Friday, January 6, 2012
Above: Chris and Graham ponder their picks.
Alright readers, here it is. Forget Adam Schefter, Peter King and Chris Berman. Especially Berman. This is the only NFL playoff preview you need. Your two trusty experts (and in Graham's case, an expert who forgot how the seeding system works) look ahead to the playoffs. Forget the Mayans, we really know what's going to happen in 2012.
Give me 1 good reason why the Packers won't win the title.
One reason why the Packers can't win? Defense. They generate a ton of turnovers, but also give up a lot of yards. If they run into a team that holds onto the ball and drives the field on them, and it happens to be a day where the offense doesn't put up 35 points, then it's trouble. Is that splitting hairs though? I hope not. I don't have much hair and can't be damaging what's left.
The Packers defense is suspectible to a ball control offense, but really, what team in the NFC would do that? Your first game should be against Atlanta or New York. I think you'd smoke Atlanta in Green Bay. More likely, you'll play the Giants. That team would scare me because they do have a defense that can get after Rodgers, but still, their offense isn't really ball control. They are at their best with Eli throwing. Honestly, the only good defense/ball control offense in the NFC is San Francisco. Do they concern you at all? I find them laughable.
And where do the Saints fit in to all this?
San Fran concerns me in the same way that earthquakes concern me. I know I should be ready, I know they're a real threat, but I just can't see it happening. Their defense is incredible, but Alex Smith is, at best, adequate. Adequate quarterbacks don't get it done anymore (hear that, Falcons fans?).
New Orleans on the other hand, holy crap. Can you imagine a Packers-Saints game? What would the final score be, 71-65?
San Fran seems like they'll flame out in their first game. I just don't see them beating New Orleans and then the Packers. As for Packers-Saints, I think the cold weather will keep the game lower scoring, you know, something like 49-45.
Are you concerned about the Giants at all? I think they're the sleeper in the NFC.
I'm mildly concerned about the Giants. Packers just beat them earlier this month, but it was close. With Eli, you never know. Will he throw 4 picks? Or will he go for 350 yards and 3 TDs? Here is how I rank the NFC teams by how concerned I am:
Here's how I rank the NFC:
Packers - hard to repeat, but most likely will make Super Bowl
Saints - I just don't trust them away from home.
Giants - streaky, hit or miss, bipolar. They'll either lose the Falcons by 24 or go the Super Bowl. I have no clue about this team.
Lions - Maybe next year
49ers - meh
Falcons - 1 win if they are lucky.
So AFC, it's hard to go against the Pats, but they do have the worst D in the league. Who's beating them?
The Pats and Packers have basically the same D, so if you're picking the Pack despite their D you have to consider the Pats as well. Especially since Pittsburgh's lost Mendenhall and Roethlisberger is gimpy. As for Baltimore, is Joe Flacco going into New England in the AFC title game and outplaying Tom Brady? Doubt it. And Cincy, Houston and Denver are just there as first round filler.
The last person that dismissed Tebow so quickly was sent directly to hell. Just thought you should know that.
Yeah, the Steelers seem too hurt, but then again, their run game sucked half the time anyway. I think they can win without Mendenhall, but the Clark injury sucks. The best thing about being NE is that they won't have to play Pitt and Baltimore, right? Wait, how dumb it this. It Pitt and Houston win, since Houston is the "better" team, they will play Baltimore. So NE could have to play Pitt instead of Houston, even though they are the number 1 seed. Baltimore is pretty much a lock for the conference finals at this point. So, here's what could happen. Pitt beats NE (already did this once this year), Baltimore beats Pitt at home (already did this once this year) and you get a Baltimore Super Bowl team.
The NFL should let the top seed pick their opponent instead. NE would rather play Houston 8 times than Pitt once.
I'm not wasting any more valuable Internet bandwidth on yet another Tim Tebow debate, but I will leave it at this: if he beats Pittsburgh this week I will buy a John Mayer album. I[m not kidding.
The seeding system is so stupid. 7-9 Seattle hosted a playoff game against New Orleans last year because they "won" their division. And Denver gets a home game against Pittsburgh for the same reason. It's completely insane. Why are mediocre teams from bad division getting preference over good teams from tough divisions?
So let's get down to it.
Who do you have in the conference finals, who do you have in the super bowl, and who is champ?
Here we go:
Houston over Cincy
Pittsburgh over Denver
New England over Houston
Pittsburgh over Baltimore
New England over Pittsburgh
New Orleans over Detroit
NYG over Atlanta
Green Bay over NYG
New Orleans over San Fran
Green Bay over New Orleans
And in a Green Bay-New England Super Bowl, of course I'm taking Green Bay.
Congrats. We had an entire email chain yesterday discussing how New England would have to play the lower seed, Pittsburgh, if both Pitt and Houston won. So what do you do? You predict Houston and Pitt to win and then have NE playing Houston. It would be NE-Pitt and Baltimore-Houston. I assume you'd pick NE over Pitt in the semis, Baltimore over Houston and then NE over Baltimore. Sigh, shaking head, other forms of condescension.
Son of a bitch! This is why I hate the seeding system. I was doing this quickly, had Pittsburgh as the higher seed since they had the better record but forgot Houston won the division. FML.
Here's how I see it.
Cincy over Houston
Pitt over Tebow
NE over Cincy
Baltimore over Pitt
NE over Baltimore
NO over Detroit
NYG over ATL
NO over San Fran
NYG over Green Bay
NO over NYG
And in the Super Bowl I see NE over NO.
Honestly, I just don't think the Pack got it this year. They peaked too early. Then again, maybe they were just doing the rope-a-dope, in which case, I'm the dope.