While this is probably a somewhat derivative and played out subject for blog post or article, the fact is I love the NFL and I have always wanted to be able to be on TV or radio and discuss my weekly NFL picks (I also would love to have my own advice column. In fact, I am pretty sure I am going to do that with this blog at some point, too. So send me advice questions, serious or otherwise. If you don’t, I’ll just make up my own letters.)
Since I am the owner of a brand-new blog, I am going to use this to stroke my ego. Just a warning to all of you Brandon Walsh wannabe’s. Sports gambling is illegal in most parts of the country, so don’t do it. These are just “what I would have” bets (you’re welcome Mazza!)
New Orleans at Seattle – Everyone and their sister has pretty much been ignoring this game because the consensus is that Seattle is atrocious. The way people talk, this game isn’t going to be played, they are just going to line up at midfield, declare the Saints the winners and move on to the Jets/Colts game. While I had to enroll myself in NFL Anonymous after compulsively watching the train wreck that was Seahawks v. Rams last weekend, I don’t think that this is going to be as easy as people think. The Saints offense has not been as good as last year (why all the interceptions Drew?), the defense has not gotten as many turnovers (which is to be expected as turnovers are partly a factor of luck) and Seattle is usually a tough place to play. In the end, the Saints will pull away late (come on, I’m not crazy) and defeat the Seahawks, 24-13
New York Jets at Indianapolis – Insert foot fetish joke here. Now that I got that out of the way, I can move on to the actual game. As much as I would love to see the Colts be one and done, the fact is that the Colts are playing better and the Jets were exposed as a paper tiger about 2 months ago. Sure they beat Pittsburgh in the Iron City, but they were much more desperate than the Steelers at that time. The Jets passing offense is shaky at best and the Colts defense is better than they get credit for, especially questionable offenses (see Jaguars, Jacksonville 3 weeks ago). Plus, Peyton Manning can handle typically handle blitzes, because his the most important players on the field (the O Line) protect him long enough to get the ball out of there. This is the only part of this game that makes me question a Colts victory. The O Line is significantly worse than last year when they mostly neutralized the Jets D in the playoffs. As much as it pains me to say it, the Colts will win a nail biter in the fourth quarter 20-17
Baltimore at Kansas City – Eek. If there was a game to skip, this would be it. While Baltimore is not a perfect team (personally, I think Baltimore is leaving on the reputation of past defenses and their offense is puzzlingly inconsistent. They have all of the pieces, but they just don’t always seem to work right) they definitely have enough to handle the Chiefs with ease. I’m not the first, nor probably the last, to note that I am disturbed that the Chiefs had their hats handed to them in the final game of the season, when they had something to play for (a 3 seed and avoiding the Ravens) against a team that had nothing to play for. Plus, I anticipate that the Chiefs may be a little distracted that their offensive coordinator has already taken another job. The Raiders ran all over the Chiefs last week and I expect the Ravens to do the same 24 – 10
Green Bay at Philadelphia – Saving the best for last. Two high-powered offenses, two very good defenses. Irresistible force, meet immovable object. In fact, these teams have met before, although they looked a lot different back then. Michael Vick was just a bench-warming afterthought and Green Bay hadn’t lost 824 players to injury yet. However, I look for that game to mirror what is going to happen on Sunday. Just like the Packers in that game, the league was initially surprised by the abilities of Michael Vick. But over the course of the season, the teams caught on and did a much better job containing him. The Giants had him bottled up for 3 and a half quarters and then decided that they could celebrate their victory early by forgetting how to play. The Packers have a better defense than both the Giants and the Vikings (who also held him in check) and that will be the difference. 24-21
Not to brag, but in the only two bets I have ever made on football in my life, I did win them both. So, I’ve got that going for me. And now you do, too.