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Friday, January 05, 2007

Wild Card Weekend!

Just End Their Season!!!
The playoffs are here, and it's time to party. The whole season is just a build up to this, and it's finally here. Can the Patriots add another ring to their Dynasty? Can TO and Romo lead the dysfunctional 'Boys to the promise land? Will LT complete a dream season? Can the Saints march all the way to the Title? Is it finally the year for Peyton and Dungy? So many great story lines to follow, and it's only going to get better week by week. Here's a look at the way I see the 4 Wild Card games breaking down this weekend.

Wild Card Picks
New England Patriots (-8) vs New York Jets
*Let me tell ya, that's a lot of points baby. And while I feel in my heart of hearts that this game is probably going to be closer than 8 points, I don't dare send out any negative energy in this one. Wait...maybe I just did. Ahh screw it. The Pats are the better team, and I don't care if they went 0-8 at home this year, they won't be beaten twice at home by the lowly Jets. Now, it's not to say they don't deserve to be in, cuz they do. But the fact of the matter is, the Jets made the playoffs playing literally the weakest schedule in the entire NFL. That doesn't make them any less deserving, it just makes them less prepared if you ask me. It also doesn't help that their QB still can't throw the ball more than 20 yards in the air or that their defense gives up an average of 130.3 yards per game on the ground. Big Bill might not out-coach little E in this one, but that will be because he won't have to. Look for Maroney and Dillon to pound the ball against a small Jets D, and for Captain Tom Terrific to do what he does best, play mistake free playoff football. Prediction: New England Patriots 24 New York Jets 13

Indianapolis Colts (-7) vs Kansas City Chiefs
*Everybody is saying the Chiefs are the pick this week. WRONG! It's simple here folks. One word for ya. Hermacide. Definition: The act of losing a game for no logical reason other than the fact that your coach is a complete moron. To use it in a sentence (I know some of you are really slow). The Kansas City Chiefs will commit Hermacide this weekend when they try to blitz Peyton Manning and he torches them for 300+ yards and 3+ scores when they could have easily decided to sit back and try and have Indy's running game beat them. Herm Edwards is an idiot, and idiots don't do well in the playoffs. Should make for one hell of a post game press conference though! Look for Larry Johnson to get his in this one, but it won't be nearly enough to counter Starvin' Marvin and friends. Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 31 Kansas City Chiefs 17

Dallas Cowboys (+3) @ Seattle Seahawks
*Road teams actually had a winning record this year in the NFL, so I have to choose at least one road dog now don't I? I picked Seattle last week strictly based on the fact that they're a great home team, but even that won't be enough this week. As bad as the Dallas secondary is, Seattle just has too many injuries on their defense to compete. Tony Romo should return to his earlier "Pro Bowl" (excuse me while I puke) form for at least one game. And that should be enough. Throw in the fact that Marion Barber III should somehow get into the end zone at least twice, and Seattle will be left with an off season of asking...Did we really trade in the best offensive guard in the NFL (Steve Hutchinson) for another wide receiver (Deion Branch)? Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 34 Seattle Seahawks 28

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) vs New York Giants
*Could the Giants be the worst playoff team of All-Time? Yes....yes they could be. And, if they weren't facing a divisional opponent that they are familiar with, the spread would probably be even higher. They have the 25th ranked defense in the league, the 14th best offense in the league and are 2-6 in their last 8 after starting out 6-2 . Add to that the Eagles are arguably the hottest team in the league (5-0 in their last 5) and have the strongest O-line in the league right now, and it's looking like they can just pound the ball all game long and control the clock. Eagles control the clock, Little Peyton throws a few more picks (18 this season), Plaxico blows up on the sidelines and eventually Tom Coughlin gets shown the door. Hate to say it, but I don't see this one being close at any point. Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 27 New York Giants 10

BCS Championship
Florida Gators (+8.5) vs Ohio St. Buckeyes

*I still don't think the Gators really have a shot of winning (or covering for that matter) but I love me some Urban Meyer! Hopefully the Florida coach will be inspired by all the Boise St. trickery and take a few pages out of the colorful playbooks he used to use at Bowling Green and Utah.

2006-2007 Picks
Last Week: 6-3-0

'06-'07 Season: 46-33-7 (.556)

2006 Monday Night:
9-9-0 (.500)

*I guess the BCS isn't all bad. I mean any system that sets up games in which even I can easily go 3-1 must be perfect! Slash, if you didn't know LSU was gonna win, then I don't know what planet you've been living on for the past year. Not only is JeMarcus Russell better than Brady Quinn, but he could eat him with a tooth pick and some delicious dipping sauce. I'm tired of crying for a playoff, but how awesome would that Boise St. comeback have been in the context of a playoff game? Would make George Mason look more like George Dubbya. Mission Accomplished bitches!

2006-07 NFL Awards
MVP: LaDanian Tomlinson, RB San Diego Chargers ( 1,815 rush yds, 508 rec yds, 31 TDs)
*I could try and get cute and make an argument for Drew Brees, but I won't. 31 touchdowns, 2,300+ total yards (and not the cheap "total yards" with kick returns factored in either) and his team went 14-2. Not only was he this season's MVP, but with each game he's making a case to put him in the argument as the best running back of All-Time. Honorable Mention: Drew Brees, QB New Orleans Saints

Defensive Player of the Year: Jason Taylor, DE Miami Dolphins (13.5 sacks, 9 FF, 2 INT)
*It might be due to the fact that I get to see the guy dominate my Patriots O-line twice a year, but this guy is an absolute freak that never gets his due. He looks like a power forward, runs like a safety and gets after the QB like a man possessed. Besides, I'm not voting for a guy that served a roid suspension during the season. Honorable Mention: Bart Scott, LB Baltimore Ravens; Brian Urlacher, LB Chicago Bears; Shawne "The Syringe" Merriman, BALCO

