Asinine Analysis: NFL Wildcard Weekend
The regular season is over in the NFL and, considering my 123-132 record for picking games, you may have been better off picking the exact opposite of what I picked for winners. That’s fine. I’m sure teams read my jokes and conspired to “take this jackass down.” If that’s the case, we’re all winners.
Now Asinine Analysis takes on Wildcard Weekend in the NFL. Team news feeds are alive with ridiculous chatter, but most of that is reserved for teams that didn’t make the playoffs. Let’s face it, it’s hard to mock winners, but that is what I shall do.
Oh, and my Super Bowl prediction? Broncos VS 49ers, which probably means that we’ll somehow see Chiefs VS Eagles just to spite my picks.
Saturday, January 5th, 2013
Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans
The Bengals have been here before. They’ve been here 3 times since 1991, and have lost every single time by 10 points or more. They’ve even been here with Andy “Red Rocket” Dalton last year. Not just here in the Wildcard round of the playoffs, but here in Houston, playing the Texans. They were here with an ailing featured running back in Cedric Benson, and will be there this weekend with an ailing featured running back in BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The Texans? Well, they haven’t been here as much, considering they only became an NFL team in 2002, but they’ve been here last year, with just about the same roster and a little less in the win column going into Wildcard weekend. They even lost 3 games in a row going into the playoffs, and this year they only lost 2 in a row.
What does this all mean? Nothing. This is football, where everything changes week in and week out. However, it won’t be in this game, as I still believe that the Texans were taking an extended bye at the end of the season, even if they were technically playing every week. It makes sense. With a hairline like that, Matt Schaub must be around 40 and need all the rest he can get, right?
LINE: Texans by 5
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
In case you were wondering, yes, you just saw this matchup last week. The Packers visited Minnesota, and all they did was stop Adrian Peterson from breaking Eric Dickerson’s record for rushing yards in a single season.
But that was last week when the Packers were only playing for a 1st round bye, which would mean a week break for football and Lambeau Leaps in Wisconsin. The Packers probably just wanted to make sure they had one winnable game for the fans at home. They come into the playoffs like they’ve been all season: forgotten. It’s not that the Packers are a bad team. This year, Aaron Rodgers has taken the game management approach to being a quarterback, and throwing for a ton of yards from time to time. It takes off the pressure of needing to win every game by double digits. Let’s face it, blowout offenses haven’t had much luck in the playoffs these past few years. Just ask Tom Brady.
The Vikings are playing with house money. No one expected them to do much of anything, which Christian Ponder has done in a good way: protecting the football. When you have a beast of a running back in Adrian Peterson and a stout defense, that’s really all you need to sneak into the playoffs, sneak through some rounds, and maybe even sneak into the Super Bowl. I don’t really believe that, but I think the Vikings will cover, even if it’s sunny and freezing at game time in Green Bay.
LINE: Packers by 8
Sunday, January 6th, 2013
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
It’s a sad week for fans of defense in football, as Ray Lewis proclaimed that he will retire after this season. Not because all of the muscle detached from his arm in the middle of the season, but because Lewis wants to be with his family and see his son crush offenses in college. That’s dedication. He’s been accosting offenses for 17 years, so I guess he deserves a break. At least, a break from football. Considering his rapport with Paul Rudd in those Madden commercials, I’m sure he’ll find himself on a screen in other ways.
Even if he only acts as the world’s largest, loudest, meanest cheerleader, Lewis and the Ravens will need to get back on track as they host the up-and-coming Indianapolis Colts in the Wildcard round. That other Ray, Rice, was allowed some nap-time last week, so he should be ready to run through the Colts defensive line with a few linebackers holding onto him like streamers in the wind. The main fear is that Joe Flacco will act like Trent Dilfer and only throw the ball once every 20 or 30 downs just to keep defensive backs awake.
The Colts, meanwhile, are riding the Andrew Luck and CHUCKSTRONG trains at the same time, jumping from one train to the other in a celebration for triumphs in sports and health. That could be a bit tiring for such a young team, so I’m taking the Colts on points, but doubt they win outright.
LINE: Ravens by 7
Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Redskins
RG3 was drafted by the Redskins in the 1st round as the 2nd pick overall. Russell Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks in the 3rd round as the 75th pick overall. It would have been a surprise story that either of these quarterbacks would have lead their teams into winning records, nevermind the playoffs, considering what happened with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers last season, yet here we are, seeing these young upstarts go head-to-head this weekend to continue deeper in the playoffs.
The Seahawks will have both of their suspicious cornerbacks back for at least this game, as Brandon Browner has completed his suspension due to a PED violation and Richard Sherman won his appeal about a urine collector playing Tom Cruise in Cocktail with cups of urine. Unfortunately, they will be without one teammate that helped them through this season: the 12th man. This game will be played at the Redskins’ home turf, which usually doesn’t bode well for the Seahawks. With RG3 healthier than he’s been the past three weeks, this game bodes even worse for the Seahawks.
I’d take the Redskins outright, but if you want to give me 3 points, who am I to refuse?
LINE: Seahawks by 3
REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 123-132
PLAYOFF RECORD: 0-0
Patrick Emmel is a self-proclaimed sports analyst that aspires to become the next Jim Rome, but hasn’t had the chance to refer to a football player by the name of a female tennis player. You can see more of his work at www.theineptowl.com or heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.
Patrick previously used his football knowledge to break down the best, worst and downright horrible draft picks in NFL history. –>
Patrick also entered an epic crusade to find a bar for each and every NFL team in New York City to show how unbiased he is.