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

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