NFL
NFL Divisional Round Picks
Category: NFL

Mama said there’d be days like this-Sam Cooke 
How could something so right turn out to be so wrong?-Bee Gees 
You’ve been lied to, hoodwinked, bamboozled, I say you’ve been tricked-Malcolm X 

After such a solid regular season, the Wild Card Weekend was a flat out disaster. The Saturday games I thought were a toss up so give it to the week 17 losers, and that wasn’t the case as the Jets manhandled the Bengals and the Pokes dominated the Eagles. I was thinking long and hard about picking the Ravens to pull the upset, but the Pats were so money at home (Ugh) And I got a stern lecture from Princess Katie about going against her beloved Cards “Daddy, you always say never trust the Packers. Why did you pick them?” So after an 0-4 week that stings my pride more than anything, I’ll try to forecast the divisional round. The top seeds in both conference step in to the fray now and the question of rest vs rust will now be analyzed to the nth degree. This weeks odds are provided by USA Today Sports Weekly and are for entertainment and comparison purposes only. Bet on the lines at your own risk because Im not the one to call if you lose, I’ll just forward you on to Princess Katie to chew your butt out for not listening to advice Ive given you time and time again. 

NFL SCHEDULE – DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND 

Saturday, January 16 

NFC Divisional Playoff 
#4 Arizona Cardinals (11-6, NFC West Champions) @ #1 New Orleans Saints (13-3, NFC South Champions) 
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans 4:30 (FOX) 
Favorite Saints by 7 
This is the teams first postseason meeting 
How They Got Here Saints won NFC South and earned a bye into the divisional round as the NFC #1 seed, Cardinals defeated NFC wild card Packers 51-45 in OT in wild card round 
Fast Fact The Saints are the first #1 seeded team since the playoff seedings began in 1990 to end their season on a 3 game losing streak. 
Many question if the Saints have the werewithal to find the formula that made them toast of the NFL as they won their first thirteen games. Drew Brees has been throwing bushels of passes but the lack of a solid reliable running game have many wondering if the Saints are a real Super Bowl Contender and they’ve been more or less waiting a month to play a meaningful game. The Cards are flying high after a winning a thrilling shootout with the Packers, but the Cards can ill afford to think that they could get away with that kind of defensive sloppiness and take a win on the road. Kurt Warner has proved to me without a shadow of a doubt that he is a big time, big game QB, something Drew Brees has yet to do. This game just reeks of an upset, the Cards have shown that they can win on the road and are showing a newfound offensive balance with Beanie Wells starting to come into his own as a decent runner. The Cards are the one team that could get into a shootout with the Saints and get away with the win. I think this happens this time around, where the battle tested Cards can draw on a roster chock full of playoff tested players. 
Pick-Arizona 

AFC Divisional Playoff 
#6 Baltimore Ravens (10-7 #2 AFC Wild Card) @ #1 Indianapolis Colts (14-2, AFC South Champions) 
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 8:00 (CBS) 
Favorite Colts by 6 
Previous Postseason Meeting This is the teams 2nd postseason meeting, the Colts defeated the Ravens 15-3 in the 2006 AFC Divisional Round 
How They Got Here Colts won AFC South and earned a bye into the divisional round as AFC #1 seed, Ravens defeated AFC East Champ New England 34-13 in wild card round 
Fast Fact The Colts have won all four times these teams have played in Indy 
The Colts like the Saints let up off the gas and coasted into the postseason. Unlike the Saints they have a roster deep with playoff vets and know what it takes to win in the postseason. The Ravens blasted the Pats in front of a shocked then sullen crowd in Foxboro and come into this matchup with their confidence at a peak. Ray Rice is establishing himself as a top tier running back with breakaway potential at any time. His 83 yard scoring dash on the games first play set the tone for a stunning rout. The Colts have skill at every offensive front. One is starting to run out of superlatives to describe Peyton Manning who logged his 4th MVP award, directing a multifaceted attack with Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark as his prime target. The Colts running has been a bit ragged but Joseph Addai can break one off if a defense isn’t careful. 
This looks to be a tight showdown, The Ravens want to pound the ball and keep Manning and Co. off the field as much as possible, problem is that the Colts have a super quick strike offense and with a vulnerable secondary the Ravens possess it could be a matter of which offense can impose its will. Im betting that the Colts have the slight edge and will keep their crowd in the game. 
Pick-Indianapolis 

