Back in town. Good to be back. Here's a look at playoff games today. Will run down Cowboys-Vikings, Jets-Chargers tomorrow. Today, Jan. 16:
Arizona Cardinals (11-6) @ New Orleans Saints (13-3) 3:30 p.m., Fox:
Will the Saints be effected by their slide at the end of the season or was that a blip in the radar? This will be a game won by one of the two quarterbacks, who are both brilliant.
Drew Brees was 363-of-514 for 4,388 yards and 34 tds this year, while Kurt Warner was 331-of-513 for 3,753 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Warner lit up the Packers' defense last week completing 29-of-33 for 379 yards and five touchdownsv with a 154.1 rating; almost perfect. The Saints will be challenged to stop that along with the outstanding receiving corps of Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin, if he is ready.
On the flip side the Cardinals defense has to try and somehow control Brees and his stellar receivers: Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore and Jeremy Shockey.
Should be a lot of offensive fireworks. Could be like the Green Bay-Zona game last week where the team that scores last wins. Could also be a key int by safety Darren Sharper of the Saints or a big play by linebacker Karlos Dansby of the Cardinals that decides this game.
Should be fun.
Baltimore Ravens (10-7) @ Indianapolis Colts (14-2) 7:15, CBS:
Can the Ravens tough, hard-nosed defense led by Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs stop Peyton Manning? That's the big question. Manning, the league MVP, completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,520 yards and 33 tds with 16 ints. Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne almost have identical stats: Wayne with 100 catches for 1,264 yards and 10 tds while Clark has 100 catches for 1,166 yards and 10 tds.
The Ravens will counteract that with their running game led by Ray Rice, who has run for 1,339 yards and had a huge day against the Patriots last week, and Willis McGahee who has run for 544 more. Joe Flacco, the veritable "game manager," has completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,613 yards and 21 tds against 12 ints.
Look for the Ravens to throw a lot of pressure at Manning. The key is, will he be able to handle it? Indy coach Jim Caldwell and the team caught a lot of flack for not playing their starters in the last couple of games, which they lost. The Ravens are fresh off an impressive victory over New England. Could be the difference.