Yesterday's matchup was a surprise. There was no upset, but the amount that Keith Bulluck won by was astounding. It will be very interesting to see how he fares against Steve McNair in the quarterfinals. Today, we have a matchup that features a player who also surprised last week by beating out Samari Rolle:
(5) Kyle Vanden Bosch: I think Vanden Bosch won last week because of his personality and presence--he had more flash to him than Samari Rolle did. That being said, you cannot discount the numbers that he put up when he first arrived to Nashville either. He was an absolute factor. Before Albert Haynesworth's ascent, Vanden Bosch was THE guy on the defensive line, and after Haynesworth's ascent he was more of a factor because he was able to face blockers 1 on 1 again. Also, he was such a leader in the locker room, who helped establish a winning culture, a fire throughout the defensive unit, and really the entire team. It is very to see why he pulled off the upset last week, and why he is a fan favorite.
(1) Bruce Matthews: Matthews had an odd and surprising round 1. He matched up against an 8 seed in Stephen Tulloch, and while the results ended very much in his favor, there was actually a point in time where he was losing. His accolades, Hall of Fame stature, endurance, and generational talent should make him one of the top players in this tournament, and in league history. So, seeing him lose to an 8 seed for a while was very odd and confusing. Could it be because the majority of his career was as an Oiler? Does he not have flash because of being a lineman? I cannot answer for other voters, but I can say that it will be very interesting today to see if last week was a fluke, or if there will be another struggle.
My vote: KVB had a nice upset last week over Samari Rolle, but I am not quite sure that he can do it two weeks in a row. He was a big time player in Nashville, but Matthews' accolades are simply overwhelming, and should take him far in this tournament.