Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Preview

When the Super Bowl kicks off later today it will be a battle between two of the most storied franchises in NFL History. Two well balanced teams that can hurt you on both offense and defense. These teams are eerily similar, both run aggressive 3-4 defenses predicated on zone blitz schemes, both rely on mobile quarterbacks to make plays for them when things break down, and both have a dominant outside linebacker and secondary player that could change the outcome of the game on Sunday. Screen and Roll Out is going to break the game down on each side of the ball for the respective teams before giving our prediction.

When the Packers have the ball

The Packers offense revolves around Aaron Rodgers just as much as the Colts do around Peyton Manning or the Patriots do around Tom Brady. During this year’s season and playoffs he’s elevated himself into the discussion for best quarterback in the league. Aaron Rodgers has all the tools you look for in an elite quarterback. Arm Strength, accuracy, leadership, the ability to compete under pressure, and the ability to escape the pocket and create on the run as well. An article came out a few days ago about a conversation he had with Steve Young about what it takes to follow up a legend and I think that Aaron Rodgers compares favorably to Steve Young except that he’s come into his own a good deal earlier than Young did. The Packers are a pass first team; however they’ve been able to move the football on the ground in all 3 playoff games they’ve had and its all largely due to the ability of James Starks whose been a bit of a late season revelation for these Green Bay Packers. In the 3 postseason games he’s posted yardage total of 263 which doesn’t seem that impressive until you see that their leading rusher averaged 43 yards per game during the season. Watching this NFL playbook video should give you a good idea of the kind of talent the Packers have when it comes to pass protection. Bryan Beluga has come in at right tackle and done a fine job holding the edge and replacing 13 year stalwart Mark Tauscher. The Packers probably utilize the most talented group of wide receivers in the NFL going 4 deep at wide out with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones. All 4 have the ability to make big plays and all of them have the trust of Aaron Rodgers. Greg Jennings is the leader of this group and somehow still remains an underrated player at the wide receiver position, not only does he provide a huge big play threat like a Mike Wallace for the Steelers but he also provides reliability on pretty much every route that the Packers like to run in their route tree. He’s still considered undersized at 5’11 but over the past 3 years he’s averaged over 1200 yards a season at 16 yards a catch. On the other side of Jennings is Donald Driver who had his consecutive 1,000 yard receiving seasons streak stopped at 6 this year but he’s still in absolutely fantastic shape, however he’s the 2nd receiver in name only at this point as bath James Jones and Jordy Nelson have passed him in production. One significant loss on the offensive side of the ball the Packers have suffered is the loss of their pro bowl tight end Jermichael Finely, however Andrew Quarless has come in and provided another big athletic body and while not as talented as Finley as a receiver he’s quite the blocker in the backfield and provides an adequate safety valve for Rodgers when he’s under pressure.

When the Steelers have the ball

Visions like this are dancing in Steelers Fans heads as we speak
The Steelers have a great quarterback themselves in Ben Roethlisberger however they employ a more balanced attack where they complement their deep passing attack with the running of Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers offensive line is about as decimated as you’ll see in the super bowl with both of their starting tackles on injured reserve their starting center unlikely play and an undrafted rookie starting at right guard this is about as patchwork as it gets. However with a quarterback like Big Ben behind center they can count on him to break so many tackles per game and make so many plays when their protection breaks down that it hasn’t hurt the Steelers as much as it would hurt a normal team.  The Steelers are very reminiscent of their super bowl teams of 70’s built around a strong armed quarterback who goes deep early and often and a talented running back who get the tough yards between the tackles but also has the speed to break it outside. Speaking of outside the Steelers have one of the fastest players in the NFL on the outside in Mike Wallace who was second in the NFL in yards per catch at an absolutely insane 21yards per grab. The difference between the explosive Mike Wallace of last year and this years version is his ability to expand upon his big play ability to create space for other players as well as capitalize on that space himself and make catches on routes underneath the coverage. The steady veteran of this receiving corps is still Hines Ward former Super Bowl MVP and renown as the dirtiest wide receiver in football. Whether you think he's a dirty player or not theres no question that Ward is one of the toughest receivers in football and someone I would absolutely trust to come down with a catch in a tough situation. 

