*Playoff predictions should be taken loosely and should not be used when wagering*
Falcons 34 Cardinals 27 Matt Ryan has been proving everyone wrong, all year long. I see no reason for that to stop, against a poor defense. Maybe Ryan struggles a little out of the gate, but they should be able to run the ball at will while his emotions adjust to a playoff atmosphere, if those emotions even run wild in the first place, as Ryan seems to be cool under pressure. The Cardinals rushing offense ranked 32nd in the NFL. 32ND! And they have a below average defense which was scorched down the stretch. The only reason the Cardinals are even in the playoffs is because they play in a horrid division. But the game IS in Arizona, and it isn’t as though the Cards are a BAD team. So with all that I think it is fairly close, although Atlanta is the better team and should prevail.
Colts 30 Chargers 24 Peyton Manning is the league’s MVP, and deserving of the nomination. Phillip Rivers had a decent case too, although the winner was the correct choice. The Chargers couldn’t run the football this season, and they couldn’t play defense. That isn’t Rivers’ fault. But the Colts are more complete, and have the best quarterback currently healthy. Their defense has flaws, but isn’t atrocious. And did I mention that Manning is the best?
Ravens 23 Dolphins 15 The Ravens are simply better, but they are not unbeatable. Pennington has been as good as most quarterbacks this year, and he can move the football. Which is more important than being able to throw it further then the defense extends, unless of course a QB can do BOTH. The Dolphins are closer to average then they are great, but the game should be close and more of a defensive struggle. The Ravens are simply too good on defense, even if their offense isn’t incredibly potent.
Eagles 27 Vikings 16 The Eagles, when they balance their offense, are clearly the better team. But the balance has been non existent in basically 12 of the Eagles regular season games. However, the Eagles can stop the run AND the pass. The Vikings can only do one of those. The one advantage the Vikings have is that they can run better then just about anyone in football. But they are not dangerous throwing the football, and they cannot stop the pass either. If the right Eagles offense shows up, they should win without breathing hard, but the RIGHT Eagles offense did not show merely two weeks ago (although give credit to the Redskins D, too).
Falcons 31 Saints 27
Bears 19 Titans 16
Jaguars 26 Lions 22
Dolphins 27 Seahawks 18
Vikings 27 Packers 24
Patriots 21 Bills 19
Jets 21 Rams 20
Ravens 29 Texans 26
Panthers 30 Raiders 13
Colts 20 Steelers 17
Chargers 31 Chiefs 21
Eagles 27 Giants 23
Cardinals 34 49ers 19
Bills 24 Jets 16
Bears 31 Lions 13
Jaguars 27 Bengals 17
Browns 20 Ravens 16
Titans 23 Packers 15
Rams 28 Cardinals 24
Texans 24 Vikings 20
Bucs 27 Chiefs 16
Broncos 30 Dolphins 24
Falcons 26 Raiders 17
Giants 24 Cowboys 13
Eagles 27 Seahwks 20
Colts 30 Patriots 20
Steelers 23 Redskins 20
Bucs 20 Cowboys 16: No Tony Romo, no problem…for the Bucs. I think that the Cowboys are better if Romo is in there, as do many others, but the Bucs are no slouch either.
Redskins 31 Lions 20: The Lions are a terrible, terrible organization. But the Redskins have not played well the past two weeks. Either that or they ran into consecutive teams that were a little better than we thought (Rams, Browns). The Redskins I saw dominated the Eagles in every aspect of the game after falling down 14-0 early. I still think the Redskins are good, teams may be figuring out Jim Zorn’s strategy a little maybe.
Bills 23 Dolphins 20: The Bills are pretty good, I still am not sure how good though. A good win last week, but the Chargers are underachieving so far. I do however know that they are better than the Dolphins. It should be somewhat competitive, but the Dolphins seem like a team that will lose close games this year because they just aren’t good enough. At least, unlike last year, they have a QB that is worthy of playing time, even though he lacks arm strength. But we all know at this point that arm strength is not as important as smarts.
Patriots 27 Rams 17: I am definitely not sold on the Rams being good. Maybe Haslett has given the team some life, I don’t know. And I am still unsure about the Patriots too, but the game in is New England and I do think they are better. Matt Cassell also showed that maybe he isn’t a horrendous starting QB. The jury is out a few more weeks.
Chargers 30 Saints 24: Have in London, boys. Saints don’t have Reggie Bush which means the running backs should stay between the tackles a little more. The Chargers are better, and both teams need this game.
Jets 24 Chiefs 13: The Jets are not that great, but the Chiefs are bad, and Larry Johnson-less. The Chiefs just need to continue to rebuild, and if that means trading Larry Johnson in the offseason, then do it. Johnson has become a distraction on a bad team, and has taken a pounding from the running back position. I would trade him while he still has value.
Eagles 28 Falcons 20: Obviously, the Falcons are better than everyone thought. But the Eagles are getting healthy, and they are at home. I agree with what the analysts are saying, Matt Ryan may be in for a long day with all the blitzing that Jim Johnson does. But the Falcons should still keep the game within reach, partially because the Eagles don’t know how to put opponents away.
