So far I’m 4-4 predicting games in the playoffs. If I was picking against the spread it would be one thing, but to lose so many of these games straight up might call into question how it is that I’m qualified to talk about football. Well the answer is simple: straight cash homey. I paid some money to some shady people (wordpress) and now I get to say what I want!
There are certain trends that I’ve noticed when it comes to picking football games. If your favorite team is a defensive team you will often be skeptical of teams like the Saints or Patriots, but if your team can air it out you will always have lingering questions about any team lead by Alex Smith or Joe Flacco. Most people have a very specific idea in their head for how teams should win football games and when other teams don’t meet those requirements, even if they win all the time, pundits won’t pick them in big games.
Another trend is odd scores. If someone has a score in mind they will often add a few field goals to each side. So a 28 to 10 prediction becomes 34-13. It’s also hip to be completely sure about something that realistically you have no control over. “I guarantee you that Flacco is going to absorb all the criticism this week and come out and play the game of his life!” Really, going to guarantee that? What if the offensive line doesn’t block well? What if he eats a bad tuna sandwich the night before? And why am I arguing with a hypothetical statement made by a hypothetical person?
If one home team and one road team wins, no matter which ones they are, there will be a great Super Bowl Storyline. If it is the Patriots vs. the Giants there will be an epic re-match of XLII and if it is the Ravens and 49ers we will have the second Harbowl, this one a tad more important than the first.
These are two of the hardest championship games to pick in recent memory. Here are my irrelevant picks!
New York @ San Francisco – I have picked against the Giants in both rounds, and I picked against the 49ers last week so this game has become the “Ben Van Iten doesn’t believe in us bowl”. I don’t have the clip available but I think that’s what Tom Coughlin called it in a press conference this week. At the start of the playoffs I said that the Giants can’t run the table with an inconsistent quarterback and I might have to eat my words before this is all said and done. But I still stand by my theory that he is due for a bad game. Eli Manning threw 16 interceptions during the regular season, the most of any of the quarterbacks remaining (even as of last week) and I think he will throw two of them on Sunday. Despite Alex Smith’s performance last week I’m still not crazy about either of these quarterbacks, but I think Alex will not make any key mistakes because he won’t have to do as much. The Niners pass rush is on the same level as the Giants, but the only difference is they will be able to run the ball enough where New York’s sack artists won’t be on the field every down. Giants won’t be able to run on this defense, and no balance means no Super Bowl trip. 49ers 23, Giants 17. Alex Smith goes to the Super Bowl. Pass the vodka.
Baltimore @ New England – I have gone back and forth on this one all week. This appalls most people, but I actually like the Patriots. I like how Belichick has turned press conferences into this bizarre game where he is simultaneously rude and humble the entire time. It’s genius. And I like the way this team won their Super Bowls. They didn’t explode the cap and disband their teams; they drafted well, made key veteran signings, and spied on people! It’s awesome. Lately though the Patriots mystique is starting to fade a little, however. They have lost home playoff games the last few years, and I think this is going to be another one. The Pats have no legit deep threat, and against most teams that is not going to be an issue because let’s face it…most defenses are so terrible that Brady and his tight end circus is going to be enough. But if you can’t stretch this Baltimore defense, if you are going to play the whole game in a 10 to 15 yard window, they are going to suffocate you. And as I wrote this week, Flacco isn’t as bad as some people think he is. This defense is going to give him an opportunity to make some plays and I have a weird feeling that he is going to make them. New England loses a close one at home, and the window to win another title with Brady grows a little smaller. Ravens 27, Patriots 24.
How do you think the games will go? Let me know what an idiot I am in the comments section.