Friday, January 9, 2009

The Short Form

I've been overly lazy this week, perhaps even moreso than last week when I waited until late Friday night to put forth my picks for the Wildcard Round. Although I felt that I had put forth a good effort, I ended up going merely 2-2 for the weekend. Now, with the Divisional Playoffs upon us, I've again waited until the last minute, to the point where I don't quite have the wherewithal to offer up a full breakdown of each game (replete with cute little logos).

Thusly, I offer you the short form of NFL picks for the Divisional Round. It's a solid set of games that make this perhaps the Best Weekend of Football all season. We'll kick it off on Saturday.

Saturday, 4:30pm
Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Tennessee Titans (13-3)
Defense will rule the day in this matchup. Baltimore looks like the more chic pick, but I think Tennessee will come through after having a week off to rest up. Look for a key turnover in the 3rd Quarter of a tie game that will swing things in the Titans favor.
My pick: Titans 17, Ravens 13

Saturday, 8:00pm
Arizona Cardinals (10-7) at Carolina Panthers (12-4)
This is the mismatch of the weekend. Arizona has had a nice run and took advantage of several Atlanta mistakes last weekend. Now, they play a Carolina team that does not make mistakes, and won't beat itself. The line isn't close, and the game won't be either.
My pick: Panthers 34, Cardinals 14

Sunday, 1:00pm
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-1) at New York Giants (12-4)
What appears to be misconstrued as an Eagles Hot Streak is really just the Eagles beating the pants off a Cowboys team that had self-destructed and followed that up by beating a simply miserable Vikings squad. They may have beaten the Giants in the Meadowlands in December, but by that point, the Giants had a few too many distractions, and had already wrapped up the division. Not sure why Philly is getting as much press as they are.
My pick: Giants 27, Eagles 17

Sunday, 4:30pm
San Diego Chargers (9-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
I've waffled on this game all week and I'm still waffling. I really have no idea who the hell to pick. My gut, initially, said Pittsburgh, and that San Diego would be constantly kept off balance by Pittsburgh's Defense. But the Steelers offense has struggled at times as well. Fast Willie Parker has been woefully inconsistent all season, and Roethlisberger is coming off a concussion. This is going to be a Defensive slugfest that could very well come down to a battle of field position. It should be a very close, low scoring game, no question. I think it could very well become one of those "Frustration" games for the Steelers as they put together a number of long drives into San Diego territory that ultimately comes up short. San Diego can punt Pittsburgh into a corner and run them down with Sproles, plus Rivers just thrives in games like this. Chargers in an upset.
My pick: Chargers 14, Steelers 10

Sit back and enjoy the fun! Recaps (hopefully) on Monday.

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