Implied Dissent

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Playoffs, Week 3

Last week I went 1-3, bringing me to 4-4 (both ways). Hmm. I do have to say, though, that some people are acting like the entire weekend was shocking, when I'd say that 2 of those 'upsets' were not shocking at all. Not what I expected, but easy to understand and not shocking. The Cards blowing out the Panthers in Carolina? Yes, that was shocking, but not the Eagles or Ravens winning.
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals, Eagles favored by 1.5. The questions we have to ask are, are the Cards really this good? And can we trust the Eagles to not let up? Looking at the win in Carolina, I think the conclusion is more that the Panthers handed them the game than that Arizona won, though they did play well. However, I also think the Eagles won as much because of issues the Giants were having as because they played all that well. Looking at the whole season, the Cards did play quite well at home, while the Eagles' only quality road wins have been against Plaxless Giants and Tavaris Jackson. Hmm. If Boldin is effective I like this pick even more, but even without him I'm going with the Cards. Cardinals 23, Eagles 20.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers favored by 2. I like the Ravens. They have the best defense in the NFL, a QB who avoids mistakes (though he did get lucky a couple times last time), and excellent coaching. However, the Steelers D is nearly as good, their coaching is about equal and its QB is decidedly better. The key seems to me to be that the Ravens are based on power and are about average speed-wise, while the Steelers are decent power-wise but very fast. As such field conditions seem paramount, and the forecast is for cold and snow. As long as the snow is light the cold should make the footing good, favoring the hosts. Steelers 17, Ravens 13.

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