Not the word in the NFL

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: January 21, 2011

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — What a bad year in the playoffs. Especially if you were wearing a bird emblem on your helmet. Four weeks ago, most football experts thought there would be a Bird final (Atlanta vs. Philadelphia) in the NFC, and the birds that wore purple (Baltimore) would be in the AFC Finals. Not so fast my friends. In the words of that great Hanna Barbera cartoon character, Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Mergatroid! Exit, Stage Left…for all the birds even.” The Philadelphia Eagles started the massive Bird exit two weeks ago, with a last second defeat by the Green Bay Packers 21-16. Eagle quarterback Michael Vick’s interception toss in the corner of the end zone ended it all. Vick outplayed Aaron Rodgers but no one would ever know that. It should have happened in the fourth quarter. The ball should have never been in the hands of Michael Vick with time running out. The Eagles played lousy. The two field goals that field goal kicker David Akers missed could have pulled the Green Birds within a point, within one field goal away from a victory.

The Eagles did not play well on defense, offense, or special teams.

The Eagles did not have a running game and head coach Andy Reid made some very strange coaching decisions late in the game.

Things just got worse when DeSean Jackson got injured in the 2nd quarter and did not return until the 2nd half. The Packers found a sustained running game (through tailback James Starks) that kept the Eagle offense off the field and tired out the Bird defense.

Exit stage left, Green Birds.

Then the Packers continued the Bird hunt by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 48-21 on many Falcon mistakes in Atlanta. Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 31-of-36 for 366 yards, three TD’s (2 passing, 1 running)

He also flourished with his newly found running game as rookie James Starks rushed for another 66 yards.

The Green Bay Packer fans, like the Dallas Cowboys travel well.

Half of fans in the stadium donned green and gold, so, when the Packers scored, a rounding chant of Go-Pack-Go rang out of the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan was iced by the Packer defense, tossing 20 of 29 completions for 186 yards one touchdown pass with two critical interceptions did not look so cool on this afternoon.

He looked like a man on the run the whole game.

It appeared that the Falcons were only too happy to help the Packers win this game. Making three critical errors in the field the first half giving Green Bay a comfortable 27-3 lead.

Eric Weeks tried to revive the Birds with an 102-yard kickoff return. It did not happen The Packers just ran the clock out the 2nd half of the game.

Exit stage left, Dirty Birds!

The Chicago Bears put the final blow to the Bird hunt in the NFC by plucking the feathers of the Seattle Seahawks 35-24 but the score was not the real story. The Bears dominated this game right from the start.

There were too many Seattle interceptions, fumbles, and too many blown calls in the first half.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was 15-of-28 for 274 yards and two touchdowns. He had a good first half but struggled the second half letting the Seahawks back in the game.

Greg Olson got the Bears off to a good start with a 58 yard touchdown pass and run. The score was not closer then what the game indicated.

The Bears defense line with veteran Julius Peppers would not let Seattle move.

It was like the old Monsters of the Midway had come back to reclaim their throne at Soldier Field.

Exit stage left, Aqua Birds.

The AFC also contributed to the Bird hunt with the Pittsburgh Steelers dismantling the Baltimore Ravens 31-24 in the 2nd half. The Ravens had a very big lead in first half on turnovers, but could not hold the lead.

The Raven offense was held to almost 100 yards yet they had the lead.

This was one of the better games of the weekend. The Ravens stood toe to toe, went point for point with the Steelers at the midway point of the third quarter then the roof caved in.

The Baltimore defense sacked Ben Roethlisberger seven times but still could not stop him from passing to rookie Antonio Brown.

Roethisburger’s statistics in this game were not bad — 19 for 32 and 226 yards with two touchdown passes.

Veteran wide receiver Hines Ward did his job catching a critical touchdown in the third period and stopped the Baltimore push. Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco looked like a deer, eyes into the headlights of a Pittsburgh tractor and trailer in the field the second half.

A Super Bowl for the Ravens? Nevermore! Exit stage left, Purple Birds.

The Arizona Cardinals did not make the playoffs this year or to make that bird exit stage left. Maybe next year, all of the birds will be in the championship game. Consider this there may not be any football games after this week’s legal action by the players union citing the owners for collusion. “Heavens to Mergatroid, Exit Stage Left…”