Thursday, January 12, 2012
NFL Playoffs Week 2: We Continue to Kill It
New Orleans(-4) at San Francisco
We are riding this train until it wrecks. And with how the Saints have played of late, that train wreck might not happen until next September or October. Dem Saints have won and covered 9 straight, and over the last month, their average margin of victory is 24 points. Not 2.4 points, twenty-four points.
Hoe-dee mackral, who dat???
Dem Saints ain't just boat racing shit teams, either. They beat Detroit (playoff team) by 17 last week, Atlanta (playoff team) by 29 three weeks ago, contained Cam Newton and throttled a descent Panthers team by 28, and they hammered the (still in the Playoffs) Giants by 25 points, the last week in November.
The Saints also have a sneaky little run game, that is over shadowed by Drew Brees and their superior air attack. New Orleans' run game was good enough for 6th overall in the entire league, producing almost 133 yards/per game on the ground.
As good as the Niners are defensively, and as good as their 13-3 record looks on paper, we still don't trust Alex Smith, we think they're a player or two away on offense, and you must consider the weak division they play in.
The Niners get the Rams, Cardinals, and Seahawks twice. And if you look at their regular season, I can only pick out two games that even somewhat qualify as descent wins against good teams. (a beat up Pittsburgh Steelers team, on MNF when the lights kept going out, and against the NY Giants)
The Saints have entirely too much here. Their 34.2 points per game is going to be too much for a Niners team who only scored more than 30 three times all year. And don't believe this horseshit notion that the Saints can't play outside the Superdome. Their 18-6 road record over the past 3 years, is best in the NFL during that time frame. The Saints will win and cover.
Denver(+13.5) at New England
The last time we told you "this is our least favorite game" (last week, Cincy at Houston), it ended up being the only ATS game we lost. Well, we're telling you it again, sorry. This is our least favorite game. But anyway....
There are two reasons why we're playing the Broncos here. Actually, three, but the third reason is the cardinal sin of gambling, so lets start with reasons one and two.
Number 1, we're not going to pass up the chance to get almost two touchdowns against the league's 2nd worst defense. A defense who in the last month of the season yielded 21 points in the 1st half to Buffalo, 17 points in the 1st half to Miami, 16 points in the 1st half of their 1st meeting with Denver, and 20 points in the 1st half to Washington.
Now the reason I point these 1st half numbers out, is that these are not "prevent yards" or "prevent points" their defense is yielding late in games after building big leads, ala Green Bay's underrated and overly scrutinized defense. These are games against not very good teams (Buff, Miami, Wash), in which the Pats are digging themselves into holes early, and then having to come back to win.
Secondly, I don't think Brady and Belichick are at an advantage for getting to play the Broncos for a second time. If anything, John Fox and the genius that is his coaching staff(see Tim Tebow experiment, 2011) will have the upper hand when it comes to making rematch adjustments. Bottomline, is that it is tougher to beat a team the second and/or third time during a season.
Lastly, we just want to root for Tebow. The guy is a winner, and we love the big, yet subtle, Fuck You he is giving to the MSM left, and anyone- regardless of politics, religion, etc., who has their panties in a bind because this guy is outward about his faith. Who gives a shit about his Tebowing or his unorthodox way of playing the Quarterback position? If you can't appreciate his attitude and his will to win, you're a fucking miserable loser. But I digress, Bomani Jones and Stephen A. Smith....
The Broncos are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games, covering 4 straight as a road dog. The Patriots, on the other hand, are not exactly stellar when laying a big number at home. They've only covered 3 of their last 17 games at home, when they're laying 10.5 points or more. And as calm and cool as Belichick is in his hoodie, and Brady is in his Uggs, the Belichick/Brady led Patriots are a dismal 0-6 ATS in their last 6 playoff games. The Broncos will anchor your ship in Cover Harbor.
Houston at Baltimore(-9)
Although we encourage equal wagering (even on our "least favorite games of the week" plays), we are letting all our loyal readers know right now: WE LOVE THIS F**KING GAME!!!!!!
This game is real simple, and to mimic our way of thinking/prognosticating it, we're not going to waste a lot of blog space explaining. The Ravens were 8-0 at home this year. They're also coming off a bye week. The Texans are led by a rookie QB, who is actually their 3rd stringer, and the Texans are coming off a 21 point win against Cincy, that we thought was a little skewed.
Skewed, because even though the Texans won by 3 touchdowns, that game came down to 2 key plays. J.J. Watt's unbelievable interception to the house, right before the end of the 1st half. And the Bengals' Chris Crocker dropping a (most likely) pick six, early in the 3rd quarter. If those plays hadn't happened-especially Watt's play, that game could've had a different outcome. In fact, the Bengals out gained the Texans in the first half of that game, 173-150.
Look for the Texans to pick up where they left off prior to last week's win against Cincy, which was 3 straight losses against non-playoff teams-Carolina, Indy, and Tennessee. Rookie QB against an 8-0 at home Ravens team on a week's rest, spells disaster for Houston. 31-13 Ravens.
NY Giants at Green Bay(-8)
At the end of the day, our handicapping angle on this game is as follows: A 15-1 team, playing(home) at storied Lambeau Field, coming off a week's rest, against the (next to Denver) weakest division winner in the entire NFL, who didn't get into the playoffs until the final week of the season.
We're not going to factor the tragedy that struck the Packers this week with OC Joe Philbin's son. And even though its been documented this week that Philbin is usually HC Mike McCarthy's go to when it comes to game planning, if that tragedy has any effect in this game, it will definitely inspire the Packers more than it will hamper them.
The Giants last month of the season was unusual. They were dead to rights against Dallas with 5:41 to play, yet somehow managed a miracle comeback. They then lost to a bad Redskins team at home. (a 5-11 Redskins team who swept them this year). The Giants then beat a not very good Jets team, kicked Dallas' ass in the regular season finale to get into the playoffs, in a game in which it appeared Dallas didn't even post, and then there is last week's game.
The Giants 24-2 win against Atlanta, might've been the most impressive win of all the games last weekend. But we predicted it, and as expected, the choking dog that is Matty Ice and Mike Smith did post. Collectively, those two are now a solid 0-5 in post season games.
Final thought for this game. When these two teams met in the first week of December, Eli Manning played his collective balls off. He was 23-40, 347 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 pick, for a 100.7 passer rating. He and the Giants did all they could to keep up with the A-Rod train, yet still failed in the end. And do you remember what A-Rod did to the Giants with :58 to play? Like a hot knife thru butter, he drove the Pack right down the field, to set up the game winning FG, in what was easily one of the best orchestrated drives by any team or Quarterback, all year.
The Packers will win this game going away, in what is our second favorite game of the week.
Last Week 3-1 ATS
YTD 41-18-4 ATS (69.4%)
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