When the Steelers are on defense

The Steelers were one of the best defenses in the league according to pretty much any metric you threw at them. They were # 2 in yardage allowed behind the Chargers by only 5 yards per game.  They were 5th in interceptions, 1st in sacks, and #1 in rush defense by almost 30 yards per game. Their 3-4 defense stout up front with perennial pro bowler Casey Hampton at the nose flanking him are the fantastic beard of Brett Keisel and the young emerging Ziggy Hood of Missouri.  However where the Pittsburgh Steelers lap the rest of the NFL is in their linebacking corps.  Its home to pro bowlers at 3 of the 4 positions, all pros at 3 of the 4 positions, and it has the defensive player of the year of 2009. It’s hard to say where this linebacking corps start, most would say it’s with James Harrison and I would find it hard to disagree, but I honestly think the key to this 3-4 defense resides on the other side in LaMarr Woodley. Over the past 3 years he’s racked up 35 sacks which would put him 1 behind James Harrison but while James Harrison is coming into the downside of his career at 32 Woodley is entering his at the age of 26. Regardless of whom you prefer when you can get an average of 24 sacks from your outside linebackers every year you’ll be in good shape.  The Steelers secondary revolves around 2010 defensive player of the year Troy Polamalu. He's an absolute beast in the box and has the coverage range to be pretty much anywhere on the field prior to the snap and still not have an idea of where his responsibility lies. In only 14 games this year he had 7 interceptions and numerous big plays with tackles on the goal line and in the backfield, watching Polamalu play you can see that his instincts are some of the best in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball and its these same instincts he'll need to quickly diagnose the intentions of Aaron Rodgers this Sunday. 

When the Packers are on defense

B.J. Raji has a belt of his own
The Packers are built like the Steelers in that they run a 3-4 defense that emphasizes getting pressure through a zone blitz scheme, where the two teams differ is how they get their pressure. The Packers don’t have the talent that the Steelers do in their linebacking corps however they have a much better secondary and defensive line and they use that to their advantage in their schemes. The Packers utilize Charles Woodson in a similar fashion to the way the Steelers use Troy Polamalu moving him all over the field sometimes as a blitzer, sometimes as a nickel back, sometimes in bump and run on the outside, and other times in a short zone assignment. Any offense that plays the Packers needs to be aware of where he is at all times. The story of the Green Bay secondary is no longer Charles Woodson however its now the play of Tramon Williams and Sam Shields how are the primary cover corners of this team and form arguably the best cover corner tandem in the league. Williams has elevated himself into the shutdown corner echelon while Sam Williams has become a fantastic playmaker in his own right with two huge interceptions on the road against Chicago in the NFC Championship. On their defensive line the Packers rely on two guys to clog the middle and create pressure those two guys are B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins. Both can switch between the nose and either end position creating a great deal of flexibility along the defensive line and both players have the ability to drop into coverage occasionally in zone dog schemes as demonstrated by Raji in the NFC championship game. The undoubted star of this team however lies in the linebacking corps. Clay Matthews has become one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL almost overnight, coached by one of the great pass rushers in Steelers history in Kevin Greene he’s made his way  from walk on at USC to first round pick to being two votes shy of winning this year’s defensive player of the year. If the Steelers want to have a chance to win this game they can’t let Matthews dominate the game and constantly keep Big Ben on the run. 


Pretty much everyone is in agreement that this will be a close game, and looking at the last time these teams played could give use some details into what this game could look like. The last time these teams played was December of 2009 and the Steelers won in a 37-36 shootout that wasn't decided until the last play of the game where Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass to Mike Wallace. Big Ben went for over 500 yards and Aaron Rodgers responded with 380 of his own but it wouldn't be enough as the Steelers managed to eke out a win at home. A year later the Steelers have Troy Polamalu while the Packers have an Aaron Rodgers that has seemingly become the best QB in the NFL. While I think Super Bowl experience matters and the Steelers have it in spades I think the Jets gave an absolute blue print to beating the Steelers in that second half, if you're physical with their wide receivers their offensive line can't hold up and Big Ben will try to force things. The Packers defense has capitalized every time someone has forced a throw in these playoffs and I think someone in their secondary makes another huge play in the super bowl that will change the momentum of this game. Aaron Rodgers will win the MVP because the QB almost always does but the Green Bay secondary will be the stars in this super bowl.

