AFC & NFC Conference Championship Picks

January 17, 2014

AFC Championship – Patriots at Broncos (Sunday 3pm)
Both teams have injuries.  Both teams can run the ball.  And oh yeah, both teams have marquee QB’s as it’s Brady vs. Manning for the 15th time in their storied rivalry.  In the passing game, Denver has the more talented weapons (D.Thomas, J.Thomas, Welker, Decker, Tamme vs. Edelman, Amendola, Vereen and crew).  Certainly revenge is on the Broncos mind after blowing a gift-wrapped 24-0 lead in Foxboro in November. But, can the Pats do just enough to keep Manning off his game (as they have in the past)?  Heart says Pats, head says Broncos.
Players to watch: (NE: Shane Vereen / Den: Monte Ball).
Winner: Broncos

NFC Championship – 49ers at Seahawks (Sunday 6:30pm)

Hands down, the 49ers are playing their best ball right now.  Three straight road wins (Arizona, Green Bay and Carolina) speak to that.  The difference could come at QB.  Colin Kaepernick has had less than stellar results in two straight one-sided losses in Seattle.  On the other side, Russell Wilson’s in a prolonged month-long slump.  If Seattle’s offense can’t make big plays, they won’t make it to NY/NJ.
Players to watch: (SF: Anquan Boldin / Sea: Doug Baldwin)
Winner: 49ers

Last week: 4-0
Season: 172-90-1

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NFL Divisional Playoff Picks

January 10, 2014

Saints at Seahawks (Saturday 4:35pm)
Rain and a a very loud 12th man in Seattle could stunt that stout Saints offense.  So could a very good Seahawks defense.  The x-factor will be the very inconsistent QB play of Russell Wilson.  Which ones shows up could be the difference between a blowout and an upset.
Winner: Seahawks

Colts at Patriots (Saturday 8:15pm)
After all is said and done, it’ll be the Patriots running game that should be the difference.  The Patriots are almost a lock in the Divisional Round after getting the 1st round bye (only a loss to the Jets in the 2010 Playoffs blemishes the Brady/Belichick record).  That having been said, the Colts and Andrew Luck should still be around to make things interesting in the fourth quarter Saturday night.
Winner: Patriots

49ers at Panthers (Sunday 1pm)
SF is hands down playing the best football in the NFL right now.  Home, away, warm, cold, rain, snow, it hasn’t mattered lately.  The question is can the Panthers defense hold the Niners down long enough (like they did in November in SF) so that Cam Newton and the Panthers offense can make enough plays to win.
Winner: 49ers

Chargers at Broncos (Sunday 4:40pm)
It’s the spot Peyton Manning fans dread most.  The 1 and done spot. Peyton’s 9-11 playoff record speaks to that in the 3rd matchup of the season between these two (each winning on the road). It’s hard to see Manning acting like Andy Dalton did last week.
Winner: Broncos

Last week: 2-2
Season: 168-90-1


Full NFL Playoffs Schedule – 2013

December 30, 2013

WILD CARD ROUND
Saturday, Jan. 4
Chiefs at Colts, 4:35 p.m.(NBC)
Saints at Eagles winner, 8:10 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Jan. 5
Chargers at Bengals, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
49ers at Packers, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)

DIVISIONAL ROUND
Saturday, Jan. 11
TBA at Seahawks, 4:35 p.m. (FOX)
TBA at Patriots, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Jan. 12
TBA at Panthers, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
TBA at Broncos, 4:40 p.m. (CBS)

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sunday, Jan. 19
3p AFC Championship (CBS)
630p NFC Championship (FOX)

SUPER BOWL XLVIII
Sunday, Feb. 2
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., 6:30 p.m. (FOX)


NFL Picks – Week 15

December 12, 2013

Chargers at Broncos (Thursday 8:25pm)
The Chargers have a knack for playing well in Denver (having won 3 of the last 4). No Wes Welker for the Broncos, but that shouldn’t stop them.
Winner: Broncos

Patriots at Dolphins (Sunday 1pm)
Life without Gronk (again) begins anew for New England. Will the Dolphins be the first beneficiaries?
Winner: Patriots

