Happy New Year one and all! May 2011 bring more than just a little bit of happiness and delight into your life. It is shocking what can happen in a year, and the NFL has turned around in ways we did not anticipate. It is Wild Card weekend in the NFL and it is time for prognostication. If you read next week’s article, I will try to pick the two final teams of the year. This year the tournament is going to be stranger than ever. There are always so many stories to tell.
Didn’t I Play You To Get Into The Finals?
This year’s Wild Card story is about teams that know each other like the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Last year, the winner of this game went to the big game. This year, the survivor gets to come back next week. Baltimore goes to Kansas City looking to get its offense on track. In the NFC, we have New Orleans going to Seattle (with its gaudy 7-9 record) and Green Bay heads to Philadelphia looking to get something going. The home team does not necessarily win and this year I am feeling a record of 2-2 for the home teams.
I Am Hosting a Playoff Game and I am 7-9! Woohoo!
This Wild Card weekend sees four games. It all begins with the New Orleans Saints taking on the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle due to the division-winning 7-9 performance from Seattle. These two teams played each other in Week 11 and the Saints dominated, winning 34-19. There is a reason only two home teams are winning this week in my predictions and this is the reason why. The Saints will dominate Seattle. And although it will be loud, the Seahawks will lack the weapons to bring home a victory.
Next are the New York Jets heading to Indianapolis to face the Colts. Indianapolis has limped their way into the playoffs facing pressure since Week 15 and the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are battle tested. The Jets have all the pressure of being a preseason favorite. Watch out as the Jets get burned for long plays in the secondary. Look for Indianapolis to win in a close one.
The Baltimore Ravens at the upstart Kansas City Chiefs is up first on Sunday. These two teams did not play each other in 2010 so this is new territory for both. The Ravens will have a hard time scoring. Will the Chiefs? Look for the Chiefs to surprise offensively and defensively. If the Ravens could only score will be your mantra on this day.
The last game is the Green Bay Packers at the Philadelphia Eagles. These two teams played in Week 1 this year. The Packers won that game but the Eagles team Green Bay beat that week and the team the Packers will face this week are remarkably different. Which Eagles team will show up? I know the Packers will bring something unique. That is hunger. Look for the Packers to surprise.
What To Watch
The story of this week is momentum. Teams have won it all and done it by catapulting themselves through this weekend. They appear to fine tune their engines and hit their opponents with a surprise that will last all the way to the end. Teams create momentum in these Wild Card games. The New York Jets barely made it in last year on a wing and a prayer and still made it to the AFC Championship. Can another team do the same and make it all the way like the New York Giants in 2007? And as is the norm, the season-ending chapters of the NFL season become memorabilia everyone purchases the second weekend of February. Sometimes an event happens and one player or coach becomes the symbol or rallying point. Emotion goes a long way this time of year.
But at first blush, how the heck is anyone beating the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC or the New England Patriots in the AFC? I guess that article will be next week.
Tim can now be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes your opinions on the “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles.