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What a crazy NFL season. We had near undefeated teams completely throw their season, near undefeated teams completely collapse, a playoff chase that included seven teams in the AFC going into Week 17, a 40 year old QB take his team to a bye week and a rookie QB riding his defense into a wild card spot.
This year’s playoff includes a busload of superstar and up-and-coming quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez… and also Carson Palmer and Tony Romo are there.
Of these quarterbacks, four have rings and an additional two more have been to the big game at least once. Three on this list played in conference championship games. Three players have never won a playoff game: Aaron Rodgers (second year as a starter after sitting behind Brett Favre for several years), Mark Sanchez (let’s give this guy a break here, he’s a rookie), Carson Palmer (Carson suffered a severe knee injury in the final game of the 2005 season, and was unable to participate in the only playoff game the Bengals have played in since he joined the team in 2003, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and hasn’t been the same player since that injury), and Tony Romo.
It’s the playoffs, so screw the spreads. I’m picking winners! Home team underlined.
Philadelphia over Dallas
Tony Romo, professional choke artist. In Romo’s first playoff appearance in 2006, he dropped the snap on an extra point try, then stumbled toward the end zone only to fall down on the 2-yard line. The result was a 21-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In 2007, Romo, no longer holding for field goals and extra points, ended the Cowboys season with a fourth quarter interception to then-Giants cornerback, R.W. McQuarters.
Here in 2009 (this is the 2009 season, by the way), The Cowboys come into the playoffs as the division winner and will host the Eagles for the second straight week. The Cowboys have defeated the Eagles twice this season. It would appear Dallas has the advantage this week after an absolute dismantling of the Eagles in Week 17.
However, I’m going the other way. I think it’s the making for a perfect storm. Romo is holding kicks again, and has to be feeling good about their chances this weekend. I’m no karmic expert, but I think the universe has it in for Tony Romo, and we’re going to see it again on Saturday.
New England over Baltimore
Mr. Pho of the 4SportBoston crew gave a darn good breakdown of the Ravens/Patriots matchup , and I’ll let it stand. I’ll just tell you my pick and move along. I know we’re in trouble without Wes Welker, and the Ravens have just the type of running attack we struggle to match-up against, however, maybe the Welker injury works in our favor this week.
At least it will make the Ravens guess early what we’re going to try to do. All season it’s been Welker, Welker, Welker, Welker, Welker, Moss touchdown. Well something will have to change for us to move the ball, and I don’t think you, me, or the Ravens know what BB has in mind.
Cincinnati over NYJ
The Bengals were embarrassed last week. They played their starters for most of the game and couldn’t get anything going on offense against this same Jets team. This week they get back to doing what they do best, run the football. Chad Ochocinco had some key drops in Week 17, and I’m sure he’s been beating himself up over it all week, since, you know, he’s so hard on himself. Anyway, this one is going to be close, and if either team scores 20 points I’ll be scatterbrain shocked.
I watched some of this game last week, and saw the Cardinals lay down. This was probably a good strategy for the them. It kept Kurt Warner off the turf and maybe even gave the Packers some overconfidence. I don’t think it matters though. I think the Packers are a better team and their defense is just playing great right now. Factor in the knee injuries suffered by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Anquan Boldin, and I’m really leaning towards the cheeseheads.
This only leaves one final claim.
My Super Bowl Extra-Large-4 picks :
I’m always going to root for the Pats, but without Welker, I just can’t make that pick.
I am going to go ahead and make my pre-playoff Super Bowl pick here, I'm sure this will evolve in the meantime:
Minnesota Vikings over San Diego Chargers. There, I did it. I know the Vikings have some issues, especially defensively with EJ Henderson gone and Antoine Winfield apparently not 100 percent healthy. However, provided Adrian Peterson takes some time during the bye week to practice holding onto the football, the Vikings can score points with anyone. Also, the Chargers are the best team in the AFC right now, but I won’t put money on a Norv Turner coached team to win a Super Bowl until it’s over.
Or will I? I just flip flopped.
San Diego Chargers over Green Bay Packers
Didn’t see that coming did you? Well there it is, that’s my pick.
(Originally posted on 4SportBoston.com )