Tag Archive: play-offs

Jan 22

NFC and AFC Championship Games: Lisa’s Picks


A year ago, Vikings fans everywhere were picking up supplies for their NFCCG parties. Most Vikings fans thought we would win and go on to our first Super Bowl appearance since the 70’s. In the darkest corners of my brain, I knew that we would not win that game. In the way that I knew that we would pummel the Cowboys, my intuition told me that we wouldn’t be moving past the NFCCG. That nagging sense of doom made the game very tough to watch. Unfortunately, the sense of doom was well-founded.

This year, two of our divisional rivals are battling in the NFC Championship Game. What a terrible time for Vikings fans. I’d much rather see the Eagles and the Falcons battling for the NFC Championship. But a bird fight was not to be. Instead we have mammals who hibernate in the winter and people who pack crap. Gee, that sounds super exciting!

Here are my picks this week:

AFC

Jets vs Steelers: The Jets are angry. Very, very angry. Apparently that’s a great way for them to play because they certainly put the nay-sayers to shame last weekend when they beat the previously referenced “unbeatable” Patriots. After the game, Tigger Brady needed surgery for a stress fracture in his foot. Gee – didn’t #4 play with one of those and an avulsion fracture for most of the season? These newer models of QBs don’t seem as durable, do they. I don’t like either of these teams. In fact, the reality is that the Super Bowl Champion this year will be a team I hate… and we’ll be forced to watch all of those terrible commercials with their stupid fans jumping around as their damn team wins the game. Great! But I digress. Jets 28, Steelers 24.

NFC

Packers vs Bears: Sweet babies Odin & Thor. This is a horrendous turn of events. The last truly fabulous thing that happened in the NFC this year was the Seahawks beating the Saints. Let me marinade with that delicious outcome for a moment……… and I’m back. I’m back to the harsh reality that either the Packers or the Bears will be going to the Super Bowl this year. Personally, I can’t think of a team that deserves it less. Oh, well… maybe the Saints. But let’s look at the truth: The Bears played against back-up QBs for 37.5% of their games. That’s right: 6 times out of 16 games the Bears faced the aerial stylings of these elite QBs: Drew Stanton, Joe Webb, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shaun Hill, Jimmy Clausen and Tyler Thigpen. Yes, indeed, you’re right – there are three THIRD string QBs in there. The Bears’ record in those games? 6-0. The Packers, of course, wouldn’t even be in the post season were it not for the officials awarding them a TD for a Quarless “catch” against the Vikings… that clearly was not a catch. In that same game, the officials ruled a Shiancoe TD a NON-TD, thereby handing the Packers the game… and then called on Monday to say, “Oops… you know that actually WAS a TD. Sorry boys!” So… if not for the horrendous officiating in that game, the Packers would NOT have made it to the post-season. Which is how it should have been. Bears 24, Packers 19.

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Jan 16

Sunday: A Mixed Bag for Air Travel


Sunday brought the interesting match ups of the Seahawks vs the Bears and the Jets vs the Patriots. It was a good day to watch the games and only give them half your attention – which is exactly what I did.

Seahawks vs Bears:

It was surprising that the Seahawks made it as far as they did. I don’t think anyone expected them to beat the Bears, and to that end, they did not. I had picked the Bears to win because I thought the weather would be on their side (based on what the weather has been in Minneapolis this week) and it was. Snow was falling pretty hard for part of the game. The Seachickens couldn’t keep up – even though I was secretly rooting for them. Hasselbeck looked like he normally does instead of the guy of the last 2 weeks. His receivers let him down several times… and Jay Cutler avoided playing like Jay Cutler, which is fortuitous for our NFC North rivals. The Bears will host the Packers next weekend in the NFC Championship Game. All I have to say about that is: BEAR DOWN!

Jets vs Patriots:

I think you’ll join me in expressing surprise that the Jets managed to pull out a victory against the Patriots. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that the Jets were embarrassed by the Patriots on that same field. To me, it looked like Tigger Brady never recovered his Bounce Bounce after the bye. He could not drive his team up and down the field at will as he usually does. Just yesterday every pundit in the world was predicting a Patriot’s victory… in the Super Bowl – because they were unbeatable. In waltzes the Jets…. and the Patriots get to sit the next 2 game out like 28 (Conference Championship Game) and 30 (Super Bowl) other teams are and will. Bet ya no one in Boston saw that coming!

