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Super Bowl XLIV Prediction

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Peyton Manning has reached the status that not many athletes haven ever accomplished.

Peyton is on the same level only M.J. and Montana were in their primes.

You just don’t bet against them in a big game.

Early in his career Peyton mad a reputation for choking in the playoffs and never coming up big when it mattered most.

Since that 2006 Super Bowl run, Peyton has been a different quarterback.

One who is playing his best football this year at age 33 and one I want no part in betting against this week.

Sure the Saints are playing for the city of New Orleans and that all sounds great, but in reality that means nothing once the whistle blows.

The Saints are a good team.  They’re just not in the same class as the Colts.  Continue reading

Divisional Round Wrap Up and Championship Game Picks

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The three home teams and the f**king Jets.

Those words are courtesy of Rex Ryan.

And with that the final four is set.

It was another rather dull weekend of football with the only good game being the late Sunday afternoon affair once again.

But we still have the “best Sunday of football” to look forward too.  Hopefully it’s better than the “best weekend of football” was because I just might lose it if both games are blowouts and I have to suffer through countless AT&T commercials starring a rather pudgy Luke Wilson, whose still waiting to get the call to be in Legally Blond 3.

Before we talk about next weeks games we should look back at the week that was.

Saints 45 Cardinals 14

The loss for the Cardinals could be the last game Kurt Warner ever plays.  If he does hang them up – which it looks like he will – it will end one of the most interesting careers.  To go from stocking shelves to Super Bowl MVP to being benched and then back to the Super Bowl is quite an accomplishment.  He definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and I might even call him a first ballot Hall of Famer.  He led two lowly franchises to Super Bowls, winning one, and owns a career 9-4 postseason record along with many other records.

The Cards will also likely trade Anquan Boldin after seeing that they have capable replacements in Steve Breaston and Early Doucet.  While his loss won’t sting as much as Warner’s, the Cards may come crashing back to earth next season led by Matt Leinart.

Hey 49ers, find a quarterback in the off season and pathch up some holes on the o-line and you should make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Colts 20 Ravens 3

One of the more boring playoff games in recent memory.  Even when it was still 3-3 in the second quarter, you still knew there was no way Baltimore was winning that game.  Their offense was dreadful and it was only a matter of time before Peyton made his move.

After this game the mood of the locker room was retirement as well as Derrick Mason expressed doubt about his future.  Hey, it looks like Baltimore and Arizona could make a deal.  How does a second rounder for Anquan Boldin sound?  Which teams says no?

Also somewhat surprisingly Ed Reed said he was 50-50 about coming back.  Don’t read too much into that as he was just frustrated over the loss.  Maybe if he stopped turning it over after he forces a turnover the Ravens might still be playing.

Minnesota 34 Dallas 3

What was suppose to be the game of the week turned into the biggest blowout of the weekend.  The Vikings harassed Tony Romo all game long never giving him a chance to make something happen.

Maybe things would have been different if he would have gotten some help from his $45 million receiver, Roy Williams, who was too busy counting his money to actually catch a pass.

I have to agree with Kieth Brooking to an extent for calling the Vikings out on running up the score.  I didn’t mind that they went for it so much, but the fact that they passed it didn’t sit well with me.  Just run the ball and see what happens.

Jets 17 Chargers 14

Those Jets just won’t go away.  They’re now only one game away from the Super Bowl, where they haven’t been since Joe Namath was under center.

The defense bended but never broke holding the Chargers to virtually no big plays.  Add in some great o-line play and the fresh legs of Shonn Greene and the Jets got themselves a victory.  I wonder if Eric Weddle has recovered after getting bowled over by Shonn Greene on his td run.

For the Chargers they have plenty of people to blame for yet another postseason failure.

Nate Kaeding missed as many field goals during the game (3) as he did all regular season.  If I’m the Chargers I’m hoping he pulls a Mike Vanderjact and calls out Phillip Rivers and Norv Turner at the Pro Bowl so I have an excuse to cut him.  Even if he doesn’t he’s still got to go.  I don’t care how good he’s been in the regular season the kid cant kick in the clutch and he’s clearly rattled now.  Vanderjact was never the same kicker after he missed that kick against the Steelers in the 2005 playoffs and Kaeding looks headed down the same path.

