Sunday, January 24, 2010

NFL Championship Weekend Picks

I'm going to step back from "all things Avatar" for a few minutes to give my picks for today's AFC and NFC Championship games....I'll return with Part Three of the "Avatar Phenomenon" on Monday.

I'm sure you can hardly wait, with "hardly" being the operative word.

Here we go.....

AFC Championship; New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts; What a long strange trip its been for Gang Green. About a month ago even their own head coach thought they were mathematically eliminated from contention. Then came the game when the Colts pulled their starters after taking a lead over the visiting Jets, and New York stormed back to beat Indy and give them their first loss in a previously undefeated season. The Jets then went on to embarrass the Bengals the next week to earn a place in the playoffs. Some will say the Jets backed into the playoffs, I say it doesn't matter how you got there, just as long as you made it. Then in successive weeks the Jets beat the Bengals and Chargers on the road...when you win back to back road playoff games you've earned your spot at the top of the ticket.

The conventional wisdom is "take the Colts". Its payback time against the team that first tarnished a perfect record. They'll be playing at home and have the greatest quarterback of his generation, Peyton Manning, under center. There's Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark to throw the ball to, there's Dwight Feeney and Robert Mathis to terrorize Jet's qb Mark Sanchez, and the underrated Gary Brackett at middle linebacker.

The Jets have the power running of Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene, and the incomparable Darelle Revis at the corner. Mark Sanchez has a chance to become the first rookie quarterback ever to lead his team to the Super Bowl.

The Colts are the favorite....but I've been riding a different pony this post season. I'm taking the Jets in a squeaker, 24-21. Decided by a field goal. How appropriate.

NFC Championship; Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints The Saints have been in existence for over 40 years and have spent much of that time at the bottom of the pecking order in the NFL. Peyton Manning's dad, Archie, was a great quarterback on some really bad Saints teams in the 1970's. We all know the story of the Vikings...four Super Bowl trips and four losses, but none since getting stomped by the Raiders so long ago John Madden was Oakland's coach.

Minnesota is an interesting story, with Adrian Peterson at running back and Brett Favre at quarterback, having possibly the best year of his career at age 40. But strangely, I can't help but feel that the Vikings are much like the football version of the Florida Marlins in baseball. The Marlins were built to "win now" on two occasions, only to fall back to mediocrity soon afterwords. I just feel that the Vikings are constructed the same way- this is all for the short term, and I'm not sold on them.

The city of New Orleans is having a love affair with quarterback Drew Brees and this Saints team. Reggie Bush seems to becoming the star all thought he would be. Its a home crowd, and 40 plus years of "wait till next year" will be rained down on the visiting Vikings.

Also....its time for some good Karma for the Crescent City, which dealt with so much pain since Katrina. I pick the Saints, 35-21 .

And that's it.

I'll be back with our new guise as "The Official Unofficial Blog of The Big Game".....(note Commissioner Goodall, I didn't infringe on any copyrights or trademarks).....very soon.

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