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The Regular season is over and I went 148-91. I had no picks for Week 1 and the Thursday night game of Week 2. So the playoffs are here and New Year's Eve was a horrible day for coaches. As expected Andy Reid was fired by the Eagles. Norv was finally let go from San Diego along with his partner in crime, AJ Smith. The biggest surprise had to be the firing of Lovie Smith after a 10-6 campaign by the Bears. I fear for Jay Cutler, he may be the next Alex Smith, owner of a new OC every season.

For my money the best job openings are either the Bears or the Browns. The Browns have some young talent and new ownership. The job that may be the worst - the Bills. A very overpaid defense there and a bad QB situation. The Cardinals need an O-line, the Chargers and Eagles need new voices. The Chiefs, they have some good talent, but need a healthy QB. I figured Rex would survive another season and did, but the QB situation in Gotham smells like a pile of garbage left out in the summer sun for two weeks.

Now, on to the playoff games!

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

 Oh how the mighty have fallen. From 11-1 to 12-4, the Texans are reeling, but then again they went into the playoffs on a three game losing streak and won in the Wild Card round last year. Let me unleash all my frustration about the Texans for a moment.

The Offense, when it really worked, ran like a high performance sports car. But Gary Kubiak wanted it to work like a plodding pickup truck. Now, it is broken. At no point have the Texans tried to fix what the obvious needs on the offensive side of the ball over the years. Draft pick after draft has been used on defensive players while the talent level on the offensive side has suffered. It was called offense on the cheap. Well, now its broken. I can safely say that some of my friends and I called for the Texans to dump Schaub last year and go with TJ Yates starting this season. I think the results would have been the same 12-4 but with a QB on the upswing instead of the downswing.

As for this game: Yates won last year and is 2-0 against the Bengals. The run game is broken and the Defense can't hold out forever. Still, I expect the Texans to hold serve once.

Pick: Texans

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Interesting that these teams just met last week. The key is that the Vikings had to fight to make the postseason while the Packers were already in. That is a key difference for why this game will be a bit different in intensity. Another difference is the QB. Adrian Peterson is All World, but I don't think he can match Aaron Rodgers in total production. I think the Packers are the most dangerous team in the playoffs on the NFC side. I will stand by that.

Pick: Packers

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

The future meets the fading present. I think the announcement that Ray Lewis is retiring signals the closing of a window for Baltimore's current team. However, the city's old team, the Colts, appears to have rebounded spectacularly after one season. I must admit that I am very much an Andrew Luck fan. Hate that he is in the AFC South now, but he is a tremendous talent.

Part of me likes the idea that the Ravens will overcome a very pedestrian regular season and make a run for Lewis' final games. I think there will be enough emotion for the Ravens to pull this one out against a team that has used emotion all season.

Pick: Ravens

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins

The best match-up of the weekend is also the final game. RG3 is fun to watch, but he is helped by the super stud running back, Alfred Morris. But the Seahawks are a defensive nightmare and have talent on their offense as well. The 'Hawks also have more experience.

I have a feeling that both these teams are just starting runs for years to come as playoff contenders. The Seahawks simply look like a more complete team at this point.

Pick: Seahawks

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was impressed with your pick of Bucs over (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, Texdude50, blueyedace2, rb608, Odysseus

    Atlanta last week. Didn't see that one coming.

    I think the Bengals might upset the Texans. The Texans were my pick in the pre-season to go to the SB but they are fading fast.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:02:12 PM PST

    •  I am so mad at the Texans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, hooktool

      not that anyone could tell...

      It is never a good idea to move to conservative play because it breaks up offensive rhythm. The goal Kubiak had for the team was to lead in Time of Possession to the detriment of Points Scored. That has bit him in the ass big time.

      But there is one factor I can't overlook. The loss of the wild, brutal Brian Cushing from the Inside Linebacker spot. The dude is psycho, but can play football. He is the living definition of 'meathead.'  

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:49:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I won't believe the Bengals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, Texdude50, Odysseus

      are capable of winning a big game until they actually do it.

      Small varmints, if you will.

      by aztecraingod on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:00:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Atlanta had... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texdude50

      had nothing to play for and when your playing not to get hurt you just about always lose.  Like the picks this week but I would take the Bengals and give the points.

      "WE PRACTICE SELECTIVE ANNIHILATION OF MAYORS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FOR EXAMPLE WE CREATE A VACUUM THEN WE FILL THAT VACUUM AS POPULAR WAR ADVANCES PEACE IS CLOSER" The Pentagon Papers

      by thegreatkramer on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:29:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the best of the Rookies starting this weekend (6+ / 0-)

    is on Seattle.

