Wildcard Weekend – Getting Ready

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Back from the holidays and healing from pneumonia (him) and food poisoning (me), catching up with deadlines whizzing by, all perfect excuses for playoff preparations. Reviewing the records, the injury reports, the strength of divisional match-ups, the experienced versus inexperienced players on the rosters.

Here’s a look at the weekend’s games and factors I’m considering.

Washington Redskins v. Seattle Seahawks (Sat 4:30)

Gotta go with the ‘Skins as emotional favorites. Even if a cold analysis of the numbers would skew toward the Seahawks. Gibbs’ record in the playoffs is 17-6. The only NFL coach already in the Hall of Fame. The Skins have been playing better and better. Can they keep it up?

Holmgren’s Seahawks are less well known on the East Coast. They’ve been to the playoffs five consecutive years (second to Colts @ 6). Holmgren’s post-season record though not as long as Gibbs’ is: 12-10, just over 500. He’s one of only 5 coaches to take 2 different teams to the Superbowl. Hasselbeck (whose father Don was a tight end for the Patriots) currently has over 91 passer rating, nothing to sneeze at. But, Gibbs’ team had to win their last four just to make the playoffs.

This will likely be a close game and I’m going with the emotional favorites: Skins get the W for Sean, for Coach Gibbs, for themselves and their fans.

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Jacksonville Jaguars v. Pittsburgh Steelers (Sat. 8 pm)

Another close one, I think. Steelers are beat up. When I heard a name I didn’t recognize and they said it was a third string guy (OT), who then said his only thought would be “Don’t let Ben get hit.” Parker’s out, how hobbled will Polamalu be? Will Jags’ offense hold up to the Steelers’ D? When I think of the Jaguars the image I get is Maurice Jones-Drew the 5’7″ 212 lb “bowling ball” running over Shawn Merriman. No one that size and that build should have that speed, or that power. But he does. And a kid who changes his name to honor his deceased grandfather that raised him, who was passed over by every team on draft day…well you gotta think it’s about the size of the fight in the dog. (is that still okay to use in these post Bad Newz days?)

Anyway, the Jags beat the Steelers at home not so long ago. Does that mean they’re more or less likely to do so again? Who knows. The Steelers lost some of their appeal for me when their QB was stupid and selfish enough to risk his teammates’ season riding w/o a helmet. I don’t want him to win.Veterans’ locker room sound bytes did not seem to have great faith in their leader. Not a good sign.

I go with Jags over Steelers.

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NY Giants v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun. 1 pm)

I love Garcia for his stellar performance with the Eagles. Stepping onto the field with the same team McNabb was floundering with…he was poised and masterful. When Simms went out in Tampa Bay, Garcia was gracious about his role, but he’s clearly a leader the team is ready, willing, and able to play for.
Will Eli of late show up or will it be She-li of the earlier season? Will the very young TB O-line be able to stop the veterans Strahan and Umenyiora? The Shockey beast is out. I think the unknown here is the inexperience vs experience and the consistency at QB.

I’m going with Garcia’s experience and consistency over Eli’s team experience and his own inconsistency. TB over G-men.

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Tennessee Titans v. San Diego Chargers (Sun. 4:30)

Besides the obvious advantage that Caleb and I both got Chargers gear to wear for Christmas (thanks Yen-Yen and Yucan!) we have an improving Chargers team with solid weapons. I still think Rivers makes too many bad decisions for a QB of his tenure and his ability, but at least Norv Turner and crew have allowed LT to do what he can do – run with the ball.

I haven’t seen the Titans with impressive, strategic, anticipatory plays down after down. Haven’t seen them control the game on D. Will LenDale White be healthy? Will the Titans be able to keep LT off the field? Other than rooting for the old guy Collins (I always root for old guys, you know) I don’t see a reason to pick the Titans. It’s going to be a grudge match yes, but I don’t think much of a game…

Charger over Titans

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There you go…let the flags fall where they may…see you on Monday.

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~ by jacqueline1230 on January 6, 2008.

One Response to “Wildcard Weekend – Getting Ready”

  1. […] – you wanted me to talk about my abysmal picks in football this Wildcard Weekend? Well, at least I got one […]

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