrassment and another postseason failure out of his throat on Sunday night.

The irony of the situation is that it's the kid who took his job in Indy that had to save him from choking to death.

When Andrew Luck walked off a winner in the Colts AFC divisional round against Denver, many saw it as the torch being passed and the Colts finally moving on from the Peyton Manning chapter of their franchise story.

They also tossed the last shovel of dirt on Manning's dismal postseason career.

It's safe to say that the Colts are happy that they've moved on from Manning when they let him go to Denver in 2012 and drafted Luck with the first overall pick in that year's draft.

For those wondering how hard Peyton was choking, Sunday night's playoff loss was his 13th career playoff loss, his ninth one-and-done and his sixth playoff loss at home. All three are the most of any quarterback in the history of the NFL.

While Peyton's throat recovers from the big choke that has been his Denver career the last three years, Luck has the fourth seed Colts aiming for the upset in the AFC Championship game in Foxboro on Sunday night.

The Colts are playing with house money at this point and the most dangerous thing a team could be in the playoffs is a team playing with house money.

Brady starts getting finger sized for fourth Super Bowl ring

For the fourth straight year, Tom Brady's legend continues into the AFC Championship game. But when Brady heard he was playing Indianapolis on Sunday, he went to his jeweler to get his pinky finger sized for what he's expecting to hold his fourth Super Bowl ring after the Pats defeat Indy and whomever they play in Arizona in Super Bowl XLIX two weeks after.

Brady won the shootout with Baltimore's Joe Flacco in New England's 35-31 win on Saturday as the Pats became the first team to overcome two 14-point holes with Brady leading his 46th career game-winning drive, his eighth in the playoffs.

If his late-game ability to come back time and time again isn't proof that he's ready to finally win his fourth Super Bowl title this time around. The last time the Pats were in the Big Game, they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in Arizona, the same place this year's Super Bowl will be hosted.

There's no question that Brady is the greatest quarterback of our time. While Peyton Manning has the stats, Brady has the hardware and when it's all said and done after Feb. 1, he'll join his childhood idol Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks to win four Super Bowl rings in their career, all for the same team.

For the sake of something to think about, remember when the Niners drafted that Giovanni Carmazzi guy instead of Brady?

Aaron Rodgers spot in Canton saved regardless of how Packers do in playoffs

It's been said once by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith and it shall be repeated once more: "Aaron Rodgers is a bad man."

And if there was any way that Rodgers could have solidified his place in Canton and claim his spot as the latest, greatest quarterback in Packer history, a win in "The Ice Bowl II" did it.

In his quest for a second ring, Rodgers led Green Bay to a 26-21 victory over the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo who was passing with his eyes closed.

(Rodgers even gave us the new worldwide audible call for 2015: "New York Bozo.")

Now, that isn't to take away from any of his current accolades. Rodgers has a Super Bowl ring and a Super Bowl MVP, a league MVP award and should win his second really soon. He's thrown 139 touchdowns and just 25 interceptions overall in the past four years and owns the best quarterback rating in NFL history.

But he didn't have that defining game in his career ... until today.

Bart Starr had the original Ice Bowl against Dallas where he dove into the end zone on a quarterback sneak to beat Dallas and Brett Favre had his Super Bowl moment against New England and now Rodgers has "The Ice Bowl II" (and maybe Super Bowl XLIX).

It's time that we've placed Rodgers on the pedestal that he deserves to be on. Especially if he takes home his second Super Bowl ring in a few weeks.

Cowboys get taste of own medicine as refs turn back on 'America's Team'

The Immaculate Reception, the Tuck Rule, The Reversal and now The Reversal II.

In fact, it's almost comedic that just a week after the referees helped the Cowboys win, they helped the Cowboys lose.

Maybe the Cowboy fans shouldn't have thanked the refs after their wild card win last week against Detroit.

The referees overturned a reception by Dez Bryant on a huge 4th-and-5 play that decided the game with Dallas down 26-21 and driving late in the fourth quarter.

While the refs claimed that Bryant didn't complete the catch, the refs got Dallas back for bragging about their win just seven days earlier.

Moral of the story: don't leave the game in the hand of the referees. They're friends with you one second and your biggest enemy the next.

Also, complete the catch next time.

Related links

Trick plays lead Patriots past Ravens, and there's more to come
Sam Pagano looks like a boss
Broncos' Peyton Manning played with a torn right quad

For more sports coverage, visit and follow Jeff Weisinger on Twitter: @MrWeisGuy

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