Saturday, January 19, 2008

NFL Picks: Championship Sunday

Sunday is really the best day of the playoffs. Championship Sunday does not have all the hype, glitz, and glamour of the Super Bowl. It features four desperate teams attempting to get to the NFL’s biggest stage.

After the events of last week, I have a hard time getting excited about Sunday. Nonetheless, there are picks to be made.

Last Week: 1-3
Playoffs: 4-4
Season: 174-82

AFC Championship
San Diego at New England
: The Chargers pulled an upset last week in Indianapolis, sending the Colts to an early vacation. They are now poised to finish better than last year’s early playoff disappointment. However, they are banged-up. QB Philip Rivers won’t play, RB LaDainian Tomlinson is injured but will play, and TE Antonio Gates will most likely sit this game out. The Chargers have a good running game. That won’t be enough. The Patriots are in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime season. Tom Brady will strike early and often. This game will be ugly. Book the Patriots for an upscale resort in the Phoenix area next week. Pick: New England

NFC Championship
New York Giants at Green Bay
: Excuse me while I throw up. Unfortunately, both of these teams deserve to be here, while the Dallas Cowboys do not. This game will be played in a deep freeze, with the temperature scheduled to be 5 degrees at kickoff (5:30 pm local time) and only getting colder. The Giants are hot, and have only lost one road game all year. They haven’t played in Green Bay in January, though. Get ready to hear a ton more about the great Brett Favre during Super Bowl week, because he’ll be there. Pick: Green Bay

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Random Question

Question while sitting in Hooters (the unofficial restaurant of this blog) in Islandia, New York: Why would anyone in New York be a fan of the Jets and/or Mets, when they could be fans of the Giants and Yankees? Inquiring minds want to know.

There are Jets and Mets signs in here, but none for the Giants or Yankees. I know the Jets train on Long Island for now, and used to play in Queens, while the Mets still play in Queens. But, why choose them over the Giants or Yankees? I have no clue.

Just a rambling thought on a Thursday night in New York....

Monday, January 14, 2008

NFL Highway: Divisional Round (or, Dead End in Dallas)

The NFL playoffs delivered some unexpected events over the weekend. Gone are the defending Super Bowl champions and the favorite to win the NFC.

The author of this blog entered the belly of the beast on Sunday, flying to LaGuardia Airport in New York on a work-related trip. As I was picking up my rental car, I heard some shouting and clapping in the back room. That meant one thing: Tony Romo threw an interception in the end zone at the end of the game, sealing the victory for the New York Football Giants. Terrell Owens was obviously not happy, as the video shows. But, instead of throwing his quarterback under the bus (like Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb), he cried for his man Tony Romo. I really blame the loss on my wife. Instead of wearing her lucky pink Romo jersey, she wore my white Romo jersey. Bad, bad, bad. The G-men move one game closer to an unexpected Super Bowl. The Cowboys have not won a playoff game in 12 years. Barry Switzer was the last Cowboys coach to win a playoff game. Ouch.

Another place where they are crying in their Cheerios is Indianapolis. The Colts lost to the Chargers, 28-24. It was a bizarre convergence of events for San Diego, as star RB LaDainian Tomlinson left the game in the first half with a bruised knee, and QB Philip Rivers left in the third quarter with a damaged right knee. Enter QB Billy Volek and RBs Michael Turner and Darren Sproles. They picked up the slack and brought the Chargers back in the 4th quarter for the win. Turner helped improve his free agent status in the upcoming offseason, while coach Norv Turner got the biggest win of his career. Norv might just be a head coach, after all. The Colts are left at home wondering what happened.

The Chargers next get to face the juggernaut that is New England. The Patriots got a challenge on Saturday night from Jacksonville, but pulled away for a 31-20 victory. The Jags really only made two mistakes all night, but a team can't make any mistakes at all and expect to beat the Patriots. Good luck to the Chargers. They'll need it.

It was a winter wonderland in Green Bay on Saturday. It's supposed to snow in Green Bay in January. The Packers used the elements and a hot hand from Brett Favre to pound the Seattle Seahawks, 41-20. Seattle used two early fumble recoveries to set up two touchdowns for a 14-0 lead. The Packers steamrolled after that. The Pack now get an unexpected home game Sunday night against the Giants.