Packers 31

Steelers 27

Sunday, January 23, 2011

NFL Conference Championship Game live blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

NFL Divisional Round Saturday Live Blog.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wild Card Weekend Part 2.

To put it quite simply I don't think I could have been any more wrong on the two predictions I made about Saturdays games. The Seahawks pulled one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history on the arm of a rejuvenated Matt Hasselbeck and based on one of the best runs I've probably ever seen. The Saints came into the game with two running backs left and by the 4th quarter they were down to a guy they signed earlier this week off the street. Frankly the injuries to their running backs made their offense entirely too one dimensional for anyone to carry even if that someone is as good as Drew Brees. The real disappointment if your the Saints is your defense, you allow 13 touchdown passes all season and then let Matt Hasselbeck get 4 in one game. I don't think the Saints need a complete overhaul next year they're a team they just needs some minor retooling and better health next year. Earlier today I compared this Seahawks team to the 2009 Cardinals team that no one expected to make it past the wild card round, and maybe.......just maybe that comparison could be a little more apt than I first thought.

The Colts Jets game played out more or less how a lot of people thought. The Colts didn't come into that game huge favorites and most people expected a defensive struggle between two well matched teams. Peyton Manning reallly didn't get anything going for almost the entirety of the game outside of a 57 yard pass to Pierre Garcon there were no explosive plays and the Jets did a good job of keeping Peyton bottled up the entire game. All of Rex Ryans talk made me think he'd have an emotional game plan and come out aggressive but instead he did the smart thing and made the Colts run the football, he played 1 and 2 defensive lineman looks and continually dared Peyton to check down to the run. More often than not he wont those match ups, the Colts don't have the runners in the backfield nor the lineman up front to make people pay for having 6 and 7 defensive backs. Its time like these it really hurts to remind Colts fans they could have had Maurice Jones Drew a couple of years ago instead of perennially injured and ineffective Joseph Addai. I don't know what happens with the Colts next year but if anyone thinks theres a chance Peyton Manning leaves I have some magic beans I'd like to sell them.

Baltimore @ Kansas City

Baltimore - 3

This game sort of reminds me of the Saints Seahawks game in that you have a team everyone thinks is coming into the playoffs with an air of not belonging on the field with the team they're playing. The Chiefs played 3 above  .500 teams all year and managed to only beat one of them shocking the Chargers in their opening game. The Ravens on the other hand have played 7 games against above .500 opponents going 4-3 but losing those 3 games by a combined 11 points. The Chiefs lost their two games by a combined 41 points, which would indicate they feasted on the poor teams that littered their schedule and couldn't compete with any of the good teams. Whats even more troubling is that in the last week of the season with plenty to play for and at home they got absolutely blasted by the Raiders who were merely playing for pride at that point. Their vaunted rushing attack was shut down and the Matt Cassel who had only thrown 2 interceptions over the seasons last 11 games unraveled to throw 2 interceptions in a sack filled disaster. I think the Ravens look at the game tape and think that their defensive line can do the exact same thing to the Chiefs. Plus if Matt Cassel can't look off Michael Huff what chance does he have looking off Ed Reed who has an incredible 8 interceptions in only 10 games played this year. On the offensive side of the ball I think the Ravens will give the Chiefs a bit of their own medicine and grind them down with a combination of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and Leron McClain. Look for a couple of deep connections to Anquan Boldin in a Ravens road win.

