Sometimes I think the amount of love your post-season gets is proportional to how much people pay attention during the regular season. Obviously, people love the NFL playoffs, but the interest level and the games might be most similar to the regular season product. In the other sports, with the marathon seasons, there is no way to maintain intensity over the long haul. That’s why the term, “playoff hockey,” exists. Even baseball is having a solid post-season this year. People say, if all the games were like this–I’d watch more. Well, they won’t be and you wouldn’t, but regardless it makes for some good viewing. And, thank god for the new blood in the American League. I’ve seen enough of the Cardinals and Giants.
And, speaking of baseball playoffs and betting, I’d remind everyone once again how often the ace fails in the post-season. Kershaw, Wainwright, Scherzer, Weaver…the names that appear to guarantee World Series berths are failing. A lot. This is what always happens. This has been happening since the Braves’ stacked rotation of the 90s. You still have to score SOME runs. Obviously it still takes pitching to win, but with the exception of maybe the 2001 Diamondbacks I don’t see a team anywhere that went to two, three or four “aces” and actually won the World Series. A lot of this has to do with routines, I think. Take a pitcher off their schedule and things get weird. Clayton Kershaw on 8 days rest? Trouble. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost again on short rest in game four.
Enough about losing, an avalanche of winners….
NFL Pick ‘EM Standings:
- Nichols, 12-8
- Big Dub, 11-7
- Grossy, 11-7
- DC, 8-12
- Kraft, 10-15
The “Eric Hosmer” Pick of the Week: Nichols (Tampa Bay +10)
Look at Tampa be a cover machine. I guess when you lose by 8 TDs, there is a course correction? No matter. It still takes a great deal of courage to pick the Bucs, and good luck trying to figure out the Saints. It appears they are terrible, but they’re going to bite you sometime this year. Wait for it. Anyway, this was part of a 5-0 extravaganza. Tell the kid he doesn’t have to go to trade school after all! I’d also like to point out that every single person had Seattle. This almost never happens and then for the game not to lose? UNPRECEDENTED. And, what a squirly little cover that was.
The “Andy Dalton in a Game of Any Magnitude” Awful Pick of the Week: Various (Cincy -1)
As noted in the comments there was absolutely no doubt New England was winning this game after the first three or four snaps. MARK IT ZERO, SMOKEY. The Patriots showed no real signs of putting a game together. They didn’t look good against Oakland, at home, for gosh sakes…I’m putting this partially on Andy Dalton. Yes, he’s led the Bengals into the playoffs on multiple occasions and then played absolutely horrifically. I think Dalton had a little bit of that playoff vibe in Foxboro and it just fueled the Patriots stream roller.
3PT D.A. of the Week: Geno Smith
If the D.A. league were in play this year, people would have to wake up and pay attention to these Thursday games, because for the second straight week–the die was cast. Christian Ponder, taking advantage of a spot start, stopped handling Sam Steele’s press requests for a week and put on a disastrous show. In my mind, it wasn’t QUITE enough. Geno Smith had one of those franchise altering games on Sunday. 4/12 for 27 yards and one INT. It wasn’t just that it was the knowledge that there’s no way you can move forward with Smith. Even though it was pointless, the Jets had to put Michael Vick in, even though Vick probably doesn’t even want to play. As a team, the Jets gained 60 yards on 33 dropbacks. INCREDIBLE.
The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary, Top-10:
- Seattle, 3-1. Thank you for that cover.
- Dever, 3-1. Nice win over Arizona.
- San Diego, 4-1. Crushing fools.
- Arizona, 3-1. We’re already into bad teams.
- Philadelphia, 4-1. Smoke
- Dallas, 4-1. And Mirrors.
- Indianapolis, 3-2. Three straight Ws
- Green Bay, 3-2. Back on track?
- New England, 3-2. I guess.
- Cincinnati, 3-1. That was ugly Sunday.