Sunday, January 23, 2011

NFL Playoffs: Championship Round

Packers and Bears. I picked the Pack to win this because I didn't trust Cutler to come up big in big games. Boy was that an understatement. I'm interested to see what happens with the knee injury. Even if it's not too bad I'm not sure I trust the Bears to tell the truth on it. How could they if it's a minor injury? If it turns out to be something that most people will feel he could have played on then he'll be destroyed officially in that town. They have to say it's serious don't they? So how will we really know? We won't would be my guess. We will just have the image of a surly, seemingly disinterested Cutler standing on the sideline. Is it fair to him to question his toughness? Sure it is. That's what we do as fans. These points are all over the blogs and articles but I think they are fair points. First, if he's seriously hurt why stand on the leg from the sidelines for the rest of the game? But he wanted to support his teammates. Well then how about throwing on a headset and getting involved and supporting them like a leader does. Also, we've seen QBs beg and plead to be put back in the game after being injured. There was none of that visible from Cutler. Again, maybe we missed something. Some people don't wear their emotions. Cutler could have been dying inside but it's pretty clear if that's ever the case we'll never know it because the guy has robot face on pretty much 24/7. 2nd point, We've watched guys hobble around in the pocket on bad knees before. Byron Leftwich did it famously at Marshall . Robbie Bosco did it to win a national championship all the way back in 1984 (start at 5 min mark). Say what you want about negatively about Brett Favre (and I have), but that dude played more games than you could count where he should have been in the locker room by the second quarter. I don't know if Cutler could have played or not. I suspect he could of but maybe his knee truly was toast and he would have done more damage than good. Again, I don't know. I do know at least on this night Cutler didn't seem like much of a warrior.

--The Packers made this game much closer than it should have been. They seemingly played the entire game on the Bears side of the field and yet punted wayyyyyy more than you should ever punt your opponent's 40 yard line. A lot of third and shorts were missed and that could kill their chances in the Super Bowl if they don't get it fixed. Rodgers wasn't stellar but he was good enough. The Pack deserve to go to Dallas for the Super Bowll but you can't tell me we wouldn't have had a better game had the Saints been playing instead of Chicago. Damn Seattle Seahawks. Screwing up the playoffs again.

Steelers and Jets. I picked the Steelers because they were at home and because I thought their defense would show up big. Not a big leap to pick the home team but it's hard to go against Roethisberger in a big game. The dude seems to have a knack for making key plays. His last 3rd down play to ice the game was classic Roethlisberger. Extending the play, throwing on the run and off balance, and of course completing it. I thought the Jets should have been hustling a bit more in the latter part of the 4th quarter so more time would be left if they scored but the runs were working for them and they needed a for sure score. They were relying on their defense which played well in the second half. Just not good enough on 3rd down. --when they needed it the most. Still, it was a good playoff run for the Jets. If Sanchez has some clutch in him but needs to make a step up in consistency. I've learned one thing with Rex Ryan's guys, you don't want to count them out.

Super Bowl Pick: Steelers over the Packers. Sometimes the Packers mess up on the little things. It's what hurt them in the games they lost this year. Penalties, dropped balls, bad clock management. It's not epidemic or anything, just enough to lose some tight ball games they have no business losing during the year. The Steelers do all the little things right. I think Mike Tomlin is one of the top 3 coaches in the league. I want the Pack to win it but I think Steeltown gets another title.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

Bears over the Seahawks. Raise your hand if you had both of these guys playing in the 2nd round of the playoffs when the season began. This league is crazy and this game proves it. Actually last week proved it too. The Seahawks played out of their mind last week offensively. Hasslebeck got himself another year in Seattle as a starter with his near perfect game against the Saints porous defense. Thankfully for my Rams, that's a good thing. Hasselbeck never had much of a "prime" but I would say based on the last few years he's well past that prime. Of course people have gotten hot in the playoffs before and ridden the wave for 2 or 3 games. Maybe the hawks will go surfing on Hasselbeck's arm. More likely though the Bear defense will come crashing down on him and the Seattle offense like a Tsunami. The Bears, in my mind, catch a break by avoiding the Saints and instead should get a pretty easy path to the championship game. The Saints meanwhile are heading home after an 11 win season. You can talk all you want about how if they were really championship worthy they should win their game, even on the road, but I'm not buying it. Home field is an advantage otherwise teams wouldn't try so hard to get it. Seattle played better than New Orleans last week and they deserve to move on but a 7-9 team does not deserve a home game in the playoffs. Period.

Patriots over the Jets. Here go the bigmouths again. Jet coach makes an ass of himself. Jet's defensive back makes an ass of himself. Same old, Same old. Here also comes a repeat: Tom Brady is going to make mincemeat of New York/Jersey's secondary.

I think the Jets got lucky many times this year. I think they got lucky against the Colts. Overall they probably have the better team but Indy had that game won and they let it slip away. I really need to find a new AFC team to root for. Manning plays tight in the playoffs. He always has. Even his SuperBowl victory was a so-so game for him. It's frustrating to watch. I'll always wonder how he would have fared with Dallas Clark and Austin Collie to throw to.

Steelers over the Ravens. At some point you think maybe the Ravens will thump the Steelers. They have similar philosophies and similar players. Probably come down to a field goal.

Falcons over the Packers. Rodgers looks great but so do the Falcons. It's really a "pick em" game.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

NFL Picks:Wild Card Playoff Round

Jets over the Colts. I don't like either of these teams' chances to make it to the AFC championship game. Too many flaws. And you know this might be the first year that I won't root for the Colts to make it to the AFC championship. The reason? They have no chance to beat the Patriots. Lets face it, the chances are slim for anyone in the AFC to pull an upset in New England but the Steelers might come the closest.

Ravens over the Chiefs. I like K.C. and I would love to see them do well in the playoffs. I just don't see it happening.

Saints over the Seahawks. So Seattle knocked off my Rams last week. I hate the Seahawks. I felt like I was in Mike Martz withdrawal as I watched Sam Bradford try and nickel and dime is way to a first down each series. Geez Louise, do they have a pass play in their arsenal that goes past 6 yards? Two Ram games have been on tv this season in my tv market. Both have been bad games by Sam Bradford. I've read about Bradford doing well and I've seen some highlights where it seems he is doing well. But my own personal viewing of him suggests some work needs to be done. I mean, Charlie Whitehurst outplayed you man! Charlie Whitehurst! But I digress. Next season . Next season. My Rams made significant progress this year and I need to be happy about that. They should contend for the NFC West next year as well. That Ram/Seahawk game was ugly though. Fitting for a division champ that has a losing record. Shouldn't this give some push to the idea of seeding the playoffs by record? The Saints will face a disadvantage with the Seattle crowd noise but I think they'll pull this game out.

Packers over the Eagles. I think Rodgers will outplay Vick. Hopefully this will be a matchup for a few more years to come.