So now we all wait to see who will win the AFC and the NFC. Will the Jets surprise the #2 seeded Steelers? Will the #6 seed in the NFC that shall remain nameless be the victor when they head to Soldier Field next week? Jeeeeezzzzz…. I hope not! But stay tuned – the Super Bowl contenders will emerge next weekend. I hope I do better with those picks than I did this last week!

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Jan 16

Saturday: A Bad Day to Be a Bird


I was at a play-off party on Saturday, so my usual detailed commentary & snarkiness may be reduced in this post given that I was not fully concentrating on evaluating performance. I’ll start like this: Saturday did not go as I had hoped.

Steelers vs Ravens:

I don’t like the Steelers. Never have. I don’t like Ben Roethlisberger; ergo, I do not wish for the Steelers to go to the Super Bowl. They certainly played far better than the Ravens yesterday. Joe Flacco needs to learn how to throw the ball away and his receivers need to re-learn how to catch.

Packers vs Falcons:

I had high hopes for the Falcons… and by that I mean that I hoped they would beat the crap out of the Packers and then lose to the Bears. Where was Matty Ice yesterday? I had expected the Falcons to be rested up and rarin’ to go. Instead, they resembled the Key Stone Cops at times. Their defense was terrible as the game wore on. I was excited when they knocked the ball out of Jenning’s hands in the first quarter – and then proceeded to return a kick for a TD. That all looked great, right up until they imploded. I have to confess that I didn’t even bother watching most of the 4th quarter and talked to others at the party instead.

So – two teams I wanted out of the picture soldier on – one to Soldier Field while the other will be hosting the Jets. Definitely not what I had envisioned.

Do the Steelers have what it takes to beat the Jets? Will the NFC North match up end with the hated Green & Gold headed to Dallas? I guess we’ll all find out together next weekend!

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Jan 14

NFL Divisional Round: Lisa’s Picks


Last week saw some incredibly fun games (see: Colts’ loss, Saints’ loss). There were also some games – or one – that wasn’t so fun (see: Philadelphia’s loss). Damn those Packers. Boo. Will this weekend feature the NFC North or will the division get knocked out? Find out below! Well – you won’t find out – I don’t have ESP – but you’ll find out what I think at least.

Here are my picks this week:

SATURDAY

  • Ravens at Steelers: Joe Flacco vs Ben Roethlisberger in the land of Steel. The Ravens looked good against the Chiefs last weekend, but something tells me that the only way they could have looked better is if they had been playing the Seachickens. Oh… wait… that didn’t work out too well for those Aints! But I digress. This may not be the popular choice for this game, but I think the Steelers will be slow coming off their bye and I hear Troy Polamalu’s hair will be flat. Ravens 28, Steelers 21.
  • Packers at Falcons: Clay Matthews’ name is being brandied about for Defensive Player of the Year. I’ll be writing soon about how ridiculous it is to assume that he should win it. Yes, people, I will be backing up that analysis with actual STATS. That’s how you can tell I’m not a Packer fan. But I digress. We already know which QB is clutch between Rodgers and Ryan. Ryan may be alphabetically behind Rodgers, but he’s the better QB. Falcons 24, Packers 20.

SUNDAY

  • Seahawks at Bears: Oh, I do love me some Seachickens. They made my whole weekend last week. The Bears let the Packers win (or did they?) during week 17, when they should have been focusing on momentum. Now they’ve had a week off while the Seahawks are coming off a stunning upset with the momentum in their favor. If this game were being played in Seattle, I would pick the Seahawks without hesitation. Unfortunately, I think the Bears may have weather on their side. Damn snowmageddon. Bears 21, Seahawks 19.
  • Jets at Patriots: Oh dear Odin – the last time these two teams met, the Jets were blown out of the water. Let’s be honest – we know the Jets really have no business being in the play-offs. They’re there because the league was so mediocre this year – and they just happened to be less mediocre than others. They’re not making it past Tigger Brady and his Bounce Bounce aerial attack. Starting Sunday night, Rex Ryan can spend more time with that wife I hear he’s been neglecting. Patriots 38, Jets 17.

Those are my picks this week. Only 2 weeks left. May the best team win. As long as it’s not the Packers. Skol!

Vote for your own picks!