Sunday, January 17 


NFC Divisional Playoff 
#3 Dallas Cowboys (12-5, NFC East Champions) @ #2 Minnesota Vikings (12-4, NFC North Champions) 
Mall of America Field @ HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX) 
Favorite Vikings by 2½ 
Previous Postseason Meetings This is the teams 7th postseason meeting The Vikings have beat the Cowboys 27-10 in the 1973 NFC championship and 27-10 in the 1999 NFC Wild Card Round The Cowboys defeated the Vikings 20-12 In the 1971 NFC Divisional round, 17-14 in the 1975 NFC Divisional round, 23-6 in the 1977 NFC Championship and 40-15 in the 1996 Wild Card Round 
How They Got Here Vikings won NFC North and earned a bye into the divisional round as the NFC #2 seed, Cowboys defeated NFC Wild Card Eagles 34-14 in wild card round 
Fast Fact The Vikings are the 2nd NFL team to have 6 receivers with 40 or more catches in a season 
The Pokes flat out dominated the Eagles to break a storied playoff losing streak, while the Vikes got a well earned rest and may have quieted some skeptics that said they were coasting in with a destruction of the G-Men to wrap up the season. Cowboys QB Tony Romo finally got the playoff monkey off his back and has an emerging star in Miles Austin as his prime target and the reliable TE Jason Witten as a safety blanket. The Vikings offense has shined more often than not with the ageless Brett Favre at the helm, he has made a host of one time unheralded receivers look like superstars, though RB Adrian Peterson scored 18 times, many whisper that he cant carry the team anymore. The Cowboys have a big play ballhawking defense and All-Pro LB DeMarcus Ware seems to be in on every big defensive play. The Vikings defense is stout against the run and DE Jared Allen must be accounted for at all times lest he creates havoc. Though the media wonks are buying into the “return” of the Cowboys, I see them as a one trick pony. Taking a starstruck Saints crowd out of a game or beating a disinterested Redskins team is one thing on the road. Playing in front of decidedly more veteran playoff crowd in Minnesota is quite the other. Peterson will keep the Pokes defense honest while Favre gets enough throws to keep them guessing. Tony Romo & Wade Phillips finally broke their maiden with a playoff win, but winning on the road in the playoffs is another matter. 
Pick-Minnesota 



AFC Divisional Playoff 
#5 NY Jets (10-7, AFC #1 Wild Card) @ #2 San Diego Chargers (13-3, AFC West Champions) 
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:40 (CBS) 
Favorite Chargers by 8 
Previous Postseason Meeting This is the teams 2nd postseason meeting The Jets defeated the Chargers 20-17 in OT in the 2004 AFC Wild Card Round 
How They Got Here Chargers won AFC West and earned a bye into the divisional round as the AFC #2 seed, Jets defeated AFC North Champ Bengals 24-14 in wild card round 
Fast Fact Though the Chargers were not the NFL’s highest scoring team, they did score at least 20 points in all 16 games. 
The Jets dawdled for a bit in toying with the Bengals then steadily wore them down in the wild card matchup. The Chargers have been the NFL’s most dominant team over the last 2 ½ months of the season and have won 11 in a row. As long as the Jets solid running game is rolling, the game gets much easier for the precocious QB Mark Sanchez. The problem will come with facing a deeper defense that the Chargers possess add the Jets got torched by the Bengals running game and the questions mount for the Jets. Philip Rivers continues his steady play and though LaDainian Tomlinson has seemed to fall from the elite status, he has the tools to hurt the Jets. The key for the Chargers is spreading the ball around, knowing that Jets shutdown corner Darrelle Revis cant be everywhere. If Rivers does that, they will wear the Jets down who if will not be able to win if Mark Sanchez has to carry the load. The Jets talk tough, but the Chargers are the better team 
Pick-San Diego 

Last Week: 0-4 

Until next time, the view is still better, beer colder, and the view more real up here in the Cheap Seats! Cheers!

Digested or Disgusted on Wildcard Weekend
Category: NFL

 

Now that I have digested Wildcard weekend. I have a question what team  won the race for not showing up? The Eagles I got a little sick of Donovan McNabb on his ass. (I actually turned it off and watched a great College Hockey game). The Bengals  in two weeks they went back to the Bungles. Were wore they?  I get lying down last week and resting those starters. I don’t get not showing up for a playoff game. I give Rex Ryan credit. I also have to send out a class act  award to Mark Sanchez running down the length of the field when the game was over and catching  Marvin Lewis before he left the field to shake his hand.

