Saturday, January 10, 2009

NFL Picks Rd. 2 of Playoffs (Saturday)

So I went 2-2 last week in picks, losing both Saturday games. I don't really have time to do full write ups for the games this weekend so here are some snipits.

In the afternoon game I like the Ravens over the Titans for a few reasons. Mainly Ed Reed and the Ravens defense going against...Kerry Collins. Yes that Kerry Collins. The Ravens absolutely dominated Miami last weekend, especially on defense. Chad Pennington looked lost at Quarterback, and threw 4 interceptions. The Ravens are clicking on all cylinders on defense, and frankly I just don't see the Titans matching up well against that with Collins and crew.

I really think this game comes down to the final few minutes of the 4th quarter, and most likely will be decided by a field goal or two. I'd be incredibly surprised if this game was a blow out and/or high scoring.

Final: Ravens 13-10

In the night game I like Carolina. Their dual back rushing attack will eat up Arizona's soft defense, even though they played well enough to win last week. This threat of the run will also set up Jake Delhomme to use Steve Smith as the weapon he is. Add all that to the fact that Carolina plays adequate defense, I just don't see how Arizona can compete in this contest, although I said that last week and we all know what happened.

Final: Panthers 27-10

Sunday, January 4, 2009

NFL Picks Rd. 1 of Playoffs (Sunday)

Well, I missed on both picks yesterday. As expected the Chargers/Colts game was a tough one to call and the Chargers ended up winning it in overtime. LT did not play all that much, but Sproals really picked up his game in his absence. I was close on the score though, as I expected it to be a close, solid game.

Color me impressed with the play of the Cardinals in the early game yesterday as well. Yes the Falcons turned the ball over a few times, but the Cardinals ran the ball effectively and their defense played relatively well. I don't see them winning next week, but yesterday was a huge day for their franchise.

Now for today's games.

Baltimore vs. Miami - 1pm
I can't say enough of the job Coach Sporano and Bill Parcells did this season to bring Miami back from being the perennial joke of the AFC East, which hit its appex at 1-15 last year, to winning it this year in the tiebreaker with the Patriots. Jets cast off (how'd that one work out for you NY?) Chad Pennington easily had his best season as a pro in my eyes, and the Wildcat offense that caught the Patriots off guard in week 3 was effective all throughout the year. Ted Ginn Jr. made strides towards becoming the player the Dolphins hoped he'd be when they drafted him, while Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams ran the ball effectively, and rookie 1st rounder Jake Long helped give stability to the offensive line. Their defense is nothing stellar, but gets the job done.

The Ravens on the other hand still sport their stellar defense behind Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed who has a knack for interceptions. Their defense has played like it does every year. However, rookie quarterback Joe Flacco has been everything and more than the Ravens could have asked for. He's provided stability and offensive ability that Kyle Boller just couldn't provide. This has made the Ravens a much different team, and frankly not I team I would want to play in the playoffs.

This should be a good game but in the end, the Ravens defense proves to be the difference maker.

Final: Ravens 21 - 13

Philadelphia vs. Minnesota - 430pm
So all the cards Philadelphia needed to fall their way on the last day of the season did, and are now in the playoffs. They made their statement by absolutely demolishing Dallas to secure their berth. Donovan McNabb has played extremely well since he was benched against the Ravens. Brian Westbrook has been his usual solid self, and their defensive has been playing pretty well as of late.

Minnesota on the other hand has seen it's share of injuries as of late to Pat Williams and Gus Ferotte. Tavaris Jackson has played well since Ferotte was injured, but he's still Tavaris Jackson. Adrian Peterson has been putting this team on his back offensively, and relying on the defense as a whole. I do like how Minnesota matches up against Philly against the run, but I just think the Eagles all around game will provide to much for Minnesota to handle.

Philly pulls away late, and wins on the road.

Final: Philadelphia 24-14

Saturday, January 3, 2009

NFL Picks Rd. 1 of Playoffs (Saturday)

I intended to have these picks thrown in the middle of a huge long post about the Patriots season, the NFL playoff system, and an offseason preview, however I got lazy and haven't written it yet, so for the sake of them being up here they are.

Atlanta vs. Arizona - 4:30pm
I've been a closet Atlanta fan all season because of Matt Ryan. While I figured they would show improvement over last year and the whole Mike Vick debacle, I did not envision them going 11-5 and missing out stealing the division title on the last day of the season. Regardless, the playoffs are the playoffs no matter what seed you are. Which leads me to my next point about the Arizona Cardinals. They finished 9-7 in the worst division in football, and are hosting a home playoff game. Is it fair? No, but that doesn't matter. Does anyone honestly think Arizona even has a shot in this game? Didn't think so.

Say what you want about their passing game, because it is everything it's cracked up to be. Getting Anquan Boldin back this week will be huge for the Cardinals as well. However, the Cardinals are just to one dimensional to win in the playoffs. Their defense is mediocre, and they have absolutely no running game to speak of. The Falcons on the other hand have a very balanced football team behind Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. Their defense is decent, but it doesn't bring much pressure, which will help Kurt Warner obviously. I just don't think Arizona matches up well with Atlanta.

Final: Atlanta 27-14

Indianapolis vs. San Diego - 8:00pm
Talk about a match up of two teams I strongly dislike. Both obviously because of the Patriots connection, and I'm sick of Peyton Manning's face every three commercials while watching football. However, I absolutely detest San Diego. They always preach "class" and how LT is this class act, etc. I distinctly remember LT calling out the Patriots after a loss for not winning with class and all that junk. Talk about hypocricy at it's finest. Philip Rivers, while he is a good quarterback, is an absolute piece of shit personality wise. He talks so much shit to other teams during games, in the media, all that junk. Trash talking is one thing, and is part of the game, but I cannot stand athletes like Rivers who seems to take it to the next level.

Now that that's out of the way, San Diego was 4-8 entering December, and managed to benefit from the Broncos absolutely failing to close out the division and actually playing good football for a month. They won the AFC West by beating Denver in the Sunday Night game last week and finished 8-8. If there was ever a case for the NFL to change its playoff system (more on my ideas for that in another post) this is it. Regardless, they are in.

This is also most likely Tony Dungy's last seasonI like what Indy has done since they started the season out slowly, ripping off 9 straight wins and just playing solid football over the passed few months, led by Peyton and his 3rd MVP award. of coaching, and you know the players won't want to let him down like that. Getting Bob Sanders back doesn't hurt either.

San Diego has also been hot over the final month of the season, and while Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers are good receivers, the injuries to Gates and LT (detached tendon in groin) are going to be huge. LT will try to tough it out and play, but I don't see how he could be effective with that kind of injury at any position, but especially as a running back. San Diego will need its defense to step up in this game, and all throughout the playoffs to compensate for the injuries to Gates and Tomlinson.

This will most likely end up being the best game of the weekend, and could go either way, but in the end I just think the innjury to LT and the fact that Indy is the better team in my mind will be the difference. Indy pulls away in the 2nd half.

Final: Indianapolis 28 - 24

Tomorrow's picks will be posted tomorrow.