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Recent posts by Barry Jackson
Playoff musings from the couch:
• Terry Bradshaw's playoff performance so far hasn't been much better than the Falcons' or Bengals'. First, Bradshaw told us that "Houston will have all their people back" for their playoff opener and that the Bengals were at a disadvantage because they have a rookie quarterback. But Houston didn't have all their people back — Matt Schaub remained out, which Bradshaw should have known. And the Texans also were starting a rookie QB, which Bradshaw either didn't know or chose to ignore.
Bradshaw later told Fox viewers that the Saints "have played like three more games than the Packers." Say what? The Saints played one extra playoff game. That's it.
Before their 24-2 playoff drubbing by the Giants, Bradshaw asserted Atlanta "has the most exciting offensive unit in the NFL." More exciting than the Packers and Saints? Don't think so, Terry.
Bradshaw also assured viewers that New York could not run against the Falcons' defense. The Giants then ran for a season-high 172 yards.
• Some casual fans need a translator when NBC's Mike Mayock is calling a game. During Bengals-Texans, Mayock scolded the Bengals "for bad backside discipline" (I hate when that happens) and talked about the Texans destroying Andy Dalton's "integrity" on one play. Mayock can be very good, but he must remind himself that much of his audience doesn't have football Ph.D.s.
• Fox's No. 2 team tried to ruin the Saints-49ers classic by talking incessantly and often stating the obvious. "Every snap is critical for this 49ers defense," Daryl "Moose" Johnston enlightened us. Down 17-0, "the Saints just need some positive plays," he said. Really?
Tony Siragusa said the 49ers "don't want the ball in the Saints' hands." You don't say? And on and on it went. Johnston said the 49ers' first interception was "the result of understanding the Saints like to go vertical." But every defense understands the Saints like to go vertical. The pick actually was the result of disguising coverage, as ESPN noted later, and Dashon Goldson's playmaking skills, which improved this season.
• Best behind-the-scenes playoff tidbit: CBS' Charley Casserly saying the 49ers knew the Alex Smith-to-Vernon Davis game-winning touchdown play would work because they noticed the Saints' Roman Harper always lined up two yards deep in the endzone in that scheme and never moved up. ... Best feature: ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Jason Pierre-Paul and his blind father. ... Worst feature: CBS using golf analyst David Feherty on a whimsical football essay that fell flat.
• While CBS uses sideline reporters only on some playoff games (and never during the regular season), NBC's and Fox's sideline patrollers have demonstrated their value. In addition to delivering timely injury updates, Fox's Chris Myers told us Atlanta's Mike Smith said at halftime he would continue going for it on 4th-and-less-than-1 against the Giants (the Falcons came up short again in that situation in the second half).
Meanwhile, NBC's Alex Flanagan said Bengals CB Adam Jones shoved away defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and wouldn't talk to him after Jones was burned by Texans WR Andre Johnson for a touchdown.