Thursday, January 18, 2007

Playoff Pickery - AFC/NFC Championship Weekend

I fancy myself as something of a "stats guy", so the following celebratory post must be prefaced with the usual warnings about "small sample size", "standard deviation" and other things that don't matter when you go 3-1 against the spread and the money line last week.

Thanks to my new best friends at, the money I laid across three of the four games all came up winners and I didn't play the one game that I missed. (Screw me once, Drew Brees, shame on you…)

Indianapolis won outright in a field goal fest over Baltimore. I probably should've seen that coming vs. the Ravens defense and the fact that Steve McNair is 92 years old. Still, I figured Indy would keep it close enough for gamblers to ride the road 'dog.

New Orleans had much more trouble than they should've had versus Philadelphia. Did the league catch up to what was one of the most explosive offenses in the league through Thanksgiving? The Saints only hope is to play an even more offensively inept squad this weekend.

It's been a week and I'm still in awe of anyone who thought the Bears were 8 ½ points better than, well…anyone. The fact that Seattle, who might not be one of the top 15 teams in the league, took Chicago to overtime can't bode well for The Superfans this Sunday.

Next to the Raiders winning the Super Bowl when Aaron was 11 years old, no football game has ever brought me more joy than New England's "upset" over San Diego. Imagine living in a town where the influence of the local sports team is everywhere. TV, radio, newspaper, car flags, jerseys…and, now imagine that everyone's "lifelong infatuation" began about four months ago.

As a bonus, LaDanian Tomlinson gets exposed as petulant loser full of sour grapes (makes the best whine!) and the team opts to bring back head coach Marty Schottenheimer and his 5-12 5-13 playoff record. Thank you, New England. Thank you.

As always, the following predictions are for entertainment purposes only (home team in CAPS):

Outright: 7-1
Vs. the Spread: 4-4

New England Patriots (+3) vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

As I see it, with my Raiders finishing up the year at 2-14, I had to sell some of my soul for the Chargers to collapse so spectacularly. Under any normal circumstance, I'd never root for Tom Brady or Bill Belichick in any game, but there I was, cheering the effeminate Foxboro favorite and his homeless-clothed coach. Unfortunately, for all of us, it won't end here. While Brady won't outplay Peyton, the Pats will hang around all game, keep it close and win it on an Adam Vinatieri field goal missed field goal.

Final Score: Patriots 24, Colts 23

New Orleans Saints (+2) vs. CHICAGO BEARS

For the record, I wouldn't touch this game with Mrs. Bootleg's bank account. If it's unseasonably warm (what is that in Chicago, 22…23?) I can see more scoring. If it's snow, I can see no scoring. The season-long erosion of Rex Grossman will finally be washed away in one of those 4 INT or 3 fumble games. Meanwhile, will everyone please stop telling me that Drew Brees played at Purdue and should be used to cold, bad weather games? His last six years have been spent in San Diego and in a dome. Drew will struggle, too, but not enough to lose.

Final Score: Saints 17, Bears 16


Jeff said...

I am so conflicted about the Colts-Pats game, because I despise the Pats, yet I would love nothing more than for Vinateri to choke and cost the Colts the game. I *hate* Vinateri; he is so overrated. You are not clutch if you make a 41-yard field goal at the end of a game (even if it's the Super Bowl, and especially when you shanked your first two attempts); you are EXPECTED to make that. As far as I am concerned there is clutch, there is choking, and then there is a reasonable expectation. Someone making a 22 yarder is not clutch; someone missing a 56-yarder did not choke. As far as I am concerned Vinny has only made clutch kicks in the Tuck Rule game (because weather conditions were FUCKED in that game), and possibly the first Super Bowl because it was a 49 yarder. Nothing made me angrier than hearing after the third Super Bowl people talking about how Vinny did it again, because they won by 3 points (not that Vinny kicked the winning field goal; the Eagles were down by 10 and got a TD using the worst 2 minute drill ever). /rant

banuelos said...

I agree that we're heading for a Saints/Pats super bowl. The best comparison I can make is the D'Backs/Yankees WS back in 2001, as the plucky, never-say-die underdog (Ariz.) takes on America's sympathetic darlings (the post-9/11 Yankees.)

But, who should we root for? If it's the Pats, that means 12 more months of Brady oversaturation. If it's the Saints, it means 12 more months of how "Drew Saved the Bayou".

Jesus. Go Colts. Go Bears.

Tom said...

Brady oversaturation? If Brady's oversaturated, WTF is Manning.

Manning's everywhere now, imagine him now also whoring Disney World, too.

bryan said... live in san diego, which is like 2 seconds from the mexican (sportsbook) border and you're gambling online? Dude, hop in the cam-mobile and take your money to T.J.