Friday, January 06, 2006

Playoffs?! Playoffs?! Okay fine, let's talk about the playoffs

It's never a good idea to trust Bill Simmons with anything, but when it comes to NFL playoffs time, I have to make an exception to the rule, because his manifesto is essentially a list of common sense stuff people forget when there's beer, hype and gambling money involved. And I'm generally wary of deviating from his playoffs predictions, not that I bet on these games. I'm going to trust his judgement for the most part.

So let's go to my predictions:

Washington at Tampa Bay
I'm taking the team on the hot streak over the team with Chris Simms here. The Washington secondary is banged up, but the Bucs passing game can only do so much. Plus, the Skins, not the Bucs, have Coach Janky Spanky. Seriously, Clinton Portis is the best thing to happen to NFL since helmets. Washington by 10

Jacksonville at New England
This is where I want to pick the Jags because eeeeeeveryone is gushing over the Patriots and Brady's "disrespect" talk gets me nauseous. But I just can't pick against the Patriots, especially with a team as uneven as the Jaguars. As good as the Jacksonville defense is, they're not getting past Zero Liability, Fraud Monitoring, ID Theft Assistance, Verified by Visa, and the 3-Digit Security Code.

That said, remember when a young Falcons team went into Lambeau Field where the Favre and the Packers were supposedly unbeatable? Think about it. Green Bay and Foxboro are both cold. Favre was still a top QB then, Brady is God QB now. And yeah, Byron Leftwich is black, just like Michael Vick.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm putting my entire savings account on New England. That should buy me enough value meals to last through January. New England by 7

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Honestly, I have no idea how to pick here. Two very flawed teams with some really ugly performances, but also two teams that no one really wants to face because they can get hot. Why don't we just call the two teams even? The tie breaker goes to the home team. Cincinnati by 3

Carolina at New York
Carolina has had trouble sustaining any kind of momentum this year and they go on the road to play a pretty damn good team. I watched from the stands on Christmas Eve as Panthers blow a must-win home game against Dallas and ended up losing the division title, and are here because they feasted on a barely-there Falcons team in Week 17. That said, this is the game where I throw all rational thinking out of the door.

Why? Well, I stayed with my friends' family for Christmas and they have this Julius Peppers cardboard cutout. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of it, but I'll post the one from their house once I get in touch with them. But shit, look how huge his right hand is! How can you not love that? How can you root against that?

Everything depends on DeShaun Foster, really. If he gets going, Delhomme won't be forced into tough throws and it'll open up the field for Steve Smith. Well, that and keeping Tiki Barber from taking off on long runs, because Eli Manning won't have a fun day out in the park. But yeah, I'm picking two road teams to win in the NFC. Carolina by 2

Next week, my predictions for the Israeli elections.


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