What a great playoffs so far, we’ve had one great game, one okay game, and six blowouts. It’s made me much less excited about the upcoming games, but hopefully now all of the “pretenders” are out of the mix. Now, crossing my fingers, we’ll get a couple hard fought games this weekend for the race to own the 32nd draft pick. For some reason I find Shaq’s ultimate fundraising/dunk contest much more exciting than anything I’ve watched over the last two weekends. It’s very unlikely to happen, but you never know! Alas, I went 1-3 last week, AGAIN. I’m now only 2-6 on my playoff picks, which doesn’t really surprise me, since at the outset I knew that picking the playoffs never works out for me. Maybe it’s given me just one more reason to not care as much about these playoffs, but when game time rolls around, I’m sure I’ll be ready to watch. As always the home teams are in bold.
New York Jets (+7.5) Over Indianapolis
I wouldn’t consider myself on the Jets bandwagon, but they are playing some really good football right now. Even though the Jets regular season win over the Colts was against the second stringers, it has to give them some confidence going into this road game. I do want the Colts to win, possibly because I’m already tired of the New York hype machine. The way the Jets shut down SD last week has me wondering if luck IS on their side. It was surely on the Colts side last week as both Peyton picks didn’t hurt them. The Jets situation makes me reminisce about the Steelers march as the 6th seed to a Super Bowl title. I’m wondering how the Jets are going to attack this Colts D. We know what the Jets defense is going to do, and that will be everything they can to confuse and get pressure on Peyton. I know that the Colts haven’t been known over the years for any kind of run stopping capabilities, but this season they’ve held teams to 87 yards per game, which was good for third lowest yards allowed in the league. Since they are better at containing the running game than San Diego, they should be able to keep Greene and Thomas in check enough to pull out a close victory. They also did an amazing job on Fitz last week, so it seems like Braylon should have as tough a time as he does with actually catching the ball. I think the most interesting part of this game will be seeing how many times Peyton tests Revis Island. If Reggie Wayne has a big day, I have no shot at winning this bet. If the Colts jump out into an early lead, and my hopes rely on Sanchez, I have no chance of winning this pick. BTW, can you remember the last Championship game that was over a TD spread!?! Another thing I’m weary of in this game is the home team has won the AFC Championship three straight years.
New Orleans (-3.5) Over Minnesota
I couldn’t be more wishy washy with this pick since the line came out. Who knows by game time I might change my mind again. For now it’s the Saints though! I love the way they played like their old selves last week, even if it was at the expense of a terrible Arizona D. I’m thinking that it only takes one week to get your swagger back, and they looked rested and revived with plenty of swagger at home. I think the Saints D showed what they are capable of against a high powered offense, and have the tools to slow down another old man. I see the same type of energy this week coming out of them at home. I truly believe that the home field exists more in New Orleans than any other stadium, which has helped this team thrive over the season. If Minnesota wants to win this game, they’ll need to give AP the ball more. He needs to be more of a factor than Reggie Bush. I think because Bush was a factor last week it will keep the Vikings gambling defense a little more honest. Brees is as good as it gets on getting the ball out quickly, and I don’t see him ever holding the ball Romo-like in the pocket waiting for the mullet to destroy him. I’m really hoping this prediction is correct, so we aren’t subjected to watch/listen to Favre hype for two straight weeks. Another reason I’m not buying the Vikings is because I felt they had a pretty easy schedule, and seem prone to sucking in road games. They lost three of their last four road games, and the losses were to Carolina, Chicago, and Arizona. I’ll forgive the Arizona game, but the other losses shouldn’t have happened. It’s also when all the experts were wondering if they were even contenders. I’ve decided it’s because they just don’t play well on the road, and won’t this week either.