After a week of slick footballs and near misses, four points separated me from a 4-0 week. In the end it was 2-2 but that is only interesting. Now the real fun begins. For now there are eight. And the key to any end of year tournament is the trend.
The Trend Is Your Friend
Based upon the face value of the season, the big game at the end of the year will be the Baltimore Ravens and the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans because the NFC is just having a difficult time of late and New Orleans represents a feel good story. Everyone needs a feel good story. Baltimore because they just keep winning and winning and even though San Diego has home field throughout, they are not trending up. Baltimore is trending up. But that is why they must play the games my friend. So let us break this down by conference.
The AFC teams left in the playoffs all have very good credentials and could easily get to the end and win it all. But the final eight tournament in football is a minefield. So let’s head right out to Baltimore where the Colts play the Ravens.
The Colts surprised many by defeating the Chiefs using a great defensive effort. This question in this one is will the Baltimore defense stop Peyton Manning. I really don’t care if Indianapolis stops Baltimore because if Indy just keeps scoring, they can win 35 – 30. But can the Ravens ever score that much? I believe everyone has overlooked Indianapolis this year. So in a shocker, Indy gets through the Baltimore defense and comes away with a victory. Next up the Patriots at the Chargers.
The Patriots are strange. Not a great as they were but not as bad as they could be. The Charges have been the best AFC team for most of the year and deserve home field advantage. But it has not been Rivers carrying the team, it has been L.T. So this should be a no brainer for the Pats defense. Stack a bunch of guys up front and make Rivers beat you. If L.T. can go big through the defense, then they can go on but I have a feeling they won’t. I’ll take the Pats in a big upset. Let us go on to the NFC.
Any team in the NFC can back their way into the final game. All of them have question marks. For example, will Grossman stop throwing the ball to the other team? Will Jeff Garcia continue his hot hand? Will Seattle win on the road…ever? Can the Saints contain their excitement and become the “feel good” story of 2007? Everyone is writing that angle, so why not me. First up the Eagles at the Saints.
Look for crazy scoring and a Brees”y” time in the Big Easy. All conditions point to a big victory for New Orleans. A loss would be just as momentous for the Eagles who continued on winning after losing McNabb. But the NFC is about home cooking and New Orleans will have a crazy home field advantage. Now onto Da’ Bears.
The Chicago Bears host the Seahawks. The Seahawks for those with a short term memory issue were the NFC representative in the big game last year. Everyone is wondering if Grossman is going to be ok. I think this overlooks the salient point of this affair. Will the Seahawks offense get anywhere? Don’t be surprised if the Seahawks end up with Ohio State type numbers proving that defenses can win championships…unless you are a “Man”ning on a mission.