Pack in the Pros: Wild Card Weekend

Rob Carr

Rivers rematch with Manning? Yes please.

You have yourself a 17-2 lead and your opponent doesn't get its second field goal until seven minutes into the game and you think you're in for a pretty good weekend of the sports and it's not even noon thirty yet. But then the rest of that game happened. Let's not talk about it.

Ah, but there was much redemption to come. The women's team improved to 14-1 with its second win over a top 25 opponent. And our friends in Chapel Hill showed they will only go as far as Marcus Paige can take them. He was horrible. Heels lose to Bzdsflhfserjajnik and Wake Forest. A State win is better than a Heels' loss any day, but a Heels' loss is at least the next best thing.

Speaking of Heels, The Italian Stallion Giovani Bernard played a big role in helping one notable Pack alumnus make it through the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. The heavily-favored Bengals, a team that came in a perfect 8-0 at home, were poised to go up 14-7 in the second quarter when Bernard coughed the ball up on the four. The Chargers recovered in the end zone. The Bengals only mustered three points the rest of the way, and Philip Rivers and crew put up 20 unanswered points in the second half to avenge a regular-season loss to Cincy and advance to the second round.

The 27-10 beat down was fueled by four Cincy turnovers, the aforementioned former Heel fumble, another by Andy Dalton, and a couple of Dalton picks. Rivers barely got loose, as he attempted just 16 passes due to all the generosity from his Queen City hosts. He finished 12-for-16 for 128 yards and a touchdown. The Bolts' running game responded to the kill-the-clock mode San Diego found itself in for much of the second half, gaining 196 yards, including a 58-yard TD by Ronnie Brown to lead-pipe cinch it with 2:17 left in the game.

The Bolts are 6-1 in their last seven games, including a win at Denver. That's where they'll be for the divisional round against Nate Irving and the Broncos.

The Colts are 3-0 since adding Zach Allen to their practice squad. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say there's a correlation there. Indy put the wild in the wild card weekend, coming back from a 28-point deficit to edge the Chiefs 45-44. They better take their good luck charm to New England next weekend (and maybe even have Allen kidnap Tom Brady the night before the game).

Alas, it was not all good news for the Pack alum on wild card weekend, as Earl Wolff's Eagles became the first team to ever lose a home playoff game against the Saints. Shayne Graham's 32-yard field goal as time expired felled Philly, 26-24. Wolff, whose season was disrupted by a hyperextended knee, was active for the game but did not play. Wolff was playing starter snaps before his injury and, if healthy, should be atop the depth chart at a safety spot next season.

The divisional round of the playoffs will feature the Saints in Seattle to take on a triumvirate of Pack pros in Russell Wilson, J.R. Sweezy, and Steven Hauschka. San Francisco at Carolina rounds out the elite eight weekend.

My money is still on a Denver-Seattle Super Bowl, but a Rivers-Wilson battle would not bother me one bit.

Oh, and Carolina lost to Wake.

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