Then you have Norv Turner.  Where to start with him?  How about with sticking with an over the hill L.T. and completely ignoring Darren Sproles.  Then at the end of the first half he got a few carries and did something with them and you thought ok he’s got it now.  But this is Norv were talking about and Sproles was nowhere to be seen as L.T. continuously ran into the line of scrimmage and got stuffed.   There’s also the onside kick at the end of the game.  If you kick it deep, we’ll say the Jets get the ball at the 25.  They run three plays don’t have enough for the first and punt because of where they are on the field.  Then the Chargers get the ball at the 35 with a minute and change left only needing a field goal.

But hey, what does Norv Turner get for this mess you might ask?  Well, his punishment was a three year extension.  Are you serious San Diego?  Yeah, it’d be hard to fire him after the season they had, but you didn’t have to give him an extension.  Does anybody actually believe Norv can lead the Chargers to a Super Bow?  Don’t forget Bill Cowher, a Super Bowl winning coach, is a free agent just waiting a good job and would hop at the opportunity to go to San Diego.  Maybe next year Chargers fan, but probably not.

Now let’s take a look at the two conference championship games on Sunday.

New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts Continue reading

NFL Divisional Round Picks Against the Spread

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It was a rather uneventful Wildcard Weekend save for the Packers-Cardinals game.  Luckily the Divisional Round is often produces “the best weekend of football” and the matchups have the potential for some great games.  But first, can we get rid of the name Divisional Round.  What does that even mean?  Couldn’t the NFL have though of something better before settling on Divisional Round.  Who was like yeah let’s call the Divisional Round, that’s a great name.  It could be the worst name in all of sports. Why not just call it the Conference Semifinals or something similar.  All right, enough of my rant let’s get on to my picks.

I went 4-4 last week, nailing every Saturday pick and missing every Sunday pick.  As I did last week, I’ll be picking the over under as well.

Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints

The Cardinals are coming off an emotionally draining win over the Packers are now have to travel to New Orleans and play on a short week.  Granted, the Saints are arguably the coldest team in the NFL losing three straight since starting 13-0.  However, the Saints will be at full strenght this game with Pierre Thomas back to solidify the running game, Jeremy Shockey back at full strength, Lance Moore adding more receiving depth, and perhaps most importantly having their starting corners, Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter, healthy for the first time since Week 8.

This game looks like it has the makings of a shootout with Drew Brees and Kurt Warner trying to out-duel each other.  After seeing Arizona’s defense get shredded by Aaron Rodgers I see no reason why Drew Brees won’t do the same.  The Saints are number one in the NFL in takeaways and as great as Kurt Warner has played he is also very turnover prone and I expect him to throw a few to the opposition.  The Cardinals are also playing in the SuperDome, which will be even rowdier than usual because of the playoffs.

The Pick: Take the Saints (-7) and the over (57)

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts

All the talk leading up to this game will be about how the Colts rested their starters blowing a shot at an undefeated season, but none of that will matter once the whistle blows.  The Ravens looked great last week as they dismantled the Pats, but I wouldn’t be drinking the kool-aid too much.  They caught the Pats at the right time — no Wes Welker, an aging and under preforming defense — and took advantage.  The Colts will be ready for them and there’s no way they get up 24-0 on the Colts.

Getting up so much so quick allowed the Ravens to mask Joe Flacco, who threw for just 34 yards, and their poor secondary by forcing the Pats to pass.  With the Ravens having to stay honest to the run against the Colts expect Peyton Manning to pick apart the Ravens secondary.  He’ll have all his targets fully healthy and even though the Ravens have a good pass rush, Indy is ranked number one in pass protections and Peyton Manning has such a quick release.  I expect the Colts to come out playing with a chip on their shoulder and take care of business in this one.

The Pick: Take the Colts (-6.5) and the Under (44)

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings Continue reading

NFL Wild Card Weekend Picks Against the Spread

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I ended the regular season on a great note going 11-4-1 last week, ending my mini slump.

Let’s see if I can keep it going in Wild Card Weekend.  As a bonus I’ll also be picking the over/under for each game.

New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Jets trounced the Bengals 37-0 last week to reach the playoffs, but this game will have a much different feeling.  For one the game will be in Cincinnati and the Bengals will get back Cedric Benson and Domata Peko among others.  However, I still like the Jets to win the game.

The Jets boast the rushing attack in the league and love to play an old school ground and pound attack.  No team has been able to stop them, which will mask Mark Sanchez and the weak passing game.  The Bengals run a similar offense to the Jets though they have a passing weapon in Chad Ochocinco, but he will be covered by Darrelle Revis, who has shut down every receiver he’s faced all year.  With Ochocinco shut down it will force the Bengals to be a one-dimensional team against the leagues number one defense.

