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And Another Thing

Jeffrey Phelps | Associated Press
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick runs bare-armed against Green Bay Packers during the wild-card playoff football game.

NFL: A few thoughts on the playoffs, round 1

So now we're on to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, but before we look ahead, one last look behind at a wild-card weekend that sneered at assumption:

* Is it just me, or was the weather in Green Bay something of a letdown?

Everyone was prepared for apocalyptic conditions -- temps below zero, windchills 30 to 35 below -- but instead, we just got, well, Green Bay in January. Game time temperature was 5 degrees with a windchill of minus-10. Ice Bowl II, my foot.

I mean, half the players went bare-armed, for heaven's sake. In the original Ice Bowl, everyone was bundled up like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Of course, it was 20 degrees colder and the windchill was somewhere around 60-below.


Shoot. They might as well have been in a dome. An unheated dome, but, still.

* Speaking of which ... conventional wisdom took a shot to the mandibles this weekend. Three of the four games went to the visitors, including three teams -- New Orleans, San Francisco and San Diego -- who weren't supposed to handle January football outdoors.

So much for the experts.

* Finally ... could the fortunes of two Andys been anymore diametrically opposed?

In this corner, there was Andrew Luck, who was 28 points behind to the Chiefs and somehow led the Colts to one of the great comeback wins in playoff history. It's two days later, but the Chiefs are probably still feeling as if they were gut-punched.

Andy Dalton, meanwhile, was not quite so legendary. He was good Andy for awhile, leading the Bengals to a 10-7 halftime lead, but in the second half he reverted to being Bad Andy and the Chargers rolled to a 27-10 win. And you seriously have to wonder if he's the Bengals QB of the future moving forward.

Ben Smith's blog.