Pre-Playoff Pondering

Yup, real proud of myself for that alliteration, here’s hoping it distracts you from my general lack of literary talent. So the 2010 NFL regular season is over, and what a season it’s been! Over two months ago I wrote a post about the wackiness of this NFL season, marking the first time since 1970 that a team hasn’t reached 4-0. Thirteen weeks later and it’s indisputable that the greatest fan experience lies in the NFL. All 17 weeks were exhilirating, and even the NFC West couldn’t shove us back from the edge of our seats. Thursdays, Sundays, Mondays…and we wanted MORE. Not buying it? Take a look at these stats (yes I actually calculated these on my own and yes I need a hobby):

  • Teams went 127-129 covering the spread at a meager 49.6%, demolishing us all in pick’em.
  • Out of 256 games, 90 were upsets (winner had the lower record) and 44 were played between teams with the same record. Here I’ll do the math for you – that’s over 50%.
  • 103 games (40%) were decided by less than one touchdown, and 161 games (63%) were decided by less than two touchdowns.
  • Not a single team rested their starters in Week 16, every game mattered.
  • Only two teams (Jets and Eagles) rested their starters in Week 17.

It’s been a damn good season with some damn good football, and pigskin fans everywhere are salivating for the playoffs kickoff tomorrow. So without further ado, my wild card weekend picks:

Colts over Jets – Peyton at home in the playoffs is another level, and the Colts run D has significantly improved. I think resting in Week 17 will end up throwing Sanchez off his game a bit in an offensive shootout where he can’t afford a single misstep. The last time the Jets took a week off they returned to a nasty shutout. I don’t usually quote others in my posts (unless it’s Rex Ryan profanity), but Simmons literally took the words out of my mouth. “The Jets spent the offseason building their roster for this game specifically — if they blow it, they’d be remembered as the biggest collection of frauds and posers in recent New York sports history. And this is a city that has the Mets.” Scared? Petrified.
*Interesting matchup: Colts passing game vs. Jets secondary (Revis/Cromartie/Coleman)

Saints over Hawks – This needs no explanation, it’s a JV-Varsity scrimmage.
*Interesting matchup: Saints running game without Chris Ivory vs. Hawks run D that isn’t awful

Ravens over Chiefs – The Chiefs’ success (7-1) at home is entirely misleading, here are the teams they beat: Chargers, Browns, Niners, Jags, Bills, Cards, Hawks, Broncos, Rams, and Titans. Exactly ONE of those teams has a winning record. Baltimore will demolish them.
*Interesting matchup: #1 running game vs. #4 run D (i.e. Jamaal Charles vs. the formidable Ravens D line)

Packers over Eagles – How pumped are you for this game? This matchup is literally drool-worthy. The Eagles have been highly inconsistent, and the Packers have looked great recently. Vick will be under a lot of pressure, and I can see a meltdown similar to the Vikings game when he had no time in the pocket and threw some pretty awful passes. Rodgers has a great oline in front of him, giving him plenty of time to throw against an inconsistent secondary.
*Interesting matchup: Eagles passing game vs. Woodson and the Packers secondary

Let’s do this – PLAYOFFS BABY!

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