Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010 NFL Pickery - Divisional Round

Last Week Outright (Total):

Aaron: 2-2 (2-2)
Joe: 2-2 (2-2)
Tom: 2-2 (2-2)

Last Week vs. Spread (Total):

Aaron: 2-2 (2-2)
Tom: 2-2 (2-2)
Joe: 1-3 (1-3)

The Spread Sez: SAINTS (-7) v. Cardinals

Aaron: I was ready to pick three of this week's four road teams to win outright, but here's the thing: WAY too many people are ready to bury the Saints for either their three-game losing streak to end the season or Arizona's Arena Ball offensive explosion last weekend. Whether your hand-picked platitude for a prediction is "the last team standing" or "the last team to touch the ball" or "the last team to score", just know that the home team ALWAYS wins these types of game. Admittedly, my evidence is just one game -- last week's Cards/Packers tilt. Wait, which one's the home team here?

Final Score: Saints 38, Cardinals 37

Joe: Damn it, Cam'ron. Last week, I let you temper my God-given hunches with your irrational Jet-hatred and your endless Donovan McNabb theories. This week, I've pledged to go with my ample gut, only to find that you beat me to my own guesses. And with my own analysis too! Anyway, agree with everything you wrote up there. Except for the Cards covering the spread.

Final Score: Saints 34, Cardinals 24

The Spread Sez: COLTS (-6.5) v. Ravens

Aaron: The Ravens' annihilation of the Patriots last week might have been one of the least appreciated ass-whippings of my lifetime. After the game, the national narrative surrounded New England's injuries, Tom Brady's struggles, Bill Belichick's creeping senility and his curious choice of knit hat. With about 50% of QB Joe Flacco, the Ravens waltzed into New England and punched aura n' mystique square in the mouf. Yes, the Ravens were the better team going in, but that's not always enough on the road in January. ALL the pressure here is on the Colts and I think the Ravens' D has been sent from the football gods to cleanse the earth of false prophets (Belichick) and teams that sit their starters instead of going for 16-0.

Final Score: Ravens 27, Colts 13

Joe: Et tu, Cam? The Colts' decision to tank the final six quarters of the regular season has been the single most disproportionately covered story of this NFL season, give or take blah blah Brett Favre blah. If Colts fans have really turned on this team for losing what amounted to an exhibition game, despite a decade's worth of fabulous success and a Super Bowl title, they're welcome to do so. The Patriots' fans need someone to look more ungrateful than them anyway. Moving along, I like this Ravens team, but the Colts spent a whole season (the part where they played their starters at least) winning these kinds of games; ugly, if need be.

Final Score: Colts, 21, Ravens 18

The Spread Sez: VIKINGS (-2.5) v. Cowboys

Aaron: I know it's a gross oversimplification, but let's cut right to the chase: can Tony Romo win a playoff game on the road? The Vikings have been teetering for weeks with a defense that's been picked apart by teams that can throw the ball. Brett Favre will be starting his 17th game this season, which I'm certain is unprecedented for a septuagenarian. Dallas hasn't faced a running back like Adrian Peterson in recent weeks, but unless the Vikings plan on running the ball 80 times on Sunday, I'm not sure I trust the home team to keep up. So, can Romo win on the road? This week, he can.

Final Score: Cowboys 31, Vikings 27

Joe: I feel like I'm a character in a really hackneyed action/horror movie, where everything looks fine, and Dallas has all the momentum, and I'm like, "I have a bad feeling about this." But there is seriously almost NO reason to pick Minnesota here. Tony Romo is apparently one of those quarterbacks who will be forever dogged by whatever the rung above him on the ladder is. When the Cowboys were bad this season, it wasn't because of Romo, and when they were good, it often WAS. But he's destined to be scrutinized because he dated Jessica Simpson, or something. Anyway, I'm gonna go with momentum over reverse psychology. ...Or am I?

Final Score: Vikings 28, Cowboys 27

The Spread Sez: CHARGERS (-7) v. Jets

Aaron: OK...I'll concede that I way underestimated this Jets team if YOU concede that all this talk about the Jets being "a good match-up" for the Chargers is bat-sh*t insane. Cool? Yes, the Jets run the ball well and the Chargers can't stop the run. Yes, the Jets defense against the run is strong and the Chargers can't run the ball. But, the Chargers also feature a collection of receivers whose average height is 7'12". QB Phillip Rivers is an epic d**k, but his fluttering junk throws have been hauled in all year by guys who can create separation as good as anyone. This won't be close, yo.

Final Score: Chargers 44, Jets 17

Joe: I feel like this is a 1-point game or a 20+-point game. I also feel like the Chargers are to my postseason picks as the Jaguars are to my regular season picks. Never, ever, ever right. But again, my commitment was to go with my gut. And my gut said the Chargers WORK the Jets here.

Final Score: Chargers 30, Jets 10

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