The let’s hire the worst coach out there edition championship round picks

20 01 2010

Before I get into this week’s picks, as a lifelong Bills fan, I am absolutely stunned that Buffalo hired Chan Gailey to be its next head coach. This guy wasn’t even good enough to be an assistant in Kansas City. Yes, we are now looking to cast-offs from the Chiefs for leadership. Ugh.
No that’s not a picture of Chan. I’m just trying to convince myself there have been worse coaches.
Anyhoo, on to this week’s NFL conference championship picks.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts: Don’t look now, but the Jets seem to be for real, having knocked off two division champions to get to this point. The team is playing at a high-level of confidence thanks to head coach Rex Ryan. The runners run, and the defense looks like it can stop anyone. QB Mark Sanchez looks more poised than a rookie should, although he’s got a little ways to go before he can be considered one of the premiere quarterbacks in the NFL. The Colts have a premiere quarterback in Peyton Manning, who won his fourth MVP award. But the Colts aren’t just Manning. Their defense is a little underrated, making mincemeat of Baltimore’s offense in the divisional round. Manning also has a talented batch of receivers to throw two, which makes up for the lack of running game. I think the Jets can win this game, but in the end, experience has to count for something, and Manning and Co. have been here before. I’ll have to go with the Colts in a close one, 23-20.

Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints: These have been the best two teams in the NFC, although both stumbled into the postseason. Still, the Vikes and Saints proved why they were the top two seeds last weekend, with New Orleans crushing the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota punching the Dallas Cowboys in the mouth. This is an interesting matchup, with the Saints relying on their high-powered passing attack and big-play defense, while the Vikings pound you with their running attack on offense and a brutal defense. Minnesota also has a quarterback you may have heard of, some dude by the name of Brett Favre, who against Dallas reminded me of some guy named Brett who used to be a great QB for the Green Bay Packers. However, I’m going with the Saints in this one, because of the home-field advantage and that it seems like New Orleans has that “it” factor some teams have to get to the Super Bowl. New Orleans 30-Minnesota 24.

Last week: 1-3 Overall: 4-4


The divisional round picks, the “man, I’ll always be second-best” edition

13 01 2010

OK, what an interesting chair-gripping dud of a Wild Card weekend it was in the NFL. Except for the Packers-Cardinals epic on Sunday night, most of the games were flat-out stinkers, and I’d call them unwatchable except I really did like seing New England get their butts handed to them.

Onto the divisional round picks:

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints. With apologies to Terrell Owens, but this is the game for you to get your popcorn ready. Two high-powered offenses that can score from anywhere on the field get ready to lock horns. The Saints looked to be poised to run through the entire NFL regular schedule until their bid for unbeaten status was derailed by Dallas, and New Orleans finished on a three-game losing streak. You never know what the Cardinals will do, although Arizona looks to be just as strong as they were en route to last year’s surprising run to the Super Bowl. Saints QB Drew Brees is as good as any quarterback in the league, but few do it better than Cardinals QB Kurt Warner in the post-season. I look for the Cardinals to win this one, 34-28.

Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts. Don’t let the end of Indy’s regular season fool you; this team is good. Very good. There’s a reason why Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning won his record 4th NFL MVP award this year – because he’s the best. However, Baltimore for some reason seems to turn it up a notch in the playoffs even when they stumble and bumble through the regular season. Just ask New England, a team that got punched in the mouth by the Ravens at home, where the Patriots hadn’t lost a playoff game since 1978. However, the Colts are at home, a tough place to play, and have more weapons. That’s why I like the Colts to win, although it will be a tough contest, 21-16.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings. Tough game to call. Dallas right now is playing the best football of any team in still alive, having closed out the regular season with two shutout wins over division rivals and literally kicking the snot out of Philadelphia in the wild-card round. The “best” label could have been applied to the Vikings at the beginning of the season because they played at a high level at every aspect of the game, but they’ve slid back a bit. Like the Colts, the Vikes are very tough at home. However, I can’t pick against Dallas right now, and I think they’ll win, 27-23, and praying that someone on the Cowboys’ D puts Minnesota QB Brett Favre into retirement for good.