Redskins at Falcons (Sunday 1pm)
Washington is a mess even though the fallout may be that the Skins field a better QB this week with Kirk Cousins in for RGIII.
Winner: Falcons

Bears at Browns (Sunday 1pm)
Cutler or McCown. That’s the question for the Bears. The question for Cleveland is how do the Browns respond to losing a 13 point lead in 63 seconds in losing at New England last Sunday.
Winner: Browns

Texans at Colts (Sunday 1pm)
The Colts are reeling.  The Texans are reeling more.
Winner: Colts

Bills at Jaguars (Sunday 1pm)
The hottest team in the AFC South plays in Jacksonville. So, for the 2nd straight week, Buffalo will lose to a team that started the season 0-8.
Winner: Jaguars

Eagles at Vikings (Sunday 1pm)
Both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are hurt. Fantasy football players will love Nick Foles this week (again!).
Winner: Eagles

Seahawks at Giants (Sunday 1pm)
Consider this the MetLife Stadium dress rehearsal for Seattle. Opening night should come February 2nd.
Winner: Seahawks

49ers at Bucs (Sunday 1pm)
This one will be closer than you think and could be a trap game for the Niners, coming off an emotional win over the Seahawks.
Winner: 49ers

Jets at Panthers (Sunday 4pm)
Not exactly what the Doctor ordered for the Jets: a trip to Carolina to face an angry Panthers team coming off an awful night in New Orleans last Sunday.
Winner: Panthers

Chiefs at Raiders (sunday 4pm)
If only the Chiefs could face RGIII every Sunday.
Winner: Chiefs

Packers at Cowboys (Sunday 4:25pm)
Can the Cowboys “D” look any worse than they did last Monday night in Chicago? Not facing Aaron Rodgers would help.
Winner: Cowboys

Saints at Rams (Sunday 4:25pm)
Rolling, rolling, rolling. Saints in a Dome keep rolling.
Winner: Saints

Cardinals at Titans (Sunday 4:25pm)
Must win spot for Arizona here to keep pace in the NFC Playoff Chase.
Winner: Cardinals

Bengals at Steelers (Sunday 8:30pm)
If the Bengals are to be real players in the AFC, games like this, on the road against an inferior team, are must wins.  Do you trust the Bengals?
Winner: Steelers

Ravens at Lions (Monday 8:40pm)
We keep saying it, the Lions just can’t stand prosperity.  Home loss here against a team that knows how to win in December would be devastating to the playoff cause.
Winner: Ravens

Last week: 14-2
Season: 135-71-1


NFL Week 14 – Clearing the Deck

December 8, 2013

Clearing the deck for a snowy week 14 of the NFL season…

* The Patriots win the battle (13 points in the final 63 seconds in a comeback vs. Cleveland) but may have lost the war, losing TE Rob Gronkowski with a reported torn ACL.

* The Chargers, Dolphins and Packers survive!

* Yes, NFC, there’s still some fight left in San Francisco.  Just ask Seattle.

* Ditto in the AFC with the Chiefs.

* Can the last one in Washington, DC please turn off the lights? Pitiful.

* The Lions can’t stand prosperity.  The Eagles, in a blinding snowstorm, sure can though.

* If you missed the final few minutes of Ravens/Vikings, do yourself a favor and watch it on replay. Six, yes 6, fourth quarter lead changes!

* Somehow, the Cardinals continue to win. Yet, at 8 wins, they’re on the outside looking in for the NFC Playoffs.

* Don’t look now, but the Bengals are still undefeated at home and looks like they’ll be there for at least one playoff game this January.

* The Broncos put up 51 points against the Titans, but keep an eye on Wes Welker, who suffered in second concussion in less than a month.