 

Then there was the Patriots which I had the honor of being at that game. I witnessed first hand Ray Rice running the 83 yards right toward my seat. Wow thanks Mer. Rice. The I witnessed the stripped ball  and another Raven Touchdown right up close. I witnessed a Wes Welker designed offense without Wes Welker how well did that work. Although I must give Wes’s replacement Julian Edelman credit the guy played his heart out.

 

Brady had by far the worst game of his career. Belichick and the play calling was a close second. Geez how many times are going to run a Draw with your third down back. There were a couple of passes designed for Welker and they were thrown to him except he wasn’t on the field. Where was the deep threat to Randy Moss why didn’t they go down the field. We probably well never know because The Patriots brain trust or hasd I like to call the C.O.N.T.R.O.L. will never let us in on it but  it created C.H.A.O.S..

 

I take nothing away from John Harbaugh and his Ravens. They wanted this game and the Patriots put them right into there comfort zone. Run, Run and then Run again. No pressure on Joe Flacco to do anything but hand off the pigskin.  The Ravens  had so much of a lead after the first quarter they didn’t even get a chance to beat themselves. They capitalized on every Patriot mistake and they flat out beat them.

 

At least the Hoop Game between Arizona and Green Bay was entertaining. I  left that Patriots game in plenty of time to watch that one. Except both teams defenses got lost  at Phoenix Universities virtual Campus and never made it to the Stadium.

 

I have no routing interest this week other than being entertained. Let’s face I would have loved a Colts Pats matchup in the AFC Championship Game  just to see the Pats go for it again on 4th and 2. I would have enjoyed Green Bay at Minnesota. To see if Bret Favre was still having fun against his old team . It’s all not to be.

 

Here is the kicker the team that got in because two teams lied down. The Colts and the Bengals. which alowed the Jets in. Now the Jets got some game going and they just may win the whole thing. Honestly, maybe the Jets luckily got in but so far they proved they should be there. We will have to see this week what they are made off. If they should win it all I think Bob Kraft and the rules committee will cry foul. But in reality if they win 4 in the playoffs they deserve it.

 

 I’ll just sit back and take it all in next Sunday my Pats are out but there is still lots of Football to be played and it doesn’t get any better. The disgust is gone and I have digested it all it's time to sitback and enjoy at let it all play out.

QB's of the wildcard weekend
Category: NFL

 The best month of NFL football is January without a doubt.
the Super Bowl is generally played the first Sunday of February but the games leading up to the game feature arguably the best 12 of 32 teams.
All have talent and at least more wins than losses if they make it to the tournament.


The top seeds get the coveted bye week and the rest scramble to get ready to play teams that they are somewhat familiar with. At this time of the season there isn't much fooling or trickery going on...teams are what they are and everybody knows what you are.

Everyone agrees that defense plays a major part in playoff success. This is when top coaches excel and team leaders lead, but ultimately
the 12 teams qualifying for the tournament are depending on there QB's to protect the ball and Lead the team and put them in a position to win.
Playoff experience will matter with your QB and this is how the 12 remaining starters have fared in the playoffs:

Tom Brady     14-3
Brett Farve   12-10
Donovan McNab  9-6
Kurt Warner    8-3
Peyton Manning 7-8
Philip Rivers  3-3
Joe Flacco     2-1
Drew Brees     1-2
Carson Palmer  0-1
Tony Romo      0-2
Aaron Rodgers  0-0
Mark Sanchez   0-0


This weekend I'm thinking Brady and McNab add to their winning records and Sanchez and Rodgers pick up win number one.


enjoy the wildcard weekend games.....what could be better.
 

NFL Wild Card Weekend Picks
Category: NFL

Oh for the times that I should have went with my initial picks. That was what kept me from a 14-2 week. Knowing better than to pick against Pittsburgh, I still went with Miami and my slowness in filing my picks got me some insight that Buffalo was getting set for lake effect snow and that pretty much put the Colts in the deep freeze. But other than that I had a solid 12-4 week to close out the regular season with 177-79 record. Trust me, no one saw the Chiefs beating the Broncos and the Packers-Cards game was a tossup, so I enjoyed hearing the laughs when I picked the Browns for the upset and it happened. I relished the sneers when I said Carolina would beat New Orleans and when I saw Mark Brunell get the start after thinking “Is hestill in this league?” knew that it would be a wrap. And of course, i will take a bow for a perfect season of locks. 17 games, 17 different teams, 17 Locks...not bad if I do say so myself. But its time get real...its playoff
After 256 games, the field has been whittled down to 12. This week only 8 play, as the Saints, Vikings, Colts & Chargers are cooling in their collective Barcoloungers with their respective byes as their conferences top two teams and watching the lower playoff creatures fight it out. The wildcard weekend is usually tossup games between fairly evenly matched teams and this year is no exception, and there is an air of familiarity in these matchups. All of the teams have faced one another. The Ravens lost to the Patriots in Week 4. In a scheduling quirk 3 of the 4 games are rematches of the season finales with two of these three are at the same venue, only the Jets travelling to Cincy to face the AFC North champs is the locale changed. The odds are provided by The Sporting News Daily and is for entertainment and comparison purposes so since I don’t pay off bookies, you’re on your own if you take the line and get beat. 