The Pick: Take the Jets (+2.5) and the Over (33.5)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

The NFC East rivals square off for the third time this season and for the second straight week.  The Cowboys have swept the season series, which included a 24-0 thwarting last week. 

Now the Cowboys aren’t as good as they were last week and the Eagles aren’t as bad, but I still like the Cowboys.  The ‘Boys have managed to take out DeSean Jackson both times and without his big play ability the Eagles offense is less than intimidating.  The run game has struggled to do much all year and other than Bret Celek they have no other proven receivers.

Don’t let the a team can’t beat a team three times in a season scare you off.  The Steelers did it last year to the Ravens.

The Pick: Take the Cowboys (-4) and the Over (45) Continue reading

NFL Week 17 Picks Against the Spread

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It wasn’t my best showing last week as I went 6-9-1 record with my picks.

Wee 17 is always a tough week to predict because we don’t know if/how much some teams starters will play.

It’s the last week of the regular season so let’s see if I can end the season on a good note.

Indianapolis Colts (+9) over the Buffalo Bills

The Colts will play their backups, but Buffalo is a bad football team and is just looking for the season to end.

Carolina Panthers (Off) over the New Orleans Saints

I don’t expect the Saints starters to play much at all and the Panthers are playing very good football recently with Matt Moore at the helm.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) over the Cleveland Browns

The Jags are fighting for Del Rio’s job and the Browns can’t actually win four games in a row.  Can they?

Dallas Cowboys (-3) over the Philadelphia Eagles

This is going to be a tough battle for the NFC crown.  I’m going with home team (Dallas) to eek out a victory.

Chicago Bears (-3) over the Detroit Lions

I’ve gone back and forth on this game all week, but without Stafford at quarterback the Lions offense has been nonexistent.

New England Patriots (+9) over the Houston Texans

I think the Patriots will play their starters at least long enough to keep this game competitive.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) over the Miami Dolphins

Both teams still alive for playoff spots.  I’m going with Big Ben over Chad Henne.

New York Giants (+9) over the Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are crumbling right before our eyes and the Giants will look to make up for their embarrassing effort last week.

Continue reading

NFL Week 16 Picks Against the Spread

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I had a so-so week going 7-8-1 with my picks in Week 16.

Let’s see if I can get on the winning side this week.

San Diego Chargers (+3) over the Tennessee Titans

As hot as the Titans have been, the Chargers have been playing even better.

Buffalo Bills (+9) over the Atlanta Falcons

As bad as their quarterbacks have been playing, another change can’t do much worse.

Miami Dolphins (-3) over the Houston Texans

Both teams playoff hopes are on the line here.  I’m taking the home team.

Kansas City Chiefs (+13.5) over the Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have only won one game by more than ten points.

New York Giants (-7) over the Carolina Panthers

While the Giants aren’t as good as they played Monday night, they should be able to handle the Panthers at home.

Oakland Raiders (+3.5) over the Cleveland Browns

There’s no way the Browns win three in a row.  Right?

Green Bay Packers (-14) over the Seattle Seahawks

The Packers have feasted on poor opponents all season long.

New England Patriots (-8) over the Jacksonville Jaguars

The Pats haven’t lost a game at home all year. Continue reading

NFL Week 15 Picks Against the Spread

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I had a decent week last week going 2-2 with my picks.  I missed on the Saints who didn’t cover and the Bengals who got blown out.  I did however, get my upset special in the Chargers correct and also correctly picked the 49ers over the Cardinals.

I’m going to switch it up a bit this week as I’ll be giving you my picks for every game.  Let’s hope that cures my recent losing streak.

Dallas Cowboys (+9) over the New Orleans Saints

Despite losing two in a row the Cowboys haven’t been playing bad football.  They’ll keep this one close, but the Saints will remain undefeated.

Buffalo Bills (+7) over the New England Patriots

It’s never easy to play in Buffalo in December and the Pats aren’t exactly on fire.

Arizona Cardinals (-12) over the Detroit Lions

The Lions have been outscored 74-3 in Daunte Culpepper’s two starts this season.

Tennessee Titans (-3) over the Miami Dolphins

This game should go down to the wire.  I can’t bet against Chris Johnson though especially when their home. 

Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) over the Cleveland Browns

Congrats to the Browns for beating the Steelers, but there’s no way they’re going to win two games in a row.

Houston Texans (-11) over the St. Louis Rams

Keith Null threw five picks last week as the Rams lost 47-7.  He might not have Steven Jackson this week.

New York Jets (-6) over the Atlanta Falcons

Sanchez will be back and the Falcons may be without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner against the leagues number one ranked defense.  Continue reading