January 2nd, 2009
So, through Week 17 and Part 2 of the bowls, I’m 127-129-7 and Al is 124-132-7, though I still have a +4 week in the bank—we’ll have to work that out at some point. Al suggested throwing out the high and low weeks, which might be a good idea. We’ll see.
Anyway, last week was quite something. The Bucs threw away a playoff berth by blowing a game to the Raiders (sound familiar, Jets, Broncos?), the Jets blew it to the Dolphins, and in one of my favorites, the Cowboys ended their season getting their asses handed to them by a division foe, who snuck into the playoffs as a result. Frankly, I would have preferred the Bucs to win so that the stupid tie would have cost the Eagles the playoffs, but oh well.
Anyway, we have a weird thing this weekend: all the road teams are favored! I guess that seems not entirely unreasonable, as we have all the sucky division winners going up against teams which actually earned their way in on the strength of their overall record. Or something. The Falcons and the Colts do have somewhat better records than their opponents, anyway.
Falcons @ Arizona(+1)
Atlanta is a little dinged up, I guess, and the Cardinals aren’t. What makes this a tough game to pick, though, is that Warner’s crew is 7-1 at home and the Falcons are 4-4 on the road. This would be a no-brainer if the game were in Atlanta… but since it isn’t, I’m not so sure. I’ll be rooting for the Falcons but the rookie QB on the road thing has me concerned, so I’m going to take Arizona here, presumably also to riverside you.
Colts @ San Diego(+1)
This, on the other hand, seems like a more straightforward pick. Norv Turner in the playoffs vs. Tony Dungy in the playoffs. I know the Chargers have been hot lately, but the Colts are blazing. Especially with LT and Gates both dinged up, I’ll give the point.
Ravens @ Miami(+3)
Also interesting, because a lot of the Ravens are banged up while the Dolphins are healthy. Also, I’m not so sure about Flacco in the playoffs. On the other hand, the Ravens have been money against the spread this year and the Dolphins not so much. I guess I’ll go with that.
Eagles @ Minnesota(+3)
If Pat Williams were healthy, this would make the Iggles one-dimensional, and thus I might have to think harder about going with the Vikings. But the Vikings still have Tarvaris Jackson at the helm, and despite the recent success, here is where it will matter. He’ll throw an inopportune pick and Philly will cover.