As favorites fall, Pittsburgh stands tall

The top seeds in the NFL playoffs were falling like the stock market.

First, the Tennessee Titans crashed and burned as Kerry Collins, LenDale White and Alge Crumpler each pressed the self-destruct button as the Baltimore Ravens picked up their second straight road playoff win. Joe Flacco didn't look like a rookie, probably because he is used to a playoff system playing in the Football Championship Subdivision last season.

So suck on that FBS, bowl apologists.

Then the Arizona Cardinals swooped into Carolina, allowed a game-opening touchdown before repeatedly punching the Panthers in the mouth en route to the team's first ever NFC Championship game.

So yes, both pairs of Smash and Dash were eliminated in one fell swoop.

Finally, the New York Giants were slayed by the Philadelphia Eagles, setting up a battle of the birds in the NFC Championship game. The Eagles will be making their fifth championship game appearance in eight years, cementing the greatness of Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb.

But it's hard to justify an NFC Championship matchup between a team that tied the Cincinnati Bengals and a team that lost four of its last six games and was outscored 167-70 in those losses.

Thank goodness for the AFC.