"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

Friday, January 04, 2008

Let the real football season begin

As nice as the regular season was, what with my Patriots setting all kinds of offensive NFL Records, becoming the fourth team in NFL history to achieve an unblemished record (and first perfect 16-0 record). The real season begins tomorrow with the start of the 2008 NFL Playoffs, known as Wild Card Weekend. The top two seeds in each conference (AFC: Patriots and Colts, NFC: Cowboys and Packers) have byes this weekend.

With my 12th successful season predicting straight up winners (2007: 171-85-0 .668) and winners vs. the point spread (2007: 132-111-14 .541) in the books, I'm ready to offer you my thoughts on this weekends games:

Saturday, January 5th @ 16:30 NBC - #6 Washington Redskins (9-7) at #3 Seattle Seahawks (10-6) (-3, 40 o/u): Washington leads the all-time series, 9-5 and are 4-2 lifetime @ Seattle. These teams haven't played each other since the 2005 playoffs (@ Sea 20, Was 10). The Seahawks were very good at home this year, losing only by three to Cincinnati in September. Washington may be the hottest team in the NFC bracket, winning four straight to earn their playoff spot, despite the tragic shooting death of S Sean Taylor in November. Both coaches have won Super Bowls, so coaching is not a concern. Quarterbacks are the story here. Washington QB Todd Collins hadn't played a meaningful game in 10 years until replacing injured starter Jason Campbell in week 14. Since then the Redskins are 4-0 and have played impressive football. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck has had a career year under the radar in the Pacific Northwest, setting career highs in yards (3,966) and touchdown passes (28) while only throwing 12 INTs. Washington will play at Dallas next weekend if they can win this game, sending the winner of the Giants-Bucs game to Green Bay. Expect a real close game the whole way through in this one. Prediction: @ Seattle 21, Washington 17. Actual Result: @ Seattle 35, Washington 14. Ahhh, turnovers, the great equalizer. Redskins QB Collins' threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns late in the 4th quarter to turn a close game into a blowout. Next week: at Green Bay

Saturday, January 5th @ 20:00 NBC - #5 Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5) (-3, o/u 39½) at #4 Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6): Jacksonville leads the all time series 11-8-0. Jacksonville is favored in this game due largely to their impressive 29-22 win at Heinz Field on Dec. 16. Since then the injury bug has bitten the Steelers, most notably RB Willie Parker and a pair of Smiths, one on offense and one on defense. A healthier Steelers team still gave up 421 total yards (224 rushing) to the potent Jags offense. With RB's Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew playing great right now plus an efficient passing game, it's hard to see the Steelers stopping the Jags offense. And that means that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger might have to throw lots of passes in order for this game to stay close. The Steelers want to avenge their only home loss of the season. Expect a close game only because the Steelers play well at home, but the Jags will win. If the Chargers beat the Titans on Sunday, the winner here gets the bonus prize of playing the Patriots on Jan. 12. I'd like to see the Steelers win, but I can't pick them here. Prediction: Jacksonville 27, Pittsburgh 21. Actual Result: Jacksonville 31, @ Pittsburgh 29. As I predicted, the Steelers made a competetive game of it, coming back from an 18 point deficit to take a brief 29-28 lead. The story of the night though is Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger - sacked six times, intercepted three times and lost one huge fumble to seal the deal for the Jaguars. You just can't commit turnovers in the playoffs and expect to win. Next week: at New England

Sunday, January 6th @ 13:00 FOX - #5 New York Giants (10-6) at #4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7) (-3, o/u 39½): New York leads the all-time series 10-6-0. This is the first playoff game between these teams. Giants last win @ Tampa was in 1999. The Giants and Eli Manning are coming off an impressive loss against the Patriots in the regular season finale. Manning threw for 251 yards and four TD passes with one INT. Which Eli Manning will show up? If the Bucs defense can put pressure on Manning he should revert to Mr. Inconsistency and that will help the Bucs. Make Eli beat you with his arm. The Bucs offense has sputtered the last four weeks, losing three of their last four. Tampa QB Jeff Garcia is 2-3 as a playoff starting QB but both wins have come against these Giants. Expect a low scoring, defensive game. Prediction: Tampa Bay 20, New York 17. Actual Result: New York Giants 24, @ Tampa Bay 14. Tampa Bay scored the first and last touchdowns of the game. Problem was that the Giants scored 24 unanswered points in between the Bucs' scores. Jeff Garcia played a flat, uninspiring game and Eli Manning, for the second straight week, played excellent, error free football. Tampa Bay lost the turnover battle, 3-0 on two interceptions and a critical fumble. What did we discover yesterday about turnovers? Next week: at Dallas

Sunday, January 6th @ 16:30 CBS - #6 Tennessee Titans (10-6) at #3 San Diego Chargers (11-5) (-9½, o/u 40): San Diego leads the all-time series 22-16-0. Chargers have not won a playoff game since 1995 and are 0-3 vs. Tennessee/Houston Oilers in the playoffs. The Titans however, haven't beaten the Chargers since 1992. The Titans beat Indianapolis backups last Sunday in order to get into the playoffs in a game that meant nothing to the Colts. Titans QB Vince Young hurt his knee in last weeks game so it remains to be seen how much of his mobility is lost. The Chargers are on a roll riding a six game winning streak (including a 23-17 OT win @ Tennessee on Dec. 9) going into this game. The Chargers rushing game, behind league Rushing champ LaDanian Tomlinson will be hard to stop. This is good, since Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been inconsistent this season. Tennessee's offense will have to score more than 16 points if they want any chance to win. It doesn't help Tennessee that their kicker, Rob Bironas, scored 44.2% of the Titans points this season (133 of 301). If the Titans win they travel to New England next Saturday and the Jacksonville/Pittsburgh winner goes to Indianapolis. Expect a physical game for the first three quarters but the Chargers, behind LT, will win this game handily in the end. Prediction: San Diego 33, Tennessee 13. Actual Result: @ San Diego 17, Tennessee 6. Well, I was right in that it was a close game until the 4th quarter, however it was a much lower scoring game than I thought it would be. San Diego QB Philip Rivers threw for 292 yards and a touchdown and the Chargers won their first playoff game since 1994. Next week: at Indianapolis.

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At 05 January, 2008 02:36, Blogger K~ said...

Ah so there will be nothing on TV but this thing called football.
At least you are a dedicated fan they need at least one. LOL'n
Good luck to your team. Hope they do well :)

At 05 January, 2008 04:01, Blogger Esther said...

Clearly you've been a busy writer, Green.

How did you get all the pictures/team logos to show up within and flanking the writing in your post? I haven't been successful with this endeavor.

Enjoy the games!

At 05 January, 2008 13:26, Blogger green said...

k~: Thanks for commenting. Yes, I am a dedicated, passionate Patriots and football fan, just as you are of your beloved Red Wings and hockey. Thanks. I hope they do well too.

esther: yes I have. amazing what a little time can do for the pen (or keyboard). Flanking the team logos around the writing was easy. When I uploaded the .jpg files, I just formatted one on the left and one on the right (btw: the home team is always on the right or on the bottom line of any box score), right next to each other in the post. Then when I started typing, the text just naturally filled up the middle space between the two logos.

Indeed I shall enjoy the games!

At 07 January, 2008 07:49, Blogger DaBich said...

Three out of four...excellent predictions!
The Steelers sucked. I thought they were gonna do it, tho, when they had that come back. OH well. At least my Pens are playing well =D

At 07 January, 2008 13:09, Blogger green said...

d: yep, 3-1 straight up and 2-2 vs. the point spread. If only the Jags had gone for the TD instead of the FG at the end, I'd have been 3-1 ATS.

I actually was rooting for the Steelers, even though I predicted Jacksonville to win. Why? Because I wanted the Patriots to administer them another beating this weekend. Oh well, a new challenge in Jacksonville, whom the Patriots did not play in 2007.

Look for more predictions this friday.

At 07 January, 2008 19:07, Blogger Esther said...

You're really, really good at the predictions, Green!

Statistics and spreads are your gift!

Can you parlay this sports knowledge into a career?


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