I posted my picks for the Falcons-Cards, Colts-Bolts and Ravens-Phins yesterday. So I still need to pick the Eagles-Vikesm which we'll get to in one minute.
But first, a comment or two about yesterday's games. The 'Zona game played out just like I predicted. Zona's D got turnovers and put pressure on Matt Ryan and he crumbled.
As for the Colts-Bolts, I missed that one. But in all candor, when I saw that LT's injury was supposedly so much worse than thought, my first thought was the Chargers would be better off if he can't go. Sproles is better. But no one in San Diego wants to admit it. Luckily for Norv, LT's health took him out and made the decision for them. And all Sproles did was bust a TD run to win it in OT. And now everyone knows LT is done, so the Chargers can't get anything for him in a trade. Interesting offseason coming up for them. Do you release LT?
Anyway, moving on to todays games (I'm reposting my Miami pick from yesterday):
RAVENS (-3) at DOLPHINS
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a diehard Dolphins fan. Much like Hootie, they have made me cry. Seems like the Ravens are the sexy pick and everyone picking them is pointing at their week 7 win as proof that they'll win this wildcard matchup. Even Simmon's refers to the week 7 game as a "thrashing." He's wrong. It was not.That Suggs int changed the game and the Dolphins just weren't able to get the momentum back. Everyone seems to forget, Pennington had only been in Miami for like 2 months at that point. How much better do you think this guy knows the offense?
I've watched this team since 1984 and I can tell you I have never seen a true Miami "team" like the one I saw in the lockerroom video from last week. You read some of the quotes coming from these guys about Pennington being robbed in the MVP voting and you get a sense of how this unwanted QB has rallied this team.
Bottom line, I don't want the points. I don't need the points, but I'll take the points.
My pick: Dolphins getting 3
Eagles at Vikings (+3)
This the toughest game for me to pick. The Miami game doesn't really count, because I'm a homer at heart (there is partisanship for me with the Dolphins, Reino). Lets do a tale of the tape kind of things with the pros and cons of each team.
-the sexy pick after destroying America's Team last week;
-the Andy Reid-Donovan McNabb break-up/make-up may be the most overreported relationship since Heidi-Spencer on the Hills. I guess the theory here is that they were like two acorns in the forest and just needed a little room to grow. Apparently, that room just needed to be the second half of the Eagles-Baltimore game.
-Reid's backstory. The coach took a shit load of heat last year about his parenting. Is this his F-you to the world?
-McNabb's backstory. He didn't know you could tie. Has been ridiculed. Is out to prove something.
-Westbrook. He has become the Tiki Barber of Fantasy Football: the guy I've never had, kind of scared to draft, but whoever gets him raves about him and he winds up carrying their team. (I think Simmons had a theory back in the day comparing Tiki to a Pastrami on Rye or something, the sandwich you never picked, then wished you had picked it, everyone else swore by it and whenever you did try it, you loved it).
-The teacher-pupil angle. Reid is the teacher, Childress the pupil.
-Jim Johnson versus Brad Chilress and Tavares Jackson. If you feel comfortable with TJ going up against one of the most agressive defenses for the past 10 years, than...can I have some of your Xanax. Seriously, this could get ugly. And that was before Brad Childress decided to pick on Jim Johnson's combover.
-It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
-turns out, America's Team was self-destructing anyway. The Eagles just happened to be in the vicinity when the fuse finally hit the powder. Seriously, Kevin had warned me before that game he was considering a divorce from the Cowboys. I'm saddened to report, he has in fact left his team of almost thirty years and is now shacking up with a younger, sexier team in Charlotte.
-Check out McNabb's stats versus good Ds. Not so good, huh? Perhaps that's why Andy decided they needed some time apart the last time they played a good D. Minny is the 6th overall D. I'm thinking Andy and McNabb may be in for a spat or two today. Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be headed to Cabo in the offseason for a little makeup lovin and possibly a quickie ceremony.
-Reid's backstory: He's one of the worst coaches in the league in game management. Seriously, can't someone just buy these guys a Madden game and make them play it all season to learn about how to use challenges and timeouts?
-Teacher-pupil angle. Childress is the teacher. McNabb is the pupil. Why is this a con? See teacher-pupil angle cited above.
-It is not always sunny in Philly. In my other life, I spent two weeks right outside of Philly, helping designing some software and a POS system for the parks. It sucked. You want to know why Philly fans are so passionate, because there is nothing else to get excited about. Whenever you know you have to go back home to that, it can't be very motivating.
-Adrian Peterson is a man. I had the #1 pick in my fantasy draft and I went ADP over LT and could not have been happier with the pick. He helped carry me to 1st place and a great regular season. I agree with Simmons, he is the one guy you could see willing his team to a win.
-The crowd. Miller, an atty in our office, went to Minny to visit his folks who just moved there recently. They went to a Vikes game. He said the crowd noise was unreal.
-The teacher-pupil angle. Childress knows both Reid and McNabb.
-The Williams Wall may be back. Pat Williams is likely to be back from a fractured shoulder, teaming with Kevin Williams to shut down the inside running.
-The Eagles absolutely suck on the road 3-4-1 and sellout or not, the Metrodome will be rocking.
-TJ's mobility could help him escape a blitz and hit a burner downfield for big plays. And the Vikes have two guys capable of fitting that burner bill: Berrian and Rice.
-Yes ADP can carry a team. But in my fantasy league, once the playoffs came, he was the only guy to show up on my team. I got shite from the rest of my guys and wound up losing both the semifinal game and the 3rd place game. Moral of the story, in the playoffs, it takes more than one guy.
-The Williams Wall doesn't matter. The Eagles barely run and when they do, it ain't up the middle.
-The teacher-pupil angle. It is obvious that Childress learned his lessons well. He is as bad a game manager as Reid. Seriously, he almost cost the Vikes that game last week. See the pic above of him? Know that hand is? It's a brain-eater. Know what its doing? Starving. Seriously...would you lay money on a coach that looks like Les Nessman?
-It's not Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Those guys have got to want to win so they don't have to stay long when they go back. Just a change of clothes and lets hit the road again.
In the end, I just can't take Tavares Jackson against this D. The Defensive Coordinators are the best coaches in the this game. Frazier may have his eye on the door, as he's rumored to be in consideration for several of the openings out there. Johnson knows Childress and this offense, its the same one he's been going against in practice ever since Reid arrived. And don't think he has not seen that quote about the combover. This game plays out like the 'Zona game, and TJ ain't no Matt Ryan.
Late update: Watching Countdown, Sal Pal just reported Childress told him specifically he had a conversation with Jackson and told him "no out of body experiences." That's right Viking's fan, your head coach's advice to your basically a rookie QB: Don't get abducted by aliens. And this man is paid millions of dollars to offer up nuggets like that.
My pick Eagles giving the 3