"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008 NFL Playoffs - Conference Championships

{You didn't really think I would leave you pick-less for this weeks games, now did you? Of course not...}

It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I do believe it's true.

Last week I went 3-1-0 SU but only 1-3-0 ATS. With three meaningful football games to go in these playoffs, I'm 6-2-0 SU and a blah 3-5 ATS. I need wins across the board this week, especially picking games against the spread. Good thing for me that I don't actually wager any money on these football picks of mine.

This week we have a pair of Week Two rematches for our Conference Championship games. Waaaay back in September, the Patriots kicked the Chargers butts at Gillette Stadium, 38-14 and the Packers came in to New York and stomped on the Giants, 35-13. How will the games play out this weekend, with reservations to Arizona for Super Bowl XLII on the line?

Let's take a look at the match-up in the AFC:

Sunday, January 20th @ 15:00 CBS - San Diego Chargers (13-5) @ New England Patriots (17-0) (-14, 46 o/u): The main story for San Diego is injuries. Both QB Philip Rivers and RB LaDanian Tomlinson sustained knee injuries last week at Indy. Tomlinson has practiced this week while Rivers has not; this leads to speculation that Rivers' knee is more seriously hurt than the Chargers are letting on. If Rivers can't go, backup QB Billy Volek will be pressed into duty. He did an admirable job leading the Chargers to (and scoring) the game winning touchdown. Because Tomlinson has been able to practice, he likely will play but the Chargers don't lose much when RB Michael Turner fills-in. Super TE Antonio Gates had two catches for 28 yards and was basically a non-factor. He's clearly still hampered by the toe injury from the Titans game two weeks ago. How effective these players are will largely determine how long San Diego stays competitive in this game.
On the Patriots side, players and coaches have stated unanimously that WR Randy Moss' legal issue will not be a factor for the team. You'd be hard pressed to find a more focused team than the Patriots under Bill Belichick. That's why they are only focusing on the Chargers and not this 17-0 business. Many of the veterans on this team have won Super Bowls and all but a few players participated in last year's AFC title game stunning loss to the Colts. The weather will be clear and cold with some wind. It remains to be seen how this will affect the game, especially the Chargers (game time temperature 23 deg. F, 11 deg. F windchill factor). Brady and Belichick are 7-0 in home playoff games. Make that 8-0 after this game. The Patriots will get out to an early lead making Tomlinson/ Turner useless and forcing Rivers/Volek to beat them throwing. The Chargers aren't designed to win shootouts and they won't be able to keep up with all of the Patriots offensive weapons. Sorry, Norv. My Prediction: @ New England 41, San Diego 17. Actual Result: @ New England 21, San Diego 12. This was a much lower scoring game than I thought on the Patriots side. The keys to the game were Patriots QB Tom Brady's three interceptions (one in the end zone) to San Diego QB Philip Rivers two interceptions and holding the powerful San Diego offense to four field goals. Rivers played on bad knees but RB Tomlinson only was able to contribute on three plays early in the first quarter. On to Glendale, Arizona two weeks from tonight.

Now let's look at the match-up in the NFC:

Sunday, January 20th @ 18:30 FOX - New York Giants (12-6) @ Green Bay Packers (14-3) (-7, 40 o/u): For the G-men, this game is going to be all about controlling the line of scrimmage and running the ball with RB's Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs and allowing Eli Maning to manage the game, as he has the last three weeks. In the last three games, Manning has completed 70% of his passes with eight touchdowns and only one interception. The Giants defense compiled the most sacks in the regular season and will be key if they can pressure Green Bay QB Brett Favre into mistakes. For the Packers, they will compliment Favre's excellent passing and WR's Driver, Jennings, Robinson and Jones with former Giants practice squad player Ryan Grant, who ran for 201 yards in last weekend's win over Seattle. Likewise, the Packers excellent defense will need to pressure Eli Manning into rushed throws and INT's. This game will also feature very cold temperatures (game time temp 3-4 deg. F with -9 deg. windchill factor). I think this will be a real close game (within 7 points) most of the way. Both teams will play well but Packers K Mason Crosby puts the game out of reach with a late FG. My Prediction: @ Green Bay 30, New York 21. Actual Result: New York Giants 23, @ Green Bay 20 OT. Well, this game was as close as I thought it would be, just that the wrong team won. The story of the game is K Lawrence Tynes missing 43 and 36 yard field goals in the 4th quarter of a tie game, then winning it with 2:35 gone in overtime with a 47 yard FG. The Giants owned a massive edge in time of possession and total yardage. QB Eli Manning once again played turnover-free football. Giants become 3rd Wild Card team to win three road games to advance to the Super Bowl (1985 Patriots, 2005 Steelers). On to Arizona in two weeks.

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At 20 January, 2008 16:56, Blogger ~Autumn said...

OOOOh... I can't wait to see the game in "The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field"... :D

At 21 January, 2008 10:38, Blogger DaBich said...

I thoroughly enjoyed watching football yesterday. WHile I am sorry Green Bay lost, the Giants put on a helluva show. Great football.

I figured the Patriots would win, but I wanted the Chargers to give them a good game, which they did.

It will be one helluva Super Bowl to watch come Feb 3!!

At 21 January, 2008 13:41, Blogger green said...

autumn: it was a better game @ Lambeau than it was at Gillette. Pats Chargers was kinda sloppy.

d: I wanted Green Bay to win also. Oh well, they had their shot. Chargers did give the Pats a good game, indeed. But 'round here we don't doubt Mr. Unflappable #12, even when he's off his game.

If week 17 is any indication (NE 38, @NYG 35) this should be a great game.

At 21 January, 2008 17:55, Blogger Esther said...

I gave you and your Patriots a "Shout-Out" on my blog today!

It does seem like an awesome year to be a Boston fan!

I'm glad so many wins have come your way!


At 22 January, 2008 14:58, Blogger DaBich said...

Green, I'd say the betters and sharkies will have a tough time of it. If the spread is 12...I'd bet on the Giants. If it's closer, then it's gonna be even harder to know what to do.

At 22 January, 2008 16:06, Blogger green said...

e: yes it is good to be a Boston sports fan right now. Absolutely.

d: couldn't agree with you more. I think 10-14 is too large of a spread. If it remains that high I'll have to take the Giants, too - Pats to win and Giants to cover. I'm expecting a close game - so right now, I'd say Pats by 7 is a reasonable spread.

Of course I'll give my official analysis and predictions on the weekend of the game.

At 23 January, 2008 10:18, Blogger DaBich said...

I'll be stopping by ;)

At 25 January, 2008 09:58, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three quarterbacks, Manning, Romo and Brady, go to heaven to visit God and watch Monday Night Footlball.

God decides who will sit next to him by asking the boys a question...

God asks Peyton Manning first: "What do you believe?"
Peyton thinks long and hard, looks God in they eye, and says, "I believe in hard work, and in staying true to family and friends. I believe in giving. I was lucky, but i always tried to do right by my fans." God can't help but see the essential goodness of Manning, and offers him a seat to his left.

Then God turns to Tony Romo and says, "What do you believe?"
Tony says, "I believe passion, discipline, courage and honor are the fundamentals of life. I, too, have been lucky, but win or lose, I've always tried to be a true sportsman, both on and off the field." God is greatly moved by Tony's sincere eloquence, and he offers him a seat to his right.

Finally, God turns to Tom Brady: "And, Tom, what do you believe?"
Tom replies, "I believe you're in my seat."

At 25 January, 2008 10:37, Blogger green said...

bluez: that's good. thanks.


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