Hey-o Hoi Polloi! We’re pretty stoked about this weekend and we don’t want to delay it anymore. The four “best” teams are coming off a bye week and are looking to get back out on the field. Before they do though let’s get everyone caught up. After all that work last week everyone went 2-2. Pretty disappointing actually. With the even scores, Andrew leads with 67 and 33, Greg’s in second with 64 and 66, and Genesis remains close with 63 and 37.
Both top seeded teams are entering the playoffs on losing streaks, the Colts with two and the Saints with three…that’s good right?
Saturday, Jan. 16 4:30 PM:
Arizona Cardinals AT New Orleans Saints – The Cardinals are coming off the highest scoring game in league history, led by Kurt Warner who had more touchdowns (five) than incompletion (four). Although the game became a defense-lacking, pass-crazy, shoot out, it’s important to note that the Cardinals held Aaron Rodgers to just 2 yards in the first quarter and only ten points in the first half. Even though it was Arizona’s defense that allowed Green Bay to stay in the game, it was also Arizona’s defense that forced the team with the least amount of turnovers during the season to cough up the ball three times, ultimately costing Green Bay the game. The Saints are on a three game losing streak, two of which the Saints were legitimately trying to win. The Saints were noticeably banged up at the ended of the season and desperately needed this time off. Remember when they were unbeaten?
Andrew’s pick – Arizona Cardinals – I’m not comfortable with this pick, but here’s the thing. Gregg Williams is a blitz happy defensive coordinator. Kurt Warner’s upbringing is in Arena Football which means the ball is out of his hands fast and can handle the blitz better than anyone else. Unless, the Saints defense steps up and jam the receivers (take them off rhythm not trying to disrupt Kurt Warner) then the powerful Arizona Cardinals will be able to match the Saints points for points.
Greg’s Pick – New Orleans Saints – There’s a reason that the Saints rolled over almost every team this season. Their offense is amazing. They will have it back in line. With the injury to Boldin (and he’ll be extremely limited in play), I don’t expect the Cardinals to be able to keep up. I also don’t see the Saints winning next week…
Gen’s Pick – New Orleans Saints. Late to the party, I see. Saints have been on a roll this entire season and I doubt that time off has cooled them down.
Saturday, Jan. 16 8:15 PM:
Baltimore Ravens AT Indianapolis Colts – Peyton Manning is no doubt a great quarterback, but here is a look at his post season record: 1999 (0-1), 2000 (0-1), 2002 (0-1), 2003 (2-1), 2004 (1-1), 2005 (0-1), 2006 (4-0), 2007 (0-1), 2008 (0-1). In 2004, 2005, and 2007, Manning threw fewer than 10 passes in his season finale before resting for the playoffs. Subsequently, the Colts are 1-3 in their playoff games for those seasons. Luckily for the Colts, Peyton Manning went 14 out of 18 and an interception before leaving the game. Another problem with how the Colts ended the season, is that they proved Indianapolis is offensively inept without Peyton Manning. In the last game of the season, the Colt’s last place rush offense was only able to manage 25 rushing yards on 16 carries against Buffalo’s league worst run defense. Ravens defense, please note this, stop Peyton Manning stop the Colts.
Andrew’s pick – Baltimore Ravens. I think the Ravens had a decent shot at beating the Colts the first time around and they seem to be playing more efficiently now. I think if they overwhelm Peyton Manning then the Ravens will win this game. If they let Peyton Manning come out and score quick then the Ravens quit.
Greg’s Pick – Indianapolis Colts. It pains me to pick them – but they are very good. The Ravens looked dominant last week – however Flacco is still hurting and he literally cannot do a thing in the playoffs. It will take at least 1 quarter for the Colts offense to come out of their slumber, but expect the fireworks in the 2nd half.
Gen’s Pick – Baltimore Ravens. Again, the Colts have been ridiculous this season. But with all those weeks off, I’m not sure if Peyton has kept his wits about him. Although this game wont’ be a blowout like the last game, the Ravens will be able to get a win by a small margin.
Sunday, Jan. 17 1:00 PM:
Dallas Cowboys AT Minnesota Vikings – First, the Cowboys won in December, then the Cowboys won their first game in 13 years. The Cowboys high-powered offense is clicking on all cylinders. The Cowboys defense overwhelmed the Eagles high-powered offense. Is anything going wrong for the Cowboys at this time? The Vikings are playing at home and are well rested. Don’t like that analysis? Well, in full that means that Brett Farve has thrown 21 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Both the Cowboys and Vikings rank in the top 10 on offense and defense. Both rank in top five for run defense. This game is going to be so exciting!
Andrew’s pick – Minnesota Vikings. I think the Vikings have a 2 and 1/2 point spread over the Cowboys, which means no one really knows who is going to win. I just don’t want Dallas to win. Look for Adrian Peterson to have a good game, please.
Greg’s Pick – Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings really need this dome to be rocking. The Cowboys are ON FI-YAAHHH right now and come storming into Minnesota brimming with confidence. Just hand the ball to AP – the Cowboys have not faced a decent running back in over 4 weeks. Romo will play very well – but one costly turnover will shift momentum.
Gen’s Pick – Minnesota Vikings. Horrraayy Cowboys! You’ve made it this far into the playoffs! Now, it’s time to go. The Human Red Wine, Brett Favre, will make miracles happen like a modern day football Jebus. And Romo will once again show how he buckles under pressure and Peterson will run all over the field as if his pants were a-flame.
Sunday, Jan. 17 4:40 PM:
New York Jets AT San Diego Chargers – The Jets defense and running game keeps the ball out of Sanchez’s hands and this is important for Jets to win. If the Jets fall too far behind the Sanchez could be the hero or the villain. San Diego is arguably playing the best football in the NFL. The Jets are going to need to slow down Philip Rivers to stay in this game. Even though the Jets blitzed more than any other team in the league, they were only able to get 17 sacks. Even though the Jets secondary has only allowed eight passing touchdowns, but none are taller than 6’3”. Vincent Jackson is 6’5”, Malcom Floyd is 6’5”, and Antonio Gates is a 6’4” basketball player. Look to Darrelle Revis to prove that he should have been the defensive player of the year.
Andrew’s picks – San Diego Chargers. Basically, I think that San Diego will be able to put up more points than the Jets so they’ll win.
Greg’s Pick – San Diego Chargers. The Jets are not good. Can we please stop talking about them. Who can guard giant receivers? No one. I hate both these teams, especially Philip Rivers, but I do expect him to have a big game.
Gen’s Pick – San Diego Chargers. The Jets being here is a fluke. That’s it.