Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Take - Wild Card Week

Greetings, G-Force.

The NFL playoffs are upon us. All year - we KNEW we belonged. All year - the "experts" and opposing NFL fans/teams searched for our weaknesses. They thought we could not run the ball. They thought that they could attack our 3rd corner. They thought we had deficient special teams return skills. They thought that they could be more physical than our D-Line. All season - teams failed.

13-3. And now we sit on the couch for a week. LakeFront Brewery Riverwest Stein in hand. Coupled with a plate of Wisconsin cheese. A good man never forgets his youth. After all, we are all products of our youth and we applicate ourselves to our current environment.

Football. Beer. Cheese. 1st round bye. Does it get better?

I admit that I don't have a great grip on the games this weekend, but I have to give a quick prediction for the games this weekend:

Washington travels to Seattle in a very interesting opening wild card game. Holmgren has been unbeatable at home in the playoffs. The Seahawks fans are wicked loud. Shaun Alexander is finally healthy. Hasselbach has been in a groove. Seattle's defense has been applying more and more pressure on the QB with each passing week. Additionally, their defense has a knack for forcing the big turnover.

However, Joe Gibbs has his team peaking at the right time. Since Todd Collins replaced Jason Campbell, the Redskins have been extremely efficient on offense. Portis continues to run with a vengeance. Santana Moss looks to be finding his stride as well. The Redskins defense has been playing like caged animals all year - hungry to find the football. Angry at the point of attack. And they've also been able to force turnovers at crucial moments.

In the end, 3 out of every 4 games on Wild Card weekend are won by the home team, but this year is different...Washington pounds away at Seattle. Keeps the clock moving and slows down the potent Seattle attack. Seattle should have lost the wild card game last year. This year - they do lose the game.

Washington 23. Seattle 20. The heart of Sean Taylor still beats inside the defense of the Redskins season.

Jacksonville travels to Pittsburgh in the best match-up of the weekend. Two physical teams who try to play similar styles. They'll pound away at each other at the line of scrimmage, but the Steelers are too banged up and cannot slow down the J'ville defensive line.

Jacksonville 27. Pittsburgh 23. Jack Del Rio gets his first playoff win.

The Giants travel to the Bucs. It'll be a defensive battle. It's a tough game to predict. While I believe that the Giants can run the ball better than the Bucs and I feel that Brandon Jacobs will pound away at the Buc defense, I am putting my money on Jon Gruden and Jeff Garcia over Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.

Tampa Bay 17. New York Giants 16.

San Diego hosts Tennessee. Tennessee is a dangerous opponent. Jeff Fisher is a great coach. Highly underrated. But LT is too much to handle and Vince Young's status is in question. While I think that Kerry Collins is a respectable QB, this battle is a tough mountain to climb. The Lightning Bolts are victorious.

San Diego 34. Tennessee 20.

Rest up, G-Force. Enjoy Wild Card week. Next week, no matter the opponent, it all gets real!

Go Pack Go,

Talkin' S-Mac.

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