Not what I predicted….again. Somehow even with only 2 games next week I will go 1-3 in my predictions, it seems predestined.
Steelers vs Ravens: Not what I expected times two. I predicted a low scoring victory for the Ravens…umm not so much.I did predict that Troy Polamalu and his injury would cost the Steelers.
- It did on the Ray Rice TD run. Troy would’ve smacked Ray backwards if healthy.
I predicted that Todd Heap would be a factor…
- and he was. He had a touchdown.
I am happy the Steelers won as I am a fan of the way they handle business.
Broadcasting Note: How sad that Dan Dierdorf is the number 2 color guy at CBS? He is okay, but he rarely adds anything to the broadcast that I could not come up with myself. I also find him distracting when he is shown on screen as I find he looks like the human version of Sam the Eagle from “The Muppets”.
Packers vs Falcons:
Ah the one game that I picked right from this weekend.
I have a football crush on Aaron Rodgers at this point. That may be one of the top 5 QB playoff performances that I have ever seen. His poise, mobility and precision passing were unbelievable.
Broadcasting note: If Dierdorf is a disgrace as a number two color man, then Troy Aikman is a narcissistic embarrassment. There does not seem to be a play on the field that does not relate to his career in some way. Of course what he did on the field is why he got the job; he is a three time champ. But it is possible to share that experience without segueing into an anecdote from days gone by.
One of the most ridiculous statements of the night was when Aikman started talking about the career of Tony Gonzalez when Gonz went down lame. He talked about Gonzalez’s career as perhaps the best tight end of all time* but lamented his lack of post season success. Perhaps I am sensitive to this logic, but how the hell do you blame post season records on a tight end, or any one player for that matter?
There have only been forty-four winning Super Bowl teams with many of them comprised of the same players as they went back to back or won within years of each other. To say that being a champion is a set prerequisite for being an all-time great is asinine. How many great players did not win it all? More than won it all.
Football is a team game. Many a great QB has been undermined by a porous defense. The same can be said for dominant defensive players who have been saddled with underwhelming offenses. They are not any less impressive due to the poor play of their fellow players or the mistakes in plannind execution of their coaches and GMs not doing their jobs.
I thought Jay Novacek was an underrated cog in the Cowboys Super Bowl teams of the 90s. But anyone who would take him over Tony Gonzalez just because he was on great teams that won championships is asinine. Aikman stopped short of saying that, but he implied it in his typical verbal stumbling manner.
Joe Buck did not escape unblemished. He went deep into hyperbole when talking about Rodgers in the second half. He dropped the “He (Rodgers) has never been this confident in his life” or something to that effect.
Really Joe? You followed him as he plowed through the Pee Wee football league in his hometown? Were you there on prom night? To say something like that sounds good but when you think about it is absurd.
Seattle vs. Chicago:
I worked during this game, but it was another whiff by yours truly. Thank goodness I did not put any money on this game.
New York Jets vs New England:
Strike three, I am out of there. I only saw the second half due to work. I was shocked at how un-Patriot-like the Pats looked. As expected the Jets were far from classy in victory, getting a fifteen yard penalty after scoring the TD that cinched it, with coach Rex participating of course. They then zoomed around the field like airplanes after the clock hit 0:00, emulating Ritalin deprived preschoolers. Stay classy fellas.
Needless to say I am a huge Steelers fan next week. Break out the Iron City Light, Black and Gold and pseudo-Primanti sandwiches. I think I will have some Brats and Old Milwaukee for the matinee, you know where I am headed on that one as well. I would love a Packers-Steelers Super Bowl, that would be classic.
*he gets my vote,
This is it, do or die against the “Altered States of Munley”. He is up three picks for the season after I went a disastrous 1-3 during Wild Card Weekend. I picked emotionally, a common problem with my modus operandi when it comes to prognosticating football games.
So what will I do to try and climb back into this thing? Go back to the well of emotionally logical thought, of course. You have to stick with what got you to the dance. And that was what got me within 1 game of the title in the regular season.
Onto the picks:
Matchup: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
My Pick: The Baltimore Ravens
These teams are so closely matched. I would not be shocked if it resulted in the NFL’s first overtime under the new rules they established for the playoffs.* I think the key for the game will be a healthy Todd Heap for the Ravens and a not so healthy Troy Polamalu for the Steelers.
At least the people of Pittsburgh have Primanti Brothers and Iron City Beer** as coping mechanisms…oh and six Super Bowl titles.
Matchup: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
My Pick: The Green Bay Packers
I Aaron Rodgers I trust, horrible Arod moniker that I saw one of his teammates use last week notwithstanding. I have to agree with modern day Cro-Magnon Troy Aikman, he has the quickest release that I have seen since Rat Face Marino. Clay Matthews will provide just enough disruption (certainly not as much as Aaron Maybin could’ve**), James Starks continues to provide more balance to the Packers offense, and somewhere Brett Favre stares in a mirror mimicking throwing motions. The Pack move onto Seattle?
Matchup: Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
My Pick: Seattle Seahawks
I do not trust Jay Cutler. I do not trust Mike Martz. So why the hell would I trust the combination of the two? The one hope that the Bears have is that Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode run from last week has Pete Carroll thinking that he can balance the game plan and give him some more carries. Don’t do it Pete. He is just as likely to show up on Michigan Avenue in a Go Kart on Saturday Night mowing down pedestrians while smoking a blunt as he is to be effective two weeks in a row.
Matchup: New York Jets at New England Patriots
My Pick: New England Patriots
Damn you Rex Ryan. Damn you to a place where all the all you can eat buffets are open but the metal serving trays are all empty. You are making me root for Tom Brady. Damn you. This has nothing to do with the 45-3 drubbing the Pats gave the Jets in week 13, rather it is the playoffs and it is awfully tough to bet against Brady. Oh and Rex…can’t stand the guy; in case you were wondering.
Good luck Joe. This is it. Do or die.
* I hate the fact that they resolved the supposed issue with such a contrived system. Have the teams play a full fifteen minute quarter, and again, and again, until there is a victor if you must. It is the one thing great about baseball, the rules stay the same even in extra innings. Otherwise they should have left well enough alone.
** Facetious, in case you needed help with that. And if you did facetious means I was kidding.
I do not like the Bills chances tomorrow against Kansas City. The Chiefs have perhaps the best running back tandem in the league in Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. The former has been a nemesis of the Bills the past few years while he played for the Jets, spearheading multiple 200 rushing yard efforts for his squads. Charles went for 141 against the Bills last year, averaging over 7 yards a carry.
The Bills are coming off of a tough loss last week, and their defense cannot get off the field. I expect the Chiefs will not make the same mistake the Ravens did against the Bills. They will run the ball, then run it some more and when in doubt, they will run the ball again. They have to know that if they do need a throw that their Tight End will be open. Todd Heap could barely stay conscious on the field last week and caught two TDs.
Chiefs 31 – Bills 20, “Mark it Dude”.
Other Sports Thoughts:
- Cuse Football is back. It has been nine long years, but it looks like the Cuse will be going back to a bowl. They need to win one of their last three Doug Marrone has turned out to be a great hire. He is bringing the Orange back to where they belong: relevance. Syracuse has too great of a tradition to fade away as they did under the rightfully reviled Greg Robinson. Ask Michigan fans what they think of Coach Robinson’s D. You will get an earful.
- What a great game today down in Jacksonville. Florida and Georgia put on a show at “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”. It is too bad that CBS’ director on the game blew too many replays. In the 4th quarter Georgia tied it up on a 29 yard TD pass. I called for my wife to check out the key to the play, a devastating blitz pick up by the running back. Instead of getting a replay they featured a montage of B roll shots featuring both head coaches, both QBs and the cheerleaders. It was not until after the two point attempt, which was a great inside option run, that they showed a replay of the TD. I am all for getting the atmosphere of the game shown, but save it for the bumper before the commercial. I want to see the replay of big plays before the pageantry of the game. Yes, I have DVR, but I wanted other angles. Another example of how I feel sports broadcasting has really deteriorated.
- I really hate the 2010-2011 version of the Buffalo Sabres. They are too soft, too slow, not skilled enough and just lack any passion. I guess I should’ve seen this coming. The Sabres made not big moves in the off-season after getting unceremoniously bounced by the Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. If the team’s slow start costs Lindy Ruff his job they will secure their place among my least favorite squads to ever where the Crossed Swords ( or BuffaSlug, or the Demonic Goat Head for that matter). That is unless the squad were to turn it around and pass around Lord Stanley’s Cup next June, but that would forgive a ton of past sins.
- Wake up Texas. What a pathetic display by their bullpen in Games 1 & 2. MLB needs a 7 game series in the worst way.
- I could not help but wonder how much video the Giants watched of Cliff Lee prior to game 1 when they pounded him. Lee went through a tough stretch, by his standards, when he first arrived in Arlington. Could there have been some useful tips they picked up on? Maybe Cliff was just due for a rough one, much like Halladay and Sabathia were in their respective LCS’. Still it was shocking.
- Can we stop calling the Miami group “The Big Three”? I never got why Chris Bosh was included in the mix with LeBron and Dwayne Wade. It is clear from watching the opener and tracking stats since that he is not at their level. They should be called “The Big Two and the big man who looks like he could be related to Snoop Dogg.“