Spiffy and David’s Incorrect NFL Playoff Picks

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I'm moving to Texas.

Last year I said that it was one of the hardest years to pick, ever, and went on to say that I could see any team except Miami and Arizona win the Super Bowl. Of course, Arizona went to the Super Bowl and almost (should have) won. So I know nothing.

Why read these? Because it’s a new year, and David’s also involved, and furthermore, we can look back and laugh at both of us for how wrong we are/were (I picked the Panthers to beat the Titans in last year’s Super Bowl, and had the Steelers lose in their first game, so go on, laugh).

But without further ado, here are our unbridled predictions for the best playoffs in professional sports (after Dodgeball and March Madness, of course).

David’s Picks: Or, How I Learned To Abandon My Sleeper Team

AFC
Jets at Bengals
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he thinks his team should be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Sure, Ryan himself mistakenly thought the team was eliminated from the playoff race a few weeks ago, and indeed, they were lucky to make the field. But still, you have to appreciate the confidence. And there have been times this year when Ryan’s swagger rubbed off on his team in a positive way, such as New York’s early win against the Patriots, whom Ryan had been talking smack about since he got the Jets job. Of course, the Jets’ lengthy midseason swoon also showed confidence isn’t everything. But the Jets have gotten back to what made them such a dangerous team early on: running the football and playing great defense. Against the Bengals, that should be enough. Cincinnati has limped into the playoffs, losing 4 of its past 7, with the three victories coming by unimpressive margins against three of the league’s worst teams (Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City). Some teams, like the Colts, might be able to rest players and back in to the playoffs, but I don’t think the Bengals are good enough to flip it on like a switch now the games count again. It’s been 19 years since the Bengals’ last playoff win, and I don’t think they’ll break the streak here.
Winner: Jets.
Players of the game: Thomas Jones, Darrelle Revis

Ravens at Patriots
People are pretty willing to give up on the Patriots, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re getting older, the defense is vulnerable, and they just lost Wes Welker, their best receiver (yes, better than Randy Moss) for the rest of the season. The plus side to the injury is that it’s given Welker more attention for what he is: the most underrated player in American team sports. He leads the league in catches since 2007, and came within 20 catches of breaking Marvin Harrison’s unbreakable single-season record this year – despite missing essentially three full games. To be certain, it’s a big loss, and a loss that will keep New England from going as far as it would like. But I don’t think it spells their demise just yet. For a team that represents the undoubtedly most dominant franchise of the decade, the Pats seem to always play with a chip on their shoulder, and they thrive off people doubting them. For instance, after Belichick lost to his former protégé in Denver in Week 5, New England responded with a 59-0 beatdown of the Titans the following game; after the infamous 4th-and-2 game against Indy, the Pats blew out the Jets. Baltimore is a very dangerous team in its own right, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Ravens make some serious playoff noise. But the Ravens have also been prone to some big mistakes at bad times this season, a flaw that nearly kept them out of the playoffs despite the loads of talent the team possesses. Playing in New England in the playoffs, you can’t afford such costly errors. Looks for the Pats to play angry and capitalize on everything.
Winner: Patriots
Players of the Game: Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo

Jets at Colts
This seems like such a mismatch, but I actually think it could be a pretty good game. The Jets’ top corner, Darrelle Revis, who will probably beat out Jared Allen for defensive player of the year [Editor’s Note: In this humble editor’s opinion, Charles Woodson is Revis’ top competition for this honor], has the ability to do what hardly anyone can pull off: shut down Reggie Wayne. And with Thomas Jones, the Jets will try to run the ball and control the time of possession to keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands. The problem is that Indy doesn’t need much time to score; ask Miami about that. And even if Revis shuts down Wayne, the Colts just have so many offensive weapons. NY’s Bart Scott is a great linebacker, but even he can’t cover Dallas Clark, and if you put a corner on Clark, you’re opening it up for Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. And that’s without even mentioning Joseph Addai. In short, the Colts have too much offensive firepower for even the No. 1 defense in football to keep up with. The Jets may be able to beat Cincy without much out of Mark Sanchez, but in the game, the rookie QB would need to make some plays; when those moments arise, it might be painfully obvious that he’s still just a rookie QB going up against perhaps the greatest to ever play the position.
Winner: Colts
Players of the Game: Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark

Patriots at Chargers
A few years ago, Bill Belichick versus Norv Turner would also have seemed like a mismatch. However, Norv has turned his career around in San Diego, proving himself again as the Chargers overcame a slow start to be the league’s most dominant team over the last 11 games. Last year, San Diego’s transition was still a little awkward as the Chargers moved from being LaDanian Tomlinson’s team to bring Philip Rivers’ team. This year, the transition is complete, and potent. With Rivers surrounded by weapons like Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, and the emerging Malcolm Floyd, Little LT seems almost like an afterthought. I don’t think the Pats’ secondary can keep up with all those weapons. New England’s best hope is that its offense can make this a shootout, which it probably will. But unlike their game against the Ravens, the Patriots won’t have the friendly confines of Foxboro to spur them on to victory, and I think they fall short in trying to prove the critics wrong a second time.
Winner: Chargers
Players of the Game: Philip Rivers, Tom Brady

Chargers at Colts
This has “classic” written all over it, with probably the two best teams in football going at it. Both defenses are a little better than they get credit for, but I doubt either one will be able to keep up with the other team’s dynamic offense for the entire game, led by two of the best quarterbacks in football. This is one of those games that will be decided in the final five minutes, and neither outcome would surprise you in the slightest. But I think, at last, this might be San Diego’s year. I see the Chargers getting just one or two more breaks – perhaps in special teams, where SD’s Darren Sproles is especially electric – and in a game like this, that would be enough.
Winner: Chargers
Players of the Game: Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning

NFC
Eagles at Cowboys

The Eagles have got to be one of the toughest teams in the league to figure out. They have one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL, but have frequently underperformed. Their defense has lost much of its fieriness, with safety and team leader Brian Dawkins signing with Denver, and the death of ballsy defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, who believed every down and distance was a blitzing situation. Dallas, of course, is just as hard to understand. You need a cheat sheet to figure out whether Wade Phillips and Tony Romo are heroes or goats in any given week. Both teams could be pretty dangerous if they play up to potential, but both could also be an easy out. It’s a toss up, but at the end of the day, I’m not ready to pick Wade and Romo until they prove they can really win.
Winner: Eagles
Players of the Game: DeSean Jackson, Leonard Weaver

Packers at Cardinals
Between this and Baltimore-New England, we have at least a pair of great first-round matchups on paper. This could easily be the highest-scoring game of the first round, as both teams boast dangerous passing games. But I think this one will actually come down to which defense shows up. The Packers and Cardinals have both shown flashes of defensive brilliance, but also have had setbacks along the way. Ultimately, though, I prefer the Pack. After underperforming his entire NFL career, GB corner Charles Woodson has suddenly rediscovered the talent that once made him a Heisman Trophy winner. If he can at least slow down Larry Fitzgerald, that changes the complexion of this game, because the Cards’ No. 2 receiver, Anquan Boldin, won’t be at 100 percent, if he plays at all. For Arizona, Dominique Rodgers-Cromarte has similar shutdown corner ability, but he too is a little banged up, and the Packers have more weapons to deal with: Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Donald Lee – Aaron Rodgers had made them all look great at times this year. I give Green Bay just enough of an edge to get by.
Winner: Packers
Players of the Game: Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson

Eagles at Saints
The Saints once looked like a team of destiny, pulling off an impossibe victory against Washington to remain undefeated. The perfect season has now long since gone away, and it’s tough to tell now just how good this New Orleans team is, with its last impressive victory coming way back in Week 12 against New England. But the Saints are at home, with the hopes and dreams of a tortured city behind them. The Eagles are certainly capable of going in and pulling off the upset, but I think Drew Brees regains just enough of his early form to get the Saints by. And also, for my most shocking prediction of the playoffs, I’ll say that Reggie Bush in some way positively impacts the outcome of the game for New Orleans.
Winner: Saints
Players of the Game: Drew Brees, Darren Sharper

