The Ravens’ uniforms are really butt ugly. And Ray Lewis’s absurd pregame preening ritual should never have been televised once, let alone ten thousand times over twelve years. Take some dance lessons, Ray. An acting coach wouldn’t hurt either. Better yet, lose next weekend and get off the stage.
The Seahawks have closed the season strong, but they’ve had some good fortune, too. They got to face the 49ers with Justin Smith in street clothes and Sunday, after falling behind 14-0, they got to play the rest of the game against a one-legged QB.
The AFC has the same four teams in the Divisional Round as last year. It won’t have the same two teams in the Title game, though, unless Peyton Manning channels his old playoff self and honks the first game. Denver already blew away the Ravens in the regular season, just as the Patriots already blew away the Texans. Can we expect any different results now? At least the remaining four teams all won their divisions, meaning no wildcard team will advance in the AFC. The only wildcard team left in the NFC is Seattle.
If history intends to fondle itself, the 49ers will beat Green Bay next Saturday, travel to Atlanta, see Frank Gore break his ankle in the first quarter, then dismally watch the Falcons trot off to the Super Bowl and get squashed by an aging Denver QB.
This scenario is much less attractive than that of the aptly nicknamed Ron “Jaws” Jaworski, who thinks the 49ers have kept the real Colin Kaepernick under wraps like a state secret and are ready to unveil his mighty powers now that the playoffs are here. 49er fans would devoutly wish this were so, but are no doubt skeptical — not of Kaeperick’s skills, but of the coaches’ willingness to get wiggy.
And for this game, wiggy might not be a good idea anyway. A better running game than the team has been showing lately would be quite helpful. A shootout with Aaron Rodgers would not be the wisest decision.
Saturday’s game is probably the most important game of the Jim Harbaugh era — so far. Last year’s success was received almost gratefully by the long suffering 49er fan base. Except for the lunatic fringe that sent death threats to Kyle Williams, last year’s loss to the Giants was more disheartening than catastrophic.
But this year, fans expected more and Harbaugh personally inserted himself into the winning equation with his controversial midseason QB switch. A loss to Green Bay would open Harbaugh up for some serious second guessing, and the most unflattering scrutiny of his young NFL career. A win would put the team in the same spot as last year’s team achieved — the NFC Title Game. Getting further than that is close to a necessity.
On the brighter side, we’re two wins away from “Pope Harbaugh goes to New Orleans!”