January 17th, 2009
Once again, last week I went 3-1. This is major news, as my track record in the playoffs is, let’s face it, horrific. However, last week the only game I missed was the Carolina-Arizona game, and seriously, who got that right? Well, OK, ten points is a lot, so probably a lot of people took them, but I don’t think anybody had the Cards winning by 20.
Al went 2-2, so the outcome is determined for this year, but I’m not going to let that stop me since I’m on such a roll. Of course, looking at these picks, I have no idea, so the roll may end here, but whatever… However, I am now thinking jerseys. Eagles = Westbrook, Cards = Fitzgerald, Ravens = Reed, Steelers = Woodley. Yeah. And I’ll have my Big Ben jersey from a couple years ago on display on Sunday, too.
Eagles @ Arizona(+3.5)
Westbrook is questionable, Runyan is beat up, Dawkins is nicked up, but then Boldin might not be back, either—not that it stopped them last week. The Cardinals have been underdogs but won both of their last two playoff games. They’re great at home, and somehow have managed to get a home playoff game after the first round. And they’ve been running the ball. Of course, the Eagles have looked pretty good as well, but frankly, the Vikings have no QB and the Giants still seem discombobulated without Plax. Back on the other hand, I can’t quite get that Thanksgiving beating out of my head, though I still think the Cards were sandbagging since they had the division in hand. Ah, screw it, I’m taking the favorite in the next game—give me the points, maybe the Cards can keep it within a field goal and I’ll squeak by with a half-point win here.
Ravens @ Pittsburgh(-5.5)
Neither team has a clear advantage in terms of defense, as they’re both terrific defenses, though I’d say the Ravens have been playing a little better D of late. On the other hand, the Steelers have a lot more on the other side of the ball. The Ravens really got bailed out by all the turnovers the Titans made last week. While the turnovers didn’t result in points for the Ravens, they sure took the pressure off Flacco and the Baltimore running game, while the Steelers were on cruise control in their contest. Of course, the Steelers were at home against a much worse team than the Titans, but nonetheless, Parker looked like he’s really 100%, and that’s huge for the Steelers. So, since I’ve been riding the Willie Parker Rule all season, and he looks back to form, I feel obligated to give the points. Frankly, I see this as a field goal game and I should be taking the points, but rules are rules and I’m sticking to mine. Plus I’ll be rooting for the Steelers anyway…