Packers at Vikings
Brett Favre faced his old team twice in the regular season, and got his “revenge” by winning both games, and looking good while doing it. Wouldn’t there be some poetic justice if Aaron Rodgers got his own revenge by leading the Packers into the Dome and beating Favre on his own turf? I would love it. However, I can’t quite bring myself to predict it, though the Packers have been my sleeper team for months now. The Vikings faltered some in December, but they’re still so dangerous. Green Bay has struggled to protect Rodgers for much of the season, and against Minnesota, that’s a fatal flaw. Jared Allen could make the greatest offensive line in history still look puny, and the Packers’ line is decent at best. Rodgers could win this thing and maybe even take the Pack to the Super Bowl if he gets enough time, but he won’t get that time against Allen and the Williams Wall. As for Favre, despite all the mistakes he makes, no one – except John Elway – has ever won more out of sheer force of will. The ol’ gunslinger has a couple bullets left in him.
Winner: Vikings
Players of the Game: Jared Allen, Percy Harvin

Vikings at Saints
Once again I’m picking the conference championship game to be No. 1 vs. No. 2, which feels lame [Editor’s Note: Agreed]. However, despite how loaded the rest of the NFC playoff pool is with potential, these are the two teams that actually proved themselves most capable of living up to their potential in the regular season. This could be an excellent game, particularly if New Orleans has really rediscovered its magic by this point. But I still like the Vikings to come out on top. I think it’s less about Favre this time around; they need to run the ball and keep it away from Green Bay’s dangerous offense. If they actually give Adrian Peterson the ball (he had all of three 100-yard games this season), I think they pull this one out.
Winner: Vikings
Players of the Game: Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees

THE MOTHER FUCKING SUPER BOWL
Chargers vs. Vikings

I’m sure people would rather see Peyton in the Super Bowl, but this would be a pretty good SB matchup if it happens. The young, up-and-coming quarterback against the elder statesman looking for one last hurrah (just kidding; Favre will play until he’s 57). I think Tomlinson and Sproles will play bigger roles here than in the AFC playoffs, as San Diego uses short delayed screens to beat the Vikings’ pass rush. I also think this could lead to Rivers’ safety valve, Antonio Gates, having a big day. For the Vikings, I think the rookie, Percy Harvin, might have a big day on special teams, and I’m sure Peterson will have his moments. Favre will either be brilliant or too excited, leading to some mistakes. Hopefully, it’ll be another great Super Bowl, but I’ll pick the Chargers to come out on top.
Super Bowl Champions: San Diego Chargers
Super Bowl MVP: Antonio Gates

Spiffy’s Picks: Or

AFC

Wild Card Round

#5 New York Jets @ #4 Cincinnati Bengals

I paid the price for drafting Carson Palmer as my #2 QB in one of my fantasy leagues this year, but I’m determined to see it through (so he can make me look like an even bigger moron). He’s had a very up and down, inconsistent season, along with the Bengals offense. This team used to be defined by its offense, but now it’s passed the torch to its underrated defense (CB’s Joseph and Leon Hall merited Pro Bowl consideration but were overshadowed by Revis Island). The problem is that the New York Jets boast an even better defense. Its defense was ranked #1 in the NFL (it helped that the last two weeks they played against two teams that completely laid down and allowed the Jets to pad their stats), led by historically awesome d-back Darrelle Revis. Much of the hype for this game will be about Chad Ochocinco’s matchup with the probable defensive player of the year. Either way, I don’t see a lot of offense in this game, but I think the Bengals will be super motivated, as many pundits believe them old news and returned to the Bungles of old. I say: FALSE. I think Cedric Benson will be able to churn out some yards, and the Bengals will find a way to get Ochocinco the ball, some way somehow. If they had better wideouts around him, I’d be more comfortable with this selection (Andre Caldwell and Laveraneus Coles have been pretty shitty all year; RIP Chris Henry). I’ll probably end up wrong, but even with the #1 rushing offense and #1 defense in football, the Jets didn’t deserve this spot. They played two gimme games at the end of the year to make it. The Steelers and Houston Texans both would have been more dangerous teams in the playoffs. Whomever wins this game will be eliminated in round two anyways (with the unpredictability in the NFL, I’ll probably regret that statement). But the Bengals squeak out a win.

