NFL Divisional Round—Round Two Picks
OK, so I had a regular season Eli-esque performance (What? He played a great game on Sunday) in going two for four with my picks on Wild Card Weekend, but that's not going to stop me from picking the winners of the Divisional Round out of my hat—a blue cap with a red B on the front.
So mortgage your house, sell your car, and get your lazy kids to open up a lemonade stand to come up with the funds to put down on my brilliant picks.
Wait, you're telling me in order to bet you have to deal with all that point spread crap? Never mind then...I'm just picking the winners outright. You'll have to get the picks to bet on from someone else.
Jacksonville @ New England
I might as well get this one out of the way, seeing as everyone assumes I'm nothing but a homer anyway.
There's a reason that everyone, and I mean everyone, has been saying how Jacksonville is not a team opponents want to face in the playoffs this year. They're well coached, solid on defense, have a great running game, and a quarterback that hardly makes mistakes.
Wait...this sounds kind of familiar doesn't it? Isn't there another team with all of those attributes?
As good as Jacksonville is—even if I wasn't a Pats fan—I'm not about to assume anyone is beating them this year. Is everyone happy now? I said it: I think New England is going to run the table and win it all. It's not like it's far-fetched or anything.
That said, outside of Indy I think Jacksonville poses the greatest threat to New England lifting the trophy again. I don't think it will be a walk in the park for the Pats, but playing at home and having that potent offense will just be too much for the Jags.
I expect New England to come out firing in an attempt to get up early, limiting the potential for any extensive damage from Jacksonville's running attack. If the Jags have to throw to win...this game should be over at halftime.
San Diego @ Indianapolis
This should be the most competitive of all the games in this round. Both of these teams have the talent on both sides of the ball to win it all this year. It's obvious that Rivers is no Manning, but it's just as obvious that Addai is no LT.
The Chargers are obviously talented on D with Merriman and company, but I'm not totally convinced with the strength of their secondary. As if Manning isn't enough of a challenge, the Colts having Harrison back should test that secondary even more next weekend. Although the Colts will miss Freeney on the defensive side of the ball, they still have enough play-makers to pressure Rivers.
Where I think the talent on the field could be a toss up, is on the sidelines and in the stands, where I look for the advantage. Indy playing at home and having Dungy prowling the sideline is simply too much for the Chargers to overcome when all is said and done. The crowd noise is intense in Indy and Turner doesn't exactly scream Lombardi to me.
It should be close in the first half, with Indy eventually pulling away toward the end of the third quarter.
Giants @ Dallas
Which Giants team is going to show up? And to be fair, what Cowboy team is going to be there?
If the playoffs had started three or four weeks ago, everyone outside of New York (and probably a good deal in New York) would have said this would be a Dallas blowout. However, after seeing how the Boys finished the regular season, along with the last two performances of the Giants, I'm not so sure anymore.
I don't have the patience, or the desire for that matter, to sit and breakdown this game by position so I'm going to take a shortcut to save time.
The Cowboys should win this game on both sides of the ball. They should be able to rattle Eli, and Romo and TO should have a good deal of success against the G-Men's defense. They should do all of those things, but why do I have this odd feeling in my gut?
Dallas has already beaten them twice this season and there is really no reason for me to believe this outcome should be any different. Well, no reason except that feeling in my gut.
So, guess what? I'm taking the Giants for the upset. There's no key matchup to support it. I don't have any insider information either. No, there's really no logic at all behind this pick...just a feeling.
Seattle @ Green Bay
OK Seattle, it's been fun, but it's past your bedtime. Come on, finish your milk and cookies and let's get you to bed. Fine, I'll read you a story, but it'll have to be a quick one. Have you heard the one about how you have no running game? How about how you have to travel to Green Bay to battle a guy who someone apparently forgot to tell should suck at his age?
It's been a great year Seattle, like most of the years everyone has come to expect from you lately. But with the expected regular season success also comes the expected playoff exit.
Alright, you're nice and tucked in now. I'll leave the night light on for you. Maybe you can use the dim light to look at Mel Kiper Jr.'s draft board to find a running back.
So there you go—my picks. It's too bad these weekdays get in the way of all the fun. Saturday can't come fast enough.
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