The Super Bowl is set, even though Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense played poorly in the second half they overcame a rally by the Bears who were down to their third Quarterback (Caleb Hanie, after losing Jay Cutler to a knee injury, and Todd Collins due to how bloody horrible he was playing), and the Steelers got off to a big lead against the Jets but the Jets also rallied and the Steelers hung on to win. It was nice to see both of those teams keep on fighting until the end.
As for the Cutler thing which has become a big story. I am surprised people are so angry at him, from what I have seen he did want to go back into the game (and he did at the start of 3rd quarter) but the medical staff decided that it was better to pull him and put the skeletal remains of Todd Collins in instead (why wasn't Hanie their backup instead anyway?). I don't question Cutlers toughness, I've seen him play enough over the last couple of years, I've seen him take a ton of sacks and big hits, and if he really does have an MCL injury (which I'm guessing is at the least something similar to what happened to Fitz in the preseason, and at the worst a tear that could require surgery to fix) I think it was the right thing to do for the doctors to have him sit out for the rest of the game. The Bears don't really have a good O-Line, he would have taken some more hits to that knee during the game and it would be idiotic for him to stay in the game and have a chance of making the injury worse.
But thats just how I feel. Judging by the people that were burning his jerseys after the game, a lot of people feel differently.
* EDIT: It was just announced after I posted this that he does have a torn MCL, don't know how serious it is yet though
Top Five Worst Moments Of The 2010 Arizona Cardinals Season - SB Nation Arizona
The Cardinals season was not particularly good and now I think we're far enough removed to look at the worst moments of the year. Fun stuff awaits.
Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald named to Pro Bowl
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl's NFC squad.
azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Waiting on a defensive coordinator
With the Steelers winning the AFC title, I'd be surprised if Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt hires a defensive coordinate before he tries to interview Steelers' assistants coaches. That means waiting at least two more weeks.
Dockett wise to accept Pro Bowl invite - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Darnell Dockett's first inclination was to turn down the NFL's invite to replace the Minnesota Vikings' Kevin Williams in the Pro Bowl this year. I can see why. Dockett's Arizona Cardinals suffered through a 5-11 season. Their defense struggled. The team even fired its defensive coordinator.
NFC West questions Cutler's toughness - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Quick thoughts from NFC West players via Twitter regarding whether the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler should have played through a knee injury in the NFC Championship Game:
What Sunday means (like Fitz to Hawaii)
In light of today’s happenings, some meaning on a Cardinals’ level:
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears - Recap - January 23, 2011 - ESPN
There was one Monster of the Midway in the NFC championship game and his name was Aaron Rodgers. He wasn't even at his best and, still, he was better than the first, the second and the third quarterback used in vain by the Chicago Bears against their bitter rivals.
New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - Recap - January 23, 2011 - ESPN
he Pittsburgh Steelers found a fitting way to shut down the New York Jets' season. What started with "Hard Knocks," ended with hard knocks, too.
Mailbag: First-round NFL draft options - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Roger from Peoria, Ariz., writes: What are the chances of Dick LeBeau becoming the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals? Is his contract up? He and Ken Whisenhunt are good friends.
Packers help NFC West Pro Bowl numbers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The current Pro Bowl format preventing Super Bowl participants from playing in the game will pad NFC West representation this year.
Don't question Jay Cutler's toughness - Jim Trotter - SI.com
Jay Cutler is accustomed to having people take shots at him. Just last week an ESPN columnist came to town and wrote a scathing rebuke of the Bears quarterback. It was so all-encompassing that the writer even attempted to make Cutler look bad for not publicizing his charitable activities. However, what happened Sunday after Cutler was pulled minutes into the third quarter of the Bears' 21-14 loss to the Packers because of a knee injury was unlike anything Cutler had ever experienced.
NFL Playoffs: Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler hurts knee vs. Green Bay Packers, due for MRI - ESPN Chicago
The Chicago Bears eventually turned to Caleb Hanie after starting quarterback Jay Cutler went down with a knee injury, and the third-stringer led the Bears to two touchdown drives in a 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
NFL Playoffs: Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher defends Jay Cutler - ESPN Chicago
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher vehemently defended the toughness of quarterback Jay Cutler, who left Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter with an injured left knee.
Criticism of Cutler mounts | ProFootballTalk
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher doesn’t want to hear any criticism of Jay Cutler for sitting out the second half of the NFC Championship Game with a knee injury. So Urlacher better avoid any large gatherings of NFL players — because plenty of players are questioning Cutler’s toughness.
Cutler: "They made the decision" | ProFootballTalk
With criticism of Jay Cutler mounting, the Bears quarterback spoke with the media in the locker room after Sunday’s loss in an attempt to explain his disappointing day.
Fair or not, a defining day for Jay Cutler - NFC North Blog - ESPN
Cyberspace buzzed Sunday with talk of the single-worst thing you can say about a player in a team sport. Did Jay Cutler quit on his Chicago Bears teammates in Sunday's NFC Championship Game?
Cutler's NFL contemporaries go after him on Twitter - Shutdown Corner - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
We're used to fans questioning the toughness of NFL players, especially in a game that has a Super Bowl berth on the line. If the quarterback of your hometown team can't go for whatever reason (especially if it isn't really obvious that he's hurt), there's going to be some negative talk (and possibly some guerilla theater after the game).
Teammates defend Jay - Chicago Sun-Times
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, sidelined for nearly the entire second half of Sunday’s NFC title game with a knee injury, sidestepped the question everyone wanted him to answer.
Carson Palmer wants Cincinnati Bengals to trade him or he may retire, sources say - ESPN
Carson Palmer will ask the Cincinnati Bengals to trade him and will contemplate retirement if he does not get his wish, according to several sources.