Hale's Perspective: NFL divisional playoffs

By  | 

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SPORTS WEEKENDS OF THE YEAR. IT'S TIME FOR THE NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. TOMORROW THE COLTS AND THE CHIEFS FOLLOWED BY THE COWBOYS AND THE
RAMS.

ON SUNDAY OUR OWN NE PATRIOTS HOST THE CHARGERS FOLLOWED BY THE EAGLES VS THE SAINTS.
NOW THAT'S ENOUGH FOOTBALL FOR ANY DIED IN THE WOOL FAN. OBVIOUSLY IN THESE PARTS THERE IS GREAT INTEREST IN WHAT WILL TRANSPIRE DOWN AT GILLETTE.

AT THE MOMENT IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER INFAMOUS SNOW PLOW INCIDENT BUT WITH OUR WEATHER WHO KNOWS. A DIVISIONAL GAME HERE IN NEW ENGLAND BRINGS BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. GILLETTE STADIUM IS WHERE THE CHARGERS HAVE MET THEIR WATERLOO BEFORE. THEIR HOPES DIED AFTER LOSSES IN 2006 AND 2007 BOTH IN DIVISIONAL AND AFC CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY.
BUT THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW.

THE CHARGERS, THIS TIME FROM LOS ANGELES, WILL COME TO PLAY WITH THE BEST TEAM THEY'VE HAD IN QUARTERBACK PHILLIP RIVERS CAREER. I'VE NEVER PARTICULARLY BELIEVED THAT PAST HISTORY PLAYS A VITAL ROLE IN THE OUTCOME OF GAMES. A DIFFERENT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND DIFFERENT PLAYERS AND COACHES. HOWEVER, IT'S TEMPTING NONE THE LESS TO THINK ABOUT IT.
THE CHARGERS ARE 0-7 AGAINST TOM BRADY AND THE PATRIOTS, INCLUDING
PLAYOFFS, SINCE RIVERS STARTED IN 2006. HIS ONLY WIN OVER NEW ENGLAND WAS
IN 2008 BUT BRADY WAS OUT AND MATT CASSEL WAS IN.
ON SUNDAY RIVERS AND CREW WILL FACE A PATRIOTS TEAM THAT IS UNDEFEATED AT
HOME WITH A PERFECT 8-0 MARK.
BUT NOT SO FAST

THE VISITORS ARE 8-1 ON THE ROAD AND THE LOSS WAS EARLY IN THE SEASON. SO NOW YOU CAN SEE WHY FANS ARE RUBBING THEIR COLD HANDS TOGETHER IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS PLAYOFF GAME.NO FOOTBALL GAME EVER COMES DOWN TO JUST TWO OPPOSING PLAYERS BUT THERE IS A LOT TO WATCH FOR IN THE BRADY VS RIVERS MATCHUP.
BRADY IS 41 AND RIVERS 37 WHICH COMBINES FOR AN AGE OF 78. THAT IS NOT NECESSARILY A DETRIMENT TO EITHER ONE.
HOWEVER, IF ANYONE HAS LESS AGILITY THAN BRADY IT WOULD BE RIVERS. HE STAYS PUT IN THE POCKET, CAN HANDLE THE PASS RUSH, AND RARELY MAKES MENTAL MISTAKES.
HIS STRENGTH IS HIS ACCURACY.

BUT TOM BRADY WILL BE STARTING HIS 38TH CAREER PLAYOFF GAME AND IF ANYONE IN
THE N F L KNOWS HOW TO BEAT PRESSURE ITS BRADY.
HE KNOWS THE CHALLENGE AND IS STILL HUNGRY.
THE CHARGERS WILL BE IN HIS FACE ALL AFTERNOON AND THAT'S WHERE THE
VETERAN WILL HAVE TO CALL ON ALL OF HIS EXPERIENCE TO AVOID SACKS AND TURNOVERS.
THIS IS NO GAME TO HAVE SLOPPY PLAY.

I DON'T THINK IT'S A CRITICAL FACTOR BUT CERTAINLY THE CHARGERS HAVING TO
TRAVEL TO THE EAST COAST TWO WEEKS IN A ROW IS NOT IDEAL.
THE NORMAL GAME PREP AND ROUTINES ARE DISRUPTED.
LIKE I SAID, THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SPORTS WEEKENDS.

SO WHO DO YOU LIKE?
HERE'S MINE FOR BETTER OR WORSE.
KANSAS CITY OVER INDIANAPOLIS
LA RAMS WILL BEAT DALLAS
NEW ORLEANS STOPS PHILADELPHIA
AND YES ….
I DO THINK THE PATRIOTS WILL BEAT THE CHARGERS BUT NOT BY MUCH
MY GUESS IS A LOW SCORING GAME SOMETHING LIKE 22-18.
PUT PLEASE DON'T BET YOUR HOUSE ON ANYTHING I'VE SAID.
I HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO MISS A FEW PICKS.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.