Ravens 23

Chiefs 13

Green Bay @ Philadelphia

Philadelphia - 3

Fun Fact: Aaron Rodgers took the title belt dance from Freddie Mitchel
This is a match up of my two favorite teams still left in the tournament and I'm sad that at the end of this game I'll only have one of them left to root for. I was hoping for these two teams to meet up in the NFC Championship game but hopefully we'll all be treated to an offensive shootout this Sunday. I honestly don't know what to make of the Packers offensively they seem dominant one week to only fluster the next week with their lack of punch. One thing I am certain about is their defense which has rounded into shape the past few weeks to become one of the most feared in the playoffs. They have three of the best defensive players on any team in the NFL with Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, and the untouted B.J. Raji who is having an absolutely stellar season at the nose in their 3-4 defense. When these two teams played earlier in the year Clay Matthews was a man possessed as he gained 3 sacks and harassed Michael Vick all day and despite that when Vick was asked about that game he thinks the Eagles would have won had he started. Michael Vick has been the story for much of this NFL season but  in an incredibly important home game against a Vikings team with nothing to play for they were toothless on both offense and defense picked apart by rookie Joe Webb. If the Eagles defense had this much trouble containing Joe Webb how can they hope to stop Aaron Rodgers. Honestly I don't think they do, but I just don't think Michael Vick will lose a home playoff game. This is the same man who went into Lambeau Field and go the first win there in playoff history and I think he continues to haunt the dreams of Packers this playoffs.

Eagles 31

Packers 27

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday Playoff Extravaganza

Week 17 Predictions heads up: 7-9

Week 17 Predictions against the Spread: 5-11

Record for the season: 125-98

I'm sure hell is awfully cold right now as it's frozen over and a team under .500 has made the NFL playoffs. The Seahawks played a game against the Rams that seemed like two teams that were both struggling to stay above water. Apparently the team with their head below water will be hosting a game against the NFL champs who's record is 5 games better than them.  I think this will definitely put a whole lot of pressure on the NFL competition committee to examine the way playoff seeding works and perhaps make some long overdue changes. On Saturday we have the Saints heading into Seattle to face the 7-9 Seahawks and then Saturday night we have the rematch of last years AFC Championship game with the Jets heading into the dome to play the Colts. I honestly don't think either of these games will be all that close but we'll get into that later in this piece.This morning we'll go into the match ups of the Saturday Games and tonight we'll go through a recap of the action and then talk about the two games on the slate for Sunday.

New York @ Indianapolis

Indianapolis - 2

Theres been a lot of talk from Rex Ryan about this game. More or less that its become a personal thing between the Jets and Peyton Manning, he's the proverbial mongoose to the Jets snake. The Jets are a team that needs to blitz in order to bring pressure and that normally plays right into the hands of Peyton Manning, but at the same time they're  a 3-4 team which normally gives him trouble. Its a bit of a quandary but when you look at Peyton's  record against Rex Ryan defenses you see that he seems to have a mastery over them. Last year the Colts were down 13-17 going into the second half before the Colts rung up 17 consecutive points eventually beating the Jets 30-17 to get to the Super Bowl. Peyton's record against Ryan defenses is 5-1 with Peyton having 12 touchdown passes to go with only 2 interceptions. In order for the Jets to win this game they'll have to take some keys from the Patriots and Chargers wins against the Colts earlier this year. In both games the those teams didn't reveal their looks until right before the snap and were able to create pressure with 4 and 5 man pressure packages. This lead to something we haven't seen from Peyton in a few years and thats multiple turnovers. If the Jets are able to do that they're offense should be able to score a few requisite field goals and perhaps a touchdown or two which would allow them to win a relatively low scoring game. However listening to Rex Ryan talk all week, I doubt he'll bring those 4 and 5 man pressures, when somebody takes things this personally with a player who clearly isn't interested in any sort of rivalry with you things tend to turn out badly. I think Ryan's aggression will get the best of him and we can add another win to the Colts and Peyton's record against the Rex Ryan defenses and send the Jets home back to NYC.

