Zombo Posted January 3, 2009 Report Share Posted January 3, 2009 It's playoff time, lots of good hard-hitting matchups and this thing really looks wide open: After seeing Wild Cards march all the way on the road the past three years, the feeling has to be that anyone can win this thing, and you look for the "hot" team at the end of the season: Problem is, there are a lot of "hot" teams: Indy has won 8 in a row. Miami has won 5 in a row. San Diego has won four in a row. Minnesota has won 5 of 6. Atlanta has won 5 of 6. Baltiwhore has won 5 of 6. Philly has won 4 of 5. Carolina has won 4 of 5. And then there are the traditional favorites, the teams with homefield advantage throughout: the Giants and Titans. The only teams you can really eliminate are Arizona, which stumbled to the finish in a weak division and have no running game; and Pittsburgh, which choked hard with a chance to take homefield away from the Titans, and then inexplicably played their starting QB in a meaningless game the next week and saw him get pounded to the turf and carted off on a stretcher. One of the tougher picks this weekend is Baltiwhore at Miami, two teams that were just dreadful last season and came to life with coaching changes (I like that storyline for a certain team next year). There's been some discussion on the board this week about the Ravens being the "Old Browns" etc. And you know, they are exactly right: The Ravens are the Old Browns. And as long as they have our front office guys (Newsome), our draft picks (Ray Lewis) and our players (Matt Stover), they are just the Old Browns, and not a legitimate NFL franchise. Maybe someday the Ravens will stand on their own as a true Baltimore team, but for now they are just our sloppy seconds (to borrow a hockey phrase), and Baltimore should continue to be shrouded in shame for their gutless and despicable move. Meanwhile, the team we root for is THE Cleveland Browns. They wear Seal Brown and Orange, they play next to the Lake, their all-time leading rusher is a man named Jim Brown, their original coach is a man named Paul Brown, and their fans are the best, and most loyal, in all of sport, despite enduring hardships that lesser fans would have walked away from a long time ago. And yeah ... they suck right now, and haven't been very good since the rebirth. But we love 'em anyway. We are proud to be fans of THE Cleveland Browns, and we have no doubt that our years of loyalty to this team will be rewarded and the Browns will once again taste glory in the NFL ...and it will be oh, so sweet. In the meantime, I still get pumped up rooting for them even when they are setting records for ineptness ... they're my Browns. And, as we have proven, you can't take them away. Atlanta at Arizona, Saturday, 4:30 PM You can't blame the Cardinals for passing, when they have Bouldin and Fitgerald and Breaston hauling in passes from Kurt Warner. But if they get past Atlanta, they get stomped in a cold weather game with no running game, there is no doubt about it. But I don't think they are even getting past the fundamentally sound Falcons who have a better defense, a real running game and a rookie QB who doesn't know he is a rookie. FALCONS 30 CARDINALS 27 Indianapolis at San Diego Saturday, 8:00 PM Peyton Manning is rightfully being rewarded for a remarkable in-season turnaround of his team this year ... but how money is Tony Dungy? Every year he has this team doing the right things and winning double-digit games. They are solid, innovative and disciplined every single year ... in other words, they are not coached by Norv Turner. Which is why I like the Colts even more now that the games Really matter. COLTS 30 CHARGERS 20 Baltimore at Miami, Sunday, 1:00 PM Is there a more consummate professional than Chad Pennington? Here are his numbers: 43-34 as a starter (not on great teams either) 101 TDs to 62 INTs, lifetime Passer Rating of 90.6 ... and New York threw him away like a piece of garbage. And you have never heard Pennington whine once, not even when he came back from drastic injury and had to endure all the "weak-armed" sportstalk in NY. Who benches this guy for Kellen Clemens? Oh, that's right ...the guy we interviewed for head coach this past week ... oye vay. I know Baltiwhore has the defense and the three headed running back and all ... but I don't trust Flacco, and I do trust Pennington. DOLPHINS 23 RAVENS 20 OT Philadelphia at Minnesota, Sunday, 4:30 PM Good matchup. I had this crazy notion that Adrian Peterson was the guy to draft a couple years ago. I had a camp all set up and everything ... we had drink specials, hot chicks, everything you can imagine in Camp AP ... But we took the solid Left Tackle and I'm not going to complain ... not even now that Jamal Lewis is about officially done and AP has 3,101 yards 5.2 yards per carry and 22 TDs in 24 starts and has a team quarterbacked by Gus Freaking Ferrotte and Tavaris Freaking Jackson in the playoffs ... I'm not saying a word ... But Brady Quinn handing off to Adrian Peterson would have been kind of cool even behind a free agent left tackle. Speaking of QBs though, Minnesota doesn't have one and Philly has a real good one, so my pick is EAGLES 24 VIKINGS 10 Zombo Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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