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Jan 05

NFL Wild Card Round: Lisa’s Picks


Well, I can honestly say that this post-season isn’t nearly as fun as last post-season. I can still recall laughing until I cried when the Packers lost to the Cardinals. ARodg fumbling the ball and then drop kicking it right into the arms of a defender… just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. But I digress.

Here are my picks for this week.

AFC

  • Jets vs Colts: I am so tired of seeing the Colts in the play-offs. Am I the only one who gets tired of seeing Peyton Manning’s spongy cheeks smushed into his helmet, knowing that his forehead is just waiting to pop out? That’s not really germane to who will win this game, but it always feels good to mock Peyton. I don’t see the Jets winning this one. I believe peaking in the first 5 weeks of the season never bodes well later in the year. Colts 28, Jets 19.
  • Ravens vs Chiefs: I wish I could find something funny to say about this match up. I can’t pick on Matt Cassel since he had an appendectomy a few weeks back. And I already stated that the Baltimore paper stated that the Ravens weren’t a championship team. Seems that other cities may actually have media that is more negative than ours. I didn’t think that was possible. I’m really just trying to delay my pick on this by writing more. I’ll stop. Ravens 24, Chiefs 21

NFC

  • Packers vs Eagles: A few posts ago, I gave the reasons I thought the Packers would lose this game. I actually thought it out, people – I didn’t just default to my natural opinion of the Packers, which is that they suck. I actually proved it out! I’m a little worried about Vick stating that he’s only at 75%. I can’t have the Packers win this one… I really want to write a post about how even Tarvaris Jackson hasn’t lost TWO play-off games. Eagles 28, Packers 24.
  • Saints vs Seahawks: Well, the Seahawks “won” their division with a losing record. And man – do I hate the Saints. I am so tired of seeing those stupid Saints commercials during games. We get it, NFL. You gave them a championship. Please try not to broadcast it. Did I mention I hate the Saints? That makes this that much harder. Saints 31, Seahawks 14.

Now it’s time for YOUR picks! Don’t forget to vote!

   

     

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Jan 02

Seahawks Earn the NFC #4 Seed with a Losing Record


History was made in Seattle tonight. For the first time in NFL history, a team with an overall losing record, in this case 7-9, has won their division and has secured the #4 seed for the 2010 Play-Offs.

I hadn’t believed that this would actually happen tonight. I had picked the Rams to win even though the Seahawks had home-field advantage. The Seahawks had lost 7 of their last 10 games and had a disappointing 2009 season before that, so it looked like their 2010 season would end with a whimper.

But the Rams melted down tonight. Bradford was rattled by the constant rush of the Seahawks’ defense while his receiver dropped ball after ball. Prior to the game, I thought the hysteria surrounding the possibility of a 7-9 team making the play-offs would be a moot point, having predicted a Rams win. If the Rams had won – they would have gone in at 8-8.

But, I was wrong. And the worst case scenario has occurred. There have been calls to change the seeding for the play-offs and make it at the conference level instead of the division level. Others have suggested breaking up the currently weaker AFC and NFC West divisions to spread the mediocrity around.

I think neither should occur. This is the first time this has happened. It’s obviously an anomaly. If the seeding is changed to the conference level, there are divisions that may never have representation, which hardly seems fair. If today’s weaker divisions are commingled with other divisions, it would break up rivalries and potentially have the unintended consequence of diluting the other divisions that are impacted.

I think the NFL should leave the process as it is today. I’m not a big fan of statements like “we’ve always done it this way” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but in this case I think the status quo is the best way for play-off berths to be determined. What do you think?

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Dec 29

Week 17 Match Up: Bears vs Packers


The Chicago Bears were 3rd in the division last year. This year, they did what the Packer fans predicted their team would do: they won the NFC North. The Packers are hoping that the Bears sit their starters so that they can sneak into a Wild Card spot, despite losing to perennial powerhouses like… the Lions. Is Chicago a pretender? Will the horrid Packers sneak into a play-off spot due to several games being handed to them by the officials?

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Dec 29

Week 17 Match Up: Vikings vs Lions


The Vikings are coming off an incredible upset on the first Tuesday night football game since 1946. The Lions are on a 3 game winning streak and no longer resemble the Lions team we’ve loved for years for their ability to hand us 2 guaranteed wins each season. What does the season finale hold for these two teams who will conclude their 2010 season this weekend?

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