Friday, January 13, 2006

Weekend Pics

The second round of the NFL playoffs kicks off tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. Well, ok, if the Skins were playing at home, I could be - but there's always next year. Let's get to the pics.

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis

A lot of analysts and hype-meisters are saying that Pitt has a chance in this game. I'm not one of them. Yeah, the Indy offense is gimmicky and likes to play tricksssesss. But no, Pitt isn't going to win. Not in Indy. The Colts are designed to play their best football indoors. Home field advantage means that Indy will not only have the crowd on their side, but also will not have to deal with environmental factors that could slow down their offense. Besides, does anyone seriously believe that the Bengals would have lost last week if Carson Palmer had not been injured? Indy 30, Pitt 17

Carolina at Chicago

I saw this game back in November. The final score wasn't a blowout, but the game was never in question. Chicago did one thing against Carolina that no other team has done as well - get to the quarterback. I've never been a fan of Panthers QB Jake Delhomme, so it was especially gratifying to watch him self-destruct against a Bears team with pretty much zero offense. Expect a repeat performance. The Bears are at home, they're fired up, and their defense is Fing fantastic. In addition, the Panthers are in a classic trap game situation. They dominated last weak against a vastly overrated Giants team, they're riding high, and they've become a media darling pick. Go the other way. Bears 20, Panthers 3.

New England at Denver

A lot of people (and I mean an assload) are saying that the Patriots are going to score an upset. I'm not one of them. Denver is a strong team. I'm not happy about the Jake Plummer situation in Denver ("the Snake" has never been a good QB until this year), although I do like his pornstar mustache. But really, this game is about the Denver rushing game. The Broncos pound the football and I'm not convinced that the Patriots can neutralize that. If the Patriots do try to stack the line to shut down the run, then Denver will go over top and expose a very weak Patriots secondary with long passes down the field. Should be a good game to watch, but with Denver at home and rested, I'll take the Broncos 24 to the Patriots 20.

And finally....

Washington at Seattle

I'm not going to pick against Washington, no matter the odds. Any team that can play the worst offensive playoff game in NFL history and still win has something going for it. I don't know if this is a team of destiny just yet, but they have several things going for them that I like:

1. They beat the Seahawks already this year. Most people say this doesn't mean a whole lot. But I think it helps the defense. Gregg Williams has already seen the Hawks offense. He knows what they do. The Redskins players know what the 'Hawks do. We'll be ready. Williams would have gotten them ready anyway, but having had a previous game in which the defense played strong helps the confidence going in.

2. The 'Hawks had one of the weakest schedules of all playoff teams. When this is brought up, analysts retort, "they didn't set the schedule," which of course misses the point. Winning 13 games does boost the confidence of a team, but one has to wonder if that is false confidence. The last time this team was tested was at home against the Giants - a game they should have lost but the Giants kicker shanked three field goals - a rare occurence indeed. Seattle has always been a neurotic team and I'm not convinced they're battle tested enough to win this football game.

3. Seattle is a finesse team that doesn't play well against physical teams. There are several prominent commentators that have made this point, always caveated with, "the Redskins are too banged up to win, but if healthy..." They've got a point. Portis isn't entirely healthy. Brunell looks like the Sloppy Jalopy. We lost Renaldo Wynn last week with a broken arm. And we still won. Expect the Skins to continually punch the 'Hawks in the mouth. They won't like it.

The one guy the 'Hawks have that causes me undue worry is Joe Jurevicious. He's a big ass wide receiver that is the one guy on the team that is used to physical football. If we can shut down Jurevicious without help, then the defense will stack the box and continually stuff Shaun Alexander.

So, in conclusion, if the Redskins play a disciplined, aggressive, and physical football game, I fully expect a stunning victory that will shock the world. It should be a very good game. But at the end of the day, I'm not going away from my team. Redskins 31, Seahawks 20.


Blogger Eric said...

at least u got the Seahawks 20 right ;)

11:03 PM  

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