Friday, January 4, 2008
Ok, so I was a little off last night. I had Biden and Giuliani winning in Iowa but this is football we're talking about. Something I know a little something something about.
Now tell me again, which team does Roger Staubach play for?
Ok, enough levity, let's get to the picks.
ALL LINES CURRENT AS OF 3:00PM, JANUARY 4.
Game 1 Redskins (+3.5) @ the Seahawks
This is a tough game to pick, in fact I think BOTH NFC games are much harder to get a handle on then those in the AFC.
Seattle of course has its 12th Man and all that nonsense while the Redskins come in as arguably the 2nd hottest team in the NFL. Seattle is the more playoff-tested bunch but did they really distinguish themselves this year? Did they really impress you when they beat the Eagles? Didn't think so.
The Redskins, meanwhile, come in riding a wave of emotion following the death of their teammate Sean Taylor. They also come in with hot QB in Todd Collins of all people.
I like the Skins to win the game outright, 23-17.
Game 2 Jags (-2) @ the Steelers
What has happened to the once-mighty Steelers on defense? What was once a formidable group suddenly became a push over, as witnessed the last time these two teams met.
Expect to see a healthy dose of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew and expect to see 8 in the box by the Steelers, which will put the pressure squarely on the shoulders of David Garrard who has appeared in exactly one playoff game in his 6-year career. In a 28-3 loss to the Pats in 2005, he appeared in relief and went 3-8 for 68 yards.
Conversely Big Ben has a Super Bowl W under his belt. Yeah, experience counts.
Steelers exact revenge, 27-19.
Game 3 Giants (+3) @ the Bucs
It's a tale of two hands...
One one hand you have the Giants coming off their valiant effort against the mighty Pats with Eli Manning having perhaps his best game of the season, if not of his career.
On the other hand you have the Bucs with Jeff, The Giant Slayer, Garcia under center. Do not for one second underestimate the importance of his having beaten the G-Men twice in the playoffs in the past. Rest assured the Giants themselves are not underestimating it.
I am going to go with the Giants in a minor upset. I just think they will benefit from having played their starters last week as opposed to the Bucs who did not. I know the Giants are missing some players but call it a hunch, call it the double-stuffed burrito I inhaled at lunch but I have a gut feeling the Giants will win, outright 28-21.
Game 4 Titans (+9.5) @ the Chargers
Titans are not even playing now if A) the Browns could have beaten the lowly Bengals OR the Colts needed to win the game last week instead of resting its starters for the majority of the game.
But the Titans are here and anytime Jeff Fisher is in the equation anything can happen, Mix in a healthy dose of Norv Turner and all of his shortcomings and the likelihood of something bizarre happening becomes quite possible.
A dumb move here, a strange call there and suddenly Norville's Bolts are fighting to win in spite of their coach.
Ah, Norv will save those idiotic moves for next week.
Chargers 31, Titans 20.
'Til next time.
Posted by Steve Olenski at Friday, January 04, 2008