Rich Tandler’s five thoughts possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.
5. The question is not whether or not a rookie quarterback can go on the road and win a playoff game. Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez have shown in recent years that that can happen. The question is whether or not T. J. Yates can take the Texans into Baltimore and win. The answer is probably not. The Texans’ tough defense and the Ravens’ pedestrian offense will make this an interesting contest for a while. But eventually Yates will make the killer mistake and the Ravens will punch their ticket to Foxborough to play for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Ravens 24, Texans 13
4. Earlier this week I said that I was trying to convince myself that the Giants, two-time losers to the Redskins, are a fraud and have no chance to beat the Packers. I haven’t quite been able to do that but I am fairly certain that the Packers will win. The public and media perception of the Packers has changed. They haven’t played a meaningful game since they lost to the Chiefs four weeks ago to spoil their undefeated season. Attention has gone to the likes of Tim Tebow and Eli Manning. Due to their inactivity, the public and the media tend to think they somehow are not as good a team. But they did go 15-1, they do have one of the very best quarterbacks on the planet in Aaron Rodgers, and Rodgers has a plethora of strong targets. The Packers will win in a game that will be closer than the final will indicate. Packers 38, Giants 24
3. Tebow Time came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Patriots yesterday. Tom Brady made the game a rout early and a laugher by halftime. Somehow, many of those who have been bashing Tim Tebow since he took over a 1-4 Broncos team were all full of “I told you so.” Sorry, but you didn’t tell us that Tebow would be unable to get the Broncos to the AFC title game. You said he wouldn’t be able to win a game. You were wrong, very wrong. Thanks to Tim Tebow for a fun ride over the past few months.
2. Some NFL Network and ESPN talking heads are calling the Saints-49ers game “one for the ages.” Well, not really. For the first three and a half quarters of the game it was a close but sloppy affair that hardly had fans on the edge of their seats. But it was perhaps the best closing seven and a half minutes in playoff history with the lead changing hands four times. You really have to like the fact that the Niners did not play for the tie on the final possession. Trailing by three and in easy field goal range with one play left, Alex Smith threw for Vernon Davis in the end zone. Love a aggressive attitude.
1. Smith will be a free agent in March unless the 49ers decide to put the franchise tag on him. Last offseason I thought that he might be a good target for the Redskins. Although he has struggled through his NFL career after being the top overall pick in the 2005 draft. Smith, however, has had a different offensive coordinator in each of his six years in the league. He’s only 27 and if he “gets it” like he did this year and, especially, in yesterday’s playoff game then a team could be set at quarterback for several years. The 49ers are likely to push hard to keep him and you have to think that he will be inclined to stay in San Francisco. But Smith certainly is an option that the Redskins should consider.