Saturday, January 23, 2010
2010 NFL Pickery - AFC/NFC Championship
Last Week Outright (Total):
Joe: 3-1 (5-3)
Tom: 3-1 (5-3)
Aaron: 1-3 (3-5)
Last Week vs. Spread (Total):
Tom: 3-1 (5-3)
Joe: 1-3 (2-6)
Aaron: 0-4 (2-6)
The Spread Sez: COLTS (-8) v. Jets
Aaron: I'm kind of surprised that the Jets aren't getting more national love. The primary narrative here is still that "Colts haven't lost a game all season when they gave a damn" line and an oddly condescending characterization of the Jets as a plucky band of Football David Ecksteins who collectively orbit their bulbous head coach. Last week, the Ravens had opportunities to keep the pressure on Manning and the Colts, but when Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed is fumbling away interceptions and a broken Joe Flacco was tasked with playing from behind: endgame. The Jets will have to do a lot more here than in San Diego and I think their defense is fierce enough to give New York a puncher's chance. (Believe me, I'm rooting for 'em. Those of you outside San Diego have no idea how wonderful the last week has been. Two days of incessant tears and inarticulate disbelief from Chargers fans...and then the team signs their embattled head coach to a three-year extension! I can't get enough!)
Final Score: Colts 20, Jets 19
Joe: That giant disparity between my straight-up picks and my against-the-spread picks is embarrassing, and a result of foolishly trying to split the difference in too many of these playoff games. Going forward (all three of the games that are left!), if I think a team is gonna win, I'm pickin' them to cover. When I'm a Jet, I'm a Jet all the way? In other news: I'm not a Jet this week. That extra week of rest Indy got a couple weeks ago is going to come into play, the massive advantage in the passing game (Revis or no Revis), and the fact that Sanchez still hasn't made the crucial mistakes that everybody was waiting for him to make last week, all these come into play. San Diego was dominating that game last week; they just failed to build up much of a lead. I think the Colts punch it in early and play from out front.
Final Score: Colts 24, Jets 13
The Spread Sez: SAINTS (-3.5) v. Vikings
Aaron: Here's the thing: The Vikings were running up the score last weekend against the Cowboys. Maybe you call it "hitting the over" or excuse it by suggesting the Cowboys play some damn defense, but don't tell me that Brett Favre wasn't throwing the ball -- late in the game, already up by 20+ points -- for any other reason than to pad his stats and re-write his own recent playoff performance history. There's nothing wrong with that, but why can't we just call it what it is? That Vikings defensive front is a force, Favre doesn't have to deal with the elements and I just don't believe that Reggie Bush is going to have the greatest game of his pro career two weeks in a row. Prepare for Favre-ageddon, America.
Final Score: Vikings 23, Saints 21
Joe: Totally agree with everything about Favre running up the score. That being said, Reggie Bush doesn't have to have the greatest game of his pro career two weeks in a row. That's what makes the Saints so dangerous -- maybe it's Reggie Bush, maybe Pierre Thomas, maybe (uch) Jeremy Shockey, maybe Devery Henderson, maybe Dalton Hilliard and Craig "Ironhead" Heyward will emerge from the tunnel. So long as it's Drew Brees slinging passes and not Bobby Hebert, I think they still have the advantage.
Final Score: Saints 31, Vikings 24