Friday, January 15, 2010

Round 2 Picks - Now With More Notice For Fading!

The games this week are a lot harder to pick than last week. Last week, aside from the Packers-Cardinals game, I felt confident about each one of my picks - and the Packers and Cardinals ended up in a shootout totaling 96 points which went all the way to the end, so it turned out to be a deservedly difficult pick.

This week is a bit more complicated. Three of the four teams who had byes in the first round entered the postseason on shake notes, losing multiple games down the stretch, so it may be difficult to guess which versions of those teams will show up.

But, here goes anyway.

1. Cardinals-Saints (-7). Even before the Saints finally lost in Week 15, their play had been extremely uneven, almost losing to the Rams, Redskins, and Falcons before finally going down to Dallas. While I think the Saints will show up this weekend and prevail in the Superdome against a still banged-up Cardinals team, it seems a bit much to give away a touchdown based on their play of the last five weeks of the season. I don't think they'll run away with it, but there is too much talent on this Saints team to be held completely at bay against a Cardinals team that gave up FORTY-FIVE points at home last week. However, the lack of consistency leads me to pick Arizona for the spread and commence biting my nails furiously as I hope the Saints don't mess it up - being married to a Saints fan doubly ensures that a Saints win would be good.
Pick: Cardinals (+7)

2. Ravens-Colts (-7). I liked watching the Ravens destroy the Patriots last week, as they ran around the field at will in building up an early 24-0 lead. The Colts defense will be much stingier and will NOT allow the Ravens to succeed with Joe Flacco throwing only ten passes the entire game.
Pick: Colts (-7)

3. Cowboys-Vikings (-3). This is a game where I would love to see the eventual victor completely drained so that they have no chance of success in the NFC Championship. I hate both of these teams.

To me, this is the hardest game this weekend to call. On one hand, there is the playoff history of Tony Romo on the road in one of the most fearsome, loudest places to play for road quarterbacks - despite thrashing Philly for the second consecutive week last week. On the other hand, with Minnesota and New Orleans both faltering down the stretch, you could say Dallas is the hottest team in the NFC.

As for Minnesota - they are limping into the playoffs, Adrian Peterson requires a ball with a handle, and Brett Favre is becoming even more of a prick in public in trying to be a player-coach. I smell bad karma coming for the Vikings. Dallas may not get to the Super Bowl, but a win here should take away the Romo-choker tag for good.
Pick: Cowboys (+3, win outright)

4. Jets-Chargers (-8)
The Jets had a convincing win last week by running the ball, running the ball, and running the ball some more. Mark Sanchez threw the ball only 15 times last week. Whether it was on those short passes or all those runs, the Cincinnati defense couldn't drag anyone down after an emotional season.

The Chargers do not have those problems, coming into the postseason as the hottest team, by far. Their defense is worlds better than Cincinnati's, and the Jets will need 25-30 passes from Sanchez with a high completion percentage to win. I don't think a rookie QB, on the road, in the playoffs, who threw 20+ picks during the season has that in him - even against a team coached by Norv Turner featuring a fork sticking out of LaDanian Tomlinson's back.
Pick: Chargers (-8)


Paul Zummo said...

Now this is the Francase we always knew and loved.


APOSEC72 said...

I knew I was screwed when I saw someone else's picks were the exact same as mine - hell, I am surprised I even got one after that.