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Championship Sunday Previews & Predictions

| January 16th, 2014

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4-0 picking games last week but only 3-1 against the spread. (Seattle line went off anywhere from 8.5 to 9.5.)  Last week I was confident. This week I am not. Well at least half not. Let’s go!

3:00 PM ET – NEW ENGLAND AT DENVER

Line: Broncos -5

Analysis: Think both teams are going to have a ton of success running the ball. Think neither team is very good defensively. So what does the game boil down to? Same thing this game always boils down to: which of the all-time great quarterbacks makes more plays in the fourth quarter. I’m sticking with my gut. I believe this is Manning’s time.

Side note: I was disheartened by the performance of Manning’s receivers against the Chargers. Decker let a touchdown pass bounce off his chest and gave away the onside kick. Julius Thomas was a no-show for three and a half quarters. Wes Welker dropped one of the most perfect back shoulder tosses I’ve ever seen. (If Welker catches this ball it would be have been the signature play of the game.) Before last weekend I would have argued the Broncos have a significant advantage over the Patriots on the outside. Now? I’m not so sure.

Final Score: Denver 30, New England 28

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Divisional Round Weekend Game Previews & Predictions

| January 9th, 2014

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All season I have done a feature on Twitter called the Around the League Tweets (with various fake sponsors) and five times this season I mentioned how excited I’d be to bet against Andy Dalton in a playoff game. And what did I do? Not only did I not gamble against Dalton but I picked the Bengals to win! My quest for a perfect postseason died on Wild Card Weekend. I deserved the opening 3-1. On to the next round…

SATURDAY 4:35 PM ET – NEW ORLEANS AT SEATTLE

Line: Seahawks -8

Analysis: Thought Rob Ryan’s performance in Philadelphia was one of the most impressive defensive game plans we’ve seen in the NFL all season long but that won’t be enough to compensate for NOLA’s offensive struggles on the road. Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia by relying on Mark Ingram and the ground game – an element the Seahawks will certainly take away with their front. That leaves Drew Brees to win the game through the air and he’s not the same player on the road.

Side note: Is it strange that I would give the Seahawks no shot if this game were in New Orleans? That doesn’t feel like the mark of a Super Bowl champion. I’ll worry about that next week.

Final Score: Seattle 24, New Orleans 13

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Wild Card Weekend Game Previews & Predictions

| January 3rd, 2014

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All point spreads provided below were listed on BETUS.com as of Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday 4:35 PM ET – Kansas City at Indianapolis

Line: Indianapolis -2.5

Analysis: I’m going with a three-pronged approach to this.

  1. Andy Reid is always a little dicey when it comes to the postseason. All of a sudden how he controls the game/manages the clock becomes far more important and Reid is notoriously terrible at both of those things.
  2. Since losing 42-28 on the road to the Bengal the Colts have thrashed the Texans, Chiefs and Jaguars. Yes I know two of those three are not the most impressive opponents and KC had nothing to play for in December but I like seeing teams dominate teams they should dominate.
  3. Aren’t we due for an Andrew Luck, national spotlight, coming out party? While all the talk has been about Bob Griffin drama and Kaepernick struggling for ten weeks, Luck has quietly just gone about winning games. I think he’s going to have a big afternoon.

Final Score: Indianapolis 30, Kansas City 23

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Hard To Call Bears Season Over With NFC Sixth-Seed Logjam

| October 28th, 2013

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Seattle and San Francisco are going to the postseason. New Orleans is winning the NFC South. Somebody is winning the NFC East because someone has to win the NFC East, right? That’s four NFC postseason berths accounted for.

And I’ll give you the NFC North too, accepting the argument that a healthy Aaron Rodgers will be able to compensate for the rampant injuries they have suffered on the both sides of the ball.

The leaves one position, the six seed, for the postseason tournament. And unless you as a Bears fan are willing to concede that position to a Detroit Lions team that is a Calvin Johnson hamstring injury from losing out or a Carolina Panthers team that just climbed over .500 for the first time during the Obama administration or a team quarterbacked by Carson Palmer, it would difficult to argue the Chicago Bears season is over.

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