January 18, 2010

A weekend for the faves

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Perhaps I should have taken my own advice about the favourites winning in Week 2 of the NFL Playoffs. Considering that since the NFL adopted this bye week system for the top-2 seeds, the teams with that coveted week off have won about three out of every four games. What happened this weekend? Three out of the four favourites won. And that one favourite that couldn’t hold on to beat their ’dog? It was probably the team that you never would have guessed you’d be seeing play next week for a shot at the Super Bowl: The New York Jets.

San Diego simply couldn’t handle the pressure put on them by both the media and the Jets defence. When it seemed like the Jets could call any running play and net four or five yards, it took the game out of Mark Sanchez’s averagely capably hands and put it into the bumbling hands of Norv Turner; forcing him to try to stop them. Darrelle Revis was as great as advertised – again – and his ridiculous rolling around interception proves what great awareness he plays with. Their rematch with the Colts should be one hell of a knock-down drag out fist fight.

The Colts win in prime time was exactly what we come to expect from Peyton Manning and company: It was deadly efficient. Watching how Indy could march down the field while eating clock and then forcing turnovers and holding the Ravens off was exactly what should have been expected. What the Ravens really need is a go-to receiver that could make those crucial third down plays that Indy forced them into. If Joe Flacco were given a safety blanket option like that, I’d watch out for Baltimore next season.

That Sidney Rice cat? He’s good; but the real thing you can take away from the Viking crushing win over the Cowboys is that Minny’s defensive line is back playing like it was in the early part of the season. New Orleans should be really worried about protecting Drew Brees on Sunday because even without Flozell Adams, the Boys O-line is stronger than the Saints.

New Orleans, when you consider the injuries that plagued Arizona’s secondary, might have gotten off easy this weekend. Granted, the old adage says that the healthiest teams win and that injuries are part of the game for everyone, but losing half of your starting defensive backfield in the first quarter is a brutal way to lose. I can’t blame the Cardinals not getting going like we’re used to seeing either, when Kurt Warner took that huge hit after a fluke-ish interception by a defensive lineman, he clearly wasn’t the same for there on out. It’s actually sad to think that the Cardinals loss may have been Warner’s last NFL game. He has been considering retirement since suffering a concussion earlier this season and is not one to waffle like Brett Favre’s annual tradition.

This week: 1-3.
This playoffs: 3-5.

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