Friday, January 4, 2008

NFL Picks - Wild Card Weekend

Wild Card Weekend is upon us - here are the picks, with comments to follow:

SEATTLE (-3.5) over Washington
The momentum of the Redskins vs. the enormous home field advantage owned by Seattle. Skins are everyone's sentimental choice, and it's not a bad one seeing how they've run off four straight since Sean Taylor's funeral. We think the magic ride ends here though - the crowd noise is an invaluable asset, which might be able to unnerve Todd Collins and, more importantly, his offensive line. Washington should be able to hang tough, but the Hawks will prevail and move on.
Seahawks 23 Redskins 17

Jacksonville (-2) over PITTSBURGH
Big red flag: the whole world seems to love the Jags. After much back and forth, we decided we do too. It's not just that Jacksonville seems to be built to play in cold weather cities, but also that the Steelers might just be a bit overrated. Jags can run the ball, limit the turnovers, and keep Ben Roethlisberger off the field. When the Steelers do have the ball, there are huge concerns about the offensive line (they'll be using their 3rd Left Tackle in this game), as well as the lack of Willie Parker. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Del Rio's boys run away and hide here, but we'll go with a somewhat tighter Jags win, setting up a nice matchup in Indy next week.
Jaguars 24 Steelers 16

TAMPA BAY -2.5 over NY Giants
Pros for the G-Men: 1.) Nice weather, which always helps Eli Manning. 2.) Ronde Barber decided to run his mouth off in an effort to be as much of a jerkweed as brother Tiki, which provided some nice bulletin board material.
Cons: 1.) Pass rush could be neutralized by mobile Jeff Garcia. 2.) Buc defense is quite solid, if underrated, and if they watched any film from last week should quickly realize the positive effects of bringing some heat on Manning.
All in all, the Giant moral victory from last week will have no real meaning, and Coach Tom Coughlin will face the endless WFAN fueled speculation about his job for the next two weeks.
Buccaneers 22 Giants 13

Tennessee (+9) over SAN DIEGO
We were all set to take the Chargers in a blowout, until the weather forecast: rain, and lots of it. This could slow down LaDanian Tomlinson just enough to allow a better than average Titan defense some success. If that occurs, would you really want to bank on Philip Rivers? No matter who takes the snaps for Tennessee, they should be able to stay surprisingly close and cover this number.
Chargers 20 Titans 16

Last Week: 11-5

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