Implied Dissent

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Playoff Picks

The playoffs start today. Here are my (use at your own risk) picks:
Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals, Falcons favored by 2. Like every other game this weekend, this one is a tossup. However, I think that people are somewhat underrating the Cardinals. They certainly aren't great, but they are good, especially at home. Throw in a rookie QB for the opposition, and I'm taking them. If I'm wrong, it'll likely be because of Atlanta's running game advantage, or because Matt Ryan continues to outperform reasonable expectations, but I think 'Zona's passing attack will carry the day. Cardinals 27, Falcons 20.
Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers, Colts favored by 3. A lot of people are really impressed by how the Chargers ended the regular season, but I think how their opponents played had as much to do with it as how the Chargers did. It is true that they generally play the Colts very well, and that the Colts great win streak included a lot of easy games, but they are also definitively playing very well. Manning's MVP award was well deserved. Add in LDT's injuries, and Norv Turner as San Diego's head coach, and I'm taking the Colts. Colts 27, Chargers 21.
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins, Ravens favored by 2.5. I think this is the toughest call. I'd say that Miami is the weakest team in the playoffs, but I like their QB, both RBs, the coaching and the rest of the team is solid. The Ravens have a pretty good offense, but it is lead by a rookie QB, and only decent RBs. If they could lean on the RBs more, they might get away with Flacco at the helm, but I suspect he'll follow in the footsteps of nearly every other rookie QB on the road in the playoffs and be shaky. Fortunately for Baltimore, that's probably just enough to pull it out, given their stellar defense. Ravens 16, Dolphins 13.
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings, Eagles favored by 3. The Vikings are hampered by a terrible QB, but have a tremendous running game. Unfortunately, Philly has an excellent run defense, which I suspect will contain Peterson and Taylor (enough). On the other side, Minnesota's defense will also excel against the run, but Philly can take advantage of it through the air. I can't say I'd be shocked if Philly shits a brick, but I don't think it will happen. Eagles 27, Vikings 17.

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