At long last, the playoffs are upon us. Well, the playoffs are upon us for the NFL anyway; there are still no playoffs for major college football, so we will once again have to settle for a BCS title game with arguably the wrong participants.
Skins at Seahawks – In the their last 26 games at home, Seattle is 22-4. Qwest field is as loud and disruptive an environment as any out there, if not more so. Hasselbeck and Alexander have been playing very well of late (and hey, Hasselbeck’s brain dead sister in law is returning to The View! It must be a sign!). This one seems pretty cut and dried. So I’ll take the Skins in another upset. Joe Gibbs has an even better playoff pedigree than Mike Holmgren and the Skins are really playing as a dedicated team in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Sean Taylor. And Gibbs has a history of playoff runs with quarterbacks pressed into duty out of the dust bin. Todd Collins fits the mold perfectly and Clinton Portis appears healthy.
Jags at Stillers – I don’t know what to make of this one. EW has been riding with the smart money lately on the Jags and they are solid in all aspects of the game. There is something about Rothlisberger that I am always hesitant to bet against; he is one tough kid and a hell of a leader considering how young he is. The absence of Willie Parker is brutal though; the Jags don’t have to worry about breakaway speed from the running game and Rothlisberger’s ability to run play action is hurt. That is the difference; Jags win.
Giants at Buccos – Will Eli be as reliable as one of those Citizen EcoDrive watches? Can the Bucs keep Jeff Garcia protected from the Giants rush? I have no idea on this one; both teams seem flaky to me.
Titans at Bolts – This would a no brainer if we were not talking about the Chargers and Norv Turner. I firmly believe that history has definite patterns and sage lessons to teach, and the history in this regard for the Bolts and Turner is bleak. Vince Young sure isn’t going to be mistaken for Joe Montana any time soon for the beauty and art of his quarterbacking. But he is clearly a winner; and Jeff Fisher knows how to coach em up. Got to go with the Bolts because they are just flat out a way better team; but, man, there is a queasy feeling that comes with that pick.
Big Games That Are Not Playoffs
The Ohio State University versus Louisiana State. BCS Number 1 against BCS Number Two. I guess. Personally, I don’t think either one of these two teams could give USC a good game; but, as Les Miles so eloquently argued, LSU is unbeaten in regulation. So was Al Gore; how did that work out? Both of these teams are very good and well coached. They both unquestionably deserve to be in BCS bowl games. It doesn’t really matter, at this point, if they truly belong in the title game or not, because they are in it. I am rooting for Ohio State because I promised KLynn I would; and I shall do so with enthusiasm. Fret not, when the Aspens start turning next fall, I will be back to my usual blood lust for the Big-10 and the universe will return to it’s normal harmonic balance. How bout them Buckeyes!
I am thinking you folks may have some opinions on all this. Do tell.