Friday, January 16, 2009

Embracing The Unpredictability

Here we are. The final great weekend in the NFL season. Sure, the Super Bowl is special but there is too much fluff around the event for my liking. This is the last weekend in which you get a short pregame show and two great football games. No crappy halftime concerts and bad commercials...just football.

All week, I've been hammering the Cardinals and saying that they do not belong in the postseason let alone hosting the NFC Championship game. After reading Drew Magary's Jambaroo yesterday, I've softened that stance. Aren't the Cardinals what makes the NFL great? The parity and unpredictability is why the NFL is king. If I wanted to see the favorites win every week without breaking a sweat, I'd watch college football. But in the NFL, you have no idea what is going to happen. And that's what kind of makes Arizona's run cool. Everyone wrote them off and here they everyone, including me, the middle finger. Hell, you can say the same thing about the Ravens and Eagles. These teams aren't supposed to still be here but they earned this opportunity. I still don't want to see Arizona in the Super Bowl, but I could live with it. On with the predictions for Sunday and my never-ending quest to go 10-1 against the spread this postseason:

Philadelphia (-3) @ Arizona
Can the Cinderella story continue? Well, that's a bad analogy since this is the Cards' second home game. Let there be no doubt that Larry Fitzgerald is the best WR on the planet right now not named Brian Hartline. I like the fact that they are committing to the run and that someone has awaken Edge James. The defense has been a ball-hawking force and has shut down the run against the second and third best regular season run teams this season. There is no reason to think that this won't continue to Tampa...except for that it won't. I don't like the Eagles at all but there is something about these guys that just screams, "We are on a fucking mission!" Westbrook has sucked but it hasn't mattered at all. Their offense gives Arizona something that they haven't seen awhile...a bonafide passing game. You see, in their first two games, all that the Cards had to do was shut down the run. Well, that ain't going to work against the Eagles. And get ready to see Jim Johnson's defense unload blitz after blitz at Jesus Warner. As long as McNabb doesn't throw 3 picks, Andy Reid can start making dinner reservations in Tampa. Eagles 33, Cardinals 24 in what should be an entertaining game.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-4.5)
Out of all the teams left, the Steelers are clearly the team that looks the most dominant. I'm a little concerned about the Ravens just because they haven't had a week off since week 2, they had about 20 injuries in Nashville, and Terrell Suggs (who has a tendency to kill Big Ben) is highly questionable. Does fatigue finally catch up to them? Joe Flacco has joined Big Ben and the great Shaun King as the only rookie QB's to start a conference championship game. The other two lost. As far as the Steelers go, who dug up Willie Parker's corpse? Big Ben appears to play better when he's concussed which is a troubling thought. Polamalu is questionable but you just know he's going to play. As far as the line goes, their first two games were decided by a total of 7 points so why is the number so high? I don't like it one bit. Are the Ravens +4.5 too much of a given? Nah, Vegas wants everyone to buy into the Steelers eventhough this is a field goal-ish game. Steelers 17, Ravens 13.

Get ready for a Pennsylvania Civil War because the Steelers and Eagles are going to Super Bowl XLIII. I know, I'm going to throw up, too.


Jeff said...

I like the picks, but for some reason I feel like the Cardinals are going to continue the miracle run for one more week. The common denominator for the eagles has been stacking the box and stopping the run, while daring the opposing qb to pass. The only thing is is that in the first 2 games the other 2 qbs sucked. Eli sucks and is nothing without plaxico and Tavaris Jackson well, he's Tavaris Jackson. The Cardinals will be able to run the ball and have a qb in Kurt Warner with a receiving core (Larry Fitz) that will be able to make plays all game. Not to mention that goofy ass stadium will be rockin.

KPietsch said...

Good call on the picks, bad call on the picture. Is that Jenny Klear/Jenny Bad Good in that picture?

GMoney said...

Fitzgerald hasn't faced someone like Asante Samuel yet. The Eagles defense was third against the pass this season.

Anonymous said...

Asante Samual hasn't faced a WR like Fitzgerald either. Plus it appears Boldin will be back.. I like the Cards win this week. G$ good to see you coming around a little bit on the Cardinals. As for Pittsburgh. I think they win too and rather easily.

Anonymous said...

I about gagged in my mouth when I saw that Steeler's bitch.

-Lil' Strut