Player O’ The Game: Leon Hall, Carson Palmer

#6 Baltimore Ravens @ #3 New England Patriots

I know Tom Brady has never lost at home in the playoffs and they have never lost to the Ravens in their history (they’re a cool 5-0), but fact: they just lost Wes Welker and are not the Patriots of old. I’m certainly not the most objective sports pundit in the world, but that’s what you get when you’re on a comic book blog reading about sports. Ever since Belichick went for it on 4th and 2 against the Colts en route to a loss to Peyton Manning and company, I’ve had the sense that the Patriots “magic” is no more. At least for this year. The Patriots are plenty capable of making me look like a idgit, but the Ravens are way better than their record indicates, and honestly could’ve gone 15-1 this year if certain calls had gone the other way or they hadn’t made stupid mistakes. If Harbaugh can make the Ravens play mistake-free (read: less penalties), the dynamic duo of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee will be too much for the Patriots to handle, and we will continue to see Joe Flacco’s emergence as an eventual Pro Bowl QB. Baltimore victory.

 Player O’ the Game: Joe Flacco and Ray Rice

NFC

Wild Card Round

#5 Green Bay Packers @ #4 Arizona Cardinals

This game kills me, because both of these teams have the potential to get to the Super Bowl. The Cardinals did it last year, and still have Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and their underrated defense and the tools to do it again. The Packers are arguably the hottest team in the NFC, and boast one of, if not, the top defense in the conference, and one of the most high flying offenses, with Aaron Rodgers, Jennings, Driver and Ryan Grant. It’s really tough to bet against Warner in the playoffs, but I just think the Packers have what it takes to get past them, even though this is going to be one of the most entertaining games of all the playoffs. Whoever wins this will make some noise, and I’ll go with the Packers, barely, even if it’s tough to bet against Fitzgerald after his playoff run last year (Charles Woodson helps).

 Player O’ The Game: Aaron Rodgers

#6 Philadelphia Eagles @ #3 Dallas Cowboys

I hate the Cowboys, and would love to predict another meltdown from Wade Phillips, Tony Romo, et al, but I just don’t see it this year after their incredible late turnaround. I read an article that argued that how hard it is to beat a team three times in a year is a myth: he mentioned that usually, the team that was 2-0 prevails a third time. Why? Because they’re the better team. And I think that’s the case here. The Cowboys have run better of late, and Felix Jones is as healthy as he’s been all year, and Romo’s playing awesome. I love McNabb and his weapons, and I think this will be a helluva lot closer than last week’s matchup, but I just can’t promote a team that laid down like they did with a bye week on the line. Again, in this wild NFC playoffs, any of these teams have the potential to get to the Super Bowl. But I think it’ll be the Cowboys winning here, to save Wade Phillips’ job. I’ll be rooting for the Eagles, however (I love me some Brent Celek, who got me a championship in my keeper league).