NFL SCHEDULE – WILD CARD WEEKEND 

Saturday, January 9 
AFC Wild Card 
#5 New York Jets (9-7 AFC #1 Wild Card) @ #4 Cincinnati Bengals (10-6 AFC North Champs) 
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 4:30 (NBC) 
Favorite Bengals by 2½ 
Previous Playoff Meeting: Jets defeated the Bengals 44-17 in 1982 AFC 1st Round 
Fast Fact This game will be played 27 years to the day of the aforementioned Jets playoff win, and that game was on a Saturday as well. 
The Jets laid a hella beating on the Bengals this past Sunday and suddenly have developed a cocksure attitude like it was supposed to go that way, remember this was a team that three weeks ago thought they were out of playoff contention. The media has suddenly rediscovered their love for the Jets and are convinced that beating the Bengals here is a mere formality. For some reason, I just don’t buy it. The Bengals have more or less been in a fog for the past month, having won only once in their last 4 tries but knowing that they had the division sewn up. I think the Bengals played possum last week, treated this game like a 4th preseason game and the Jets overconfidence will be their downfall. Let the Bengals jam the Jets up in their first offensive possession or let the Bengals come out on their first crack at the ball and roll down the field, the Jets will start questioning themselves and the Bengals roll. I don’t see a blowout, but I don’t trust the Jets at all and the Bengals are just snarky enough where they fool everyone into doubting their playoff pedigree. Im likely gonna be made the fool here, but… 
Pick-Cincinnati 


NFC Wild Card 
#6 Philadelphia Eagles (11-5 #2 NFC Wild Card) @ #3 Dallas Cowboys (11-5 NFC East Champs) 
Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, TX 8:00 (NBC) 
Favorite Cowboys by 4 
Previous Playoff Meetings: Eagles defeated Cowboys 20-7 in 1980 NFC Championship, Cowboys defeated Eagles 34-10 in 1992 NFC Divisional Round & 30-11 in 1995 NFC Divisional Round 
Fast Fact The Cowboys had a winning record after Thanksgiving for the first time in 12 years. 
Absolutely taking apart their hated division rivals and taking their 2nd division title in 3 years the Pokes confidence hasn’t been this high in years. Many feel that much maligned QB Tony Romo is finally shaking off the can’t win label that has been dogging him for his entire career. Meanwhile the once flying high Eagles crashed badly in a must win game and looked badly outmanned on both sides of the ball, something that you rarely ever see in an Andy Reid coached team. 
That all said, I do not believe in the Cowboys. I think that their latest run was against teams that had little to play for. Yeah, I know that they dropped the first back to back shutouts in team history. I know that the Pokes offense has shown a balance that they haven’t had in years. But Wade Phillips & Tony Romo have that way of taking a great situation and falling flat on their face. Im just anticipating this in front of a home audience in the gala Jones Playpen will be the swan song for Phillips who has an unwritten win now or else mandate. I think that the Eagles are better than the Cowboys on both sides of the ball and that the Eagles use their blitz a lot more and force Romo into bad decisions, meanwhile Im thinking that the Eagles offense finally wakes up from the 6 quarter offensive slump that they have been in (2nd half against the Broncos, entire game last week) and after this game I have the feeling that Bill Cowher or Brian Billick waits in the wings after this one to be the next glamour coach of the Pokes. 
Pick-Philadelphia 

