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:: Sunday, January 18, 2009 ::

:: Football Playoffs 2008: Conference Finals Picks ::
Seasons like this is why I love football. Like millions of people have already said, anyone can beat anybody at any time... unless you're Detroit. Did anyone else think that Arizona could beat Carolina besides me? I thought it'd be a nail biter but it wasn't even close. Of course, no one thought that Jake Delhomme would suddenly become Ryan Leaf and that the Panther's otherwise solid defense would have bigger holes than a used-up porn star. I know I already wrote about this in my recap but come on NOBODY saw this happening... except me. Just saying.

That being said, there's the distinct possibility of going 0-2 this weekend just because there's way too many intangibles to consider in either game to make a confident, clear-cut pick. Despite their hot streak, Philly is favored by 4 points, which I think is the oddsmaker's way of saying "we have no idea how this game is going to turn out". Yeah.

Anyway, on to my picks:

Arizona over Philly:
Why not ride the hot streak? Arizona has a the best wide receiver tandem and Kurt Warner is playing like he's in his early 30s again, and they have a revived defense and running game. Philly's best playmaker Brian Westbrook is injured and QB Donovan McNabb still has a penchant for overthrowing his receivers. The game is in Arizona and Philly is 3-4-1 on the road. This is similar to what I was saying about the Cardinals last week except for some reason, these reasons seem to make more sense with this game.

There's also this: In Week 17, The Cardinals beat the Seahawks, then beat the Falcons in Round 1. Now they could beat the Eagles in the Division finals and depending on how the late game plays out, face the Ravens in the Super Bowl. That means the smallest, meekest bird might beat every other team named after a bird, and those are, at least in nature, larger, deadlier birds of prey. Don't ask me why but I find this very, very entertaining.

(On the other hand the Cardinals lost to the Jets in Week 4. Kinda ironic given the news about the river landing this week. I mean sure, the birds sucked into the engine died but they did after all, take down a jet-engine airplane, which was the point in the football sense. I'm overthinking this, aren't I?)

Pittsburgh over Baltimore:
This game isn't that much different, yet it's very different. Unlike the high-flying (can't let go of the bird analogy) passing offenses of the first game, this will be a drawn-out defensive matchup where you're going to see some big hits and a few key injuries. It'll be glorious.

The Steelers, like the Cards, are on a roll, except the excellent defense has been carrying a sneaky efficient offense capable of a big play or two. The Ravens have to know that they got lucky last week since Tennessee's offense suddenly got a bad case of butterfingers. For all the hype about rookie QB Joe Flacco, he's complete only 20 of 43 pass attempts. The Steelers don't have any big holes to exploit and Tennessee showed you could move the chains against the Ravens. Baltimore's their defense creates turnovers but I don't see their offense being able to convert those opportunities. This is the only game that seems to follow conventional NFL logic. I'd love to see an all-aviary Super Bowl but I just don’t see that happening.

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 1:06 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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