 Player O’ The Week: Felix Jones

AFC

Divisional

#6 Baltimore Ravens at #1 Indianapolis Colts

The Colts draw the tougher opponent, even if the Ravens are the lower seed. If the Patriots win, that bodes well for the Colts matchup, as they will face the Jets or Bengals, the two weakest teams in the playoffs, AFC and NFC alike. But that’s not how I picked it, so the Colts get the lowest seed, the Ravens, who are more dangerous than the Bengals, as they made it to the AFC Championship Series last year, and their offense is that much more explosive (though their defense has declined due to age and injuries). I think this game will be close for three quarters, but then Peyton Manning will turn it on, as he always does, and the Colts will win, if not comfortably, pretty convincingly. I can’t see a way the Colts lose their first playoff game, no matter the opponent. They’re too damn good and experienced for that.

 Player O’ The Game: Peyton.

#4 Cincinnati Bengals @ #2 San Diego Chargers

If this turns out to be the matchup, I think the Chargers will walk all over them in Qualcomm Stadium. Philip Rivers is the second best QB in the league right now, after Peyton Manning, and is going to try and cement his legacy with his first Super Bowl this year, and it very well could happen. LT’s YPC still stinks, but at least his nose for the end zone is still in tact, and he’ll be good for a score. I don’t think the Bengals will be able to keep up, at all.

 Player O’ The Game: Philip Rivers.

NFC

Divisional

#5 Green Bay Packers @ #1 New Orleans Saints

In my mind, whoever wins this game, might have the best shot at the Super Bowl. The Saints have certainly lost their luster of late, losing three in a row after being undefeated through thirteen games. I love Sean Payton, Drew Brees and the myriad of weapons at their disposal, but the Packers offense is hotter, and their defense is much better than the Saints right now. If the Saints didn’t have a home game, this would be a no brainer pick for the Packers, I think. But it’s not, which makes this a heartbreak pick (this would be the same dilemma if it were the Cards, too). But I’ll be gutsy and pick the Packers.

 Players O’ The Game: Ryan Grant

#3 Dallas Cowboys @ #2 Minnesota Vikings

I had been waiting all year for the other shoe to drop for the Vikings, believing their hot start was at least in some way a mirage. I finally saw it in December, when they lost two straight games against beatable opponents (although the Carolina Panthers, with Matt Moore at QB, were essentially a playoff team masquerading as a crappy one). The Vikes romped against the Giants last week, but my high school team could’ve kept with them for a half the way they were playing. Again, like the Saints, the home field advantage is huge for them, but I have this feeling that it’s at least somewhat the Cowboys year. I think they’ll get to Favre, and we’ll see a few picks/sacks/the Favre of “youngish old” once more. Cowboys win, and Brett Favre murders Brad Childress shortly afterward.

 Players O’ The Game: Demarcus Ware and that D-line.

AFC

Championship Series

#2 San Diego Chargers @ #1 Indianapolis Colts

In many ways, this is the Super Bowl. These are the best two teams in the NFL, period. They have the best quarterbacks (with apologies to Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre in the absolutely QB loaded playoffs this year), perhaps the two best tight ends, and played the best during the regular season. Whoever wins this matchup, SPOILER ALERT, is the winner in the Super Bowl. The Chargers seem to always play the Colts tough and have playoff history on their side. But I’m not betting against Peyton Manning and the Colts, and I think it helps that the Colts have a better run game on their side, as Addai has been super productive since a slow start.

 Players O’ The Week: Joseph Addai.

NFC

Championship Series

#5 Green Bay Packers @ #3 Dallas Cowboys

In many ways, this game is easier for me to pick than all the other games in the NFC so far. Why? Because I’m going to stick with my heart. Maybe I’m one or two years premature (because the Packers have the ingredients to be a Super Bowl mainstay with their offense for years to come), but I think the Packers have what it takes to win three straight games on the road as underdogs. Common sense would dictate that the Cowboys awesome pass rush would wreak havoc on the Packers weak offensive line. But fuck common sense. I’ll say Green Bay, with a Rodgers TD pass to Jermichael Finley (next year’s #3 fantasy tight end, btw) under a minute remaining.

 Players O’ The Week: That Rodgers-Finley connection, babe.

