Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Playoffs are coming! The playoffs are coming! Day Two.

I'm in denial. New England, who I considered a virtual lock this week, lost to Denver, ending my run at perfection. My confidence/self esteem/ego took a big hit with this one. Maybe the ship will right itself Sunday and I'll finish the Divisional Round at 7-1 overall.

Steelers at Colts:

First off, what are they thinking about playing this game at 1 p.m.? That equates to ten o'clock here on the West Coast and that is far too early for a Sunday morning. Shit, I was just trying to sleep in and now I have to wake up early...darn.

How will Indianapolis react to not playing a meaningful game in weeks? Well, probably pretty well. Because after all, they were, hands down, the best team in the regular season.

This dude Peyton Manning (heard of him?) is pretty good and will probably throw like five touchdowns. I'm sold on Pittsburgh's running game and that Willie Parker is a solid runner. But Big Ben Roethlisberger? Still can't take him seriously. (And he doesn't even look big -- or like a man, nevertheless -- in that picture). Even after a good game in Cincinnati, his best attribute is still that he just doesn't fuck it up for his team.

Bill Cowher, Steelers' coach and king of the "game face," has been here before and likes the pressure. But if he loses, well, let's just say you don't want to run into him in a dark alley.

The Big Picture pick: Indianapolis 35, Pittsburgh 24

Carolina at Chicago:

Ooh, can't wait for this one. But before we get into the game, I made a mistake yesterday. I wrote that I was really looking forward to hearing the sound of Joe Buck's voice first thing in the morning yesterday during the Seattle game. Well, it wasn't him. So Sunday, it will be Buck's voice I hear in the afternoon. Goody!

Buck made a historic World Series this past year as exciting as a trip to the dentist, so imagine what he'll do for this game. There's a chance that there will be a first down in the opening quarter, but don't be shocked if there isn't.

This game features two good defenses and half of an offense. Bears' quarterback Rex Grossman is a high school quarterback in a college quarterback's body. I'll set Chicago's over/under for first downs at six and points at three. Bet at your own will.

Meanwhile, Carolina has this Steve Smith guy who plays wide receiver (not the basketball player, the USC wideout or the obnoxious NBA analyst who switches it up by putting an "A" in the middle of his name). He's really pretty good and was the sole reason my fantasy football team was only bad and not absolutely fucking terrible. Carolina should be looking for Smith on every play and may consider using him on defense too. Just cuz.

I really don't think Chicago is very good unless they're coached by Mike Ditka and Jim McMahon is at the helm. Rex Grossman? Please. His name is Rex, after all.

The Big Picture pick: Carolina 10, Chicago -7

In other news: Tampa Bay traded relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter to the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday for iron, fur and three bushels of wheat.


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