Ranking the playoff games
Here’s how good are the NFL playoffs. The Green Bay-Giant epic, played in the deep freeze of Lambeau two weeks ago, is the best game of the bunch, but not by a longshot. It wasn’t an easy decision, even though New York’s overtime victory is one of the best games I’ve ever seen. Here are the 10 playoff games so far, ranked in order:
10. New York 24, Tampa Bay 14: The Buccaners scored first, but Eli Manning took the Giants on two second-quarter touchdown drives, then New York sealed the game with a 92-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter.
9. Green Bay 42, Seattle 20: Ryan Grant fumbled twice in the opening minutes, giving the Seahawks two quick touchdowns, but Green Bay came back with a flurry — four first-half touchdowns, and Brett Favre was magnificent in a winter wonderland game, completing 18 of 23.
8. San Diego 17, Tennessee 6: The Chargers didn’t score for the longest time, trailing 6-0 at halftime. Finally, San Diego began to dominate and put away the game on LaDainian Tomlinson’s TD with 8:45 left.
7. New England 21, San Diego 12: The Chargers played tough and made Tom Brady look human, with three interceptions. But San Diego kept kicking field goals; the Patriots scored touchdowns.
6. Seattle 35, Washington 14: Not a bad game. Not bad at all. The Seahawks led 13-0 after three quarters, the Redskins took a 14-13 lead, then Seattle scored the last 22 points, including two interception returns for touchdowns in the final 5:38.
5. New England 31, Jacksonville 20: The Jaguars played a near-perfect game, yet were only tied 14-14 at halftime. Trouble was, Tom Brady played a near perfect game throughout, completing 26 of 28 passes and causing the rest of the league to know that beating New England required 60 minutes of flawless football.
4. New York 21, Dallas 17: The Giant defense held the Cowboys to a lone field goal in the second half, and R.W. McQuarters came up big, with a punt return that set up the go-ahead touchdown and a game-ending interception of Tony Romo in the final seconds.
3. San Diego 28, Indianapolis 24: The crippled Chargers staged a huge upset with big play after big play, then two big defensive stops in the waning minutes, turning back Peyton Manning twice on fourth down deep in San Diego territory.
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