Divisional TJ's Takes
Updated: January 16, 2005, 10:20 PM ETBy Tom Jackson | Special to ESPN.com
Here's my quick review of everything we saw in the divisional playoffs:
|TJ's Top 4|
|1. Steelers||16-1||Will have to play better to knock off defending champions.|
|2. Patriots||15-2||Will face Steelers team far more physical than the Colts.|
|3. Eagles||14-3||Will have to get a hand or two on elusive quarterback Michael Vick.|
|4. Falcons||12-5||Will have to get plenty of heat on quarterback Donovan McNabb.|
Offensive player(s) of the week
Patriots running back Corey Dillon. The former Bengal appeared in his first playoff game and was superb, running 23 times for 144 yards as New England stomped on the bewildered Colts, 20-3.
Defensive/special teams player of the week
Falcons punt returner Allen Rossum. Set a postseason single-game record with 152 yards on punt returns (1 TD) as Atlanta rolled into the NFC title game by humiliating the Rams, 47-17.
Coaching move of the Week
Andy Reid, Philadelphia. The Birds let the Vikings hang around for a bit, but Philadelphia was more than ready after a longer-than-usual layoff by the regulars.
Something to ponder!
Both home teams have not won conference championship games since 1996 (New England beat Jacksonville, Green Bay beat Carolina en route to Super Bowl XXXI). Also, both the Steelers (AFC) and Eagles (NFC) are the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences: Last time that both No. 1 seeds met in the Super Bowl was 1993 (Buffalo vs. Dallas in Super Bowl XXVIII).
Tom Jackson is an NFL analyst for ESPN.
Tom Jackson, a standout linebacker for the Denver Broncos for 14 years, joined ESPN as its NFL studio analyst in 1987 for the launch of the network's NFL game coverage. Twenty-four years later, Jackson -- the 2009 Sports Emmy award recipient in the Outstanding Studio Analyst category -- remains one of sports television's foremost pro football analysts, drawing experience from both his Hall of Fame playing career and his more than two decades in broadcasting.