Super Bowl

Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts

Well, I ruined the surprise of this prediction when talking about the AFC championship. Even if the Cowboys and Chargers had won, or anyone from the NFC, I think the Colts or Chargers would prevail. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I think the Colts will topple the Packers in this one, though it will be hella entertaining to see all the offense in this one.

But like I said, in this year’s unpredictable playoffs, I could see any one of the six NFC teams in the Super Bowl, against either of the top two seeds in the AFC. So my predictions are bullshit.

You may now return to your lame-ass Friday. Party at Spiffy’s tonight!

–Spiffy, David

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12 Responses to “Spiffy and David’s Incorrect NFL Playoff Picks”

  1. gokitalo Says:

    Alright, sports post! Been a while since we’ve had one of those. I’m kind of in the dark on all this, so for now I’ll compliment you on your photo caption, which by now has surely won Caption of the Year. Between that and Spiffy’s Snuggies joke, 2010 looks to be a banner year for our Dynamic Duo!

    Despite my lack of sports knowledge, I’m sure you both will enjoy this official Bengals training video:

  2. davidry214 Says:

    Well, Spiffy and I each got one right and one wrong Saturday, in the first wave of first-round games. I declare this to now be a contest to see who picks the most winners (even if we picked the winner’s opponent incorrectly in the later rounds). Whichever one of us gets more, gets a fabulous prize: Goki will scour YouTube for the funniest video of all time, then post it for the winner to watch. The loser is honor-bound to never view the video. If Goki chooses not to participate thusly, then the winner just watches his cat video again.

    Anyway, I like many of Spiffy’s picks, and have zero confidence in most of mine. I wanted to take the same plunge he did and pick Green Bay into the Super Bowl, but lacked the courage: for all the talk we’ve had about Spiff’s penis over the years, his balls are pretty big, too.

    In a text message earlier today, Spiffy told me he often picks based off emotion instead of brains (in reference to taking Cincy over NYJ). I had no horse in this year’s playoffs (Denver managed to find a way to miss the cut after starting 6-0), so for the most part, I think I was pretty impartial. But emotion over brains definitely played a role in my picking Dallas to lose early. I hate the Cowboys, much more than any other team in the playoffs. And I’ll probably pick them to lose in every round, hoping eventually I’m right.

    My favorite prediction of mine: taking San Diego and Norv Turner to actually win it all, with Antonio Gates, who will always be my boy (even in years when he’s not on my fantasy team), snagging the MVP.

    My least favorite prediction of mine: saying Reggie Bush would actually play a role in New Orleans winning a game. Also, as mentioned in the post, two 1-2 conference championship games is a little lame.

    My favorite prediction of Spiffy’s: probably taking the Pack to win three straight road games and make the Super Bowl, while touting uber-badass Jermichael Finley a couple times. But I also am fond of his Brett Favre murdering Brad Childress scenario.

    My least favorite prediction of Spiffy’s: He didn’t pick a Super Bowl MVP, which is lame. He also had Baltimore winning a game, which is fine, but he made such a prediction without mentioning Ed Reed (and I feel you have to mention Ed Reed every time you pick the Ravens). But mostly, it’s having Dallas go all the way to the NFC Championship game. I’ll be puking up Goki’s guts if that happens.

  3. spiffyithaca Says:

    It turns out that abandoning your sleeper team (the Packers), was a really really smart move, David. While I ended up being 2-2 on the weekend, beating you by 1 game (1-3), I might be screwed losing 1 of my 2 Super Bowl teams already. GrEEEAT. Your favorite prediction of mine sure shat the bed. But who cares: that 51-45 game was one of the best I have ever seen. Simply awesome shootout.

    I was very close to picking San Diego, but I never want to bet against Peyton Manning. Of course, I shouldn’t have bet against Kurt Warner either. I love the idea of a Colts/Cardinals Super Bowl. If I had picked the Cardinals, I think I would’ve taken them again against the Saints, but ultimately losing to the Cowboys, who would (hopefully) lose in the SB.