Raiders 19 Ravens 16: The Ravens may end up blowing out the Raiders. But the Ravens are not that good. The Ravens come off to me as an 8-9 team (3-3 currently). They can stay tight with some good teams, but will probably lose those games. And they can beat some bad teams. I just feel an upset this week.
Panthers 31 Cardinals 21: Cardinals throw the ball well. The Panthers are the more complete team. That being said, Arizona is far from a pushover, and the best team in the worst divsion that we have seen in a while.
Jaguars 27 Browns 19: The Browns are finally playing better but the division is finished. The Jaguars feel more like a 10-win team, but still better than the Browns are.
Texans 33 Bengals 24; Texans are better than the Bengals. And I really hope, for the sake of the organization, that the Bengals get rid of Chad Johnson after the season.
Giants 26 Steelers 23: The best game of the week. The Giants are good, but this is their most difficult task thus far. They will blitz, they will pound the ball, they can throw the ball. Pretty solid team, but after all they did win the Super Bowl last season. The Steelers are good too, but how doo are they? I don’t know that they are better than the Giants. The game is in Pitt, so that will help the Steelers, but I think the Giants win a squeaker. But being in the same division as the Giants, I am wanting to see the Steelers prove this pick wrong. And I would be lying if I didn’t want to see them throw a few exclamation points on at the end.
49ers 20 Seahawks 17: Two bad teams.
Colts 19 Titans 17: Peyton Manning goes conservative ala the Ravens-Colts 2006 divisional playoff. The Titans are better but I believe this is a close game, and the Colts show everyone that they are still a contender. More a mild contender than in the past, but hey, the Titans have to lose to someone, right?
First: I know that this is a baseball blog.
Second: I have no other place to write this where sports fans will read
Third: I will do this anyway
As some of you may know, I love football. Baseball may be my passion, but football is right behind it. I feel like some people that I know, mostly at work, seem to think that I don’t care much about football because I always love to talk baseball. But that is far from true, false actually. As a matter of fact, one football game has more intensity than almost any baseball game, and I fully appreciate the emotion that it brings. It is after all, only a 16 game season. That doesn’t mean that I enjoy football more so, it means that I understand the numbers. 1/16 is much more valuable than 1/162. So individually, NFL games do bring more excitement.
I was also a football fan well before I began Fantasy Football. My first league was in 2001 and I lost in the championship (won the championship in the other public league I played in with people I didn’t know). There are things I like about Fantasy, but also very much dislike. The one good thing it that it attracts more people to the game, but it also brings more “fantasy” fans as well. I don’t know about you, but when I am sitting at the local sports bar watching the Eagles, I really dislike the two guys next to me when they talk fantasy. Especially last week, when both had their Steelers jerseys on yet all I kept hearing about all was how their fantasy players were doing, and even worse, how their bench fantasy players were doing. But only a few observations about the team that they “apparently” were cheering for. Then at the end one said “How could the Steelers only score 6 points? The Lions probably could have scored 30, and we scored 6!” Now, the guy was drinking. And I am not sure how much he had, but the Lions are one of the 3-5 worst teams in football. They are awful. And add in that the Eagles have a pretty good defense, as they have showed in 2 of 3 games this season (Monday Night Shootout with Dallas was an aberration in my opinion, and that goes for the way both Dallas and Philly’s defenses played). The Eagles can stop the run. They are capable against the pass, and they can get to the quarterback. I actually have more concerns with the offense. When healthy I believe it can be pretty potent, but with McNabb, health is always a question, and with Westbrook to a lesser extent, as he has been fairly healthy the last few years. But anyway, the Steelers fan made a comment that he did not think about, or know of, either way I guess.
But I do enjoy fantasy, and I keep tabs on my guys during the games. But I don’t really like to talk fantasy as the games are going on, especially when the Eagles are playing.
Anyway, here are my picks for this week, with the projected scores.
Tennessee 22 Minnesota 13: As far as I can tell, I think that the Titans have the best defense in football. “But if you can run the ball, and stop the run. Then you can win in this league.” That is what analysts have been saying for a while, and also in reference to the Vikings the past few years. The problem with that is that the Viking have had arguably the worst pass defense, and passing offense. I think Frerotte may help the Vikings slightly over Tavaris Jackson, although going after another QB in the offseason (Pennington, etc) made much more sense. I just don’t think the Vikings will be able to do much this week. The Titans will make them pass the ball, by focusing on stopping the run as they do so well. And Frerotte will have to make some plays. Of course, on the other side of the ball Kerry Collins isn’t too much better. So I see a tightly contested defensive battle. After all, both teams are solid on defense, and neither has a potent offense. They actually mirror each other pretty well.
Denver 31 Kansas City 20: Speaking of the 3-5 worst teams in footbal. KC is right there. They however had a good draft and can look toward the future with some hope. Although they may need to hope a QB falls into their lap. Denver is red-hot. Cutler is playing out of his mind, and they should win this game pretty easily.
