Monday, January 16, 2006

What A Weekend

“Anyone with a modicum of NFL knowledge should be able to pull off a .500 gambling record.”
-Me on Friday

Yes, today I’m going to sulk about these picks, mainly because there’s not much to talk about. In fact, if I didn’t require myself to update this site daily, I’d probably just take the day off. So here’s what went wrong in the Divisional Round.

Seattle laying nine to Washington
I thought it was a solid bet. Everything indicated it was a solid bet. And then they played the game. Of course, it might not have been such a gambling nail biter had Shaun Alexander not taken a knock to the skull, but dems the breaks in football.

Thankfully, the cards stopped toppling for Seattle after that. They got a lucky break on a coin-flip pass interference call at the end of the first half, and put together two quality scoring drives (12 plays, 74 yards and 10 plays, 81 yards).

It was heartbreaking for Redskins fans, really, to see Mark Brunell throw for 242 yards, a TD and no picks in a losing effort. Against any other team…

New England taking three from Denver
The logic: don’t bet against a streak. The reality: it’s going to end some time. And because of this, I’m not too miffed at dropping this game.

Let’s be realistic here. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick vs. Mike Shanahan and Jake Plummer. Seriously, I couldn’t fathom wagering any other way. Only with Marty McFly’s Sports Almanac would I have put money or any other form of investment on the Broncos.

When was the last time New England turned the ball over five times in a game? I’m sure one of the astute broadcasters mentioned this nifty stat some time during the program, but I’ve all but tuned out playoff voices at this point. Has any team won a game in the playoffs where they turned the ball over five times? I can’t imagine so. Then again, maybe it happened ONCE. Maybe I should pay more attention to the broadcasters.

Then again, on second thought…

Colts laying nine to Pittsburgh
Note to self: when a fan of a team thinks his team is going to get destroyed, don’t blindly buy into his logic. Sure, that’s not the ONLY reason I picked Indianapolis with the spread, but it helped smooth out my reasoning.

Remember when you were preparing for the SATs? Remember the advice given to you by every teacher: if in doubt, go with your first instinct. Well, let’s take a page from that book:

I wrote four paragraphs of narrative on this game, and just deleted them all. Why? Because I had originally picked Pittsburgh.
-Me on Friday

I figured that Pittsburgh had a defensive scheme that would throw off Manning and Co. for at least half the game, and by the time they made an adjustment, it would have been too late to run up the score. Ultimately, I was right to an extent, but I thought about it too much. I weighed X and Y and Z, and even chimed in with this gem:

here is only one Troy Polamalu in the Steelers secondary. If there were two or three guys like him, Manning might have found himself in quite a pickle. But Troy can’t blitz, step up into a robber, and cover the deep ball all in the same play.

No, Joe, you idiot! You only need ONE Troy Polamalu, and das it. I will never again make the mistake of underestimating the power of a single explosive player.

Note to Mike Vanderjagdt: every single player out there wants to throw his helmet down after a botched play, but they have traits like self control, respect, and some level of maturity. If I was running things out in Indy, Vandy would be cut immediately. Seeing his eyes all red and on the verge of tears actually made me happy.

The lesson: never bet on a Manning in the playoffs.

Chicago laying three to Carolina
Looks like I’m picking Carolina over Seattle next week, as I stated in my picks. I might think about reneging on that deal, since DeShaun Foster will be inactive, leaving all the touches to Nick “When the Goings Get Tough, The Tough Get” Goings.

Is there a more inaccurate passer in the NFL than Rex Grossman? And I don’t want to hear excuses about his “rust,” because if it was that much of an issue, he should have left the job to “Uh Oh” Orton, who held da Bears together for most of the season. Seriously folks, 17 for 41 is just Goddamn ridiculous. Take note, Chicago: there are a few QBs this draft that might be of interest like Reggie McNeal of Texas A&M and Omar Jacobs of Bowling Green. Just a suggestion.