Championship Weekend Preview

champLast weekend started out awesome and then the Falcons decided to poop their pants and lose probably a ton of people money. I ended up at 2-2 last week so that puts me at 5-3 for the playoffs. Needles to say I am a little disappointed, and this weekends picks are not easy at all. But you can bet all your money that I will never bet the Falcons ever again in my life after last week. Ever.

49ers @ Falcons (+5)- I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing it right but, yep, the Falcons are 5 point dogs at home. Kind of a slap in the face to Atlanta but you know what, they deserve it. How do you let Russ Wilson come back on you at home like that? I was hoping they’d lose when they gave up the lead. Didn’t deserve to win at all. After watching Kaepernick last week though, I can understand why Vegas favors the Niners. It was like watching a video game offense. Kaepernick’s speed was unbelievable and some of his throws were out of this world. I like the Niners to win the Super Bowl, but the Falcons certainly have an offense to keep up with the Niners and the fact that they finally got over the hump and one a playoff game scares me. Will it give them the much needed confidence to get over the hump and keep going on to the Super Bowl or will Matty Ice just be thankful he finally won a game? I’ll go with the latter. Blowout city today, Niners goin to the ship as G baby once said.

Tbow’s Pick- 49ers -5

Ravens @ Patriots (-10)- Well, last week I said 10 was just too much of a spread. Texans almost back-doored the cover but came up short. I think 10 is too much again for the spread, and I think this is going to be a dog fight, and Mike Vick isn’t invited. Ravens just went into Denver and honestly dominated them offensively. Champ Bailey couldn’t cover Helen Keller last week and that’s why they lost. Torrey Smith could have had 4 touchdowns if Flacco didn’t over throw him twice. The defense was very, very shaky and the little dink and dunks that Denver runs is similar to what the Patriots do. Brady throws a lot of 5-10 yard passes and only goes deep if the D begs him to. I think the Pats could easily pick on Ray in the middle and just eat up yards and time. But I don’t see that translating into a lot of points today. I think the Ravens can tighten up in the red zone and hold the Patriots to field goals rather than touchdowns, especially with no Gronk. I think the Ravens could win, and maybe it is destiny because good things happen to you if you murder someone. If you can get away with murder the sky is the limit, so Ravens go on to the Super Bowl to get an absolute beat down by the NIners.

Tbow’s Pick- Ravens +10

Wait, there’s a football game tonight?

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Man, you would think today was the damn Super Bowl. I guess that’s how I would act too if my favorite team played one good team a year.  Anyway, I’m excited because it should be a good game. What I would give for my Eagles to switch with the Patriots and move to the AFC East and put the Pats in the NFC East. 6 automatic wins almost every year. And the only reason I say almost every year is because once in a while the Jets will make the playoffs so those games are harder. I will give my expert analysis however and give both teams keys to victories:

Patriots keys: If the Patriots want to win tonight, it’s all about scoring and scoring early. Now, this could be a problem because it is pretty crappy outside, but weather might not come into play that much. I realize the Texans can score as well, but scoring early and often will really put pressure on the Houston offense which would love to sit on the ball and control the clock. On defense it’s all about stopping the run. Containing Foster would be huge and give the Patriots a clear advantage. The pass defense should be simple. If you want any chance of winning a Super Bowl, you should be able to stop one wide receiver. Houston only has Andre Johnson, and he is a good wide out but the one goal is to contain him for no big plays. Dink and dunks are fine, as long as you can score on offense. Try and get to 30 and hope you can outscore that offense.

Texans keys: Control the clock. If Houston can run, which they can, I really like them tonight. The best way to beat the Patriots is to keep their offense off the field. You know the Patriots offense will score, but it’s not impossible to hold them to 20. Limit possessions and put pressure on Tom Brady. If you can force a few turnovers and run the ball there is no reason to not win this game.

Needless to say, I like the Texans. Honestly, the Patriots have not beaten a really good team in who knows how long. Last year they lost to every good team in the regular season and didn’t beat the Ravens, Billy Cundiff and Lee Evans beat the Ravens. Maybe this is the game where the Pats can show that they are the real deal and aren’t just going to beat up on mediocre teams and then lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl again. I just think the Texans defense is too good, and the Patriots defense isn’t there yet. I see a low scoring game tonight, even though many expect it to possibly be a shootout. The only way it will be a shootout is if the Texans defense shits themselves and forgets how to play. Patriots will score but not a lot and it should be a good, tough, hard fought game. Pats fans better hope it doesn’t come down to a field goal or they might be signing Billy Cundiff next week because Gostkowski is garbage.

Prediction: Houston 21- Patriots- 20

Super Bowl Preview

Today is Media Day down in Indy, and that would be cool if it was any team but the Patriots at the Super Bowl. I can’t even imagine how many times reporters heard the phrase “we are just taking it one day at a time”. Gronk must be dying inside to let out another yo soy fiesta. Anyway, I don’t want to brag but I did go 8-2 in the playoffs with my picks the past few weeks which I think is pretty impressive. If you had any brains you would take my pick for the Super Bowl to the bank and cash in. So here goes nothing:

New York Giants @ New England Patriots (-3)

Last weeks games both came down to the wire. The Giants won in overtime thanks in part to a fumbled punt, and the Patriots won in the last seconds thanks to Ray Finkle Billy Cundiff missing a 32 yard field goal to send it into overtime. But that is why I picked the two teams to win last week was because they just somehow pull out games like that. The Patriots finally beat a team with a winning record, but it wasn’t pretty. Neither was the Giants and San Fran mudbowl. The only thing we should be thankful for was that the lights didn’t go out again at Candlestick after the game because I heard Sandusky was spotted in the 49ers locker room. These two teams matchup almost perfectly. The Patriots have a outsanding offense and a so-so defense I guess we can call them now since they played two decent games the last two weeks and the Giants have an outstanding defense and a good offense. I think the thing that sets these two teams apart is going to be the difference in the game. The Giants defensive line is any offenses nightmare. Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora, Tuck, and Canty are all defensive ends with speed and moves to get by any lineman. The catch here is that most of the time they all play together. The Pat’s lineman won’t have the normal 2 fat guys running into them to plug up holes, rather 4 athletic guys making swim moves and stunts to get to Brady.

