Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wildcard Weekend


Ok, so I had a terrible time picking NFL games this season. Something tells me I'm not the only one though with the inconsistency in NFL play this season.

For all the years I have played fantasy hockey and baseball this was the first season I played fantasy football. I joined a Yahoo public league and finished the regular season 7-7. That wasn't good enough for the playoffs, but I had fun anyway.

I also ran the first My Pinstripes pick 'em with point spreads. I finished 114-135, by far the worst I've done in years and the first time I've finished under .500 for as long as I can remember.

But it's a new season today. The playoffs, where the Giants should be, but are not. There are some great matchups in wildcard weekend, so here we go.

Saturday night - Jets at Colts

The Jets had their inconsistencies much of the season, which made their fans nuts. Of course when coach Rex Ryan is blustering about Super Bowls all year it is very easy to disappoint. But the Jets won't this weekend.

The Colts are not the same team that beat the Jets 30-17 in last year's AFC championship game. Yes, Peyton Manning is still there, but much of the team is injured. Two of Manning's biggest weapons Dallas Clark and Austin Collie are out. The defense's best all-around player, Bob Sanders, is out. And speaking of the defense they can't stop the run for anything.

So what that means is that though Mark Sanchez's shoulder may be hurt a lot more than he's letting on, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene should have big days, which will help open up the passing game.

The final score - Jets 23 Colts 20 Enjoy it Jets fans because if you have to play the Patriots next week, you are done.

Saturday afternoon - Saints at Seahawks

Yes, a 7-9 team is hosting a playoff game. The Seahawks crowd has an earned reputation as being one of the loudest fandoms in the NFL. What that means today is that maybe the Saints will score 30 points instead of 40.

Drew Brees had another big season, but not nearly as his near perfect 2009. The Saints defense isn't close to how it played in helping to raise the Lombardy Trophy last year. But this Seahawks team is bad, and though they had to win the final game over the Rams to win the NFC West, well..this team is bad.

Matt Hasselback has been banged up for much of the year and coach Pete Carroll actually considered starting Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback. He may still go that route if Hasselback and the offense don't move the ball.

The final score - Saints 33 Seahawks 17

Sunday early game - Ravens at Chiefs

KC surprised everyone this year. The media kept waiting for them to collapse and for the Phillip Rivers' led Chargers to storm by them. Except it never happened. The Chiefs have plenty of weapons on offense. Jamaal Charles (1,467) and Thomas Jones (896) combined for over 2,300 yards on the ground. Matt Cassel fought off an appendectomy, missing just one game, to throw for 3,116 yards and 27 TDs. He was intercepted just seven times. His favorite target was Dwayne Bowe who caught 72 passes for 1,162 yards and got in the end zone a league leading 15 times.

But and it's bigger than Nate Newton's butt before his tremous weight loss, the Chiefs have to go up against the Ravens defense. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, you know the drill. It's a squad that gave up just under 17 points per game. And this isn't a bad offense either.

Ray Rice has run like the Ray Rice of 2009 of late and the offense goes as steady QB Joe Flacco goes. Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason both caught over 800 yards and scored seven TD's each, though Boldin has been a disappointment at times. Rice was also the 2nd leader receiver in catches on the team and he'll be utilized plenty on Sunday. What it should come down to is a good, close, low scoring game.

The Final Score - Ravens 17 Chiefs 13

Sunday afternoon - This is the one everyone is waiting for Packers vs. Eagles. Aaron Rodgers vs. Michael Vick.

The Packers have an underrated defense and it will need to play it's best on Sunday because the Pack has no running game. Aaron Rodgers will put the ball in the air plenty of times and will have to combat the Eagles blitzes. But..no not as big as the previous one...the Eagles defense is overrated.

You heard me. They make big plays, cause turnovers, but give up plenty of points. 377 to be exact. The Eagles allowed 26.8 points per game in their 10 wins. But oh that Eagles offense.

Michael Vick claims to only be at 75%, but that could be a ploy. He has dangerous weapons in DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, and plenty of team speed.

This should be an entertaining game with a team that has green in their uniform holding off the other one late. Okay...

The Final Score - Packers 23 Eagles 16

There you have it..and never never never bet based on what I say. That is all.

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