I know we're usually Pistons-centric. We can't help ourselves when the playoffs come around. This is an NFL gift for you, our loyal reader. Our two resident bloggers, Sheets and Tom, take you through the Division playoff games this weekend. It'll be like Two for the Money, except you'll like it and it will only be for entertainment purposes.
(Note: Sheets is on the left.)
Saturdays Games:Washington (+9) @ Seattle
Tom: Clinton Portis has come a long way in my book. He started off with two strikes against him. First, he’s from “the U” and therefore automatically associated with Michael Irvin. Second, he’s an NFC East player and he’s not on the Giants. But he has won me over with a variety of hilarious acts and some commercials where I’m pretty sure he’s high. Either way, he’s in the top running for my favorite non-Giant, the spot that will soon (I think) be abdicated by Brett Favre. I tell you all this because Clinton Portis season ends this week. See you next year Clinton.
Seattle 38, Washington 10
Sheets: Hard to believe that a couple of months ago these two teams met and Washington pulled off the 20-17 OT victory. While Washington's offense a week ago against Tampa Bay was about as effective as the Saline High's Hornet offense against any team other than Tecumseh, the Seahawks are not nearly as talented defensively as the Bucs. This is not to say that Washington will light up the board however, as Seattle's defense has greatly improved from a year ago, while many people still aren't sold on the Seahawks, they have sold me enough to put them in the NFC Championship game and cover the spread.
Seattle 27 Washington 14New England (+3) @ Denver
Tom: I’m of a split mind about New England. On one hand, Tom Brady is a Michigan grad, Belicheck’s pop coached at the Naval Academy, their lineman are very comfortable on camera and I just damn respect the way the team plays. On the other hand, I’m sick of Brady’s omnipresence, that stupid Diet Pepsi Machine and Boston area fans. This game is really a toss up. I hate to do this, but I’ll take the points. Prove me wrong Jake, prove me wrong!
New England 24, Denver 23
Sheets: Can Tom Brady's magical playoff run continue. Most seem to think so, despite the Patriots going into Mile High. I don't think the home field will play too much of an advantage for the Broncos, as the Patriots have seen it all. The play of Jake Plummer will be the key to this game. I'm pretty sure it's the first meaningful game of his career since his Rose Bowl defeat to Ohio State in 1997. Look for him to be able to put some points on the board, but make a couple big mistakes that doom the Broncos in the end.
Patriots 27 Denver 21
Sunday’s Games:Pittsburgh (+9.5) @ Indy
Tom: Indianapolis is still good. Pittsburgh is still not as good as Indy. That makes the choice fairly obvious to me. The only thing that could sway me is the fact that my friend Matt colored in a Santa Pez dispenser’s beard black, and it now looks like Franco Harris. But really, it just looks like an evil Santa. I guess an evil Santa would look like Franco Harris though. The point it moot.
Indy 31, Pittsburgh 13
Sheets: I think I am a closet Steelers fan. I always just kind of hope they win, but I never really talk about them much. Some may find it hard to root for them in this game, however, because of the whole Tony Dungy thing. The guy is a great coach, and I would love to see him get a championship some day. I attribute Mike Edwards to my closet Steeler rooting and I guess I really do hope they can spring the upset. They need to dodge the early bullets that they didn't dodge in the Monday night affair they had earlier in the season. Obviously the Steelers can ill afford to get in a shootout with the Colts. I think the Steeler defense will be ready and do as much as possible to slow down Indy, but it just won't be enough.
Colts 31 Steelers 23Carolina (+3) @ Chicago
Tom: I don’t trust either of these teams. Carolina is too streaky. I’m fairly certain Chicago just sucks. I mean, I’m pretty sure of this. Almost positive. I get all sorts of NFC North games living in southeastern Michigan. Not a very good division. This game comes down to Carolina. Carolina wins the game or loses it. Chicago is just along for the ride.
Carolina 24, Chicago 9
Sheets: The Panthers come in hot off their thrashing of Tom's New York football Giants meanwhile the Bears off a bye week and a meaningless game at the end of the regular season. These teams are almost identical on paper. Great defenses, one big play receiver (Steve Smith and Mushin Muhammed) and two capable, above average running backs. The difference lies in the Quarterbacks. While some say that Rex Grossman gives the Bears a boost at Quarterback, it's hard to believe he is going to find things easy against this Carolina defense. This game will come down to which team can make more big plays. With an experienced Jake Delhomme at quarterback, I believe the answer is the Panthers.
Carolina 17 Chicago 13