Asinine Analysis: NFL Divisional Playoffs
It seems that the NFL playoffs are treating me like the entire regular season has: horribly.
Last week, I spoke about how Christian Ponder only needed to take care of the football for the Vikings to cover, and he ends up taking care of the K-balls on the sidelines while Joe Webb either gave the ball to Adrian Peterson or the Packers defense. I rally behind RG3 after seeing him pick apart the Eagles live two three weeks ago and looking to be at least 80% healthy only to see a replay of how a knee is not supposed to bend. The Ravens blew a team out.
I think I need to clean off my crystal football this week, as Asinine Analysis goes into the divisional playoffs.
Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
This game has two football monoliths going in opposite directions. On the Ravens we have international dancing superstar/bone-crunching linebacker Ray Lewis on his farewell tour from the NFL after announcing his decision to retire after this season. On the Broncos we have offensive coordinator/elite quarterback Peyton Manning showing everyone in the NFL, especially the Colts, that he still has enough in the tank to take a team to the Super Bowl.
This matchup of future Hall of Fame players on offense and defense is eminent on the field (while Denver’s offensive line will try to prove otherwise). The question is, will the Ravens defense slow down the Peyton Manning Show enough to give Joe Flacco time to work the ball down the field with Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin?
An even better question is, will Ray Lewis’ dance moves be eclipsed by Peyton Manning’s chicken-dance audibles, which looking vaguely like the chicken-dance of members of the Bluth family in Arrested Development? This leads to an even better question: will Arrested Development have a new season, movie, or was this all just a Bluth family hoax?
Time will tell, for all involved. I think the Ravens will cover, which probably means they really won’t.
LINE: Broncos by 9
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are once again in the playoffs after years of continual transitions in the coaching staff. Now the team must contend with continual transitions in player personnel, as the Colin Kaepernick VS Alex Smith quarterback debate is joined by a Billy Cundiff VS David Akers kicker competition. This kicker comparison isn’t as dramatic, considering game plans for kickers really just revolve around booting the football between the goal post uprights and not shanking the ball out of bounds on kickoffs. Still, it’s drama that the 49ers don’t need.
The Packers, meanwhile, have continued to fly under the radar in the game plans, with the only drama being some needling tweets from Greg Jennings’ sister about quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Now they must show the world that they can keep up in a high profile game against a team whose back-up quarterback is debatably as good as the starter.
I’m sticking with my Super Bowl prediction no matter who is under center or kicking the ball, although with my luck the 49ers will pick up Mark Sanchez and start him just to make things difficult.
LINE: 49ers by 3
Sunday, January 13th, 2013
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons
The Seahawks once proved me wrong and got the job done last week against the Washington Redskins. Their playoff tour continues to Atlanta, where they will try to prove that they can win a game on the East Coast for the second week in a row while proving that lime green is a winning color.
The Falcons, meanwhile, have had a bye week to dwell on last year’s playoff disaster, headed by Matty Ice melting in Hotlanta. Will we see a repeat? Will we see some drama worth reporting instead of having to stick with team strengths and weaknesses commentary? I’m picking the Falcons, which is as vanilla as the history between these two teams.
LINE: Falcons by 1
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
When these two teams last played in Foxborough, we saw the decimation of one of the up-and-coming elite teams in the Houston Texans by an elite coach/quarterback combo trying to prove they still have it in the New England Patriots. This led to the Texans dwindling enough to lose their playoff bye week and homefield advantage through the rest of the playoffs.
However, I’m still sticking with my assertion that the Texans sleepwalked through that game in order to make sure that they didn’t tip their hand to Bill Belichick, whose intelligence gathering on opponents rivals that of the CIA. Allegedly.
The Texans will play better. They may even win. Luckily, I don’t have to go that far with a line this big. Ladies and gentlemen, witness the end of an era as the Texans defeat the Patriots 34-31.
LINE: Patriots by 10
REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 123-132
PLAYOFF RECORD: 1-3
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. –>
He 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.