Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rivers Rising

The most anticipated NFL playoff game of this weekend is about to kickoff with the New England Patriots facing the San Diego Chargers. Chief among the subplots for this game is the battle between the quarterbacks: veteran Tom Brady against newbie Phillip Rivers.

Brady is the model NFL QB of the last decade, leading the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles by the age of 27. He is steady, smart, strong and the Patriots are 11-1 in the playoffs with Brady taking the snaps. Rivers is essentially a rookie, having sat on the bench his first two years, and today will be his first playoff action. Conventional wisdom says Rivers will not be up to the challenge of facing playoff pressure and a defense prepped by post-season guru Bill Belichick.

I expect the Patriots' defensive scheme to slow down NFL MVP LaDanian Tomlinson, which will shift more of the offensive burden to Rivers. Watch for Rivers to handle the pressure, both external and internal, and make enough plays to lead his team to victory.


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