Colts 31

Jets 17

New Orleans @ Seattle

New Orleans - 10

I think he'd just take a win this Saturday
This much can be said of Pete Carroll, he lead the Seahawks to the playoffs despite the fact they only have a 7-9 record. If he were to beat the Saints at home no one would remember the 7-9 record just like no one remembers the fact that the 2009 Cardinals who were a few plays away from winning a Super bowl came into the playoffs 8-8. In no way am I comparing those two teams just stating how short our memories are when teams win when it counts. The weather news this morning is that its going to be quite a rainy game today at Qwest field which I would think would be to the advantage of the Seahawks except for the fact that neither team can run the football effectively. Despite having one of the worst rushing offenses in the entire league the Seahawks managed to rush for 140 yards at 4 yards a carry last week and if they can emulate that performance this week against the Saints they'll have a chance to win this game. The Saints lost two of their best running backs in Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory last week for the rest of year leaving them with Julius Jones and Reggie Bush to carry the load for them in the backfield, they're both best suited as change of pace backs but the Saints no longer have that luxury. Luckily for them they won't need it, watching the Seahawks vs Rams game last week you could see that the Rams were playing not to make any mistakes with a plethora of short throws for Sam Bradford only taking 2 or 3 deep shots and both of those shots could have been huge gains if not for receiver drops. The Saints know the Seahawks are vulnerable to the deep pass and that's something their offense specializes in. Look for Drew Brees to forget about the running game in rainy Qwest field and go deep a number of times to Devry Henderson, Lance Moore, and Robert Meachem as the Saints do what we all expect them to do and beat the Seahawks.

Saints 33

Seahawks 20

Sunday, January 2, 2011

NFL Preview 2011 Edition

Week 16 Predictions heads up: 7-9

Week 16 Predictions against the Spread: 5-11

Record so far: 118-89

Carolina @ Atlanta

Atlanta – 14.5

If Atlanta doesn’t win this game all the great work they’ve done this year will be pretty much lost as they’ll probably be out of the top seed in the NFC. For them to do this they’d have to lose to a Carolina team playing for a coach they know won’t be back next year and with a number of players who know they won’t be back next year on the road. I just can’t see this Falcon team doing that. The Falcons lost a game to the Saints that it seemed the Saints pretty much wanted to give away, they can’t afford that two weeks straight. Luckily for them they won’t.

Falcons 34

Panthers 13

Cincinnati @ Baltimore

Baltimore – 9.5

Its like a fantasy......only its real
The Ravens still have hopes of earning a first round bye and have at least one home game this playoffs with a win by them combined with a Steelers lose. However the reason the Ravens are in this predicament in the first place is because they lost to this very same Bengals team giving them 2 division losses compared to the Steelers 1. Last week the Bengals played another team fighting for their playoff lives in the Chargers however that game was at home against a more flawed team that hadn’t gotten a look at the Bengals before. I can see the orange cats sneaking up on the Ravens once but definitely not twice.

Ravens 24

Bengals 17

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

Pittsburgh – 5.5

Pittsburgh has a simple formula for their first round bye, beat the Browns on the road and they get it. The Steelers were Colt McCoy’s first pro game and he played them on the road and put up respectable numbers for a rookie against that defense. He’s only gotten better with the game’s he’s played since then. While the Browns have lost 3 straight tough games I think the chance to put a damper in the hearts of a division rival combined with a solid running game and a Steelers team without Troy Polamalu will lead them to victory.

Browns 20

Steelers 17

Minnesota @ Detroit

Detroit – 3.5

Somebody break up the Lions; winners of three straight and two consecutive road games they’ve put together their best stretch of football in quite a long time. A great way to end the season would be to beat a Vikings team that’s been solid under interim head coach Leslie Frazier. To do that they’ll need to corral Joe Webb who’s had the look of a veteran in the first few starts of his young NFL career. As well as the Giants defense has played I just don’t think they have the team speed to contain Webb, Adrian Peterson, and Percy Harvin who are beginning to look the offensive trio of the future if you’re a Vikings fan.

Vikings 27

Lions 20

Oakland @ Kansas City

Kansas City – 3.5

In a game that seemed a lot more exciting 3 weeks ago the Raiders play the Chiefs in a game that could have been for the division title but instead is for absolutely nothing. The Chiefs have little reason to play any of their starters this week but I doubt they’ll rest them the entirety of the game as they’ll want to have some momentum going into wild card weekend and you never want to give a free win to a division rival. I think the Chiefs finish the year as the most surprising 11 win team this NFL season.

Chiefs 23

Raiders 20

Miami @ New England

New England – 5.5

Won't see this guy  for a while
At this point New England has everything wrapped up and if there’s any team that learned to not play any players when they have nothing to gain its New England. After watching Wes Welker go down with a season ending injury last year in a game against the Texans. I would be incredibly surprised if his players played more than a series or 2 if any at all. I think that will open the door for Tony Sporano to get his last win as the coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins 17

Patriots 14

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans

New Orleans – 7.5

New Orleans pulled off a huge win last week at home against the Saints not only securing their playoff berth but giving them a chance to snatch the division away in the final week of the season. Although the odds of it are slim since the Falcons are playing the worst team in the NFL at home no less they’ll still give themselves a chance with a win over a tough Buccaneers team.

