Saturday, January 9, 2010

Some Wild Card Picks

Cincy over New York
Philly over Dallas
Green Bay over Arizona
Baltimore over New England

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Mondays: Playoffs are set

So it should be noted that all four wild card games involve teams that played each other during the season. In fact, three of the four actually played each other during week 17.


New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals- The Jets blew out the Bengals to be the final team in the playoff mix. The Jets have the best defense in the NFL. They're also one of the best rushing offenses in the league. If they can do what they did on Sunday night, they'll easily defeat Cincy. However, the Bengals didn't get to this point without having a good defense as well. They need to shut down the running game and pressure Mark Sanchez. If they can do that, it certainly won't hurt their chances of winning.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys- Another rematch from Sunday. The Cowboys won and took the wind out of the sails. It won't be as easy for our namesake as it was on Sunday. Philly will come to play on Saturday night.


Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots- We have two playoff tested teams going at each other. Baltimore lost a close game in the regular season. However, it's the Patriots. Tom Brady is one of the best playoff quarterbacks of all time. The Patriots will be ready to play. However, it looks like they'll be without Wes Welker. This could potentially work to the Ravens advantage. Suddenly, double teaming Randy Moss doesn't sound like a bad idea for Baltimore.

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals- The Cards definitely held back on Sunday against the Packers. Matt Leinart saw a lot of action. Rest assure Cardinal fans, Leinart won't be seeing action this Sunday, unless Kurt Warner gets hurt. This game could be the most exciting wild card game, or at least the highest scoring one out of the four.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Briefs: Happy New Year

I went 3-2 last week (so what else is new). I'm 58-25 for the season, so I know I have a great record to finish with. Maybe I can start this new year on a high note.

Chicago over Detroit
Carolina over New Orleans
Cleveland over Jacksonville
San Diego over Washington
UPSET PICK: Kansas City over Denver

Enjoy your New Years Day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Mondays: Finally, no more 16-0 talk!

I'll be honest, I was kind of happy to see the Colts lose on Sunday. It had to happen at some point. You can't really be perfect in this day and age. Let's face it, who really wants to be perfect?

I think the idea of perfection is overrated. I say that because in life, as much as we try to strive for it, we can never obtain perfection. The game of football shouldn't be about finishing the season undefeated (unless you live in the freaky world of FBS football).

In the NFL, it should be about winning the Super Bowl. Every team has that goal of hoisting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the season. It shouldn't matter if you finish the season with the best record in the NFL or if you squeaked into the sixth and final wild card spot because every team has the same shot.

The Steelers won the Super Bowl as a wild card team in '05, so did the Giants in '07. They were both far from perfect teams, but they still won the Super Bowl.

The best teams don't win the Super Bowl sometimes. That's how life works. How a team performs in the postseason is what counts. The Cardinals weren't the best team in the NFC last season, but they made it all the way to the Super Bowl. All 12 teams that make the playoffs this season have the same equal opportunity.

Unfortunately, there can never be another undefeated team like the '72 Miami Dolphins. The '72 team was light years ahead of everyone. They had the best offense and defense at the time.

Everything clicked for Miami because the league was different back then. Think about it, there was no salary cap and a lot of the innovations you see today weren't around in '72.

I look forward to the playoffs. It should be a fun and exciting time. However, if an undefeated team should ever come along, the only thing I take solace in is the fact that the '72 Dolphins won't be holding any champagne parties.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Briefs: Seasons Greetings

I went 3-2 this week. I'm 55-23 for the season. Maybe my gift can be another 5-0 week.

CHRISTMAS PICK: San Diego over Tennessee
Cincy over KC
New England over Jacksonville
New Orleans over Tampa
UPSET PICK: Baltimore over Pittsburgh

Have a Happy Holidays and a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hump Day: Loser Rankings for December 23

1. St. Louis Rams- They need a quarterback...Then again, they need a lot of things.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They own the tiebreaker advantage over Detroit because they've scored only 214 points for the season.

3. Detroit Lions- They did hold their own against Arizona. They have at least one more win in them.

4. Kansas City Chiefs- They did lose to the Browns.

5. Washington Redskins- When you do something stupid like the fake field goal you tried to pull off on Monday Night Football, you end up on this list. Plus, it helps that Cleveland has won two straight games.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Mondays: The Cardinal Conundrum

When the Arizona Cardinals won against Minnesota earlier this month, they looked to be on the right track and good to go for the playoffs. They came off a tough last second loss to the Titans, and the win against a the Vikings helped the Cardinals prove their worth in the NFC.

They had a few key wins earlier in the season, including a win in the Meadowlands against the Giants and a 20-plus point win in Chicago. At 8-4, the Cards looked ready to claim their second straight division title in the NFC West.

By no means was the San Francisco game a clinching game, but a win against the 49ers would have put to rest any hopes of somebody taking the West from the defending NFC champions. That said, they still needed to win, last Monday night. And things were looking well for the Cardinals going into that Monday night game against the 49ers.

Seven turnovers later, the Cardinals left San Francisco with an ugly loss. Kurt Warner threw two picks in the loss and the Cards fumbled seven times (five counted as turnovers). It really was a frustrating game for the Cardinals.

On Sunday, the Cardinals just squeaked out a win against the Detroit Lions, who have been a popular team on our Loser Rankings as of late.

The Cards jumped out to a 17-0 lead at halftime. However, the Lions put on the board 17 points of their own in the third quarter, including a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by Louis Delmas.

Detroit never took the lead, but did tie the game, 24-24, with less than four minutes left. It was a Warner touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 1:54 left, that put the Lions away for good. With the 161 yard rushing day by the Lions (126 via Maurice Morris), it marked the second straight week that the Cardinals gave up more than 150 yards rushing on defense.

Now let's make this point that yes, the Cardinals did clinch the NFC West after the 49ers lost to the Eagles on Sunday.

The Cardinals should be happy to be back in the playoffs. But that's not why I'm writing the column.

It was one year ago today that the Cardinals lost their snowy affair to the New England Patriots, 47-7. I didn't really have much to say about that day, but it was definitely a tough one for the Cardinals to take. They lost two of their final three games and found themselves in the wild card game against Atlanta.

Sure enough, those Cards did run the table and made it all the way to the Super Bowl. It was definitely one of the best playoff runs for a team in NFL History (Note: I'm not saying it's the best run, just one of the best).

By no means am I calling the Cardinals a bad team. They've played well this season, better than last season. You can credit the defense for that. Going into Sunday, the Cardinals were the sixth best defense in the NFC. Last season though, the Cards were the third worst in the NFC, behind an 0-16 Lions and the Rams.

With the Saints and Vikings all stumbling this weekend, and Philly winning big over San Francisco, it's safe to say the Cardinals are still in decent shape. They will most likely be playing on wild card weekend though. But this is a team that has the potential to get hot at the right time. The only question I have is, will they or won't they?

Photo Credit: Associated Press