Chappy: I can’t remember a first round of the playoffs that I did well in, and last week was no exception missing 3 of 4 picks. No big deal though, there’s plenty of time for redemption. Last weekend was somewhat boring for playoff football, but now it looks like we’re getting into the fun match ups. If you happened to miss Tebow’s pass to win it in overtime, here’s an awesome peanut remake of the play.
Last Week: By (2-2) Chap (1-3)
Regular Season: By (27-20) Chap (50-35-4)
New Orleans @ San Francisco (+3.5)
Chappy picks San Francisco (+3.5). I can’t really tell if I’m rooting for the 49ers to win or not. I have mixed emotions about them returning to glory while the Raiders continue to spiral in god knows what direction. That being said, if there’s a team that can slow Brees down, this is the team. I feel like the biggest match up of this game will be Sproles. If they stop him, they will be able to get the Saints off the field. If not, they might be in for the longest day their defense has seen in awhile. If there’s one thing I love about the Niners it’s their linebackers abilities, and Bowman and Willis will be able to cover Sproles and Graham. The 49ers are also coming in probably the healthiest they’ve been all season, which is another reason I’m taking them in this one.
By picks who else? SF (+3.5) Obviously I’m a homer on this one, but without sounding too bias, I’ll state some reasons as to why the Niners might be able to pull this off. #1 – We’re at home, we’ll have a blood thirsty crowd on our side, and I’m crossing my fingers it’s going to be windy/rainy as hell over here come Saturday. #2 – We have the best defense in the NFL, and if the old adage holds true, defense is supposed to win championships. I couldn’t agree more with what Chappy said above, and it’s the same thing I’ve been telling all my friends/family/co-workers all week, if we can contain Darren Sproles, we have a legitimate shot at slowing down the Saints offense. I believe the Niners front 7 will get to Brees before deeper routes can develop, and if his safety valve in Sproles is locked up, it changes the complexity of their entire offense. I don’t think the Saints score more than 20 against us. The question is, will we get 21 against them?
Denver @ New England (-13.5)
Chappy picks New England (-13.5). Did Tebow really win throwing the ball last weekend? Do the Patriots really have WR’s starting in their secondary? I can’t see Tebow winning two weeks in a row throwing the way he did at the end of the season, not that I couldn’t throw against the Pats secondary, but I see God ending his sons magic run this weekend. The Patriots were the first team to make the “blueprint” on how to force Tebow out of his comfort zone (making him roll to the left), and now they have Josh McDaniels on their coaching staff they’ll know even more ways to stop him. Not sure why Pittsburgh didn’t use that template, instead blitzing nearly every down, but that’s beside the point.
By picks Tebow (+13.5). What Tebow did to the Steelers THROUGH THE AIR last weekend was amazing. I never questioned his ability to rise to the occasion, and do whatever is asked of him, but he took it a step further with his uplifting performance last week. And it’s hard for me to think the magic ends here. Bare in mind that prior to Brady taking over the 2nd half of an earlier match up between these two this year, Tebow and the Broncos were dominating the Pats. Something fell apart for them, and Brady simply never released his hands from their throat. The difference this time is, Tebow can throw! New England’s defense couldn’t stop a leaky faucet from running, but now they have to play the pass too? The dynamic of this match up has completely swung, and when all else fails, how can you ever bet against God’s quarterback?
Houston @ Baltimore (-7.5)
Chappy picks Baltimore (-7.5). I don’t know many people that really think the Texans are going to win, but will they cover is the real question. I am nervous about relying on Joe “I’m feeling disrespected even though I haven’t done anything in the playoffs” Flacco to win by more than a TD, but Baltimore is the perfect type of team to face Houston in that they can shut down the run even as good as Arian Foster is. It will be tough for the Texans to score, and still being in their first franchise playoff run, I don’t see them coming out on top. If Baltimore loses, I may never pick them again in the playoffs… Their regular season match up was a long time ago, I don’t see that factoring in the equation much because they had Schaub still as their QB.
By picks Houston (+7.5). Yes, I’m picking three, count ’em three upsets this week. And yes, I’m not picking Houston to just cover, they’re going into Baltimore this weekend, and then flying back home to get ready to host the Broncos next week. That’s an A1 BOLD prediction for you! Really though, I like Arian Foster. A lot. And then there’s Ben Tate. When you have a line, and two backs like that, it puts a lot of pressure on a defense, albeit a great one. But this will be like a heavyweight fight, and what might be the difference in this game is who you trust more at quarterback. Oddly enough, I already like T.J. Yates better. Houston’s going to pound and pound away, then set up a big play action late to steal this game away.
New York Giants @ Green Bay (-7.5)
Chappy picks Green Bay (-7.5). If this Giants win this game, maybe I’ll believe all that they’re the same as the 2007 team crap they keep shoving down my throat. Until then, you gotta roll with the champs. The Packers didn’t look as good without Greg Jennings on offense, but low and behold he’s back, so I see them getting back to their video game type numbers. Will Eli be able to keep up on the scoreboard? Yes, but I forsee a Charles Woodson or Nick Collins pick 6 at some point to cover that spread.
By picks Green Bay (-7.5). Yeah, yeah. We’re hearing it from every angle from the media. The Giants are clicking, and they’re resembling the 2007 playoff team that rode late momentum towards a championship upset. Except this is mother f**kin’ Aaron Rodgers. ‘Nuff said. Pack win, and win big.