Friday, January 06, 2006

Wildcard weekend

The NFL playoffs kickoff this weekend. The quality of the AFC teams is very strong. Indianapolis is the favorite to get to and win the Superbowl, as they should be. But, they could fall, and if they do, there will be several teams waiting to pick up Indy’s misplaced invitation to the superbowl. New England poses the biggest threat to the Colts, as they know how to beat them; hit the receivers at the line of scrimmage to screw up their timing and attack Peyton. The Patriots, due to their history, Broncos and Bengals all have a realistic shot at getting to the Superbowl.

The NFC is less intriguing, as I view Chicago and Seattle as the only real threats to reach the Superbowl. Frankly, I am not too enamored with the Seahawks. They had the luxury of playing in the NFC west where they played the 49ers, Cardinals and Rams twice.

Here is how I see the playoff scenario breaking down. Washington will beat Tampa Bay and the Giants will win at home versus the Panthers. New England has no problem with Jacksonville and Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh at home. The seahawks and bears beat the Giants and Redskins at home. The Colts finally take care of the Patriots and deliver Tom Brady his first playoff loss ever. Cincinnati upsets the Broncos. The Colts face the Bears in Detroit in what turns out to be a laugher as the Colts cruise over the Bears.

Money’s Trip to the Bank

Saturday January 7

WASHINGTON +2.5 at Tampa Bay (winner)
Both teams have great defenses and like to run. Washington has a better running back and a veteran quarterback giving them the edge.

NEW ENGLAND -7.5 vs. Jacksonville (winner)
I don’t think Leftwich should play in this game. In fact, I would take the points if Garrard were to start the game. This is not the same Patriots team that we have seen the last couple of years. Their defense is average and Bruschi is hurting. With that said, they still should have no problem beating Jacksonville.

Sunday January 8

NEW YORK -2.5 vs. Carolina (loser)
Both teams are flawed, but New York has the advantage of playing at home and having a healthier running back.

CINCINNATI +3 vs. Pittsburgh (loser)
I don’t get this line. I think it should be more like a pick ‘em. The Bengals may have limped into the playoffs, but they will be playing at home and have a fantastic offense.

Do you have $100 burning a hole in your wallet? I know I do. Put it down on the Bengals to win it all. Yes, I know it is a long shot (+2000), but that is what gambling is all about.


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