Dogs have the wrapping paper on the boxes… and they’re picking
out ribbons. Another amazing week from them… 3-1 against the spread
and 3-1 in their view of the entire playoffs from the start.
picking the games from beginning to end, the Dogs got Indianapolis,
New York and Minnesota correct. Their only loss was a prediction
of Philadelphia defeating New Orleans. (For the second week in
a row, Philly cost them a perfect string.) The trick is… they
have the Jets going to the Super Bowl… and the Eagles winning
it. So they only have one more possible victory to add.
the Jets make it to the Super Bowl… the Dogs win. If Indy wins
the Super Bowl… the Dogs win. If the Colts go to the Super Bowl
and the NFC team wins, the Dogs can be tied by Mike or Dad.
pair also went 3-1 last week against the spread. Their only loss
was taking San Diego to win and cover. That gives them a 2-game
lead with 3 to play.
a quick review of what we all picked for this week when we made
our predictions for the entire playoffs…
here are my thoughts on this week’s games…
York (Jets) at Indianapolis (7½) – For
me, this is an amazingly interesting game for what should on the
field be such a boring game. I mean… this seems like an easy one.
Indinapolis in a laugher. How can you predict anything else? And
yet… even with such an easy ending to see coming… there is so
much involved. First… for the conspiracy theorists… the NFL doesn’t
want a team that only made the playoffs because two teams tanked
to get a spot in the Super Bowl. So New York loses with the calls
going against them any time one can be made that doesn’t seem
too obvious. (Oh but wait… the NFL doesn’t want to reward a team
that would do something so idiotic as pull their players off of
a dry, indoor field and forfeit a game, only to play the very
next week in a truly meaningless fiasco. So really? Are we saying
that? Are we saying the league and the referees will be lined
up against the Jets? Couldn’t it work both ways on this one? Heck…
push the conspiracy further. Maybe the NFL wanted Indianapolis
to lose to New York in week 16 so that the New York market would
have a playoff team and Indy was set up to lose. How about that?
Ok… back to Indy being an easy winner in this one…) Second… the
Jets beat the Colts during the regular season, which likely has
the Indianapolis starters salivating for this contest. And third…
well… the reality is, we could go on with stuff like this for
quite some time, except that nothing about the Jets being in this
game makes sense at all. As I mentioned in that first idea about
not wanting a team that was handed the playoffs to get the ultimate
reward… after benching the starters against the Jets, those Colt
starters appeared on the field the next week against the Bills.
Is Indy a club the NFL wants to be rewarding with a victory here?
Probably not… but geez. Let’s face it… the Chargers screwed it
all up. They were supposed to knock out both of these clubs so
neither one made it to the big dance. Let’s check out a few other
things. I happen to like the Jets special teams group here… and
their defense. (We’ll get to the defense in a second though… because
unfortunately, they have to face Indy’s offense.) Jay Feeley may
be the best kicker remaining in the playoffs at this point. And
let’s not forget… Indy wasn’t running away from New York in that
game with their starters on the field. Ok… you see what I’m doing…
I’m trying to make some sort of case that this is an even playing
field. (My words) “Oh look, New York has a defense and a kicker”…
“There’s no reason the league could support Indianapolis”… “Norv
Turner sucks”… blah-blah-blah. The ending of this section is simple
to see coming… as simple as knowing Indy will win. And in that
ending, I’m going to take the Jets. And I’m taking them because
no sane, reasonable person putting money on the line should. There
is nothing to look at here that says New York could, should or
can win. They could win… but likely won’t. At some point, Indianapolis
is going to go on a two or three score swing. (Minimum two… minimum
10 points… without New York scoring.) I’m guessing most likely
it’s going to be a 17-21 point stretch and last three scores.
Might be a touchdown followed by a couple of three-and-outs turned
in by their defense… might be a turnover or two. But at some point
the Colts scoring and then scoring again is going to happen. And
when it does… well… reality time. Could the Jets win? Yes. But
there had better never be a point in this game when the franchise
rookie has to win it. If he has to throw… if he’s being forced
to make a play… then the Colts suddenly become a strong defense.
Once they know it’s third and 8 and he’s passing… or it’s 24-10
with five or six minutes to go… game over. Book the plane tickets.
Because not only will the Jets have troubles with their lovely
quarterback being forced to win it, but as I’ve noted before,
they kick a ton of field goals. Check out their record and look
at all those games that finished with scores within 3… 4… 5 points.
While I won’t say they can’t score 3 instead of 7 and win this…
what I will say is that any time they cross the 50-yard line they
had better put points on the board. Feeley… see, I mentioned him
a moment ago… had better not miss. I’m going to take that rookie
to have a solid, but heavily controlled game.
Bob: New York
Terry: New York
at New Orleans (4½) –
I will say something amazing right now, because if you have read
this web site, you’ve seen me yawn and say I’m bored with the
will-he-won’t-he Favre saga every year. I’d prefer he commits,
quickly and without a dance, to a return of any kind. These past
few years, I truly believe he has hurt teams like the Packers
and the Jets with this dance. So, ready for amazing? Here it is…
I want him to come back for one more year. This Vikings team is
fun to watch. Strong, emotional defense. Potentially lethal, balanced
offense. And yet I think if Favre leaves it, the whole thing will
suffer. You know all those times you hear about how a veteran
brings along a presence? Most of the time, that’s crap. The veteran
doesn’t want to help the guy set to eventually replace him. It’s
amazingly rare for that idea to work, no matter how many times
we get told it’s happening. But watching Minnesota play, you can
see a level of excitement that is swirling around Favre. Ok… that
said… this game. See Brett. See Brett lose. See Brett fumble.
See Brett throw interceptions. See Saints win. Last week I told
you I could see Romo or Favre losing the game by playing horribly
or turning the ball over late. I picked Minnesota to win. Picked
Romo to fall apart. This week, I sort of expect a close, high
scoring contest, with Favre having a chance to win it late… but
he turns it over and the Saints take the victory. Let’s say 38-34
or something like that. Given the emotion that is likely to be
New Orleans and the dome for this one… I could see the Saints
winning big and people talking about multiple Favre turnovers.
What I expect though is at least one huge mistake.
Bob: New Orleans
Terry: New Orleans
Mike: New Orleans
Molly: New Orleans