The NFL Conference Championships are coming up on Sunday. There was some really excellent football played last weekend, and none of it played by To…. we’ll save the bashing for later. I did picks for these games, none all that great, but I didn’t REALLY suck. Was I close on the scores? Oh Hell NO! Did I pick some winners? Yeah…kinda. So, before I go over AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, lets go over the mess that was my picks.
First game: Cards V. Saints. My pick; Saints (7 point favorites) win, but take the cards and the Over. My Final: Saints 37, Cards 34. Reality: Saints more than covered, actual final: Saints 45, Cards 14. The Cards actually threw for more yards than the Saints, but that is about the only way you could possibly say the Cards were in any way better than the Saints, and even there you would get an argument, more yards does not mean a better passing game. The Saints beat the CRAP out of the Cards. Ran all over them, passed effectively, played great defense on a team that was well nigh unstoppable just a week before. Reggie Bush ran amok all over the Cards, Kurt Warner got decked on an INT runback.
I picked the Saints to win, so even though I didn’t pick them to Cover, I’m calling this a WIN.
Second game: Ravens V. Colts. My pick; Ravens(6 point underdogs) and the under. My Final: Ravens 16, Colts 14. Reality: Colts win, actual final: Colts 20, Ravens 3. Three Words. JOE FLACCO SUCKS. Three more words. PEYTON MANNING DOESN’T. Neither team ran well on these defenses. Ray Rice was the best running back on the field, and he ran for 67 yards. Peyton Manning used what little the Ravens defense gave him, and scored 2 touchdowns on successive drives to end the first half, one a masterful 8 minute 75 yard drive that ended with a 10 yard strike to Austin Collie, and the second, where two costly penalties on The Ravens D in the final 34 seconds of the half helped keep the Colts drive alive, which ended with a 3 yard toss to Reggie Wayne with 3 seconds in the half. Flacco on the other hand was either throwing the ball away or just not throwing the ball to Derrick Mason, keeping the ball out of one of his best weapons for most of the game, throwing a lot of short passes, and getting nowhere underneath. The Colts stuffed him.
I picked the Ravens, despite having Joe Flacco on their roster. LOSE.
Third game: Cowboys V. Vikings. My Pick, Vikings (3 point favorites) and the Over. My final: Vikings 34 Cowboys 27. Reality: Vikings win going away. Vikings 34, Cowboys 3. This was Sidney Rice day in Minnesota. It was all Sidney, all the time. The man was Favre’s favorite deep threat, taking a pair of 40+ yarders(3 TD’S total) to the house for Minnesota, with Favre throwing a personal best 4 td’s in a playoff game. The Dallas D did seem to get pressure on Favre on occasion, but Brett was always able to sidestep it and get the play he needed when he needed it. Tony Romo looked lost, in large part because Flozell Adams got hurt early, and the Vikings pounced on that side, sacking Romo 6 times, and harassed Tony all day. Some other day Tony, some other day.
I picked the Vikings, and nailed how many points they would score. WIN!
Fourth game: Chargers V. Jets. My pick, Chargers (7 point favorites) and the over. My final: Chargers 30, Jets 17. Reality: Jets 17, Chargers 14. What can you say. The jets couldn’t get it going early, but their vaunted 46 defense kept things tight until they were finally able to get something resembling offense going. Mark Sanchez was bad, but not so bad that he hurt his team. Nate Kaeding and one poor throw did in the Chargers. The one throw by Rivers, with 2 seconds left in the third quarter, intercepted by SS Jim Leonhard when Rivers threw into coverage while pressured, led to a score for the J-E-T-S 90 seconds later, and they scored again on their next possession when Shonn Green busted one for 53 yards a few minutes later. Nate Kaeding though… poor guy, he’s always been a helluva kicker, he has never EVER had a game this bad. 3 missed field goals. He missed only 3 all year. Gotta feel for the guy. Unlike Ochocinco the week before, he did NOT cry. Good for him. Still killed his team.
I picked the Chargers. and even though I picked the amount of points the Jets would score, I still LOSE..
I’m pretty happy with last weeks picks. Two wins in four games, for me, ain’t half bad. 😛 I’ll take it. Time for some picks.
Game one: AFC Championship game, Jets at Colts. Kickoff at 3:00pm on CBS. The Colts are 7½ point favorites (39½OU) to make it to Superbowl. The Jets are a good team. They depend on the run game, and it is a good run game, to set up their pass game, which they use sparingly but well when they need it. Their strength is their vaunted 46 defense. It held a very strong Chargers O down last week. They have allowed 14 points or less in not only both of their playoff games, but in their 6 previous regular season games. I think their defense will hold up their end of the bargain. They will keep the Colts from scoring a ton of points, but the problem for the jets will be the Colts D. If the same D that showed up against the Ravens shows up this week against the Jets, the J-E-T-S are T-O-A-S-T.
Expect a lot of 3 and outs from the Jets. Take the Colts and the Under. Final Score: Colts 21, Jets 13.
Game two: NFC Championship game, Vikings at Saints. Kickoff at 6:40pm on FOX. The Saints are 3½ point favorites (53OU) to make it to the Superbowl. The Saints defense can play strong, like they did last week. The Vikings can say the same thing. Both of these teams have potentially explosive offenses. Adrian Peterson was held in check last week, and has been held to an average of 61.5 yards per game in his last 4 games. The Vikings are going to need him to break out of his funk if they want to get to the Superbowl for the first time since Fran Tarkenton got them there in Superbowl IX.
Drew Brees is going to crush that dream and get the Saints to their first ever big dance, they just have too many weapons. Take the Saints and the Over. Final Score: Saints 38, Vikings 27
That’s it from here.