Saints 31

Buccaneers 24

Buffalo @ NY Jets

Pick Em

The Jets while already in the playoffs are looking to create at least a sense of momentum if not any real momentum against the Bills this week. The Jets offense actually played well last week it was their defense that let them down against the Bears. The Jets defense while still ranked 4th overall in the league has looked like a shell of itself these last few weeks ever since getting obliterated against the Patriots in week. They'll get themselves together this week however.

NY Jets 24

Bills 9

Chicago @ Green Bay

Green Bay – 9.5

In a game the Packers have to win and a game that gets the Bears absolutely nothing I don’t see how the Packers can lose this one at home. Combined with the way they’ve played on both sides of the ball recently and I think they could still win this game even if the Bears had something to play for luckily for them they don’t.

Packers 33

Bears 20

Jacksonville @ Houston

Houston – 3

The Jaguars had a terrible loss last week against the Redskins who were lead by Rex Grossman. The Jaguars are still in the playoff hunt somehow but that will probably be over soon if the Colts can handle their business against the Titans. The Jaguars will be without both Mojo and David Garrard for this game which seems to spell doom especially heading out on the road to face a Texans team that could be playing for their coaches job if he hasn’t already been fired. Despite losing back to back tough games  and being without two of their offense stars I think the Jaguars still find a way to have a reason to watch the scoreboard.

Jaguars 23

Houston 20

Tennessee @ Indianapolis

Indianapolis – 9.5

The Colts basically need to win and they’re in. Once again it seems as though Peyton and company will be in the playoffs despite the gloom and doom predictions some of which could be read on this very blog the Colts has continued his career playoff streak. The Titans might have finally pushed Jeff Fisher out the door with their dreadful performance this year. One thing is for sure the Titans will look a lot different next year and the Colts are winning this game.

Colts 27

Titans 17

Dallas @ Philadelphia

Philadelphia – 3

Normally losing a player of Michael Vicks caliber would be an absolutely devastating blow to any team luckily for the Philadelphia Eagles they have Kevin Kolb as their backup quarterback who is more than capable of beating the Cowboys in the final game of the season as another tryout for whatever team he’ll be starting for next year. The Cowboys are also turning to their backup quarterback Stephen McGee who had one game where he managed one touchdown throw in a heartbreaking loss to Arizona. I’ll just say if he couldn’t lead them to a victory over Arizona his chances are even slimmer against the Eagles.

Eagles 27

Cowboys 20

NY Giants @ Washington

NY Giants – 3.5

The Giants need to win this game and get a little help in order to make it into the playoffs. It’s pretty simple actually if the Giants win and the Packers lose the G-men are in. Both of these games start at the same time and while I’m sure all the Giant players will say there won’t be any score board watching I have a hard time believing it. Luckily for them that Packers Bears game will give them a heads up pretty soon that their playoff hopes are dashed. However their still playing a Rex Grossman lead Redskins team, and while he’s been nothing but solid these past two weeks it’s only translated into a win over a hobbled Jacksonville team in overtime.

Giants 27

Redskins 19

San Diego @ Denver

San Diego – 3.5

Better luck next year guys
For the first time in 4 years the Chargers won’t make the playoffs and for some reason their owner Dean Spanos decided to assure both Wade Phillips and A.J. Smith their jobs before the season was even over. Why; I don't know but luckily for them their jobs are safe and they'll be around next year to lead this same group of underachievers to another disappointing season for Charger Fans. It doesn't seem like their window for a super bowl is closing but who knows if its ever really been open.

