Thursday, January 7, 2010

NFL Weekend Preview: Wildcard Weekend

Packers versus Cardinals is one of three rematches from last weekend in the Wildcard round.

New York Jets at Cincinnati – ( Line: Bengals by 2.5) I feel like Vizzini in the “Princess Bride” trying to discern whether the Jets or the Bengals contain the Iocane powder. “On one hand, the Jets have a rookie quarterback and got lucky with the schedule or else they would never have made the playoffs, So I can clearly not choose the Jets in front of me. On the other hand, the Jets have a ton of confidence after just lambasting the Bengals only days ago, so I can clearly not choose the Bengals in front of you. Of course, only a great fool chooses a rookie quarterback on the road in the playoffs, I am not a great fool, so I clearly cannot choose the Jets in front of me!” Cue the Man in Black, “So you’ve made your decision then?” Me: “Not remotely! Because the Bengals come from Cincinnati, as everyone knows, the Cincinnati Bengals are entirely populated with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as the Bengals are not trusted by me. So clearly, I cannot select the Bengals in front of you! (Truly I have a dizzying intellect.) If you think I’m just stalling right now, you’re absolutely right, although I don’t think that the teams are going to give anything away in the next few days leading up to this game so I choose…“What in the world can that be!” Okay, so I am clueless on this game. I have no feel at all for what I think is going to happen in this game but I’m taking New York. Truth be told, I hate both of these teams, and I’m playing the Jets on a slight hunch. Although, I suspect that the Bengals and the Jets both contain Iocane Powder. Jets 17 Bengals 14

Baltimore at New England – ( Line: Patriots by 3) No Wes Welker, a Tom Brady who is not completely healthy, a Randy Moss who may or may not care, a Bill Belichick that has been roundly criticized for being unorthodox…it feels like the Pats are ripe for an upset. The Ravens played them close earlier this year in New England, and surely Ray Lewis and company are not going to be intimidated going North into that environment. This FEELS like a game that the Ravens could pull out. However, I just have a gut feeling that the Pats are going to make a little bit of noise this postseason. It feels like a game the Ravens could win, but won’t due to their propensity to do stupid things. Plus, as sketchy as the Patriots have looked away from Foxborough (their only road wins this season were against the Bills and the Buccaneers, and the Bucs game was a neutral site) it is worth noting that they are undefeated in Massachusetts. The very human Pats still have enough magic to win a first round game and I think they will. Patriots 23 Ravens 13

Philadelphia at Dallas – ( Line: Cowboys by 4) The Eagles had everything to play for this past Sunday in Dallas, had they defeated the Cowboys they would have earned the 2nd seed and a bye in the NFC. With everything to play for, they still got waxed 24-0.The Cowboys throttled them in every way, and while clearly the Eagles had a bad game…perhaps their hot finish was more of a mirage than an actual impressive streak. In their late season six game win streak they beat a bunch of teams that were either sorry teams all year or who were slumping to the finish. The Bears, Falcons, Redskins, Giants, 49ers and Broncos were not impressing anyone late in the year, and so I feel like the Eagles are somewhat of a paper tiger. The Cowboys have already taken down the Eagles twice this season, and I see no reason why they don’t do it a third time. The Cowboys finished with a three game win streak against the Saints, Redskins and Eagles…a more impressive set of victories than the Eagles to be sure. Tony Romo has caught fire, and the Cowboys just seem ready to finally win their first playoff game since 1996. Cowboys 37 Eagles 20

Green Bay at Arizona – ( Line: Pick) This is the third game of the first round that is a rematch of the final game of the season. The Packers absolutely destroyed the Cardinals 33-7 on Sunday, but unlike the Eagles who had something to play for, Arizona was locked in to their position, and had zero reason to put forth an effort. They played an extremely vanilla game, and I think that there is every reason to believe that this contest will be much more competitive. Kurt Warner should play longer than just the first quarter, and I feel like Arizona is going to try this time…call it a hunch. However, even though I think the game will be much more competitive, I still think the end result will be the same. Aaron Rodgers is rolling, the defense has been pretty good lately except for one game in Pittsburgh, and I just feel like Green Bay is primed to move on. The Cardinals had their insane run last year, and I don’t think lightning strikes twice in two years in the NFC. The fact that I picked the Packers to win it all doesn’t hurt either when it comes to my final prediction. Random thought while picking this game: Pack or Cards sounds an awful lot like Pack of Cards…I have no idea what that means, though. Packers 30 Cardinals 23

My Picks Scorecard:

Last Week: 9-7
Regular Season: 161-95
Playoffs: 0-0
Playoffs Against the Spread: 0-0
Year to Date: 161-95

No comments: