Friday, January 6

Wild Card Predictions

So the playoffs are starting this weekend. While you know the Eagles are less than curiously absent, it's still NFL football, which can only mean good things. I'll give you my picks, and encourage you to bet heavily according to them.

Washington Redskins AT Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jan 7, 4:30 PM): Now this is a tough game to pick. Two good defenses, and two inconsistent offenses. Both teams are slightly banged up, but I've gotta give the edge to the Bucs on this one. Portis is a little banged up, their veteran QB Brunell is less than 100%, and they're going up against a defense that's been more than solid all year long. Running the ball on Tampa has been tough all season, and passing it hasn't been any easier. On the opposite side of the ball, you've got a whole slew of rookies going up against a slightly weaker, but still strong, defense. The only edge I can possibly give to the Skins is the Bucs lack of playoff experience from their skill players, but I gotta give this one to the Bucs on the homefield.

Jacksonville Jaguars AT New England Patriots (Jan 7, 8:00 PM): Honestly, who is anyone even kidding in this one. Of course the Patriots are going to win.

Carolina Panthers AT New York Giants (Jan 8, 1:00 PM): Another tough NFC pick. Once again, this one might come down to injuries, as the Giants have been ravaged in the last few weeks of regular season play. Their linebacker corps is hurting, and their offensive line is hurting, two key spots that will surely be exploited by an excellent Panthers running game and phenomenal defensive line. While the Panthers offense hasn't been that great, they have explosive potential from Steve Smith and DeShaun Foster, and will certainly put some points on the board against the hurt Giants defense. On the other side, get ready for greenhorn Eli Manning to put up a whimper in his first NFL playoffs game, as I don't see him doing much better than his older brother did the first couple go-rounds. If Tiki can carry them like he did all season, they've got a chance, but outside of that and their homefield advantage, I can't give the Giants much hope in this one. Not to mention the fact that Carolina was 6-2 on the road.

Pittsburgh Steelers AT Cincinnati Bengals (Jan 8, 4:30 PM): Man is this going to be a good game. They split games head-to-head this year, with both teams winning on opposing turf. The Bengals looked great most of the season, but have really fallen off in the last few weeks of regular season play, while the ever-consistent Steelers have just continued doing what they always do; grinding it out, playing good defense, and maintaining good control at all times. If the Bengals had a little more experience, I think they'd be an easy pick at home, but the Steelers have proven that their ball control offense can just eat up a team that lacks the strength to stop their ground game on defense. While Cincy will certainly put up some points when they have the ball, I still like the black and yellow to win this one on the road.

Any way you look at it, this will be a good weekend for football.


Hal said...

There is no way I'm taking Chris Simms in the playoffs. It will not happen. Sean Taylor is going to absolutely eat him up. Just ask coach Janky Spanky.

Agree on the Pats, but I wouldn't take them to cover (-7.5)

After getting solidly worked over a few seasons back vs Carolina, it's tough to figure how Eli comes out of this one on top. People say it's up to Tiki, but this game is all about Steve Smith.

The thought of 85 in the playoffs is so scary that I can barely deal with the idea of this game. Look for 15-225 and 3 touches from Chad as the Bengals roll over Rothelsomething at home.

x-intern said...

I predict Eli Manning will never be a good QB.

Hal said...

If you feel like trashig Eli;
I second that emotion.