By Derek Lofland
The NFL playoffs are finally here. Now is the time to separate the pretenders from the contenders.
My 2008 Regular Season Pick'em Record stands at 169-86-1.
Overall, I was very pleased with my predictions.
I had a .662 percentage picking games, meaning that on average, I correctly picked 10.6 out of the 16 games that were played most weeks.
I had only one losing record for a week the entire season, which was in Week 16. Furthermore, I picked my games on Tuesday, before the injury reports came out.
If you want to compare how I did to a major news organization, consider my success against ESPN.
Chris Mortensen’s record was 169-87, because he counted his Philly vs. Cincinnati pick as a loss, where I counted mine as a tie. Therefore, we were even.
He was their best expert at picking games this season; meaning I beat out Wickersham, Fleming, Hoge, Jaworski, Schlereth, Allen, and Golic.
I lost to the ESPN Accuscore, which had a record of 171-85. Considering that the ESPN forecasters have a lot more access to stats and information than I could ever hope to have, I am happy with how this season went.
Here is how I see the four opening playoff games going.
Atlanta (11-5) at Arizona (9-7)
The Cardinals had a good season this year. Their 9-7 record reflects only their second winning season since 1984. They finished third in points scored and fourth in yards gained.
The problem is that this is a very one-dimensional team. They were 28th in points allowed and 19th in yards allowed. They were 32nd in rushing attempts and yards. The Falcons are a bend, but don’t break defense. They are 24th in yards allowed, but only 11th in points allowed.
I just don’t see the Cardinals having the balance to attack the Falcons, nor do I see the Cardinals having an answer for Michael Turner. I like Ryan, Turner, and White to have a big game and to beat the Cardinals in their first home playoff game since the 1970s.