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1-17-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

The Confrence Championship games are set, the Bears went out and dominated the Seahawks, and after all of the criticism the Bears have gotten this season along with all the criticism Jay Cutler has received (including a joke of an article where he was criticized for not wanting to brag to the media after visiting diabetic kids in the Hospital for Christmas) I'm sure that almost all of us are amazed they will be in the NFC Championship game. And they will get the play the Packers in that game as well. Should be a great matchup, I've always enjoyed watching those two teams play each other (beast rivalries in the NFL, Ravens/Steelers and Bears/Packers in my opinion).

And then in the AFC, the Jets actually backed up all their trash talk and beat the Patriots. And here is something interesting to think about, the Patriots and Tom Brady have gone one and done in the playoffs two years in a row, normally it is the Colts and Peyton Manning (who has a 9-10 record in the playoffs) who get called out for this, but since losing the Super Bowl to the Giants a couple years ago the Patriots have won 10 games in the regular season three years in a row (including when Matt Cassel took over for Brady in 08), yet in both of their playoff appearances they were dominated by the Ravens and the Jets. The Jets will now go on to play the Steelers for a rematch of the great game they played last December.

Next week should be a great day of football.

Top Five: Most Disappoint Follow-Up Seasons In Arizona Sports - SB Nation Arizona
The 2010-2011 Suns haven't exactly followed up their Western Conference Finals berth last year with a bang. But are they the most disappointing follow-up act to come through Arizona? Not even close.

Waiting on a DC
I don’t think the second interview for a defensive coordinator position came off last week, but I could be wrong. Maybe something was done over the phone, or pushed back. I don’t know. Obviously, if there is interest in a playoff coach — like Pittsburgh’s Keith Butler — that has been put on hold with the Steelers winning again. I don’t know if it means the Cards will move on or if they will continue to wait, or even if coach Ken Whisenhunt knows unofficially if he can or cannot get a chance at Butler. I think back to the Cards’ Super Bowl run, when Todd Haley becoming the Chiefs’ head coach was the worst kept secret around even though technically Haley was still coaching and hadn’t even had an interview yet. (And no, I’m not saying that is happening with Butler or anyone else, before someone runs with "Darren Urban is reporting Whisenhunt is having secret talks with a DC candidate.")

2011 Cardinals schedule by record, venue - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A look at 2011 schedule strength by team, using 2010 regular-season records.

Video Gallery
Top 5 Plays - Individual Performances

Updated: 2011 NFL draft order - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks' defeat in the NFC divisional round locks in their place in the 2011 NFL draft order. The chart shows where teams stand in the order, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Only the final four spots remain in flux.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears - Recap - January 16, 2011 - ESPN
Football's oldest rivalry has a grand new prize: a spot in the Super Bowl. Maybe even with an anniversary reprise of the "Super Bowl Shuffle" if the Chicago Bears can get past the Green Bay Packers.

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots - Recap - January 16, 2011 - ESPN
So the Jets weren't all (trash) talk after all.

Tom Brady turns in third straight playoff disappointment | ProFootballTalk
For a player with a reputation for being great in the clutch, Tom Brady sure has gone a long time without a good playoff game.

Aaron Rodgers has a lot to learn about where his money comes from | ProFootballTalk
We realize that only two days ago we defended largely unlikable Bears quarterback Jay Cutler from a mailed-in attack by ESPN’s Rick Reilly. But since Reilly has yet to attack Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, we feel no need to defend him. (Yet.) In fact, we’re going to attack him a little.

Clutch quarterbacks, playoff re-seeding, more Snaps  - Don Banks -
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we dig into the results and juiciest storylines of the first three games of the NFL's divisional round ...

No. 1 seeds both one-and-done in NFL playoffs - NFL -
So much for those No. 1 seeds. They're both one-and-done in the NFL playoffs.

Rex Ryan explains Jets win, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, more - Peter King -
Jets have won four playoff games since Rex Ryan became coach; Patriots: zero. No Super Bowl has ever featured two No. 6 seeds; Packers, Jets are still alive. Much more, including The Fine 15, weekly awards and 10 Things I Think I Think

The Myth Of Tom Brady, And How Another Playoff Loss Affects His Legacy -
For years now, the name Tom Brady has been synonymous with winning in a way that even his peers--Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger--haven't been able to replicate.

Report: Brett Favre files retirement papers with NFL - ESPN
Brett Favre has filed his retirement paperwork with the NFL, reported Monday. Favre has said that the 2010 season was his last but the quarterback has retired twice before only to come back. He could return again even though he filed his retirement papers, but reported that there is no indication that Favre plans to come back this time.