Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Picks For The Weekend (Part Belated, Part Not)

Honestly, guys? Honestly? I picked the Colts and Saints. I wouldn't lie to you.

Wish I would have put that up yesterday, but I was cautiously optimistic on New Orleans and fiercely optimistic on Indy. I'm not really surprised by yesterday's results, and I won't be surprised when Minnesota and San Diego take care of business today.

That's right: I'm taking all chalk in the Divisional round. Why's that? Well, I'll explain in a different fashion. In our pick 'em league, I recently adopted a new system where the eight remaining players each have to "draft" a playoff team, in order of their seeding based on the regular season standings. The four players whose teams win move on. Here's how the picks shook out:

1) Ben Voelkel ~ San Diego Chargers
2) Wyatt Tyler ~ Minnesota Vikings
3) DJ Jarvis ~ Indianapolis Colts
4) Ben Worgull ~ New Orleans Saints
5) TJ Clayton ~ Dallas Cowboys
6) Jon Cohen ~ Baltimore Ravens
7) Zach Sundelius ~ Arizona Cardinals
8) Jordan Chomko ~ New York Jets

And here's how I would have selected them for the weekend, in order.

1) Indianapolis Colts ~ Did we forget the Colts went 14-0 before quitting on their fans ... er, stepping off the accelerator? Peyton Manning was 14-0 when he finished games this year. He DIDN'T LOSE. But yeah, sure, Joe Flacco is definitely up to the task of going into Manning's comfort zone and destroying everything the NFL's best quarterback built. Sure. Uh huh. Brenner picked: Colts 28, Ravens 10

(Isn't hindsight great? I swear I said all this before last night.)

2) New Orleans Saints ~ Same philosophy, different circumstances in the Big Easy. We didn't just forget how Brees and Co. got here, did we? Arizona has zero defense. Kurt Warner's great, a Hall of Famer, but just not capable of putting back-to-back unbelievable performances together. Brenner picked: Saints 38, Cardinals 24

I guess it's kudos to the Colts and Saints for putting all that rest-isn't-good talk to, well, rest. But then again, ask the Patriots, Bengals and Eagles how they feel on the subject. Instead of over-analyzing how much rest a team needs, I think it's safer to say that Indy and N'awlins aren't playing on Championship Sunday because their players took a pleasure cruise for a month. They're still playing because they're just better. Their quarterbacks are just better. That's all.

3) Minnesota Vikings ~ I know, I know, Dallas is a trendy upset pick. The Cowboys are playing great. But I'm going to employ my "Did we forget?" strategy one more time. Did we forget that the Vikings have Adrian Peterson and an unbelievable defense? Did we forget that the Metrodome is insanely tough to play in when it's rowdy? And despite a fine performance against rival Philly, did we forget that Dallas has still won ONE playoff game since the Reagan administration? Let's use common sense here, people. Brenner picks: Vikings 31, Cowboys 21

4) San Diego Chargers ~ Now, this game stinks a little, tiny bit of upset to me. And I'm not saying that because I hate the Chargers. Really, I know how good Philip Rivers is. But all the stuff the experts are saying about why the Jets can beat the Chargers? Nothing to do with rest or rust, and only a little to do with how well the Jets are playing and feeling ... more of it has to do with because the things the Jets do well are what could beat the Chargers. Well, it's true. If San Diego can't slow down Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene, if Mark Sanchez can play marginally well without making one or two monumental screw-ups, and if Philip Rivers is standing on the sideline with that douchebaggery look on his face for 40 minutes of gametime ... well, then, yes, of course New York can pull this off. That being said ... Brenner picks: Chargers 27, Jets 24

5) Dallas Cowboys ~ slight nod over the Jets, since that pick is more a hunch than logic. The Cowboys are the most likeable road pick.
6) New York Jets ~ because they're hot and do things well that could beat the Chargers.
7) Arizona Cardinals ~ let's just hope this wasn't Kurt Warner's final game. He's a pleasure to watch and a gas to own in fantasy football.
8) Baltimore Ravens ~ nice demolition of the Patriots, Baltimore. This is the end of the 2009-10 road for you. Oh, and who can't wait to draft Ray Rice in the top 5 next year? (Ooooooooh, me! me!)


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