6-0 last week. I can’t believe it took me all season to finally have a perfect week, but it actually happened! What was even better about the perfect week is that it put me over.500 for the season for the first time all season. It’s been a fun this year having By around to keep me motivated on making all these picks. Plus, it’s much more fun than caring about the Starbucks logo changing. Hopefully next year I can take By down!! Also, this week we were joined by Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. I made the same picks over on his site if you want to check out even more reasons why I picked these teams check it out here.
I must admit, I’m a bit jealous Chaps had a perfect week, something that I was striving for all season long. But I can’t complain about a 42-35-5 record on the season, the first time I’ve made picks in which I could reflect back on from a whole season’s worth. It was real fun joining Chaps this season, and I definitely look forward to next (if there is one). According to Roger Goodell, there will be. But for now it’s money time, onto the playoffs!
Week 17 (Chap 6-0, By 2-2) Overall (Chap 48-47-3 By 42-35-5)
New Orleans (-10.5) @ Seattle
Chappy picks New Orleans -10.5. Is there any question on this one? Seattle shouldn’t be in the playoffs, and the Saints will show us all why. I understand that Drew Brees hasn’t had a career year, and has thrown quite a few picks this year, but you know what makes up for a subpar season? Winning in January. He’s shown he can do that, and I think he’ll open up a few big plays against a not very impressive Seahawks defense. Plus, the Saints have had the same problems as two other playoff teams during the regular season, injuries to the offense (Packers and Colts), but were good enough to still win 10 games. I feel like injuries were the reason the Falcons are widely conceived to be a much better team. Now, Brees has most of his weapons back at the right time, so we will soon see who is best, I think they’d play next round.
By picks Seattle (+10.5). What!? I stated how much I hate Pete Carrol before right? So why the contradiction here? Why would I pick his team to win? Quite simply put, this game can only head in one of two directions. Either the Saints completely mop the floor with the Seahawks winning by some 40 points, or the Seahawks pull off one of the greatest upsets in playoff history by dethroning the champs. There’s no in between in my eyes. There’s no Seahawks lose a tight one. And as much as I love Drew Brees and despise Cheat Carrol, I’m hoping Seattle shows some NFC West pride and represents our division well. Otherwise the NFL might have themselves a BCS like controversy in terms of how they decide playoff participants going forward. Seahawks have nothing to lose here, which makes them dangerous, I like their chances.
Meehan picks New Orleans -10.5. The Seahawks ended the year with a -79 point differential, and to make matters even more depressing, lost every one of those nine games by 15 points or more. Yikes. Later on, I’ll discuss why this upsets me so much. The Seahawks shouldn’t get their “12th man” advantage, because this game should be in New Orleans. They didn’t beat anybody good and all of the good teams they played they got smoked. Now, I’m picking the Saints, but I will say that if an upset this weekend has to happen it’s this one here. Prediction: New Orleans Saints 32, Seattle Seahawks 15
NY Jets @ Indianapolis (-2.5)
Chappy picks Indianapolis (-2.5). The Colts are a good team despite injuries to the offense. Peyton has shown he can beat the Jets, and eventhough neither of these teams are the same he showed last year putting up 29 points on Jets in the AFC Championship game wasn’t a problem. I feel like the Jets were really lucky last year to get into the playoffs, because they were. This year they could have easily been 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 and missed the playoffs. They had eight games that were decided by less than a TD, and most went their way. If Indy jumps on them early, I don’t really see any way Sanchez can lead the Jets back in this game. The Colts D is built to play with a lead, and with Sanchez not be putting points on the board if they are more than two scores behind. I hope we can kill all the Jets publicity this weekend, but then again if the Colts win we might have to suffer through 500 Manning commercials a game.
By picks Indianapolis (-2.5). I remember saying a little while back, that the Peyton Manning that’s flying under the radar may perhaps be the most dangerous one. Coming into the playoffs in 2007, no one expected a Colts team that didn’t dominate their schedule to do much damage in the post season. Those low expectations led to Manning’s first ring. This post season comes with even less expectations. Manning has had some big choke moments, but I think he comes out guns blazing this weekend, and the Jets won’t know what hit them. New York had the makings of a championship team when they were featured on Hard Knocks, but if their advancement lies on the arm of Sanchez, I’m hopping off the wagon now. Colts by 4 at home.
