No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Saints are Coming...

Well, with my wildcard picks at a so-so 3-1 (damn you Tony Romo!), it's on to the Divisional Playoffs...

Indianapolis at Baltimore
Last week, Indy's defense won the the game. Man, I cannot believe I just wrote that. But it's true. Manning threw for three interceptions and still the Chiefs couldn't make a game of it. I presume this week Manning and Marvin Harrison will have worked out whatever bizarre communication miscue led to two of those interceptions. And I also presume that the Indy defense will return to normal - that is, to crap. Baltimore, on the other hand, has one of the top defenses in football and - new for this year- an actual quaterback. Revolutionary. I'm thinking this'll be a close one and I'm picking Indy because, well, I love them and I hate Ray Lewis. Everyone knows defense wins playoff games, but sometimes rationality has to go out of the window. That said, Baltimore's the favourite here for a good reason and you should probably pick them. Not me, though - Indy all the way.

Philadelphia at New Orleans
In a way, Philly is a feel-good story. Written off in due to the debacle that was the T.O. era, they were given next to no chance by the pundits at the beginning of the season. Then, their superstar quarterback and leader Donovan McNabb goes down for the season. They end November at an uninspiring 5-6. Their back-up quarterback is Jeff Garcia, a guy many thought was out of football or ought to be. So what happens next? Garcia leads the Eagles to 6 straight wins, including an exciting last-second win against the Giants last week. That's a pretty good story. Who could possibly beat a story like that? Surely no has a more heartwarming tale... Oh, wait - someone does, and it's the New Orleans Saints. After Katrina, after a season spent homeless, a deeply moving return to the Superdome would probably have been enough for Saints fans. But with coach of the year Sean Peyton, San Diego cast-off quarterback Drew Brees and some kid named Reggie Bush, New Orleans not only made the playoffs but earned themselves a first-round bye and homefield advantage. I like that Philly has momentum, but I just don't see how you can stop the Saints this year. New Orleans.

Seattle at Chicago
Which Rex Grossman will show up? If Chicago's defense plays like it always does and Seattle plays like they did last week, it probably won't matter if Rex stinks it up out there (which he probably will). I'll admit, the Bears probably aren't as good as their 7-0 start made them look and Grossman is a serious wildcard. But defense really does win in the playoffs, and Chicago's got one of the best. Seattle was damn lucky to win last week on the combination of a flukey safety and a Dallas field goal debacle. And that was at home. They're in Chicago now, kids. Take Chicago.

New England at San Diego
New England cruised last week over the Jets in Foxborough. No offense to Eric Mangini, but the San Diego Chargers are no New York Jets. New England's post-season magic is well documented (and often over-inflated if you ask me), but the Chargers are kicking ass this year. It'll be tough for Belichick, Brady and company to move on from here. San Diego is rested. San Diego was the better team in the regular season. San Diego has the league MVP in LaDainian Tomlinson. So far, it looks mightly good for San Diego. But maybe the key match-up here isn't on the field. maybe it's Belichick versus Schottenheimer and in the battle of head coaches, it's no contest. Belichick has 3 Superbowls and a post-season record of 12-2. Marty S? His post-season record is slightly less impressive 5-12. He's often accused of coaching not to lose, rather than to win. Whatever you want to say about Belichick, a singularly unlikable guy, you always know he's out there to win. So who wins this week, the better team or the better coach. Damned if I know. What the hell, let's go San Diego. Screw Tom Brady.


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