Sunday, January 22, 2012

2011-12 NFL Championship Picks

Only 4 teams left and two great games this weekend.  Let's see what my picks are looking like this week. 

Baltimore @ New England - The Ravens travel to New England to face possibly the hottest team in NFL.  Tom Brady had a monster game against the Broncos and it made everyone forget about the holes in this team.  Six touchdowns can do that.  We do know that the Patriots have Brady, Welker, and the best two tight ends in the game, Gronkowski and Hernandez, and basically not much else.  The defense leaves everyone wanting and have been described as the worst pass defense in the history of football.  Somehow it doesn't stop the Patriots from winning. 
Against the Ravens, the Patriots have to keep the pocket clean and allow Brady time to make decisions and pick this Raven's defense apart.  I don't think that they have to run the ball that much, because their short passing game is nothing more than a run game.  If they get about 100-120 yards on the ground, I think they beat the Ravens.  I'm still not sure how you stop that two TE set because they cause so many match up problems.   

     The Ravens come in with question marks.  As they have all year long, the Ravens have to find the right mix of play calling.  Ray Rice is the piece that stirs the pot, but they also have to have Flacco throw the rock to keep that defense honest.  The issue has been and continues to be, how much can they trust Flacco?  He's had his good and bad games that leave everyone, including his teammates wondering.  If Flacco can have a good game against the worst passing defense in the history of the NFL, this should be an easy game for the Ravens.

     On defense, the Ravens are solid and will need to get to and hit him often.  Brady is good but has shown a level of frustration when you hit him on a consistent basis.  If he has time to sit back there, the Ravens might get 30+ points put on them.  Not sure how they handle the two TE sets, but they will have to be physical with both of them and hope that they can disguise coverage to make Brady make a few mistakes. 

In the end, I gotta stick with the team that I came with,.....Winner - Ravens.

New York Giants @ San Francisco - The 49ers come off an improbable win against the Saints.  They played a helluva game and they surprised many the way they won.  I personally thought this was the best game that Alex Smith has ever played.  The 49ers banged the Saints with the run until they finally got a big one late in the game.  Smith was hitting receivers in stride and he had to mind meld with Vernon Davis because they were reading each other's thoughts. 

     The 49ers defense played the way they have all year long.  They played hard and they hit.  I mean they really hit you when you get the ball.  I swear I saw Ronnie Lott out there last week in that secondary, but it was Whitner.  They get pressure up front and that limits the amount of time you have to get the ball out.  The Giants offensive line is going to have problems. 

     The Giants have the perfect mix of run and pass where they should win this game.  As long as Bradshaw holds on to the ball and Jacobs stops tiptoeing through the line, the Giants should be able to set the tone.  Heavy run and then Eli (Nicks, Ballard, and Cruz too) can take over from there.  On the defensive side of the ball, not much needs to be said.  I think the Giants front four make us remember Alex Smith of two or 3 years ago.

In the end, I don't trust that Alex Smith can have another game like he did last week and I unfortunately have put all of my eggs in to the NYG basket.  Winner - Giants.

Who you got?!?!?!?

Friday, January 13, 2012

2011-12 NFL Divisional Playoffs Picks

Ok, here we go, the real deal part of the playoffs.  you know you've done something when you play Game 2.  Let's check it out and see who's going to move forward.

New Orleans @ San Francisco - Ok, the Saints aren't playing in a dome and everyone is talking about how hard it's going to be for them to win because of the weather.  People might want to pay attention to that 49ers defense more than any temperature that they will experience.  The Saints have the offense but I still say they can't run the ball when it matters most.  They have an opportunistic defense that blitzes a lot but seem to make plays to help get Brees back on the field.  Sproles is going to have to have a big game because he's the one guy that you don't want to see with the ball in his hands and space in between the two of you.  The 49ers need to get pressure on Brees and they will need to do that with their front 4, but look for Sopoaga and Smith to make some plays for that defense.  If they can't get pressure, this one is over quick.  Alex Smith also has to play mistake free ball (a proponent all year long) and keep his team in this longer than halftime.  Winner - Saints.

Denver @ New England - And Tebow lives another week.  Next up is Brady and the video taping Patriots,  The Broncos are going to need a big game from their defense and they have to find a way to limit the TE combo of Gronkowski and Hernandez.  The Pats run a lot of these 2 TE sets and then flank Welker on one side which causes coverage problems.  The old adage here sticks, 'the QB can't throw if he's on his back', so pressure is a must.  Get to Brady and you get a win.  As usual for Denver on offense, mistake free football.  No turnovers and Tebow has got to spread it around a little.  Thomas can't be the only guy he's throwing the ball to.  I think this one is a little closer than people think it'll be, but in the end,....Winner - Patriots.

Houston @ Baltimore - Finally the Ravens are right where I want them to be, healthy and ready to bring the pain.  The Ravens have to solve their one issue which is how do they have Flacco and Rice co-exist in a meaningful game?  Run enough so that it's not so hard for Flacco to make plays in the air, but not allow him to throw 40 35 times.  The defense should be ready with an extra week for Ray Ray to make sure his toe is good and someone to learn how to cover some WRs.  The Texans will come to town with a rookie QB in Yates, but they are going to lean on Arian Foster more in this game.  It seems that Yates is effective when he has that running game going so that will have to be the plan to run against the Ravens.  I'm setting the bar at 175 rushing yards as a team for the Texans to win.  The Texans defense just has to play solid because  Flacco is known for melting a little and turning the ball over.  Gotta get those points off turnovers. In the end, in Ray Ray I Trust.  Winner - Ravens

New York Giants @ Green Bay - This should be the best game of the weekend.  I say that because if you had to pick a team to beat the Packers, I'd describe a team that could run the ball, pressure the QB on defense, and have a good enough QB to put some points on the board.  Sounds a lot like the Giants.  The Giants have Bradshaw and the tip toeing Jacobs.  On defense, this is the team that I was quoted as saying was going to absolutely kill a QB in a real game, just from the front four.  Tuck, Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora, Joseph, and Kiwanuka scare me, I mean literally scare me.  These guys should be illegal in about 28 states with the way they get after the QBs.  Of course there's Eli (who I'm not a fan of), and he can make some things happen on offense with his new found love Cruz and the big hands of Nicks.  The Packers are playing at home after sitting for a week and that may have given them some time to fine tune their defense.  They have playmakers all around but the defense tended to lax a little later in the year and gave up some plays to make those final scores closer than they were.  We know that Packer offense is a fine tuned machine and it'll help that Rodgers is elusive.  The Packers are going to have to run the ball to make those defensive guys at least think about stopping that.  If Rodgers drops back 40 or 50 times in this game, they'll be carting him off the frozen tundra.  Winner - Packers.

Who you got??!?!?!?!?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

2011-12 NFL Playoffs Wild Card Saturday

Let's get started real quick.

Cincinatti @ Houston - Gotta go with the Bengals and Andy Dalton.  Lots of running for Texans, so you gotta go with the better QB.  Winner - Bengals.

Detroit @ New Orleans - This is going to be a good game.  The Lions can play some on offense and their defense will have to make some plays.  The Saints have Drew Brees, so everyone expects them to win and I do too, but not the blow out that many think it'll be.  Winner - Saints.

Who you got?!?!?!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011-12 NFL Week 17 Picks

Ok, first picks in the new year.  Let's see how this goes. 

Carolina @ New Orleans - I don't think the Saints are really playing for anything, but I do expect them to play and play well.  Maybe, just maybe the Panthers get a win here.  They are playing for pride.  Winner - Panthers

Buffalo @ New England - The Bills started this season on such a great run, but they ended up here.  I think the Patriots finish them off.  Winner - Patriots

Chicago @ Minnesota - Both teams are bad, but I think that the Bears get a win.  I know my barber needs the Bears to win at least 7 games to make this a good start of the year for him.  Winner - Bears.

New York Jets @ Miami - The Jets need this win to sneak into the playoffs.  Winner - Jets

San Francisco @ St. Louis - The 49ers aren't playing for much, but I think they win this game and get ready for the playoffs.  Winner - 49ers

Detroit @ Green Bay - The Packers will look to run this up early and hang on for a win.  Winner - Packers

Washington @ Philadelphia - Since both teams are out of the playoffs, this will be a grudge match and maybe the game that saves Reid's coaching job in Philly.  Winner - Eagles

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville - A bad game and it won't hurt as much if the Colts win this game since they are two QBs in the draft (Luck and RGIII) that the Colts could nab.  Winner - Colts

Tennessee @ Houston - Houston needs this win, but I think the Titans end the season with a W.  Winner- Titans.

Seattle @ Arizona - Should actually be a good game and two running backs should lead each team.  Toss up on this one, but I'll go with Seattle.  Winner - Seahawks.

Kansas City @ Denver - The game of the week.  I think the Tebows win this game and make the playoffs.  Winner - Broncos

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta - Winner - Falcons

Baltimore @ Cincinnati - The Ravens need to prove to me, no one else, that they are serious.  Beating this upstart Bengals team will say something.  Winner - Ravens

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland - Even with Batch at QB, I expect Steelers to show everyone they aren't dead yet.  Winner - Steelers

San Diego @ Oakland - This should be a shoot out with Palmer and Rivers going at it.  Who will finish the season?  Winner - Raiders

Dallas @ New York Giants - The next game of the week.  I really don't know who to pick.  I don't trust Romo, but I also don't trust the Cowboys secondary.  Winner - Giants

Who you got?!?!?!?