It's called the best weekend in football, although the 2003 Packers may beg to differ.
Either way, it's not a good a weekend to be stuck working, which is the unfortunate plight of yours truly (just kidding, while I will be working, I hate it when writers refer to themselves as "yours truly" or something like "your beloved writer". Just shut up and write your damn story).
Unfortunately, my little experiment of putting actual money on these games ended after the Texas Longhorns failed to cover the other night, so these picks will just be for fun this week. It's probably for the better, especially since how much that Colts/Chargers game was an absolute joke.
Baltimore (+3) over Tennessee
I've been saying all season that it was going to be a Giants/Titans Super Bowl, but now I'm not so sure either of them will make it. The No. 1 seeded Titans are playing the best defense in football this weekend instead of the 9-8 Chargers, which kind of sucks for them.
Even though they have the dreaded rookie QB, I'm loving everything about the Ravens right now. The best thing about the Ravens is that they've been the exact same team every year they've been in existence.
Hard running football team with a great defense but not much of a passing game (except for the McNair/Mason reunion and that one day they thought they had T.O.).
Besides that, the state of Tennessee doesn't deserve to have a football team this good. I've seen it first hand, and I just don't think the Titans' fan base is anything to e-mail home about. They are just, I don't know, too nice or something. Nashville is a city that is just happy to have a football team. The Titans might deserve the No. 1 seed, but their fans don't.
That, and they lost to Brett Favre this year. I'm not betting on a team like that.
Cardinals (+10) over Panthers
Make no mistake about it, the Panthers will win this game. And it will probably be by nine points. I don't think the Cardinals are as much of a pushover in this game as people think.
Edgerrin James may have been whining about his playing time this year, but he's got the most rested legs in the NFL. Their defense is respectable, and Kurt Warner is much better at drawing up touchdown plays than he is drawing God (or was it Jesus?)
Steelers (-6) over Chargers
Would have thought about this longer if I had money on the line, but I don't. This is a tricky game to bet if you're betting for real though. If you're thinking of this game, you may still be looking to take an underdog, and this is an appealing game for you.
The Chargers are the hottest team in the league, and Darren Sproles is giving the Chargers a burst that they have been missing from Tomlinson this season. That, and they have been my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl all season.
Actually, let me think about this some more. This was my AFC pick to win the Super Bowl, and they started the season 4-8. They capitalized on the Broncos being flat out chokers, and stole the AFC West. They then beat the hottest team in the Indianapolis Colts, although they did have some help from the officials (although what goes around comes around, I guess).
But they've let me down all season when I have picked them. I'm going to stick with the 'Burgh on this one.
Giants (-4) over Eagles
I really wanted to go with the Eagles on this one, as they look very similar to the 2007 Giants. Then again, I said that last week about the Colts, and here we are. For some reason, I'm not even that excited about this game, even though it's sure to be a good one.
Maybe it's because FOX, NBC, and ESPN have been slamming NFC East matchups down our throats all season. Now that I think about it, I may have actually watched all those inter-divisional games in their entirety this season.
Except for this one. Yours truly will be working.