Saturday, January 9, 2010
2010 NFL Pickery - Wildcard Weekend
I received a few e-mails from people who seemed to be waiting in suspense for the final NFL Pickery results. Spoiler alert: I didn't win. It came down to the Jets/Bengals on Sunday night for all the marbles - well, a Cincinnati win would've meant I'd tie with Joe. Instead, in a show of New York/New Jersey bridge-n-tunnel solidarity, the Jets steamrolled the Bengals (who deliberately laid down, WWE-style) and gave Joe his first win in one of these things. How I hate him.
Joe's victory lap brings him back around here for the playoffs. We'll track picks against the spread AND outright winners.
The Spread Sez: BENGALS (-2.5) v. Jets
Aaron: This year, the Jets beat Houston, Oakland, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and - infamously - Indianapolis on the road this year. They had ONE regular season win against a 2009 playoff team that actually was trying to win the game and that came in week #2. Anyone who picks Mark Sanchez on the road in January AND willfully ignores the Jets asterisk-crossed road to the playoffs deserves what they get.
Final Score: Bengals 20, Jets 7
Joe: Here's the thing: I really want the Jets to win. I've become oddly attached to Thomas Jones due to him holding up my fantasy season, the pile-up on Mark Sanchez this season has been annoying, Bill Simmons has been particularly obnoxious in his pretzeling of logic in Cincy's favor(or in the Jets' disfavor, more specifically). Rex Ryan is a wad, but other than that, I'd much rather side with the mountain of stats that favor the Jets on this. But the rookie QB factor does appear to be a thing, and it's blazingly obvious that the Bengals were goldbricking it last week.
Final Score: Bengals 17, Jets 16
The Spread Sez: COWBOYS (-4) v. Eagles
Aaron: One week ago, the Eagles in position to earn the #2 seed in the NFC and first week bye. After a miserable performance in Dallas, the Eagles' annual playoff epitaph has already been written. Thing is, I'm not ready to toss dirt on Donovan McNabb just yet. His playoff pedigree - though spotty - still has nine more wins than Tony Romo's (zero). And, the Eagles usual bed-wettings never occur in back-to-back weeks. Do they?
Final Score: Eagles 24, Cowboys 23
Joe: Argh! You had to remind me of McNabb's every-other-week tendencies. Because otherwise, it just seems like Dallas is the better team in this matchup. Maybe not in the scheme of the whole league, but in THIS particular matchup, Philly has been outgunned. And yet...McNabb really does zig whenever he's supposed to zag, doesn't he? God damn it.
Final Score: Cowboys 30, Eagles 27
The Spread Sez: PATRIOTS (-3) v. Ravens
Aaron: The Ravens have suffered through a pair of gut-wrenching regular season losses to the Patriots over the past three years. Baltimore's got the third best defense in the league and a criminally underrated offense (seriously, all the "Joe Flacco's regressed" nonsense is absolute lunacy). Is it enough to win in New England? These aren't your slightly older brother's Patriots of seasons past, yo.
Final Score: Ravens 20, Patriots 17
Joe: Eight of New England's ten wins were over non-playoff teams. Six of Baltimore's seven losses were to teams who did make the playoffs (and by an average of 5.5 points). Of course, one of those losses was to the Patriots. The lesson? Win/loss stats can be confusing! Anyway, the Pats were pretty awful in the second half of the season, even when they did win. And Baltimore seems like just the kind of WTF team that catches fire in the playoffs these days.
Final Score: Ravens 27, Patriots 14
The Spread Sez: Packers (Pick) v. CARDINALS
Aaron: Green Bay's defense has been pretty frisky since back-to-back losses two months ago. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have gotten fat off the league's bottom-feeders in recent weeks. I grossly underestimated the Cardinals' crowd factor during their Super Bowl run last year and I'm leaning towards them if only because I've already picked two road teams to win. Hard to understand why I don't gamble more often with a can't-fail philosophy like that.
Final Score: Cardinals 31, Packers 28
Joe: I maintain that the Cards were in more of a shut-down mode last week than the Packers were. No way Green Bay blows them out again. However, that doesn't mean that wont still win, despite how daunting the task of beating a team two weeks in a row on the road. Arizona's banged up and Kurt Warner doesn't seem nearly as fearsome as he was last year.
Final Score: Packers 37, Cardinals 35