Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Faces of NFL Wild Card Weekend & The Daily Anything's Picks

Lots of different writers have NFL picks.  Those picks usually involve breaking down each teams strengths and weaknesses, analyzing which team will be able to exert its will over the other, and a whole bunch of other formulaic b.s. from people who don't know what they're talking about. 

At The Daily Anything, I acknowledge that I have no idea how to break down team's schemes.  I, like former President Bush, make all my decisions based on my gut.

Disclaimer: My gut has, from time to time, been known to let me down.


Big win against the Rams Charlie, but
don't expect a similar result against N.O.

But I really dig the Charles Manson look.

Game 1: #5 New Orleans Saints (-10.5) @ #4 Seattle Seahawks
Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET

That is an awfully big spread for a playoff game, especially when you consider that the favored team is on the road.  Apparently Vegas has no respect for the Seattle Seahawks, who finished below .500 in the wasteland that was the NFC West. 

There's no way that the Seahawks win this game, although Charlie Whitehurst didn't look bad Sunday night against the Rams.  However, the Seahawks do not have an offense that can keep up with Drew Brees and company, so the question is whether or not they can cover the spread. 

The Pick: Saints (-10.5)

Rex likes feet ... a lot!
Game 2: #6 NY Jets @ #3 Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
Saturday 8:00 p.m. ET

 Rex Ryan has a well-documented past of displaying bravado and hubris during press conferences.  Last year, before his team's first playoff appearance with him at the helm, Rex guaranteed that the Jets would win the Super Bowl.  After inspired victories over the Bengals and the Chargers, Rex Ryan's club fell in the AFC Championship game to the Indianapolis Colts.

Back at it again this year, Rex has once again stated publicly that his team is going to win the Super Bowl.  And once again, they will be squaring off against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, a team that Rex Ryan has struggled against throughout his career.  In 6 matchups against Manning and the Colts, Ryan is an unimpressive 1-5, even worse if you consider that the Colts sat their starters for the game that Ryan's Jets won to get into the playoffs last year.  But none of this has stopped Rex from running his mouth.  To Rex, "its personal."

I hope to God that Manning and the Colts make Rex put his foot in his mouth. 

Actually, rumor has it that he's into that.

The Pick: Colts (-2.5)

Joe Flacco can't read ... or something
like that.

Game 3: #5 Baltimore Ravens (-3) @ #4 K.C. Chiefs
Sunday 1:00 p.m. ET

Everyone I have spoken to seems to think that the Baltimore Ravens are a lock to win this game.  I disagree.  In fact, I like the Chiefs in this one.  If I were picking who would win the game outright, I'd probably go with the Ravens just based on their playoff experience.  They're one of the toughest defenses in the league and they excel at stopping the run, which all NFL fans know is a key to winning in the playoffs. 

So why would I bet on the Chiefs?  Simple.  They're getting 3 points at home against an offense that struggles to score. 

For the past couple of seasons, we've been hearing about how Joe Flacco plays in an offense without any weapons.  This has been the excuse for why he hasn't put up big statistical seasons yet.  Well this year Joe has no excuses.  The Ravens added Anquon Boldin in the offseason, one of the NFL's best 15 receivers and a legitimate #1 to go along with T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Derrick Mason, and Todd Heap.  Why hasn't the Ravens offense improved?

Flacco apparently has spent the year struggling to get through his reads, consistently checking down to Ray Rice when teams take away his first option.  And its starting to piss off the Ravens' receiving corps, especially T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who hasn't been getting the touches he's used to because Flacco can't get away from Boldin and Rice.

That's why the Ravens offense doesn't put up a lot of points, and considering that the Chiefs were 6-2 at home this season, I expect the game to be tight.  Hell, I like the Chiefs to win outright.

The Pick: Chiefs (+3)

Hey Mike, just cause you're up 3 points
with 11:26 to go doesn't mean you
should abandon the pass.
 Game 4: #6 Green Bay Packers @ #3 Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
Sunday 4:30 p.m. ET

Mike McCarthy has given me at least 3 heart attacks already this season, and with Green Bay playing the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs, I've already got a bottle of aspirin ready.

Ya see, Mike McCarthy is the Packers' offensive playcaller.  For the first 3 quarters of the game, Mike likes to let Aaron Rodgers throw the ball all over the field and watch the other team's defense squirm against the receiving triple threat of Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Donald Driver.  So for 3 quarters, the Packers build leads against their opponents because they're practically unstoppable offensively.

But as soon as the 4th quarter hits, Mike likes to abandon the gameplan that continuously scores points for a different style of attack.  Instead of sticking with his deadly, unstoppable passing attack, Mike likes to keep the clock moving by running the ball on 1st and 2nd down, then having Aaron Rodgers attempt a pass in a long yardage situation.  After a couple of 3 and outs, the other team is all of a sudden back in the game and the Packers' passing game is out of rhythm. 

Its incredibly frustrating.

And since the Eagles have Michael Vick, a guy who has a proven track-record of leading teams back from big deficits, I expect that McCarthy's retarded tendency to force the run in the 4th quarter might end up kicking our asses in the end.  It almost did last week against the Bears.

As far as my pick for this game, I'll take the team with 6 losses, none of which were by more than 4 points.  Since they're getting 2.5, I like my chances. 

I'd prefer it if they'd actually just win the game though.

The Pick: Green Bay (+2.5)