Sunday, January 24, 2016

Conference Championship Weekend

New England (-3) at Denver
I Got Some Deflated Balls For You, Rodge
I've been preaching this since during the Pittsburgh/Denver game last weekend, and although this line is a bit fishy to me (I expected 3.5 or 4), I'm not going to sway in the 11th hour, against what my own two eyes are telling me: The Denver Broncos will lose today not just because their Quarterback looks like an 85 year old borderline cripple, who probably gets up 3-4 times in the middle of the night to take a piss, but more importantly, because their once #1 ranked defense....SUCKS!

I really don't want to crush on Peyton. He's had a great career, and will be in the "Greatest QBs of All Time" discussion forever. But just like this Jonas Blizzard of 2016, its finally over, Johnny.

Last weekend was painful to watch. And yeah, I know he had like 6 drops, but did you see some of those dying ducks? I've seen tighter spirals at my 8 year old nephew's "C" League game. You've got to put at least half of those drops on the guy whose throwing them. And his arm strength is very limited. I'd expect New England to go man to man beyond 15 yards, and force Manning to beat them underneath, which he can't do, in my opinion.

The big difference, however, will be the before mentioned Denver defense, and the fact that they've fallen statistically. And quite frankly, I think they're simply tired. Here's the deal: over Denver's last 4 games (versus Pittsburgh, San Diego, Cincy, and Pittsburgh again) they've given up 1,384 total yards. That averages out to 346 yards given up per contest. And to put that into its proper context, relative to the end of the year NFL statistics, that is NOT the league's #1 defense. In fact, 346 yards per game would put Denver's defense at 15th, relative to the rest of the league.

Denver's only chance to stick around today, is if they can get a good run game going with Anderson and Hillman. That would at least keep the New England defense off balance, and not force Manning to try and beat them on his own. But again, I think the X-Factor is when New England's offense is on the field. Last week, with a half broken Big Ben and with Antonio Brown not even on the field, I saw a Denver Broncos defense that was run ragged, and a Denver Broncos team that was extremely fortunate to win. Can you imagine what a healthy Tom Brady will be able to do with a healthy Gronk, Edelman, and Amendola? I can. 31-19 Patriots.

Arizona (Money Line +140) at Carolina
Expect A Couple Hook Ups Between These Two Today
It just seems like its Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers' year. They went 15-1, Cam is the league's unquestionable MVP, and Riverboat Ron Captained the ship pretty well over the last 3+ months. However, I think today is the day that Riverboat Ron's ship runs aground. Arizona enters Tobacco Nation with the league's #1 ranked offense,  #5 ranked defense, and they're coming off a game in which yours truly thinks they can't possibly play and coach any worse than they did.

Meanwhile, Carolina did all that they could to not piss away a 31-0 halftime lead to Seattle last week, and unless they can somehow luck box their way to another early 14-17 point lead, this game is going to be low scoring and close right up until the end. And this phenomenon of Carolina getting out to early leads, and then allowing teams to dice it up some towards the end, only for the Panthers to hold on, has been going on all season with them.

It happened against the Saints (twice), the Colts, Green Bay, the Giants, and then last week against Seattle. You'd think by now the Carolina press might've dropped the "Riverboat" moniker and changed it to Cardiac Arrest Ron, with all these 4th quarter sweats he's had to endure.

So maybe this is the week they don't hold on. I just don't like the game much either way, and since I have a monetary interest in Arizona winning the Super Bowl, I'm going to pass on taking the measly 3 points, not pay any juice to the man, and get what I think is a very fair money line number in the (+135) to (+145) range. 23-21 Cardinals.

In honor of Snowstorm Jonas, I was going to embed Weezer's song of the same name. That was until I ran across this cover they did of a Greenday classic. The "Just Say No" folks could just play this video on loop, use it in their ad campaign, and I'm pretty sure the message would be conveyed. Cheers.

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