Monday, January 10, 2011

Wild Card Weekend & Upcoming Matchups

Okay so “foot in mouth disease” still exists in my life. So, this is why they play the games. This is why watching 4 hours of pregame analysis before any game is time that would be better spent punching yourself in the face. Yet, I still tune in, actually most of us tune in, to get the scoop on the game coming up. It is the reason most of you are still tuned in to this blog other than “Mike made me read it and take a test on its content after.” While I try to limit how much I do this now, I did still find myself with nothing to do about an hour before the Eagles/Packers game, listening to Kurt, Terry, Howie, Michael and Jimmy making their picks with Frank Caliendo’s recorded antics.

Anyway, that was not much of an opening paragraph. I am trying to beat around the bush that I did not see the Seahawks coming anywhere near beating the Saints on Saturday. Not that the Saints have anything of a defense to write home about, but the Seahawks don’t have either side of the ball to speak highly of either. Matt “I’ve looked 45 since birth” Hasselbeck actually outplayed the Super Bowl MVP from last season at QB. He did this with far inferior receivers, banged up body, and lack of a winning record in the worst division in football. His team did this not any way the so called experts predicted they’d have to. I may not be an expert on television, but it doesn’t take one to make that prediction. Without knowing the Seahawks scored 47 combined in their last 3 regular season games, you knew their offense was pretty… well… not good. To go out and beat the Saints at their own game – the shootout – the long passes for scores (plus one bruising run from Lynch that will be on Chris Berman’s top 10 of the season for sure) sent a statement. This Seahawks team has nothing to lose. Written off by everyone in the sports world except the Seahawks themselves, they may at least feel like the most dangerous team that is playing this coming weekend. Lose and everyone expects it. It is what they are supposed to do. Win, and shock the sports watching nation.

So let’s review. The Chiefs lost as home to the Ravens, the Colts lost at home to the Jets, and the Eagles lost at home to the Packers. These are all clearly better teams than the people they played according to my article from last week. Their records were better and won on the road anyway. Kudos guys thanks for the help. As for the Saints? Playing in Seattle is notoriously a disadvantage to visiting teams. If they got the home game they deserved, would I have been 4 for 4? Who knows, it is moot anyway. I just want to say I am awesome and move on to this week’s games. I also figured I might as well post my picks here for the postseason so you don’t think I’m lying about who I had (yes, I picked the Jets to upset the Colts at home – they were due to figure out a banged up Colts team).
So, let’s talk about it then. Baltimore is at Pittsburgh first on Saturday. To me, this looks to be the most physical matchup of the four games, and again this is a no brainer. If you want to watch Berman tell you this, I’m sure he’s on repeat right now on some ESPN network. I really think when teams are in a dead lock like this, splitting their season series 1-1 with each team winning on the road, you usually give the nod to the home team. However, I think Ray “the murderer” Lewis and co. on defense may be a better overall unit, and the Ravens have more weapons to utilize on offense. The Ravens will just squeak out a win using their defense to beat an overrated Big Ben. The later game Saturday, Green Bay and Atlanta, features a team I picked pre-season to win the Super Bowl. I jumped on the Packers’ bandwagon then, and still think they can beat Atlanta at home. If the Saints can do it when it matters, look for the newfound rushing attack of Green Bay to make a huge difference in taking some pressure off Rodgers’ arm. Green Bay wins decisively. At 1:00PM Sunday, the Bears host the Seahawks. Can anyone really pick the hawks in this game? Chicago is a no joke defense that is a bit thin in the secondary. However, their overwhelming speed and ability to put guys in Hasselbeck’s face will be the difference maker that the Saints weren’t able to do. I can’t pick a team that after a postseason win is still just 8 and 9. I just hope Jay Cutler doesn’t forget which team to throw to as he can do from time to time.

Lastly, the main event for us on the east coast, the Jets will play the Pats at home. How do you pick against the Pats? Their quarterback forgot what an interception was. Their skill players are all smaller than the Starving Waiter but just seem to always find the holes or get open. Their defense is overachieving for a lot of mediocre players. Anyone on this team can beat you as long as Brady has the ball. Rex Ryan and his precious defense have their hands full. This will not be like playing the beat up Colts. With a week off, Brady and the Patriots will be foaming at the mouth, and you know coach Bill always gets some sick kind of jollies off beating the Jets. Jets will win this game if Tom Brady decides not to show up or gets hurt early. I hope I am wrong.

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