    I hate to say it, but as much as I hate Pete Carroll, it looks like he has something happening.

    And I think you're wrong on the Vikings and the Packers.  The Vikings smell blood.  The Packers have weaknesses.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:05:20 PM PST

  •  Broncos... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, blueyedace2, frosti, Odysseus

    Homefield advantage through-out!

    I like your picks.  I would not want to play Minn right now, but Lambeau and Rodgers have the advantage.  Both Texas and Baltimore are sputtering right now, but experience should win out.  Seattle is probably one of the hottest teams right now.  Any of the these games could flip the other way.  Good wild card weekend.

    'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

    by RichM on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:08:42 PM PST

  •  I'll go (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, blueyedace2, frosti, hooktool

    Bengals, Ravens, Packers and Seahawks

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:12:13 PM PST

  •  Think the packers is a foregone conclusion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, blueyedace2

    I can't see them losing even with Peterson. Think the only thing of interest will be if Peterson can get over 100 yards, thus becoming the only player to gain 500 yards on another team in a single season.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:25:52 PM PST

  •  165-76 for the season (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, jakedog42

    The tie, plus I missed picking 14 games for December 9 since I was a little preoccupied by other things. 13-3 last week.

    I think you're right, and the upset possibilities are best in Washington.  I'd rather the 49ers have the Packers in the second week than the Seahawks.

    -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:47:14 PM PST

  •  Can't argue with your reasoning. (4+ / 0-)

    Standing here in my Ray Rice jersey, I hope you're right about that one. I was a Baltimore Colts fan growing up, and I will always take pleasure when the Indianapolis Irsays lose.

    "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

    by rb608 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:01:44 PM PST

  •  RG3 gets it done...Cinncy surprises...Pack is the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, VClib, Texdude50

    best; and Colts continue to play Cinderella...

    But what do I know...Bears are out....?

  •  Good picks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50

    Colts fan here, but I think the Ravens will be too much for my guys.

    Otherwise, Texas, GB and Washington.

    I can wait until next year when the Colts have tons of cap space to sign some help for the offensive line.

    •  The Colts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      also need some help on the D-line. I've read that Freeny is probably gone. They also need a running game. Imagine Luck with a 50% reduction in turnovers and a defense that creates some as well. Colts are going to be tough.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No way the Seahawks beat the Redskins (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50

    in Washington this Sunday! Simply impossible.  Both have stronger offenses, so I'd call it 31-24 for the Skins.

    •  The Seahawks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      retch sweeny, Timaeus, Mostel26

      have been very tough of late. If they play like they have then I don't think the 'Skins win.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:32:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  except 'Skins are now a very different team (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Texdude50, Timaeus, Odysseus

        first, even though they give up yards, their defense is coming up with takeaways at key moments

        second, they are now winning the close games they used to lose

        third, RGIII will probably be up to 85=90%  -  and even at 70% he was scary

        fourth -  since Pierre Garcon came back, their offense is downright scary because if he catches a crossing pattern he is always a threat to take it to the house

        fifth -  Redskins wide receivers are ferocious blockers, which helps Griffin

        The game is in DC.  The last two times these two teams met in the playoffs it was in Seattle.  It will only be in the 40s, with temperature dropping during the game.  It also may be raining.  Playing in division they day 'Skins are used to those conditions.  Not clear Seattle is.

        I would give something of an edge to 'Skins, largely because they are home.  Remember, they have won 7 in a row when a single loss would have eliminated them.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:07:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hawks D is way better. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      retch sweeny, Texdude50, Mostel26

      If RGIII was at full speed, they'd have a good shot.  But the Seattle ground game--QBs included--will find much more success.   You don't know how fast Seattle is on D, but you'll find out:P

      Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

      by Leftcandid on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:53:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they are very fast against traditional offenses (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus, Odysseus, RockyMtnLib

        that kind of speed can actually be counter productive against the kind of offense the 'Skins run - and Seattle knows that because of the success their own offense has had.

        Oh, and by sunday RGIII will probably be at least 85%, which is VERY SCARY for any defense he faces.

        One more thing -  RGIII may be the most accurate passer left in the playoffs.  There is a reason he has such a high passer rating.  