    While your favorite of my predictions fared poorly, your least favorite one’s look way better: Your hatred for the Cowboys might cost you big time, because they look like a force right now. I still think they’ll be able to take down the Vikings and am more confident than I was when making the pick.

    And sorry I didn’t mention Ed Reed, that was silly not to mention his return to the defense. The Ravens looked awesome.

    Anyways, after these games, would you change any of your future picks? Any teams surprise you? Impress you?

  4. davidry214 Says:

    Yeah, neither one of us did great this weekend, but I really sucked it up. 1-3, with the only win coming in the game I cared least about.

    The Packers still played excellent. They were down 17 multiple times and fought back to tie it, and if Rodgers doesn’t turn it over in overtime, then they probably march right down and win the dang thing. Obviously, the defense was a letdown, for both teams. But whoever won that ARI-GB game, I think I would have come away thinking they might be the most dangerous team in the playoffs. And indeed, I do feel that way about the Cardinals now, so long as they don’t run out of gas.

    Never betting against Manning is a good policy, but I can bet against his defense. Indy-SD will be a shootout, if it happens. Both face stiff tests this coming week.

    I still don’t think Dallas will win in Minnesota, and it’s not just because I hate the Cowboys. I really do think their big win streak has been overrated. It started by beating New Orleans, who was beginning to fall apart already. Then Washington, an abysmal team. Now twice over Philly — a very capable team, but one that’s had its head up its ass half the season. And yes, they’re looking more convincing while winning, but I’m still not buying it yet. The Vikings haven’t lost at home all year, and there really isn’t a more well-rounded, complete team in the playoffs.

    It’s tough to say I wouldn’t change my future picks, considering I didn’t correctly predict a single second-round matchup. But I still feel decent about my Super Bowl, for the time being. Honestly, the team I came away most impressed with is Baltimore. The Jets showed they belonged here, the Cardinals proved themselves capable of another year of playoff magic, and the Cowboys loaded up their bandwagon, but the Ravens just flat-out castrated the Patriots in front of millions of people. A very big part of me thinks they’re going to beat Indy, and if they do that, who’s to say that won’t win it all? Maybe they can’t pull that off, but I know I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be playing Baltimore.

  5. spiffyithaca Says:

    Rodgers was still the MVP of that game, even with Warner playing better, in my mind. Just to turn it into a game, with the whole team on your back in your first playoff game ever? Awesome performance. If anyone has/d doubts about letting Favre go for this guy, they’re fucking morons. I was telling my friend, a Packer fan, after that game, that while they lost, in my mind, they have the best QB of the ’10s.

    That all said, if Rodgers had hit Jennings on the first play of overtime, the game would’ve been over…one of the few mistakes of the game after his first throw.

    Clearly, the defenses for both teams would’ve been a problem going forward, and I think maybe even moreso for the Cardinals. Yes, the Packers gave up a huge lead and stopped them…once. But the Cardinals allowed a team to come back from a 31-10 deficit in the 3rd quarter, at home. I don’t know if the Cardinals are going to have enough to stop the Saints, which promises to be another really really fun game to watch. But Warner has a chance to obliterate the playoff record book this year. Love it.

    Minnesota may very well be the most complete team on paper, but I think you underrate their swoon since the end of their hot streak, and also underrate Cowboy’s hot streak. Everyone had given up on Dallas, and they beat an undefeated team in a must win situation. And the Saints were going all out to win. I don’t think you can give the Saints a pass in that one; that was one of the most impressive wins of the season by any team this year. Yes, the Saints were extremely lucky to still be undefeated at that point, but they were still the NFC favorites at that point. Now? Who knows who is, and I could definitely see the Cowboys turn out to be them.

    Two weeks ago, before Philly’s two losses, I probably would’ve had them going to the Super Bowl. The Cowboys completely dismantled them, with ease. You can’t help but be impressed by two victories of that caliber. Or at least, I couldn’t.

