One theme about the opening weekend of NFL playoffs was this – quarterbacks starting their first playoff games went 0-4.
Tampa Bay’s Chris Simms (25-38, 198 yards) outgunned Mark Brunnell (7-15, 41 yards) but lost because Washington’s defense won the game.
Jacksonville’s Byron Leftwich (18-31, 179) was game but lost to Tom Brady (15-27, 201, 3TDs), who is now 10-0 in the postseason.
New York’s Eli Manning (10-18, 113) threw three interceptions against Carolina, and Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer threw only one pass — it was complete but he tore his ACL and left the game. His replacement, Jon Kitna, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Kitna had never played in a playoff game, either.
While the first-timers passed for more yardage (753-590) than their counterparts, they combined for one touchdown and eight interceptions. Brady, Brunnel, Jake Delhomme and Ben Roethlisberger combined for seven touchdowns and one interception.