The first annual Rocking the Suburbs playoff preview is coming to you on a National Holiday. While other blogs are taking the day off, we’re not. (We have no life). Happy New Years!
Also, Graham and I have decided to make $1 wagers throughout 2009 and settle up at the end of the year. I’m expecting at least 30 bets. Vegas puts me at a 2-1 favorite given that the majority of bets will be about sports and pop culture and Graham has a disadvantage in both categories, given he’s Canadian and married with a kid. (Too bad we didn’t start the $1 bets with Fantasy Basketball, as my team is still ahead of Graham’s, natch).
Indianapolis at San Diego
Chris: Let’s see, I hate Philip Rivers. However, San Diego matches up well with the Colts. I can’t pick either team and feel good about it. I could see the Colts laying a big egg in San Diego (much like they did at home vs. the Chargers last year), or I could see San Diego showing exactly why an 8-8 team doesn’t even belong in the playoffs. My pick: the Colts, only because I respect myself too much to do otherwise.
Graham: Since I’m positive Indy’s going to win, and I don’t really have anything more to say about it, an aside: as a society, can we please stop asking each other to hold elevators? Seriously, there’s another one coming, don’t freak out. It drives me crazy when I’m standing there, and some spaz turns the corner and starts losing control of their limbs trying to get my attention. You know what that does? It makes me reach for the close door button. I can’t get to it fast enough. Just stop already. Colts win.
Baltimore at Miami
Chris: As someone who has watched 75% of Dolphins games this year, including the Ravens victory over the ‘Phins earlier this year, I’m well aware of how this game will go. The Dolphins offense can’t score on the Ravens D. The Ravens offense won’t score much on the Dolphins D. It’ll come down to special teams (edge Ravens), turnovers and field position. I just don’t see the Dolphins coming out of this game with the W. It reminds me a little too much of Miami’s last playoff game, which, incidentally, was a 20-3 loss at home vs. the Ravens. All of this is thrown out the window if Ray Lewis murders someone between now and kickoff. My pick: sadly, the Ravens.
Graham: I guess it comes down to this: only five times this season has Baltimore given up 20 points or more: against Pittsburgh, Indy, Cleveland, the Giants and Dallas. That’s two first place teams (both Super Bowl contenders), Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, and, uh, the Browns. So how confident am I that Chad Pennington can make it six? I’ll tell you how confident I am: not at all. Baltimore takes it.
Atlanta at Arizona
Chris: Are the Cardinals any good? How many games have they won in the last month? They’re the team that’s overrated because they have so many great fantasy players (just like Cincinnati used to be). Meanwhile, Atlanta just wins games. Can Matt Ryan win a big playoff game on the road? I submit that he can. My pick: the Falcons, only because it’s funny to think about Vick watching Atlanta win while he’s in the slammer.
Graham: The Cardinals went 6-0 this season against their fellow NFC West teams, who were a combined 13-35. In their other 10 games, they went 3-7. Their defense gave up 426 points this year, topped in the NFC only by Detroit St. Louis. It’s fair to say that if you’re comparable to Detroit and St. Louis in any statistical category, you’re in pretty rough shape. I don’t care if Matt Ryan is a rookie quarterback playing his first playoff game on the road. I’m taking Atlanta.
Philadelphia at Minnesota
Chris: I’ve picked 3 road playoff wins already. Can I really think that all 4 road teams will win in the first round? I suppose there’s no way that happens, but I’m not going to pick Tavaris Jackson just to shake things up. Also, does Brad Childress look more like a child molester or serial killer? The pick: the Eagles, because I never trust a coach that looks like the BTK killer.
Graham: I hate this game. The only possible way I could hate this game more is if Jack Johnson were performing the national anthem. For God’s sakes, a couple of weeks ago Donovan McNabb got benched. But on the other hand, you’ve got Tarvaris Jackson, who I’m not even sure I’d trust to lead a touch football game between Biggest Loser contestants. You’ve got Andy Reid, who has shown no actual ability to competently coach a team, and Brad Childress, who looks like an H&R Block accountant, only with less personality. Can I bet on an Andy Reid-coached team? Can I bet on a Tarvaris Jackson-led team? Can I abstain on principle? Honestly, I’m going to hate my pick either way. Hell, I don’t know. Screw it, Philly. Why not.
Well, there you go. The 1st Round predictions, where Graham and I agree on every matchup. Riveting!