        Only Rodgers and Payton Manning have better passer ratings that RG III

        Granted, Wilson is 4th, but consider

        Wilson  26 TDs but 10 interceptions
        Griffin  20 TD but only 5 interceptions

        Morris and Lynch are roughly equivalent

        Also, Washington is +1.1 in turnovers per game
        Seattle is 0.8

        the game might well come down to turnovers

        in which case you might want to consider this

        Washingon is +1.1 turnovers/game at home
        Seattle is -0.2 turnovers/game on the road

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:15:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And we have to consider the dominate fact (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Texdude50

          that NO WAY IN HELL are the Redskins going to lose this home playoff game, after such a run, and after so many years in the wilderness.  Even the Curse of Dan Snyder is not going to lose this one!

          I never gamble (after bad adventures in my youth).  But I'm sure tempted here.  If there ever was a sure bet, it's Skins over Hawks in this playoff game!  I'd give eight points.

    •  Oops. (0+ / 0-)

      Guess you should be thankful you didn't bet the farm after all!

      Just ribbing you.  Good game and good year, sorry about RG3.

      Money doesn't talk it swears.

      by Coss on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:23:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Packers ??? Dangerous ??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50

    Minnesota had them beat at Green Bay until Ponder played the worst football ever.  Minnesota has their number and will beat them with no problem.

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      Aaron Rodgers is dangerous. If all the WRs play then it can get brutal.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:33:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Packers aren't invincible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Texdude50

        at Lambeau like they used to be. They were 12-0 in home playoff games through 2001, but only 2-4 since then.

        They didn't move into Lambeau until 1957. It was known as (New) City Stadium until 1965. They were at another "City Stadium" until '57, and also played a couple of playoff games at the old Milwaukee County Stadium - where they played a few home games each year through 1994.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:50:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Weather forecast for Green Bay (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, bgblcklab1

    is 27 degrees with a chance of snow.

    If that comes to pass, I like Minny in an upset.

    I'm of the opinion that the home field hurts Green Bay more than it helps. Its finesse passing offense is more suited to a dome than the "frozen tundra." When the Pack won it all in 2010, it did it so playing all of its games on the road.

    Cold, snotty weather should be just what the doctor ordered for AP and, the Vikes ground and pound offense.

    The other upset I like is the Colts. I've been thoroughly unimpressed with the Ravens this year. And Luck is already a better QB than Flacco.

    [Full disclosure: I never risk actual money on my football predictions. There's a good reason for that.]

  •  OT, Happy Birthday #83 today to Don Shula. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, Remediator

    (Wonder if the Bears are interviewing him too?)

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:34:59 PM PST

  •  I'll go Bengals, despite their loser ways under (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    retch sweeny, Texdude50, frosti

    Marv.  Strong D & Houston's D is flailing.

    Agree on the other three.  Cannot wait to see Hawks-Skins.  27-16 Seattle.  RGIII at full strength would make for an unbelievable game, but right now, Bruce Irvin is probably faster.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:56:44 PM PST

  •  Lifelong 49er fan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frosti, Texdude50, Odysseus

    I wish there was a way for both the Colts and the Ravens to both lose. I hate both those teams for the way they crapped on their fans in Baltimore and Cleveland. By the way, I like your picks.

    Caalix meus inebrians- my cup makes me drunk

  •  Trouble for Packers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50

    Minnesota had no expectations to make the playoffs.
    Green Bay expected to get a first round bye.

    Green Bay feels that they did not achieve as much as they wanted.

    Minnesota has no pressure of winning- Everything win in the playoffs will be a bonus.

    The pressure is on the Packers.

    I am no going to say the Packers will lose,
    but beware of teams with no pressure and nothing to lose.

    See Giants from last year......

    A kickoff return here, a turnover there can make the difference.

    Minnesota has no fear of Green Bay at Lambeau.

  •  I say the 3 seeds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50

    (Texans and Packers) lose. And the 4 seeds (Ravens and Skins) win. Sorry Left, but I think the Seahawks style of defense will appear over-aggressive against RGIII, and the Redskins defense has played much better than they did the beginning of the year when they were a sieve.

    This time, unlike last year, the Texans slump at the end will continue. The Vikings smell blood in Lambeau, and the Colts, despite going 11-5, were outscored by an aggregate of 30 points this season. Baltimore squeaks by.

    Speaking of offensive lines, Cutler's in Chicago has problems protecting him too. Jay does seem like quite the whiner to me, but the line is still putrid.

    After the Vikes win in Lambeau they may even have a decent shot in Atlanta, where nobody really fears going into the Georgia Dome.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:57:52 AM PST

  •  Late the the party, but (0+ / 0-)

    Cincy 24 - Houston 19 (cheating, I know due to it being half time)

    Green Bay 42 Vikings 24

    Ravens 27 Colts 20

    Seahawks 23 Skins 6

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