The 2009 NFL Picks
The 2009 NFL playoffs… week two


The Dogs have established a lead. I think they’re in trouble as this moves along… with Philadelphia and New York as their Super Bowl choices… but stranger things have happened. A strong weekend here… especially if they can keep the Jets advancing… and the rest of us will be running out of options when it comes to catching them.

The pair went 3-1 last week… missing the exact same game. Gus had Philadelphia in the full playoff selections… and Molly took the Eagles with the spread.

Mike pulled in behind them at 2-2 in both areas. The rest of us are sitting at 1-3.

Terry is in deep trouble. Her Super Bowl pick of Green Bay against New England is gone, and she has no place to gather any more points. So while picking against the spread will be there for her… the reality is that in the beginning-to-end, she’s already secured at least a tie for last place.

Here’s a quick review of what we all picked for this week when we made our predictions for the entire playoffs…

Game Bob Terry Dad Mike Dogs
AFC - (Balt) at Indy Baltimore New York Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis (M)
AFC - (NY) at SD San Diego New England San Diego San Diego New York (G)
NFC - (Ari) at NO New Orleans Philadelphia New Orleans New Orleans Philadelphia (M)
NFC - (Dal) at Minn Minnesota Green Bay Minnesota Dallas Minnesota (G)

And here are my thoughts on this week’s games…

Baltimore at Indianapolis (6½) – I suppose what scares me most about this game is that just about everyone seems to be pointing at this as the surprise of the weekend. Oh sure… some people are saying the Saints were inconsistent or that the Vikings will be picked off by a hot Cowboys team. That’s not my point. Those aren’t surprises. Instead, I’ve been saying for weeks… quite literally, dating well back into November… that a 14-2 Colts club was going to lose their first playoff game. I didn’t find anything that shocking about it. But now I see all these articles and reports where people are telling you (my words) “hey, the Ravens could win” in a fashion that seems to indicate they think they’re presenting some amazing information. But since everyone really seems to understand the Colts are not a really threatening top seed, it all ends up sounding like way too many people are hopping on the bandwagon for the Ravens. Oh well… I’m sticking to my guns here. I love the running game… especially Ray Rice… and think Baltimore can keep pace with Indy, and will play better than others have fared if they can get a lead. I like that the Ravens probably feel like the first contest between these two was stolen from them. And I like that Indianapolis isn’t likely to present an imposing presence on a visiting team. (Seriously… people picking the Cardinals… you know what the Superdome is going to be like… right? Chances are you won’t be able to hear a thing from the person next to you for about a mile radius around the place. Here in Indy? In the third quarter you’ll hear pins dropping.)
Bob: Baltimore
Terry: Baltimore
Dad: Baltimore
Mike: Indianapolis
Gus: Indianapolis

New York (Jets) at San Diego (7½) – Let’s take a look at the New York Jets for a moment. They lost 7 times. Once, New Orleans beat them by 14. Another time, New England dominated them 31-14. In the 5 other losses, they never were defeated by more than 5 points. The truth is simple… they may not be a great club, but the Jets pretty much either win games or lose close. Worth noting. The problem is, San Diego is a team that doesn’t fit nicely into some evaluation of whether or not New York can cover… or even win. This isn’t Cincinnati or New England. Instead, the Chargers have faced good teams and have lost, faced good teams and have won close, and faced good teams and have blown them out. (Examples… Denver… Dallas… and, well, Denver.) But more often than not, when it was close… go back to that Dallas game… the final score was not a reflection of what took place on the field. My point being, it’s really hard to get a feel on this game that allows you to say you’re comfortable. Sure the Jets have a good defense… the trouble is they may not score more than 10 points in this game. Is the New York defense that good? Can they keep the Chargers to field goals and 14 or so points? No… and no. The unfortunate thing is, I can see this game turning into one of those never in doubt games… 21-7 or 24-10 with 5 minutes to go or so, and the Chargers beginning to look ahead to Baltimore or Indianapolis. And near the end New York sneaks in a field goal or two, or perhaps a late score, while San Diego is hooting and hollering and shaking hands. And suddenly, the game ends 21-16. The Chargers are worried about advancing… the Chargers are not worried about advancing with an 8-plus point win. Add to that this one observation… if the Jets have to throw, the Jets won’t win. And that leads me to believe they shouldn’t be scoring late to make the scoreboard look closer than the game itself.
Bob: San Diego
Terry: New York
Dad: San Diego
Mike: New York
Molly: San Diego

Arizona at New Orleans (7) – Let me ask you a quick question… after what you saw from the Arizona defense against Green Bay, do you have confidence that the Cardinals can keep the Saints from scoring 20-points? I start looking at this game with that question because I think there are two important things to consider here, and both can be viewed in part based on your answer to that question. 20 or less points. Can they do it? I mean… sure… we know New Orleans limped into the playoffs. They lost their last three games. But… they won every game they scored more than 20-points… and… they never lost a game where their opponents scored over 24. The resulting thoughts are simple. First thought, if you think New Orleans will score… then you think New Orleans will win. And second thought, if you think Arizona will score… then you think New Orleans will win. If the Saints cross that 20-point mark, their record this year says they will win the game. And, if this becomes a shootout, the Saints have also established they will win those games too. What were are looking at here is easy enough to say… the Cardinals need to pressure Brees and keep New Orleans off the scoreboard… very hard to do. And all of this talk that Arizona is clicking and ready to make a playoff run for the second year in a row… consider this. About two months ago the Cardinals defeated Minnesota. Shockwaves were felt. Arizona looked fantastic in that contest. Could they actually be in the hunt for the second seed? The next week they got clobbered by San Francisco, and went 2-2 to finish the season. I’m not taking anything out of an amazingly entertaining game last week when it comes to predicting this contest.
Bob: New Orleans
Terry: Arizona
Dad: Arizona
Mike: Arizona
Gus: New Orleans

Dallas at Minnesota (3) – I don’t have much to share with you. Either defense could completely control this game. Either quarterback could go turnover happy and commit several… or play a decent game and turn it over late to decide the game. Either offense could get on a roll and just run all over the field. This is the only game of the three that I don’t feel 100% confident about. And in the end, I just happen to trust the Vikings to win a bit more.
Bob: Minnesota
Terry: Dallas
Dad: Minnesota
Mike: Dallas
Molly: Minnesota

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