Rookie of the Year: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (70 rec, 1,038 yds, 8 TD)
*With all due repsect to Vince Young and the way he ignited the Titans, I'm not giving any awards to someone who can't complete 50% of their passes. Especially when there's a perfectly fit winner in Marques Colston. Seventy grabs, 1,038 yards and 8 scores. And oh yea, did I mention he did it in only 14 games? And that he was a 7th round pick out of Hofstra? If you saw this coming you were the only one. Well you and the next award recipient that is. Honorable Mention: Vince Young, QB Tennessee Titans; Devin Hester, CB Chicago Bears; Reggie Bush, RB New Orleans Saints

Coach of the Year: Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints (10-6)
*Where do you even start with this guy. Not only was his team 3-13 a year ago, but the city where they play is still recovering from arguably the greatest natural disaster in the history of the country! I'm eager to see if he can get it done in the playoffs, but the job he did this regular season is more than enough to get him this hardware. Why didn't I give this award to a certain former Pats assistant you ask? Cuz he's a fat, overachieving punk that's why. Honorable Mention: Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans; Eric Mangina, New York Jets

Saban, Saban Pants on Fire!

I totally wish I had published my thoughts on Nick Saban before he left the Miami Dolphins for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Now you'll just have to take my word for it. I knew that fool was leaving. Even when he said "I am not going to be the coach at Alabama", I knew he was going. Was it because he has a track record as a liar? Not really. It's because, if you ask me, he never seemed comfortable in the NFL. Saban is a control freak. He's much better dealing with kids he can dictate to, rather than pros that want to be treated like grown men. Also, in being a control freak, he wanted to quit before he could get fired. Face it, the guy was 15-17 in his first two seasons as a pro coach. If he strung together another 7-9 year he was probably only his way out anyway. So what does he do? He cries and lies and leaves town faster than...well actually I don't think anyone has ever left town faster than this guy. Heck, he informed all his coaches he was leaving via a conference call! Yea, the guys he hired and brought in, the guys who's futures are directly tied to the decisions he makes, were informed over the phone. Classy Nick. Real classy. Now, I won't even get into the issue of whether or not recruits at Alabama can trust Tricky Nick, because players and families in that part of the country, and in that sport, will do anything to win. Stereotype or not, that's how I feel. They probably know there's a good chance he bolts before collecting all $32 mil of his 8-year deal, but they just want to win. Basically, for me it all comes down to this. Did the guy make the best decision for him personally? Yes. Would I have made the same deicision? More than likely. But did he have to lie about it? Of course not. Here....Coach, are you in discussions with Alabama to become their head coach? Answer: I'm coach of the Miami Dolphins. I've been mentioned as a candidate for the Alabama job, but as of now that's all I am. That's all I'm willing to say at this point. OR...how about this ground breaking piece of the English language. NO COMMENT!!! These guys just frustrate me. I understand they want to play their games to get their money, but there's no need to lie. Didn't he learn anything from Belichick? You don't need to lie if you don't address the question! So have fun back at school Nicky, it looks like you were a few credits short anyway.


Other News and Notes
*I don't have much to say about the New Years shooting of Denver Broncos DB Darrent Williams. It's a tragedy, and I can only hope that whoever did it will be brought to justice. I don't know how it started, and I don't care. The only reason to shoot someone is if they shot at you first. And so far I haven't heard any report remotely like that. Darrent Williams was gunned down at only 24 years old. What a shame.

*I'm still holding my breath that JD Drew can somehow be so broken down that the Sox don't end up getting that deal done. That's right kids, that deal isn't done yet. Santa may just exist yet! And speaking of bringing me crap I don't need. I sure hope all these arms in the bullpen amount to something. $4 million for Joel (pronounced Joe-El) Pineiro? He better be worth it, especially seeing as we wouldn't pay $6 mil to Eric Gagne. Sure he may be coming off a major surgery, but Pineiro is coming off a season where he went 8-13 with a 6.36 ERA. He's been a servicable starter in the past (double digit wins in '02 and '03), but with only one career save, who knows what he can do for the pen. Hopefully he's a diamond in the ruff, but as of now it looks like Theo is still eating brownies from the hippie batch.

*Bill Cowher is gone! Woo hoo! Again, Santa must be listening! I think it was almost worth having to endure a Steeler Super Bowl now that it means the man can walk away from the game. And no, this isn't the type of thing where I actually fear/respect him. I hate the guy, and I wish this could have happened say...hmmm...14 years ago? I'm sure he will get plenty of Hall of Fame consideration, but that's because the league loves to reward guys that stay in the same place forever. Spare me. He was always a choker in the big games, and I'm sure he will continue to do so when he decides to come of retirement in a few years.

*The Big Ugly is going back to Arizona. After two very mediocre seasons, Randy Johnson was traded back to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a bunch of minor leaguers. He went 34-19 with an ERA in the 4+ range during his time in the Bronx. Not awful, but hell, even Carl Pavano could have had 34 wins with that offense right?

*And finally, I eluded to it earlier, but I can't go a whole week without giving props to my boys at Boise St. I said all season long that they belonged with the Big Bad Boys of the BCS and they did me proud. A "hook and ladder" play to send the game to OT only moments after your QB threw a pick-six that looked like the final dagger? How about a "statue of liberty" behind the back 2-point conversion when they only needed one to tie? That would normally qualify any game for the best ever, but that's not all. After scoring the winning 2-point miracle, Bronco RB and Heisman snub Ian Johnson proposed to his girl, a Boise St. cheerleader right there in the end zone. Priceless man, priceless.