Chargers 27

Broncos 13

Arizona @ San Francisco

San Francisco – 6

In one of the most bizarre firings I think I’ve ever seen in the NFL the 49’ers fired head coach Mike Singletary with one game left in the season. I don’t know if he was so embarrassing the organization couldn’t handle one more game of him but I don’t know they’ve made themselves an ever bigger embarrassment by firing a head coach a week before the season ends. I think the embarrassment continues this week with a loss to the Cardinals

Cardinals 27

49’ers 23

St. Louis @ Seattle

St. Louis – 3

I understand the fact this is the first real playoff game of the year with true win or go home implications but part of me still can’t believe that a 7-9 team could make the playoffs and the NFL decided to flex that to prime time. With all that being said I still think this game could end up being surprisingly good with two teams that are close in talent but heading in seemingly opposite directions. The young Rams with a young nucleus on both sides of the ball against an aging Seahawks team lead by an offense seemingly on its last legs at most every skill position. It seems that Matt Hasselbecks ailing back will keep him out of this game and that will keep the Seahawks out of the playoffs.

Rams 24

Seahawks 16

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday Night Preview: Hope you had a good Festivus.

New England @ Buffalo

New England – 7.5

After struggling against a Packers team lead by Matt Flynn I think the Pats get back to the version we saw the past 3 or 4 weeks laying the hammer down on any opponent unlucky enough to cross their paths.

Pats 33

Just look at this face. Hilarity ensues
Bills 20

NY Jets @ Chicago

Chicago – 2.5

If theres something more awesome than Rex Ryan having a foot fetish that’s going on in the NFL right now then I’d like to see it. I’ll take the New York Devotees to go on the road and get the win.

Jets 17

Bears 13

Baltimore @ Cleveland

Baltimore – 3.5

Peyton Hillis isn’t looking good which means that the Browns chances of pulling an uspet are looking even worse.

Ravens 23

Browns 17

Washington @ Jacksonville

Jacksonville – 7

I just have a feeling that last week was the best effort will see from Rex Grossman in a Redskins uniform.

Jaguars 23

Redskins 9

San Francisco @ St. Louis

St. Louis – 2.5

The Sam Bradford NFL rookie of the year tour continues with another win in the division as the Rams creep closer to a division championship.

Rams 16

This picture is in every Florida Alums Bible
49’ers 10

Houston @ Denver

Houston – 3

I think this is the game that Gary Kubiak will get fired for. The Denver Broncos haven’t been able to keep it close with anyone these past few weeks but Tim “Jesus” Tebow will lead them to victory over the perennial 8-8 Texans.

Broncos 24

Texans 20

Indianapolis @ Oakland

Indianapolis – 3

The Raiders have finally given me a legit reason to hope this year. They’ve even managed to remain in the playoff picture all the way up to week 16. However that picture will be thrown in the trash this week by Peyton Manning.

Colts 27

Raiders 23

San Diego @ Cincinnati

San Diego – 7.5

San Diego needs to win their last two games and for the Chiefs to lose one. I don’t know if the Chiefs will lose but I can’t imagine the Chargers not winning these last two games.

Chargers 34

Bengals 20

Seattle @ Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay – 6.5

Tampa Bay lost an absolute must win last week against the Lions which would have put them at 9-5 and still in the hunt for a wild card birth and while their playoff hopes are still alive I think the door just shut on their 2010 season. With all that being said I think they’re still much better than the Seahawks

Bucs 20

Seahawks 16

Tennessee @ Kansas City

Kansas City -5

Kansas City can’t close the door on a division championship and a playoff berth in this game but by winning it they’ll officially close the door on the Raiders playoff hopes, consider that door shut.

Chiefs 20

Titans 9

NY Giants @ Green Bay

Green Bay - 3

After watching the game Green Bay played last week against the Patriots on the road without Aaron Rodgers I can’t pick against them at home against a Giants team that just suffered one of the all time worst sports gut punches in quite a while.

Packers 34

Giants 31

Minnesota @ Philadelphia

Philadelphia – 14.5

If you didn’t read the Tuesday wrap up check it out for my feelings on this Eagles team. Even if Brett Favre plays the Vikings don’t have a chance, and I honestly don’t know whether the score will be closer with or without him.

Eagles 27

Vikings 17

New Orleans @ Atlanta

Atlanta – 2.5

Atlanta shuts the door on a division championship and a 1st place seed in the playoffs all in one fell swoop.

Falcons 24

Saints 21