Playoff time! And you know what that means…a shorter blog! Thank G! Everyone had a great week last week - except Pittsburgh, Houston, Denver, and Miami fans, but what we actually mean is both Andrew and Greg went 13 and 3 and Genesis went 12 and 4. That’s pretty darn good if you ask us. Andrew still leads with 65 total wins and 31 losses. Greg inched himself out of last place and now has 62 win and 34 losses and Genesis has fallen behind with 61 wins and 35 losses.
By the way Hoi Polloi, does anyone think it’s really dumb that all four of these match ups have already occurred this year and three of the four were in the last week? Dumb.
Saturday, Jan. 9 4:30 PM:
New York Jets AT Cincinnati Bengals - Last week, the Jets cleaned up the Bengals 37-0 to secure a playoff wildcard game. The argument could be made that the Bengals didn’t have anything to play for, and therefore their hearts weren’t into it, but that doesn’t mean Carson Palmer should embarrass himself with 1 completion to his team (he also had one interception) out of 11 attempts, zero yards, and a passer rating of 1.7 before getting benched in the third quarter. During the time that Carson Palmer was playing, in the first quarter the Jets ran 24 plays and the Bengals had three, out gaining Cincinnati 138 yards to 1. By half time New York had 250 yards, including 190 on the ground, compared to 7 total yards for Cincinnati. Aside from this game, the teams have been generally even matched. The real difference is at the Quarterback, where Carson Palmer can be a key play maker. Even with the stunning come back over the Colts (after they rested the starters) Mark Sanchez completed only 12 passes and between the two games he has completed 20 passes. The Jets could be in deep trouble if the Bengals can stop the Jets rushing attack.
Andrew’s pick – New York Jets. I believe that the Bengals didn’t show their actual game plan last Sunday and that they will present as a much stronger team on Saturday however, the Jets finished ranked number 1 in the NFL in total defense, passing defense, points allowed and rushing offense. This sounds a lot like the Superbowl winning Ravens to me.
Greg’s pick – Cincinnati Bengals. Last week we saw the Jets throw everything at the Bengals (and it showed). Thus this week, Cincy will be ready for anything. Jets have said 30% will change, but the 70% will be the same. AND IT’S OCHO CINCO’S BIRTHDAY!
Gen’s pick – New York Jets. As much as I like Ciny because of Ochocinco and their impressive stats, I feel like they have been untested for the majority of the season. And when they were, they were manhandled (i.e. the game against Minnesota). Now although the Jets aren’t really a team that counts as a team that “tests” other teams, the Jets will probably give the Bengals enough problems this weekend to get a win.
Saturday, Jan. 9 8:00 PM:
Philadelphia Eagles AT Dallas Cowboys – Not only did the Eagles and Dallas play last week, they also played week 9, with Dallas winning both times. This year, Dallas has out scored the Eagles 44-16, with all of the Eagles points coming in the first game. If the Eagles were trying to not show Dallas their cards the second time around, they missed out on the division title and a shot at the first week bye. The Eagles have an extremely explosive offense but have no answer for dealing with DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer off the edges. Between the two games Donovan McNabb got sacked 8 times and fumbled twice. The problem for Dallas is that they are going to have a hard time repeating these performances for a third time.
Andrew’s pick – Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are playing pretty hot right now, but more importantly I don’t think the Eagles will be able to come offensively when they need to.
Greg’s pick – Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are the hottest team in the playoffs (maybe the Packers too). But expect their defense to shut down the Eagles offense. Romo could throw for over 300 yards today. Dallas will win big.
Gen’s pick – Dallas Cowboys. As much as I hate to say it, the Cowboys will continue their newly found success in December. Thanks Miles Austin for making Tony Romo look like a good quarterback again.
Sunday, Jan. 10 1:00 PM:
Baltimore Ravens AT New England Patriots – This is the only game this week that isn’t a rematch from last week. This first time around between these two was a close game. The Ravens failed to convert on fourth and short twice and kept the Patriot’s game winning drive alive with penalties. The last time these two met, the Patriots were just welcoming Wes Welker back, this time they are losing him. To say this won’t change the dynamics of the Patriot’s game plan would be a lie. He was their most productive receiver this year, but many believe that Julian Edelman can be just as effective if not, more explosive than Welker. Other good news for the Patriots is that Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren are both back on the defensive line. The bad news is that Ed Reed will be back in the secondary.
Andrew’s pick – New England Patriots. The Pats have never lost to the Ravens and I don’t expect them to now.
Greg’s pick – New England Patriots. The Patriots will adjust. Wilfork and Ty Warren are back.
Gen’s pick – New England Patriots. Even though they are without Welker, Brady has other key players and offensive weapons to get a win over Baltimore.
Sunday, Jan. 10 4:40 PM:
Green Bay Packers AT Arizona Cardinals – Green Bay has quietly become a dominate force in the NFC again. Four solid recievers and a extremely underrated tight end Jermichael Finley allows Aaron Rodgers to spread the ball around making this offense hard to slow down. Get this Hoi Polloi, Aaron Rodgers just joined Bart Starr as the only players in Packers history with a 100-plus passer rating in a season. Yes, that’s right, he just went somewhere Brett Farve didn’t. Rodgers also fell only 26 yards shy of the Packers’ single-season record for yards passing. After Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt found out the Vikings won and Arizona didn’t have a chance at the second seed, he decided to take the easy road to the playoffs. Kurt Warner was benched after one quarter and the defense rarely blitz allowing Rodgers to complete passes to eight different recievers and go 21 of 26 for 235 yards. Similar to last year, the Cardinals have seemed to have saved their running game for last. Chris “Beanie” Wells has shown that he can take the pressure off Kurt Warner by running the ball fairly effectively. If Arizona can keep the defense guessing then Kurt Warner will have time to get the ball deep to Larry Fitzgerald.
Andrew picks – Green Bay Packers. Kurt Warner, you’ve had your time. Good luck Aaron Rodgers.
Greg’s pick – Arizona Cardinals. I understand Green Bay is one of the hottest teams coming into the playoffs. However, with rumors of Kurt Warner retiring after this season, I expect him to come out big. Boldin might make it out for some key plays, but Arizona cannot rely on him. Arizona pulls out a squeaker.
Gen’s pick – Green Bay Packers. No way the Cardinals make it out of the first round. Green Bay will come out fighting and secure a win here. Perhaps we’ll see a playoff matchup of Rodgers/Favre III. A BOY CAN DREAM!