Friday, January 8, 2010

Wild Card Round: It's like Deja-Vu, all over again

So, the regular season is over. How'd we do? 50%. No shit. Dead even. Our goal was at least 56%, which we once read was what the wiseguys say you need to be in the black. Good thing lines are just for enterainment purposes only, right? We only hit 39% on the upset specials, so that needs some work too. But we finished the season with a good week: 10-6. As our man Herm Edwards once said: We can build on this.

But this week is all about the Playoffs. Or as we like to call it: Mora Time.

Alas, our Dolphins won't be participating this season. Just as well, they wouldn't win it all anyway, so why not get the better draft pick.

The interesting thing with this year's wild card round, is that three of the four games are repeats of games from last week. I believe if NE would have beaten the Texans last week, all four games would be repeats. As it is, it looks like our old friend Yogi Berra was right. It is deja-vu, all over again. On with the picks...


Jets (+2.5) v. BENGALS = God, is Rex Ryan an ass or what. Just a few weeks ago, after his teams 10-7 loss to the Falcons, Rex infamously (and stupidly) declared his team out of the playoffs. Well, imagine their they are. How'd it happen? Well...they got lucky. The biggest gift that was handed to them was Coach Caldwell of the Colts handing them the win in week 16. Caldwell pulled Manning with the Colts up by 1 and the backup QB immediately handed the ball off to the Jets and they took the lead. Then they played the Bengals just this past Monday. The Bengals didn't have jackshit to play for, so the Jets rolled 37-0.

Despite the fact that his teams playoff birth was handed to them, Ryan's chest-puffing has begun. Ryan has already declared that his team should be the favorites to win it all. Bart Scott was on PTI the other day pleading his case about how hard the Bengals really tried in that game.

We have to concede a fact here: We hate the Jets.

After all their crowing, I'm thinking the Bengals may too. This game is gonna be close, because the teams are pretty evenly matched. The Bengals are hurt by their stud rookie LB Rey Maualuga being out and that hurts with the Jets running game coming into town. There are a lot of similarities in these teams. Both coaches were Defensive Coordinators for the Ravens. Both QBs were studs for the Trojans. Both running backs were let go the Bears. And both teams have idiots who like to run their mouth (Ryan and Ochocinco). The difference is Ochocinco is funny.

We freely admit this pick is heart over head. But I think it's time for Carson Palmer to win a playoff game. I it's time for Rex Ryan to eat some humble pie. Look at the know he likes pie.

BTPC pick = Bengals laying the points.

Eagles (+4) v. COWBOYS = The Eagles fly back down to Dallas where they just got pounded 24-0 by Jurrah's 'Boys. Unlike the Bengals, the Eagles had every reason to win that game as it would have resulted in them getting a first round bye. Instead they lost to their hated rivals, giving Dallas the NFC East crown in the process.

McNabb has had to back off this week from his comments about the Eagles "showing their youth" in the loss. The Eagles problem is that their most exciting player, DeSean Jackson, has been kept in check by the Cowboys. Jackson has not been able to score against Dallas. That has to change for them to win Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dallas (allegedly "America's Team") has not won a playoff game since 1996. It is all going to be on Tony Romo's back. He's got a pretty large monkey on that back that he has to get off. Romo has played well of late, but until he can win a "big" game, he's gonna continue to hear that he folds under pressure. The key there will be the Eagles blitz. Last week, they really did not bring many blitzes, which is odd. You almost wonder whether or not the Eagles were setting Romo up. We'll find out Saturday night.

BTPC pick = Cowboys laying the points.


Ravens (+3.5) v. PATRIOTS = So Brady loses his blankie (Welker) and there's no question he has not been the same QB without it. NE managed to beat Baltimore 27-21 back in October. Can they do it again?

The big plus for the Pats is that the game is at home, where they have not lost in a while. Plus, they're 5-0 against the Ravens lifetime. It isn't just Welker, the word is that Brady is "healthy," but that's relative. He's been nursing broken ribs since the Miami game and we all know you can't trust Belichick's injury reports to be that candid. Lucky for them, there is some good news on the health front: Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren are also supposed to the relatively healthy, two key clogs in their run defense they will need against Rice and McGahee.

The Ravens have their own injury issues. While Ray Lewis gets all the press, Ed Reed is and has been what makes that defense special. Reed has been out for a while and word is he will be limited today.

I think the key in this game is gonna be Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor. However, I think they're gonna be big in the passing game, not the running game. These two both catch the ball well and NE is in general good with dump offs and screens. I think NE is gonna have problems running the ball against Gregg and Ngata or hitting the edge with Lewis. But they can get those guys outside after faking protection and that's gonna be key.

It's gonna be cold. It's gonna be in Foxboro and Belichick has gotten plenty of ammo with Welker's injury to play the nobody is giving us a chance. We'll we are.

BTPC pick = Pats laying the points.

Pack (+1) v. CARDS = The Cards have a lot of injuries. The Pack is coming on, having finished an NFC best 7-1 over the second half, including a 33-7 ass-whupping on the Cards last weekend. The Cards knew the game meant nothing before kickoff, so they pulled old-man winter Warner after just a few plays. Boldin, Campbell and Rogers-Cromartie are all banged up, with Boldin being the worst. For the Pack, Woodson got dinged last week, but says he's good to go.

Rodgers has had another great season. He's the first QB in history to pass for over 4,000 yards in his first two seasons. You can't overlook the fact that if Rodgers can knock out senior citizen Warner, he get's a third shot at playing HIM next week in Minnesota. How awesome would it be if Rodgers went into the Metrodome and knocked HIM out of the playoffs? That would be pretty suuuhweeet. And that's what we're rooting for.

BTPC pick = Pack taking the point.

Last Week: 10-6 Upset specials (didn't pick)

Season to date: 123-116-7 Upset Specials 7-9-2

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