Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sunday Picks

I already did this on the air, but for the blog purposes, here are the picks for today. Please keep in mind, I am not very good at picking games, and would never fancy myself to be a game handicapper. Frankly, I don't gamble on sports, don't understand those that do, and certainly don't feel bad if you lose money because of one of my hunches. But with that being said, here we go:

Atlanta at Philadelphia: Figuring that weather will play a dramatic role in this game, and figuring that the Eagles will be trying to play themselves as much as Mike Vick, this game is difficult to predict. But, I think if you can believe anything in this world, it is that Jim Johnson, the defensive coordinator of the Eagles, will not back off of his blitzing schemes that have stymied even the most seasoned QB.

The blitz actually should be most effective against Vick. The name of the game against him is to make his arm beat you over his feet. His feet can beat you as he is the fastest man on the field. With snow, he should only get better, as he knows where he is going, but the defenders do not. If you blitz with 8 or 9, then his running lanes are shut down and he will be forced to throw the ball. That is how you beat him.

I would so like to be wrong, but I see Philly finally getting over the hump, and beating the Falcons, 24-17.

New England at Pittsburgh: Ah yes, the game we have all be waiting for. Pittsburgh, likely the most impressive team to be an underdog in a playoff game since the 1972 Dolphins were dogs entering the 72 Super Bowl versus Washington. But, again, I am trusting the coaching of Belichick and the quarterback play of Tom Brady.

Don't underestimate the play of special teams in this one, as the 2001 AFC title game between the same teams at the same stadium was turned on 2 special teams touchdowns from the Patriots. The Patriots are 8-0 in the playoffs with Belichick and Brady, and as far as I am concerned, will not be picked against until they lose.

Patriots 27, Steelers 21


meredith said...

now, are you sure you don't want to watch the game with me and Gribble?

Anonymous said...

ah, aren't sports fun?

JIM said...

Falcons/Eagles is tough to pick the Falcons due to Vick's inconsistent play and his inability to win games with his arm. I see a Philly victory as McNabb and Westbrook should lead their team to a close one. However, The Falcons win if their special teams game steps up, as Allen Rossum should make a big play if they are to advance to Jacksonville.
The Eagles will probably win, but there has to be a part of everyone who hates the Eagles that wants to see an 0-4 in NFC Championship games and 0-3 at home with a Falcons win.
As for Pats/Steelers, it stars and stops with the Quarterbacks. Tom Brady is the proven leader and he has Corey Dillon for this matchup, unlike when they were beat at Heinz Field already this year. With an offense on full strength, the Patriots should be able to meet and beat anything the Steelers post on the scoreboard.

chicogrande said...

Now that the Patriots are in yet another Super Bowl, and Belichick is being compared to the likes of Lombardi, can someone please tell him to lose the sweatshirt and the girly ear-warmer look? He's the best coach out there, but please, let's stop looking like Tony Hawk meets snow bunny.