Friday, January 2, 2009

Wildcard Weekend Football Picks

Yeah I haven't picked any football games on here all season, but since every sports website I've gone to this morning has 36 different people picking the games for this weekend, I figured I'd give it a go.

Atlanta at Arizona
Remember Ben Roethlisberger's playoff debut a few years ago? You do? Good, because no one else seems to. No matter how tremendous rookie QBs are in the regular season, the NFL playoffs are a different animal altogether, one that I don't think Matt Ryan, who Merrill Hoge is reporting prepared for this game by healing lepers and walking on water, is quite ready for this. I don't think there's any way you CAN be ready for this type of game until you've played one or two. If the Falcons win, and I think they could, it will be in spite of a 15/29 2 Int day from Matty Ice, not because of him. And while we're on the subject of QBs, how has everyone completely and totally forgotten Kurt Warner's playoff experience?!? He won a Super Bowl, and made it to another one, and now he's a lesser playoff force than a rookie QB who has been ineffective the last 3 weeks? Uhmmm.....what?
The Pick: Arizona 31 Atlanta 17. Kurt Warner throws for 300 yards and Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin each go for 80+ yards. Matty Ice struggles and Atlanta is only able to stay in the game on the legs of Michael Turner. Sorry Falcons, you just aren't ready yet.

Indianapolis at San DiegoHow in the blue hell did San Diego become a trendy pick? To paraphrase Will Ferrell from Zoolander, "They're the same team that was almost eliminated from playoff contention three weeks ago by the Chiefs before rallying to a 1 point win over that terrible team! Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"
On a separate note, how long before Phillip Rivers incites the first bench-clearing brawl in NFL history? It can't be long, right? I can only hope that the Chargers play Jerry Jones' Mean Machine team next season, that seems to be our best chance. The guy is a legit douchebag. I'm excited for the first ever Teammate-punching-the-franchise-quarterback-in-the-face moment midseason next year when the Chargers are 2-6 and Norv Turner is flatlining while LT hobbles about and Phil throws his 18th interception of the season.
The Pick: Colts 31 Chargers 14. In case you couldn't tell, I think the Bolts are a TERRIBLE team. The Colts march all over San Diego and everyone suddenly remembers that San Diego isn't any good and would've been a 5-11 team in the Colts' AFC South.

Baltimore at Miami
I'm looking forward to this one for some reason. I've debated a pretty fair amount about this game, more so than the other first rounders. The Fins were supposed to fall apart about 10 different times this season, and yet here they are: 11-5 and a Division Champ. They shouldn't be as lightly regarded as they seem to be, especially with a Parcells protege in Tony Sparano running the show.
This Baltimore squad is tailor-made for the postseason though. Ray Lewis calling the shots for a defense scarez the bejeezus out of me come playoff time, and I want no part of Baltimore for our Steelers, and Dolphin fans should feel similarly.
Joe Flacco hasn't been as good or as hyped as Matt Ryan, but I think he has a better chance of success in the first round because of the system. The Ravens aren't going to ask Flacco to drop back 30+ times a game and throw for 300 yards. With the 3-headed monster of a running game for the Ravens, I think the Ravens will keep Flacco around 20 pass attempts, tops.
The Pick: Baltimore 17 Miami 10. Not surprisingly, a low-scoring affair, as both teams try their darndest to control the clock with multiple running backs, single-wing formations, and few pass attempts downfield. The difference is the Ravens defense forces a couple turnovers, while Baltimore's does everything to prevent turnovers short of taking 3 straight knees and punting.

Philadelphia at MinnesotaThis one just makes me feel icky all over. The Eagles may have blown the Cowgirls to smithereens last week, but they also have laid numerous eggs this year, including that must-win loss to Washington two weeks ago that apparently no one saw. So we can't rely much on them.
Then again, the Vikings practically ran Adrian Peterson to his deathbed this season and will start Tarvaris Jackson, the human turnover, at QB this season, so that's not exactly encouraging.
Everyone has made quite the ordeal over the rejuvenated Donovan McNabb, and while the new Run DMC model has been very effective of late, I'll buy into this for good once he finally pulls through in the postseason.
The Pick: Philadelphia 21 Minnesota 10. Having an exhaused Adrian Peterson on one ankle is the Vikings downfall. McNabb and Brian Westbrook do enough offensively to get the Phillies into the second round.

So with that established, here are our second round matchups:
Baltimore at Tennessee
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh
Philadelphia at New York Giants
Arizona at Carolina

No comments: