About the Steve O Zone

Friday, January 11, 2008

Playoffs! Don't talk bout the Playoffs!

Ah, the now infamous Jim Mora Sr. quote from a few years back. Just watched the video of it on YouTube. After another year of enduring the Andy Reid "we'll see what happens there..." remarks, I wanted to remind myself of what a real press conference looks and sounds like.

Ok, we have one Wild Card Weekend down and the Divisional Playoffs dead ahead.

Here are my picks, thoughts and other useless ramblings...


Game 1 Seahawks (+8) @ the Packers

As my faithful flock knows, I am not in any way, shape or form a fan of the Seahawks. Just was not very impressed by their performance this year. And I know all about this being a rematch of the playoff game of a few years back when Seahawks QB Matt Hasselback proclaimed after winning the overtime coin-flip: “We want the ball and we’re going to score.” Turns out he was half right as the Seahawks got the ball alight but it was the Packers who scored after Packers CB Al Harris returned a Hasselback pass 52 yards for a touchdown .

And of course there's the back story of Mike Holmgren returning to Lambeau and all that, too.

But the Packers and their seemingly indestructible QB are on a magical ride this season and it won't end this week.

Seattle may have more paper talent but the Pack have the intangibles, namely #4 and the frozen tundra.

My Pick: Packers 31, Seahawks 17

Game 2 Jags (+13) @ the Patriots

To me this game will come down to how physical the Jags defense can be with Mr. Brady and if David Garrard can take advantage of the opportunities he will have down the field, while keeping his mistakes to a minimum.

I would expect Bellichick & Co. to have 8 in the box most of the game to combat the two-headed monster of Taylor & Jones-Drew. But of course it will not be your garden variety 8-man front. No, expect some exotic schemes on defense in the hopes of confusing young Master Garrard.

The Jags defense, known for its physical play, will need to impose its physical prowess to slow down (cannot derail thus train) the Patriots Express. Both the Eagles & Ravens in successive weeks played a very physical brand of football and nearly came away with a W. Of course the operative word is "nearly." The Pats win even when they have no business winning, the hallmark of a truly special team.

My Pick: Patriots 35, Jags 27

Game 3 Chargers (+9) @ the Colts

Last week in this very space I said Chargers head coach Norv Turner would save his predictable boneheaded moves for this week, and he won't let me down. Something will happen that will ultimately affect the outcome of this game and it will all come back to a decision made by Norv Turner. The final outcome may not reflect it, but when the dust settles, we'll look back and say that was the play the changed the game.

Mix in the fact that I think Chargers QB Philip Rivers is screaming for a wake up call, is in desperate need for some maturity and is quite overrated and you have the makings of a Colts W.

My Pick: Colts 38, Chargers 21

Game 4 Giants (+7.5) @ the Cowboys

Giants DE Michael Strahan said it best when he said he has a bridge to sell you if you think TO will not play on Sunday. TO will play, so let's move on.

And speaking of Strahan, if he and his fellow defenders can get a consistent pass rush on Tony Romo, it will force the Cowboys to keep TE Jason Witten in to help block, which in turn will negate a major offensive weapon the Cowboys.

In their first meeting, which Strahan did not play in, Witten racked up 116 yards and a touchdown. The next meeting Strahan did play and Witten had two catches for 12 yards.

Coincidence? I think not.

But as they say, that was then... And I think in the end, the Cowboys will have enough to win on Sunday, just not cover.

My Pick: Cowboys 24, Giants 20

'Til next time.


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