NFL News of January 6, 2003

The NFL playoff weekend was full of memorable performances by players who shouldn’t be playing, doing things that haven’t been done.

Browns quarterback Kelly Holcomb is Tim Couch‘s caddie, at least until Couch broke his leg. Holcomb stepped in and threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against the Steelers—and yet his performance wasn’t enough to help the Browns advance. Another unlikely playoff star—Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox, who was out of football and selling insurance two years ago and briefly paralyzed after suffering a concussion earlier this season—snuffed Holcomb and the Browns by throwing three touchdown passes in the final 19 minutes for a 36-33 victory.

And as we all learned when we took Packers History 101, quarterback Brett Favre never gets beat when the temperatures fall below 34 degrees (35-0 before Saturday). Rewrite those history books, thanks to the Atlanta Falcons, who defeated the Packers 27-7. Falcons quarterback Michael Vick deserves his own funky stat, such as he’s 1-0 in playoff games in which an opposing lineman says he’ll have to see the tape to figure out how he missed him (as Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila admitted after Vick miraculously avoided a sack).

— Brian Wicker, The Star Tribune “Monday Morning Quarterback”

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