Looks like someone is a little upset about my picks...
I come here not to praise the quest for a perfect 11-0 playoff predictions, I come here to bury it. That's right...that sucker is deader than Benjamin Franklin. But, if at first you don't succeed, continue to pound your head into the wall. Remember, folks, I'm an idiot. I'm not an expert, I just fake it, like my man Stephen Glass. In fact, if you are actually giving weight to my predictions, you may want to borrow a quote from the movie pictured above: "I'm increasingly beginning to believe I've been duped."
So once more into the breach, and as always, these picks and lines are for entertainment purposes only:
RAVENS AT TITANS (-3)
Has it really come to this? Joe "Unibrow" Flacco versus Kerry "the Phoenix" Collins for a shot at the AFC Crown?
Last week, the Ravens picked off Chad Pennington 4 times and added a fumble. That's more than half he ints Chad threw the whole damn season and 5 turnovers is almost half the total the whole team had all season. Seems like everyone picked the Ravens, likewise everyone seems to feel they manhandled the Phins. But was it really a cakewalk?
To start the 4th quarter, Miami marches down the field in less that 2 minutes and scores a TD (Baltimore blocked the PT). So its 20-9 with 13:09 left in the game. Unibrow comes on with the BO (reminds me of cab driver I once had) and goes three and out. Miami marches right down the field again and is facing a 2 and 7 on the Baltimore 25 when the pivotal play of the game occurs, an end-around to Ted Ginn (and it's an end-around dammit, not a reverse like every announcer calls it. Ginn would have had to hand the ball off for it to be a reverse). Ginn was coming from the right. The Ravens blitzed from the left and were right on top of Pennington as he handed it off. Pennington got the ball handed off, but Ginn was looking at the LB bearing in on them and bobbled it, subsequently losing a big chunk of yards.
The reason that play was so critical. Despite turning the ball over and being "manhandled" by the greatest defense in the history of the game (if you were listening to Jim Nantz), the Dolphins had the momentum and were driving for a score that would have put them within 3 or 4 with about 8 minutes left. If Ginn looks the ball in, he scores. It was a great play call. Balitmore had brought the house from the left, and Ginn was already outside of them when he got the
handoff. No one would have caught up to him.
Alas, he didn't hold on to it, Dolphins go from 2 and 7 to 3 and 26, eventually punting. Ballgame. Bottom line, even with winning the turnover battle by plus 4, the game was still very much in question with 8 minutes left. Considering this is a rookie QB on the road for a second week, isn't that a little worrisome?
By the way, that Ed Reed...I think he's going to turn out pretty good, don't you?
Tennessee spent last week relaxing and preparing. Plus, they come into the game feeling pretty good about being the "winners" in that whole Pacman Jones thing. The week of rest will be good for the old-timers on the Titans. Rumor has it, Jeff Fisher may bust out the porn 'stache for this one. So who do I like?
I have to admit...it's hard not to get a little of a Tampa Bay 2003 Gruden-effect with this Ravens team. You know, a team fires its longtime coach (Dungy-Billick) who had just grown stale with a team full of vets he has been with for years, brings in a young whippersnapper (Gruden-Harbaugh) coach and his youthful exuberance helps stoke the dwindling flames in the vets, firing the up and leading the to a championship. Then again, maybe Ray Lewis has just threatened to kill any of his teammates who keep him from his last great payday, as he heads towards free agency (along with Suggs and Scott, by the way).
Then again, Kerry Collins is a UFA this coming offseason too. This guy has been written off more than Tony Almeida. Kerry Collins is still Kerry Collins. Personally, I am hoping Collins goes down and Vince "The Great Depression" Young is called on to save the day. I don't know how that would turn out, but I know I'd tune it to find out.
In the end, while I could see Ray-ray and his fellow paycheck seekers pulling it out, I can't get over the fact that they had +4 in the turnover versus Miami and the game was still within reach of the Phins halfway through the 4th.
My pick: Titans giving the 3.
CARDINALS AT PANTHERS (-10)
Three red flags about this game:
1) The spread. Ten points is a lot of points. Carolina only won 6 games by 10 points or more. Two were against KC and Oakland, then 2 were against TB and Denver late in the year when they were imploding. Not exactly world beaters there.
2) Everyone likes the Panthers and I mean everyone. Even Cardinal fans and Arizona radio guys are admitting they're going to get killed. That means, once again, that Kurt Warner and his wife have been hearing that they have no chance for a whole week. If you don't think they don't have chips on their shoulders about that, then you don't know the extremes born-again Christians go to in order to feel persecuted.
3) KFloyd officially dumped the 'Boys for the Panthers. Sorry, Charlotte...that's like a kiss of death.
Be that as it may, this game comes down to the arguably the two toughest WRs in the game: Boldin and Smith. Looks like Boldin may not go with a hamstring injury.
With Wachovia getting bought out and the Bobcats sucking, the Panthers are the only game in town. I think Charlotte is rocking Saturday night.
My pick: Cardinals getting the 10.
EAGLES AT GIANTS (-4)
By a little unknown NFL rule, the playoffs are not allowed to continue without a Manning.
My pick: Giants giving the 4.
SAN DIEGO (+6) AT PITTSBURGH
LT is out. Big Ben is concussed. Phillip Rivers (apparently) does not swear. Darren Sproles' potential price tag is increasing like the National Debt Clock and I don't care how fast the Steeler D is, their footing ain't holding up on that muck they call a field enough to catch the Jitterbug.
I can't wait to watch LT try to act like he's happy that his team is winning without him and try not show he's upset because he's an effing self-absorbed diva. In case your wondering, that looks a little like this:
I don't want the points, I don't need the points, but I'll take the points.
My pick: Chargers getting 6.