Reino has his playoff picks up and has inspired me to publicize my own. But I've also decided to steal a bit from the Sportsguy, to up the ante.
Simmons has been trying to go 11-0 against the spread ever since I can remember. The quest is one of the 5 remaining items on his sport's fan bucket list.
As for the two pictures above, I think Miami has a shot--a long shot--but a shot at making the big game. A guy can dream can't he. Anyway, in a year when a black Democrat named like an Arab can win the Presidency and the guy who used to get called Hickory Head along with me in Ms. Grant's class can unseat a 13-year incumbent for Mayor...hey, anything's possible. As my friend Andy Dufresne once said about hope:
"(you can't) Forget that... there are places in this world that aren't made out
of stone. That there's something inside... that they can't get to, that they
can't touch. That's yours."
On to the games...
(using the lines from the Sportsguy's post)
FALCONS at CARDINALS (+1.5)
Atlanta certainly is the trendy pick here. Arizona completely collapsed down the stretch and did not look good against good teams. But I agree with Simmons and Lombardi, I like the matchup. 'Zona's D gives up yardage and points, they can also make plays. If they make some big plays early and get out in front of the Falcons, Atlanta could be in trouble.
I just get the feeling these guys on Arizona have been sitting there the last few weeks hearing about how bad they suck and they've got enough pride to show up today.
My pick: 'Zona getting 1.5
COLTS (-1) at BOLTS
Peyton has taken a lot of shit for all the commericals he has made. But he may have made his best yet, with the one that his been running recently. Anyway, this commercial plus his stint on SNL (the best from an athlete as far as my memory) and his early season problems due to the surgeries equals Peyton is now likable. And I say that as someone who hates him. Plus, you do have the "is this Dungy's swan song?" going on.
On the other side, you've got Philip Rivers. You know, the guy the Giants did not want because they wanted their own Manning too. A guy who did nothing but win and set all kinds of records at NC State (and if you don't think that's impressive, look at what the 'Pack has done since Rivers left). If you had asked me back in 2004, I would have predicted that Rivers would, by now, be the beloved, winning QB, to Eli's spoiled brat from a conceited family. Rivers really was kind of like the pretty good looking girl from the '80s movie, you know the one who's friends with the geeky loser, but she's not as popular or as hot (supposedly) as the bad guy's cheerleader girlfriend who the geeky loser is deeply infatuated with. We all know the geeky loser should pick her, we'd pick her, but it takes an hour and thirty minutes (the statutorily allowed time for an '80s movie) for the geekly loser to realize he's had true love all along. And if you think that entire diatribe was simply me transcribing a synopsis of "My Secret Admirer," you'd be right.
Anyway, with his antics against Jay Cutler, I can't help but think Philip Rivers is still in his "Ronald Miller Express" phase. You remember, in "Can't buy me love," when Ronald has let his "coolness" go to his head and he was being a complete ass to the 80s Hottie Hall of Famer Cindi Mancini. See, Philip, like Ronald still needs his comeuppance. I think he gets it.
Not to mention, LT is DONE. Don't forget this guy had a shitload of carries at TCU. When he came into the league, I remember thinking he was another Marshall Faulk, but one who ran between the tackles. Faulk lasted 11 years in the league and he was done. This is LT's 8th. That 3 year difference is more than made up for by the difference in running styles. In fact, they just said on pregame that LT's injury is worse than expected, something about a tendon being off the bone or something. I'm telling you, AJ Smith is wishing he had had the balls to trade LT and keep Turner this past offseason.
Plus don't overlook the following:
-Manning versus San Diego fued (Eli and Leaf over Manning),
-A lot is made of Peyton's struggles versus 3-4 defenses. But there is no Shawn Merriman this season and the Chargers D ain't what it was
-Norv "cough...cough...choke" Turner
My pick: Colts giving 1
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)
Kickoff is right on us, so I'll come back and edit this one in later.
*I'll settle for beating Simmons and Reino.