NFL Picks – Week 12

November 21, 2013

Saints at Falcons (Thursday 8:25pm)
At one time, this would’ve been a must see game. Not this week.
Winner: Saints

Jets at Ravens (Sunday 1pm)
It’s Rex Ryan and Ed Reed’s homecoming.  The guests should be very helpful to the home team.
Winner: Ravens

Panthers at Dolphins (Sunday 1pm)
Can you say “trap game” for the Panthers, coming off an emotional win Monday night over the Patriots?
Winner: Panthers

Bucs at Lions (Sunday 1pm)
This will be better than you think.
Winner: Lions

Steelers at Browns (Sunday 1pm)
The Browns shouldn’t be giving as many gifts as the Lions did last week to Pittsburgh.
Winner: Browns

Vikings at Packers (Sunday 1pm)
Hard to believe that this is a must win already for the Packers.
Winner: Packers

Jaguars at Texans (Sunday 1pm)
The Battle for the #1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is on in Houston.
Winner (or is that loser): Texans

Chargers at Chiefs (Sunday 1pm)
Two words for Jamaal Charles: “field day.”
Winner: Chiefs

Bears at Rams (Sunday 1pm)
To say that Chicago is having 2nd thoughts about a long-term deal for the injured Jay Cutler is an understatement.
Winner: Bears

Colts at Cardinals (Sunday 4pm)
Hard to believe that at the end of the day, these two teams will have the same record.
Winner: Cardinals

Titans at Raiders (Sunday 4:25pm)
Run, run, run Rashard Jennings.
Winner: Raiders

Cowboys at Giants (Sunday 4:25pm)
Eli Manning owns the Cowboys.  If that stays true, Giants would be 5-6 after an 0-6 start. Wow!
Winner: Giants

Broncos at Patriots (Sunday 8:30pm)
How often do you see the Pats have a two game losing streak in November?  It’ll be cold in Foxboro Peyton.
Winner: Patriots

49ers at Redskins (Monday 8:40pm)
Time for both RGIII and Colin Kaepernick to get well here.
Winner: 49ers

Last week: 9-5
Season: 105-56


NFL Picks – Week 11

November 14, 2013

Colts at Titans (Thursday 8:25pm)
Who will bounce back faster: the Colts from a 30-point loss to the Rams or the Titans from a woeful loss to the previously winless Jags?
Winner: Colts

Jets at Bills (Sunday 1pm)
Does anyone really know what to expect from either of these two teams?
Winner: Bills

Ravens at Bears (Sunday 1pm)
No Jay Cutler for the Bears should keep the Ravens around for awhile.
Winner: Bears

Browns at Bengals (Sunday 1pm)
Are the Browns really on the way up? Are the Bengals really on the way back down?
Winner: Bengals

Raiders at Texans (Sunday 1pm)
This game could personify ugliness.
Winner: Texans

Cardinals at Jaguars (Sunday 1pm)
Don’t look now, but the Cards are in the thick of the NFC playoff picture.
Winner: Cardinals

Redskins at Eagles (Sunday 1pm)
The only downside for Philly could be that they’re actually playing the game in Philly.
Winner: Eagles

Lions at Steelers (Sunday 1pm)
Could the Lions actually get the three-peat of ending losing streaks in Green Bay, Washington and Pittsburgh all in one year?
Winner: Lions

Falcons at Bucs (Sunday 1pm)
This season can’t end fast enough for the Falcons who now have TE Tony Gonzalez injured (toe).
Winner: Bucs

Chargers at Dolphins (Sunday 4pm)
Miami just lost to the previously winless Bucs, the NFL investigation into the Jonathan Martin case is underway and now, things will get worse against the Chargers.
Winner: Chargers

49ers at Saints (Sunday 4:25pm)
Can Colin Kaepernik do it twice in two seasons in the Superdome?
Winner: Saints

Packers at Giants (Sunday 4:25pm)
Four in a row for the Giants?
Winner: Giants

Vikings at Seahawks (Sunday 4:25pm)
Welcome back Percy Harvin.  We’re betting payback is on his mind.
Winner: Seahawks

Chiefs at Broncos (Sunday 8:30pm)
This is part one of the Chiefs two-part test over the next three weeks to determine if they’re for real in 2013.
Winner: Chiefs

Patriots at Panthers (Sunday 8:40pm)
It’s simple: can the Panthers get to 20. The Pats can but it won’t be easy against a stingy Panthers defense.
Winner: Patriots

Last week: 5-9
Season: 96-51