The other advantage for the Giants is their 3 wide receivers. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham are all capable of making big plays at any time. I am not sure the Patriots have ever faced a team this season with as many weapons at the wide receiver position (except when they played them in the regular season) and I am not sure the Pat’s corners and safeties can really matchup. Eli has shown time and time again this year that he is now an elite quarterback, and it shows in his ability now to read blitz’s and find the open guy. The Patriots have a pretty good quarterback on their side as well who can do everything Eli can do. However, the health of Gronk is very unknown right now and will be until kickoff on Sunday. High ankle sprains are nearly impossible to come back from 100% in just two weeks, and we all saw how it affected Big Ben this season over the course of 5 or so weeks. Gronk is a freak of nature so if anyone could come back from it it would be him, but I am skeptical to believe he will play and be effective this Sunday. The key to the Patriots success however lays solely on the offensive line. Time and time again this Patriots team has shown that if you let the defense get to Brady, you are in for a long day. They don’t need to worry about blitz’s with linebackers or corners because Brady can identify those and find the open man. They have to worry strictly on the 4 man rush that the Giants will bring, because coverage will most likely be tight 5-10 yards down field and Brady will have to start going through his options and might not have the time.

In the end, I think the Giants outwork and out-muscle the Patriots. I really like teams like the Giants who have been playing playoff games for 8 weeks now rather than teams like the Patriots who haven’t played a good team in a big game until last week. I think the Giants take the momentum and their defensive line goes off on Brady, getting to him often and disrupting his timing and accuracy. I also like Manningham to have a big game for the Giants as I think they will put an enormous amount of attention on Nicks and Cruz. My official pick will be the Giants with the spread, but if you want to make more money take the Giants money line which is at +115. I like the G-Men to win this one 23-17 unless Ray Finkle Billy Cundiff is signed by the Giants in the next few days. Tbow’s Pick- Giants +3

Also, since it’s the Super Bowl why not just go big or go home. I also like the under of 55. Some people think this will be a shootout, I think the opposite. Last week there weren’t many points scored and I think that continues as these teams know each other well and it will be a hard-fought battle for every yard. Hell, let’s even throw in a pick for MVP. I am going to go with the guy I talked about before, Mario Manningham. In his 3 games this postseason, he has a touchdown in each game which is nearly as many as he had the entire season while he was dealing with an injury. Let’s not forget, just last year this guy had 60 catches for nearly 1,000 yards and 9 TD’s and I like him to play a big factor in this game, big enough to get him the MVP.

P.S. I am not just picking the Giants in this game because I don’t like the Patriots. I picked the Pat’s to win last week I just am a realist and usually pick right.

Breaking my vow of silence

After almost 24 hours, I still am not sure what to say. I have to give credit where credit is due, Brady and the Patriots defense played a great game. I totally underestimated how little the Denver defense would care about this game and that most of them were happy to just be there. The Pats offense made them look like chickens with their heads cut off. I have to admit, I had a little bit of doubt going into the game seeing as the Patriots were a better team, but I still thought the Broncos could win. However, I have to say, after the coin toss, my entire feeling about the game changed. What in the world was John Fox thinking giving the ball to Tom Brady and the Patriots to start the game? The only way they were going to win was off of momentum and doubt. They knew they had no shot of winning coming from behind, and the Patriots had 2 weeks to figure out what plays they were going to run on an opening drive. That, in my opinion changed the whole complexion of the game. How demoralizing is it for your defense to come out after the kickoff and give up a touchdown in what was it, five plays? Down 7-0 before Tebow could even finish the first verse of “Our God is an awesome God”. Just idiotic. I know he deferred every toss he won the whole season but this is the playoffs and you have to do the smart thing and going down 7-0 is not smart. Either way the Patriots played like they all remembered last years loss to the Jets and would have beat the Broncos regardless of how the game went.

I heard a lot about how Tim Tebow blew the game for the Broncos and how he sucked again and once again his numbers don’t reflect what really happened in my opinion. He was something like 3 for 8 in the first half for 28 yards, and all but one of his incompletions were dropped passes and thrown away balls. Not to mention the play calling not just in this game but the entire year was just awful and set him up for failure. Regardless, he had a great season and I am looking forward to see what he has next year. He will get a full training camp, preseason and a year under his belt. If anything, this game should have shown everyone what a great job Tebow did getting this horrible, overrated defense to the second round of the playoffs. Hopefully the Broncos can build a little better of a team around him for next season. They need some serious help on defense and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring in a few good receivers to compliment Demaryius Thomas who has a bright future as well. So I will admit I was wrong this week. I truly thought the Broncos had a chance and thought I had some pretty good stats and reasons why they had a chance and the Broncos didn’t do any of it, plain and simple. Hats off to the Pats and lets go Sixers.