New Orleans 33 San Francisco 23: New Orleans really needs to win this game. The Niners are no pushover, but they aren’t a good team either, at least I don’t think they are yet. That could change of course. The Saints have a terrible defense…again. But they have a good offense…again. So they should be competitive during the season, but they need some improvements on the defensive side of the ball if they want to make some serious noise.
Jets 31 Cardinals 28: I am not sold on the Cardinals, but I am sold on their passing game. The Jets, as long as Favre plays, need to win this game. Well, I guess they need to win it whether or not he plays. But if he plays I think they win a squeaker. If he doesn’t play then I think that the Cardinals win by a touchdown. As for what I think of about the Jets? I think the fact that they won against the Dolphins erased some of the belief in Favre needing to learn the playbook. Not true, they barely won the game against a below average team, in week 1. Favre needs time. If healthy the Jets are primed to be better in the second half, but if they do not win games like this, then it may not matter.
Tampa Bay 26 Green Bay 20: If this game were in Green Bay then I would pick the Packers. But when the team in the coldest city comes to Florida in September, it doesn’t look promising. That being said, I think the Packers are solid, but not great. I think that the Bucs are ok, but they are, like I said, at home.
Carolina 27 Atlanta 17: Am I the only one that didn’t think Carolina was going to win the Super Bowl this year? It seems like every season they have plenty of supporters. I think that they are decent enough on both sides of the ball to stay in the hunt, and even make the playoffs. I just don’t believe that they can win 12 or 13 games. More like 10, but I guess that is good enough some times. Atlanta on the other hand is not as bad as we thought they were, but they will still probably win no more than 7 this season.
Jacksonville 30 Houston 20: Houston is not terrible. Jacksonville is better than they have played. I just don’t know how good they are. I think it would be safe to say they have taken a small step back since last season, even if it is only a win or two. But that may keep them out of the playoffs, at least 9 wins may.
Cincy 31 Cleveland 23: As bad as the Browns offense has been…I don’t see it getting much better. They are playing another team that is far from spectacular, but closer to their level then the opponents they have played. The Bengals should have traded Chad Johnson. I never like when he speaks, but that is beside the point. It has been a long time since Cincy has played any defense. Their offense going in wasn’t going to be anywhere close to its 2005 version, and they needed a solution. They should have traded Johnson, or whatever they call him these days. Even if it was just for a pick, because last time I checked defenders can be had in the draft too. Brady Quinn, Brady Quinn, Brady Quinn. I was skeptical of Derek Anderson last year, it just did not seem realistic that he was capable of continuing that success. But he has weapons, so I cannot say that I felt that he would be this inept either.
San Diego 28 Oakland 24: The Chargers are still capable of being good, and I believe they are. They just lost two heartbreakers before dismantling the Jets on Sunday night. If they win fewer than 10, then I will be very surprised. Oakland on the other hand is flawed, but they have played tough the last two weeks. Winning one against KC, then losing one at Buffalo on a last second field goal. I don’t think they are terrible, but not quite decent yet either.
Buffalo 24 St Louis 17: I think, for the first time this year, the Rams play someone tough. But the thing is, they are a terrible team. Sitting Bulger, who was locked up long term, for 38 year old Trent Green, who has had recent health issues, was stupid. Not that I ever thought Bulger was great, he wasn’t. He had the distant remains of what Vermeil left behind, and what Martz kept around from Vermeil’s reign. But still, he had talent around him. This season however, he had a running back, one receiver, and one offensive lineman that anyone knows. Oh, and a horrible, horrible defense. No QB would have much success in that situation. And I don’t expect Trent Green too either. Buffalo is solid, but they have work to do. I like their defense, but I am not too confident in their offense, yet. Although it is not terrible, so they may have enough to make it to the postseason.
Dallas 37 Washington 20: Dallas is good, really good. And yes, that pains me. But it isn’t that I think they can dismantle good teams on their way to the playoffs like this. I just think the Redskins are an average team. It is in Dallas, and like I said, they are good. When they play in Washington it should be closer.
Philly 24 Chicago 16: I know that Philly is my favorite team, but I like what I see. I do not know how healthy they will be this weekend though (McNabb, Westbrook, already down Curtis and Reggie Brown). But I don’t think that Chicago is too scary with Kyle Orton at the helm, or with any QB that they have had in the past 20 years for that matter. But it is in Chicago, and the atmosphere is always wild there. So I am not overly confident, trust me.
Pittsburgh 20 Baltimore 17: Prime pouncing time for the Ravens to really make a statement. But the game is in Pitt, and the Ravens offense hasn’t been all that good. I know the Ravens D has played very well so far, but so hasn’t Pitt’s. I think Pitt wins in a slugfest, in a “last minute field goal” type style.
Don’t expect much from these picks. I am simply doing it for fun. And isn’t that what blogging is all about?