Sunday, January 10 
AFC Wild Card 
#6 Baltimore Ravens (9-7 #2 AFC Wild Card) @ #3 New England Patriots (10-6 AFC East Champs) 
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 1:00 (CBS) 
Favorite Patriots by 3½ 
This is the first time these teams have met in the playoffs 
Fast Fact New England has won all five meetings between these teams 
The Patriots took a tough hit offensively when leading receiver Wes Welker went down with season ending knee injury. Julian Edelman has big shoes to fill and the Ravens can key even heavier on Randy Moss. That said the Ravens are the toughest team to figure in these playoffs, having looked strong on some points but extremely vulnerable in others. The Ravens running game has been rediscovered, but the passing game has been up and down. The once feared Ravens defense is getting long in the tooth and the hard-hitting safety Ed Reed might not be fully available to play. The Patriots haven’t lost a home playoff game dating back some 30 years and were the only AFC team to not be beaten on their home turf. Though the Ravens are the sexy pick, Im just not sold here. The Patriots work for it but pull out a tight one 
Pick-New England 

NFC Wild Card 
#5 Green Bay Packers (11-5 NFC #1 Wild Card) @ #4 Arizona Cardinals (10-6 NFC West Champs) 
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ 4:30 (FOX) 
Favorite Cardinals by 1 
Previous Playoff Meeting: Packers defeated Cardinals 41-16 in the 1982 NFC 1st round 
Fast Fact The Cards are the first NFC team to win 10 games the year after making the Super Bowl since the 1998 Green Bay Packers 
The Pack shook off what should have been a devastating loss to then winless Tampa Bay, and steamed through a 7-1 second half. Their only loss in this stretch was a (literally) last second loss to the Steelers. They have become the team no one wants to deal with, meanwhile the Cards have been on cruise control for the better part of two months. Only showing an occasional flash of the form that got them the NFC title last year. With the potential losses of Anquan Boldin and Dominque Rogers-Cromartie being painful losses on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, the Cards will lean even heavier on dominant receiver Larry Fitzgerald and hope that they can put enough of pass rush on Aaron Rodgers to force him into mistakes in his first playoff start. 
The Cards shrugged off the loss to the Pack in week 17 and claim that their playoff experience will go a long way, meanwhile the Pack have just been playing better down the stretch. Im seeing a close game, but something tells me that Aaron Rodgers has more weapons at his disposal and with his offensive line play improving steadily, it carries the road team to the (slight) upset 
Pick-Green Bay 

Last Week: 12-4 (Lock & Upset Correct) 
Final Regular Season: 177-79 (.691) 
Locks: A Perfect 17-0 
Upsets: 10-7 (Won 2) 

 

As always, the best  from where we're bundled up (not in snuggies dammit!) and cheering like crazy in the cold from the Cheap Seats!

The Beeze's Thoughts on Josh Cribbs
Category: NFL

 
This may seem nuts, but there has been non-stop Cleveland Browns talk in this town...First all the will Mangini be fired or not talk...Then Holmgren finally showing up, and his first press conference...Then more will Mangini be fired talk...Then Josh Cribbs...

For months there has been all kinds of "Pay Josh Cribbs" talk...There's even a Facebook page...Now some people may be surprised by my thoughts today...But here me out...I joined the "Pay Josh Cribbs" page...I like Josh Cribbs...he's a hard working, hard nosed football player...he also does a lot of work in the community...Often very quietly...Do I think he's underpaid...Yes, by NFL standards he is...But in 2006 he signed a six year, $6.77 million contract extension through 2012...

Cribbs' has wanted a new contract since last off season...I respect that he played through the talks and didn't hold out, and play all those a$$hole games...He went out and busted his a$$ for his team...He did whatever was asked of him...Once again, he was without a doubt, the Cleveland Browns MVP this year...But I've never been a fan of renegotiating contracts...

Now his agent is trying to push the Browns into making Cribbs' contract their #1 priority...How about you let Holmgren get his staff hired first...

Then last night Cribbs comes out and says he's "insulted" by the Browns contract offer of "only" $1.4 million a year...Really? Yeah, it's probably below market value but...Is really a wide receiver? NO...Is he a Quarterback? NO...Is he a running back? NO...He's the best special teams player in the league...Who plays a "Slash" role as well, because he's on one of the worst teams in football...

If I was running the Browns this is how things would go after he said he was insulted..."You're insulted? F**k you!" Then I tear up the offer..."I guess you're gonna have to finish out your existing contract...And no, I won't trade you! If you play that I'm holding out crap...You won't get paid...And I'll sue you for breach of contract."

Like I said...I like Cribbs...And he's a stud...But him and his agent, who has already said, they will ask for a trade if this isn't resolved soon, are both being a couple of dolts...Feel free to suckle me!

Later, The Beeze.

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