And then there were four. Out of my original picks from before the playoffs started two of my teams made it to the Divisional Championships, New England and San Francisco. Not bad, fifty percent ain’t bad at all. Considering that Seattle and Denver were both a few plays away from moving on I didn’t get blown out. Had I put money down on these games I would have beaten the spread on all but the Denver game. Ended up in the positive, could of helped pay my rent, had a nice dinner. Im ok with that.
But Denver running out the clock, I don’t understand it. I am not ok with that. When I watched the last two minutes of the fourth and the two overtime quarters I was in a perpetual cringed, YOU HAVE PEYTON FUCKING MANNING, THROW THE GODDAM BALL!. Ok I didn’t cringe, I spat in disgust. Maybe Peyton’s lack of arm strength finally caught up with him after coming back from the surgery. Perhaps the cold had rendered him ineffective. Or John Fox saw something in the way he was throwing he just didn’t trust after Peyton threw that last interception, the play that has always dogged him, that one mistake. Bastards, both of them. Is Baltimore the second best team in the AFC? Yes, they proved it. Flacco played the way I have always thought he would play, Tory Smith and Anquan Boldin are both top ten receiver, Ray Rice is fitting into his new role extremely well, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, T-Suggs they did what they needed to do. It was a great win for Baltimore. They stole a victory from Peyton Manning, in the snow, in Denver. Bravo.
My other team, Seattle, fought hard and came within a field goal of moving on to the next round. I was sad to see them go. Atlanta survived this game, they didn’t win it. At halftime, I have to admit, I felt pretty stupid. Seattle looked like it wasn’t in the same league as Atlanta. But after two quarters of embarassment they did what great teams do. Pete Carroll and his Seahawks came out of the locker room after halftime with a new strategy, shut down Atlanta’s offense, and finished strong with 28 second quarter points to take the lead. Matt Ryan, Matty Ice, horrible fucking nickname, then did the elite quarterback thing. He put his team on his back and set them up for the game winning field goal. Not overly impressive but he did get the job done. Do I think they Atlanta is the best team in the NFC? No, they proved nothing. They figured it out at home and they scraped by the upstart underdogs. I am not impressed. Seattle should have taken that game and I am sad to see them go.
On the other side of the NFC we have the 49er’s, with whom I am very impressed. I picked them to beat the Packers but I didn’t expect them to win the way they did. Any doubt that I had about Jim Harbaugh making the wrong choice concerning Kaepernick has been completely obliterated. Kaepernick had one of the best performances you will ever see from a quarterback (or any player for that matter), ever. In his first playoff game no less. Good God dam that man can play. Is he the best throwing quarterback, no. In fact he is the least polished passer left in the playoffs. But, the guy usually makes the right decision. He knows when to hold um, when to show em, when to walk away, and when to run. I will never again doubt a Harbaugh. There is a reason half of the coaching playoff tree is filled with Harbaugh’s. These guys played the game, they are loved by their players, and they get it. They are progressive, defensive minded coaches, with young talent that run a balanced attack. San Francisco will roll Atlanta, most likely take a shit on them and head to the Super Bowl, no doubt.
New England, Tom Brady, Bill Bellichick, what can you say. They are the best team in the NFL, again. The only reason Houston was able to score more than three points the entire game was because New England went into prevent defense in the fourth quarter and gave them fifteen points. That is embarrassing but not surprising. I don’t talk about the Patriot’s a lot because they make me angry. They are the Yankees of football. Not the old, shitty, over paid Yankees we have today, the murder’s row Yankees, the Jeter, Pettit, Rivera, and Posada in there prime Yankees. They are expected to win. Maybe the Patriots are not always the most talented team but they are always the best built team. They lost Gronkowski and never even missed him, Wes Welker is considered a top ten receiver in their system when he probably wouldn’t start on half of the other teams in the league. Last night Danny Woodhead went down, Shane Vereen took his place and scored three touchdowns. WHO THE FUCK IS SHANE VEREEN? I don’t know, you don’t know, 99.9% of NFL analysts don’t know. You know who does know? Bill Bellichick. This dude finds players that fit his system like nobody else, ever. He is the puzzle master. Five Super Bowl appearances in twelve years is an accomplishment within itself. The fact that they won three of them and had it not been for the Giants pulling off two of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history would have won all five is incredible. I say fuck Tom Brady, even though he will do down as possibly the best quarterback ever. I don’t know why but I just don’t like they guy. Maybe it’s his golden boy post game interview media speak, maybe its his UGG adds, or his supermodel wife, whatever it is about him I would like to kick him in the teeth. Bellichick is an asshole too, but I respect him. He isn’t flashy he is just a football coach. But the truth is there isn’t a team in recent football memory that is more galvanizing, more impressive, and more dominate than New England. I would like to pick Baltimore to beat them this weekend but I just don’t buy it. I can’t bet against that resume. Use your eyeballs, the numbers, your gut, whatever you use, New England wins in every category. So yea, I pick New England to get to the Super Bowl.
So I have San Francisco beating Atlanta handily. I would say 34 to 17. And I have the Patriots beating the Ravens but in a closer game. say 34 to 28. As far as a Super Bowl pick goes I don’t know yet. But I will let you know.