Meehan picks Jets (+2.5). RM: Even if they are really good, the idea that the Jets are this Super Bowl bound powerhouse doesn’t strike me as too threatening just yet. This is a very winnable game for both teams. I’m taking Indy to lose based mostly on the overall wear I see on Peyton Manning’s face during the postgame interviews. Something about the 2010 Colts hasn’t really clicked for me or pretty much any other non-Colts fan that I talk to. Do I think the Jets are a much better team? Not really, but they are healthier and sometimes in the NFL that’s all a team needs to have an advantage in a game like this. This won’t be a blowout no matter what happens. Prediction: New York Jets 26, Indianapolis Colts 24
Baltimore (-3) @ Kansas City
Chappy picks Baltimore (-3). I wish the Chiefs didn’t play so scared last week against Oakland’s physical defense (which is very similar to Baltimore’s). Did you see Cassell in the pocket last week? He was dodging ghost linemen that weren’t even there! I think he pissed his pants at one point in the game in fear of getting hit. There’s no way you can lead a team when you are worried about getting hit every play. If you think the Baltimore defensive players didn’t see that in the film room, you must think they don’t watch film. If the Chiefs can get a running game going, they will have a shot, but with Ngata and Ray Lewis clogging up holes that’s a very tough task. I would like to see the Chiefs win, but Baltimore is playoff tested, and almost always makes it out of the first round.
By picks Baltimore (-3). God I want to root for Kansas City, I really do. Actually I take that back, I will root for Kansas City, but I put no faith in them. Everyone’s picks to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl prior to the start of the season was either the Jets or the Ravens. I hopped off the Jets bandwagon the moment they were scheduled to travel to Indy for the Wild Card round. As for the Ravens, their offense has made huge strides this season, now only if the defense can stop giving up late fourth quarter leads. I think Ray Lewis will correct their problem for the playoffs. The Chiefs are exciting, I’ll give them that. Dwayne Bowe and Jamal Charles are fantastic, young players. Future’s bright for the Chiefs, just not this weekend. The Ravens are too balanced.
Meehan picks Baltimore (-3). In with the old and out with the new. I’d be shocked if the Chiefs find a way to pull this one off. They’ll be going against a violent Ravens defense headed up by Ray Lewis, who led Baltimore to its first Super Bowl victory a decade ago. Wait, did that just say the Ravens are only three point favorites? I guess I could see that, seeing as how Kansas City is at home…but does anybody forsee the Chiefs having any shot whatsoever at winning this game? All that being said, 41 for a point total is a hard bet to make. That’s very close to what I would have but I’d end up taking the over. Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 26, Kansas City Chiefs 19
Green Bay @ Philadelphia (-2.5)
Chappy picks Green Bay (+2.5). Vick isn’t the same QB he was about four weeks ago, whether it’s because of injuries or that teams have figured out how to contain him, I’m not really sure. Sure, Vick can make some amazing plays (I enjoy everyone of them), and will likely do better than he did last week, but the Packers defense is healthier than they’ve been in awhile. On the other side, I’m more worried about Philly’s defense much more than their offense. They’ve suffered a ton of injuries the last few weeks up front and in the secondary. Aaron Rodgers has never won a playoff game, but I know he can. If it wasn’t for Kurt Warner last year, the Packers could’ve won one of the most exciting playoff games I can remember from last season. Seriously, who doesn’t like a 51-45 score!?! I doubt this game will turn out like that one, but I know that Rodgers can put up 30+ on this Philly D, and is a prime time performer.
By picks Philadelphia (-2.5). This is the hardest game for me to pick from a cheering standpoint. I’ve been a huge Aaron Rodgers fan since his days at Cal, where he showed the potential he now displays every Sunday. I would like nothing more than for him to win a title tying Brett Favre for championships won at Green Bay. But Mike Vick man. I’m so happy he’s turned his life around both on and off the field, but the stuff he does on the grid iron is just flat out ridiculous. Mike Vick is deserving of a Co-MVP award this season at the very least. The importance of him to this Eagles team is by far the most by any player to their team in the entire league. But, the Eagles are loaded with talent including another Cal product in DeSean Jackson. It’s all this talent and excitement on one team that has me rooting for Philly, and I think they get it done.
Meehan picks Philadelphia (-2.5). The Packers have one hope to win this game: That the Philadelphia Eagles show up and expect Michael Vick to do everything. If Philly shows up balanced, they easily win. If they do place everything on Vick’s shoulders, they can still win, but it could give Green Bay the opportunity to keep their defense off the field. The over / under on this one will be difficult to gauge as well, because Vick can put up 28 points like it’s nobody’s business. It’s possible that the Packers have the potential to get blown the fuck out here. They aren’t a better team than the Eagles when you factor in all of the injuries. But, they did have some receivers step up in the Chicago game, so you never know. Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 27, Green Bay Packers 24