Well, it's the playoffs, baby! This is what we have been waiting for since the "hail Mary helmet catch" from last season. It's the playoffs, baby: no whining WRs, no overrated QBs, move over March Madness, darn it. Ah, pardon my french emotion (Lil Wayne), but as you can tell, IBM excited- I'm a Falcon fan, too. Nonetheless, my TOP 12 with a few Vegas nuggets.
1) NY Giants- "To be the man, you have to beat the man..." (Rick Flair) The Gmen are missing Plax and his big plays. However, know this: In 2007, they ranked No. 4 in rushing and their defense ranked No. 7...they won the Super Bowl; fast-forward, in 2008, they are No. 1 in rushing and No. 5 in total defense. Can you say, someone please stop the clock!!
2) Tenn Titans- The Titans remind of a big brother, "stop messing with me Jr...hit me again and I'm going to punch you in the mouth.." What they did to the #1 defense in the NFL a few weeks ago is impressive. It sent shock waves around the league and to all the little "Johnny Knuckles" laying under 34 and hiding behind the Steelers -1. The Titans covered 31 alone. Beware AFC, big brother ain't playing NO MORE.
3) Indy Colts- Payton and the boys are flying under the radar. They have won nine of their last 10 with the only lost coming at the hands of BIG Brother (see above). Close your eyes, can you see Manning move his hands and changing plays...theatrics??? I use to think so until I read this stat: they are 50 percent on third down, completing 101 of 201 and 69 percent on fourth down (yes, No. 1). I like Colts -1 under 51.
4) Pittsburgh Steelers- I think the Steel Curtain (No. 1 defense) is still embarrassed about getting blasted by Big Brother and coupled now with losing Big Ben in a "rest your starters" game. Fortunately, the black and gold have two weeks to heal and plan for a quietly perturbed Indy team.
5) Atlanta Falcons- Ok, I know this is the home team, but even the King of Dog fighting should be proud of the dirty birds this year. I like the birds -1 and over 51 this weekend.
The birds will run Turner, send Norwood, throw to White, and hold the ball 31 minutes. With the Cardinals only rushing the ball an avg of three yds per play and 74 per game, I think the Birds will cover comfortably.
6) Philly- Yeah, I know the Eagles beat my Falcons 27-14 in Philly and they should be ranked higher...But this is not the BCS. Philly is the probably the most focused team in the playoffs.
What they did to America's team last weekend was CRAZY; if you forgot, 44-6. Another little nugget is that they also beat NY Giants and the Steelers this season, too. I like them to cover -3 and over 41 this weekend, with ease.
7) Carolina- These sap suckers should be the No. 5 seed and my birds should be No. 2 seed, but I digress. This team struggles on the road: 12-4 and lost all their games on the road. Fortunately, they will be able to heal and get ready for a rematch...LOL.
8) Baltimore- This is a solid team with No. 2 overall defense. I think the lost against Pittsburgh stung a little, but the crushing of America's team, 33-24, the next week improved morale and confidence.
I like the fact that they crushed scrubs—their five loses came at the hands of teams ranked above them and in the playoffs. I like the Ravens to cover -3 and stay under 38. Dolphins are coping with the sell of the team, Parcells leaving, an emotional win at NY last weekend, and the RAVENS are 12-4 ATS.
9) San Diego- I think the hottest team in football is the Chargers. They have scored 93 points in the last two weeks: 52 on Denver and 41 on the road at Tampa Bay (impressive).
If had to pick an upset, I like the bolts to beat the Colts by seven and over 44. This should be the best game of the weekend; however, check the scoring between the two teams in the last five games. It will not be a track meet but more of a chess match.
10) Miami- If you are not a Parcell's fan, you have to be after this season. The Dolphins were 1-15 last season (not 0-16) and now hosting a playoff game!!!! Are you kidding me? However, the 27-13 lost to the Ravens this season was not by chance.
This will be the least exciting matchup this weekend, and I think Chad and his Comeback trophy will be headed to South Beach on Monday.
11) Minnesota- Whatever you do don't put your $ on T.J. this weekend. He will see sophisticated blitz packages like Ga Tech seeing linebackers stuffing their triple option last night. However, I must say the Vikings will get the ball because of their strong No. 1 rush defense...Philly will have to past. We all know that all passing is trouble for an offense in the pros. If you feeling lucky, lay a yard for +150.
12) Arizona- This is team reminds me of the Dallas Cowboys. They are underachievers with every favorable position filled: QB, RB, and WR. They are in the top five in passing yards and points per game.
However, they do not run the ball and their defense doesn't mind trading points. If E.J. stops polishing his gold teeth and runs the ball, this game could be the best match of the weekend. I still like the Falcons by six over 51.