    The Ravens worry me against my SB pick, and even the Jets showed that they can keep going to. Watch for a Jets/Ravens AFCS, with Ryan going against his old team.

    I still think it’ll be the Colts/Chargers and the Cards/Cowboys in two weekends, however.

  6. davidry214 Says:

    I’ll be back with more thoughts after this weekend’s games, but I’ll do a quick predicting of the divisional round:
    Ravens at Colts: Colts (the toughest game to pick, IMO)
    Jets at Chargers: Chargers (though the Jets’ D could make it tough)
    Cardinals at Saints: Cardinals (I’m sticking with the hot team, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Saints prove the rumors of their demise are incorrect)
    Cowboys at Vikings: Vikings (If Dallas wins this one, I’ll believe they’re for real, but right now, I still think they have more to prove)

  7. spiffyithaca Says:

    So, in our updated picks, we’re the same except for the Cowboys/Vikes game.

    In our original picks, which the standings will be based, you can actually get all four right if the Saints, Vikings, Colts and Chargers win. I can only get three (Cowboys, Colts, Chargers, the C’s), as the Packers possibly ruin my chances from winning H2H.

  8. spiffyithaca Says:

    Well, David was gunning for a perfect weekend and going into the third quarter of the Jets/Chargers game, it looked like a stroke of genius to pick every favored team. But NFL’s parity (we told you so it existed!), won out, as the Jets, perhaps destiny’s team this year (or at least this year’s Cardinals, with a spectacularly different skillset), ran over the Chargers in the final two quarters, led by rookie dynamo Shonn Greene, he may have just taken over for Thomas Jones permanently. Great game, but really sloppy by the Chargers. There’s no way they should have lost this game. They gave it away late. Poor Nate Kaeding (who missed three field goals).

    Even so, David went 3-1, though he lost his Super Bowl winner. I got the Colts right…and that was it. David has gone 4-4 after two weeks, and I’ve gone 3-5. We suck.

    David can nay/yay this idea, but here’s the standings in points (1 pt for each 1st round prediction, 2 pts for this week, 4 for next week, and 8 for Super Bowl or something like that):

    David- 7
    Andy- 4

    I can only get points with Colts victories, while David could only get points with a Vikes victory.

  9. spiffyithaca Says:

    I’m still going to say Colts/Saints, even though it wouldn’t surprise to have it exactly the opposite.

  10. davidry214 Says:

    Well, I was thinking we were just going a point for each win, but I guess that’s fine if you want it that way. It definitely does benefit you at this point. I suppose we could see who wins going by each system.

    I think the Colts win, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they pull away and do it convincingly. Everyone is jumping on the New York bandwagon now, and I think Peyton will show why that’s a mistake. Dallas Clark will have a big game, and Indy wins by 17.

    Vikings/Saints … I don’t know. I could easily see it either way. I’ll stick with the Vikes, since they were my original pick, and I think their D-line could help make the difference. I’m interested to see whether Reggie the Bush can be a difference maker again. I’d feel better if the Vikes had their own x-factor, Percy Havin, healthier.

  11. spiffyithaca Says:

    Well I was right on both my updated picks going to the Super Bowl, and my SB pick from the beginning is still alive. If the Colts win Sunday, I think I should win. If not, neither of us really did well enough to “win” lol, but that’s me.

  12. davidry214 Says:

    Yeah, I’m all for declaring you the winner if the Colts win. But we’ve both sucked it up, me a little more. We don’t deserve to watch Goki’s shitty video.

    As for tomorrow’s Super Bowl, I want to pick the Saints. With Freeney down, it’ll be that much harder for the Colts to slow down N.O. But as awesome as Brees is, the Saints offense doesn’t really feel invincible. Peyton, on the other hand, feels more invincible than Superman. I made the mistake of picking against him when doing these predictions, so I’ll try not to make the same mistake again:
    Colts: 31, Saints: 27. MVP: Peyton (though I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of his receivers get it with a big game; probably Austen Collie).

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