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers. As a Bills fan, I am required by law to officially hate the J-E-T-S, but as a football fan, I absolutely love the way they play defense and the way they run the ball. San Diego is the hottest team in the AFC as they are on an 11-game win streak. The Chargers are also on a mission, having been considered to be Super Bowl contenders for the past few years, and they know their window is closing. The Jets will prove to be a very tough opponent for San Diego, but I think the Chargers will prevail, 23-16.

Last week: 3-1; Overall: 3-1

The picks, wild card rematch edition

5 01 2010

The second NFL season kicks off this weekend, although it may be deja vu since the matchups are mostly rematches of the regular season finale.
Since part of this blog’s name is “Football,” I figured I’d go ahead and make picks for each week of the post-season for you to view, comment or make fun of.

Jets at Bengals: One of the rematches of Week 17, which saw the Jets get into the playoffs by hanging one on the Bengals, 37-0. I don’t think the game will quite go this way on Saturday. The Bengals surprised everyone this year by winning the AFC North, especially since the division has the defending Super Bowl champs Pittsburgh Steelers and a good Baltimore Ravens team. But the Bengals have looked shaky at times and are probably the most unimpressive of the six division champs. The Jets, despite getting in the playoffs, are really not a good football team. They play good defense, but the offense is real spotty, especially with a rookie quarterback at the helm. Mark Sanchez will be a good NFL Q, but not yet. Still, I think the Jets’ D is capable of shutting down Cincy’s offense, so I’m going with New Jersey in this one, 23-14.

Eagles at Dallas: The Cowboys swept the Eagles this year, so logic says it’s next to impossible to beat a team three times in a season, although it has been done before. Dallas has also appeared to have gotten past its inability to win in December, and closed the season with shutout division wins over the Redskins and Eagles. However, even though they got beat down by Dallas, Philadelpha at one point was 5-4 and looking up at the Giants and the Cowboys before reeling off six straight wins. However, when they bring their “A” game, Dallas is about as good as anyone else in the league and may be the most dangerous NFC team in the playoffs. I think the Cowboys are out to make a statement, and I see them winning what may be the best game of the weekend, 31-26.

Ravens at Patriots: New England won the regular season matchup, 27-21, although this is the only Wild Card game that’s not a Week 17 rematch. I still haven’t determined whether the Patriots are a good football team, because there were times this season that the team looked like the teams that won three Super Bowls in the last decade and their were other times they looked just like a middle-of-the-road franchise. Baltimore is the same way, and needed to win on Sunday just to get in. The Ravens’ D isn’t the same dominant force it has been in the past, although it’s still a very good unit. Baltimore’s offense has also been up and down, although it’s good enough to compete with a lot of teams. New England lost it’s key playmaker, WR Wes Welker, to a nasty knee injury against Houston, and that’s going to hurt them. In fact, that, and the fact that New England simply doesn’t have a great defense, will be the reason why Baltimore wins an ugly one, 22-16.

Packers at Cardinals: Don’t let Green Bay’s blowout of the Cards on Sunday fool you; Arizona had absolutely nothing to play for. I must admit, I’m a huge fan of Aaron Rodgers, and I think if he had some protection from his offensive front line and a decent running game, he’d be in the conversation when you talk about the NFL’s top-tier quarterbacks. Green Bay’s defense has also vastly improved over last year. The Cards, when they’re clicking, can score on anyone at anytime, and is also getting improved play from their defense. Unlike last year, when Arizona shocked everyone by getting to the Super Bowl, I think the NFC is ready for them. I think Green Bay’s defense can do enough to keep the Cards from scoring too much, and the Packers’ offense will be able to move the ball enough to pull this game off, 27-23.