NFL Playoff Picks
What an exciting round of playoff games we had last weekend. I, of course, went on my rant about Bill Belichick following the Jets/Patriots game, and that seemed to be the topic of interest on sports talk radio. Much like my approach here on this site, picking next weeks games seemed to be a bit of an afterthought to both the callers and the hosts. This makes sense too, because next weeks games are going to be tough to pick. In both leagues, the teams seem to match up well against each other, so a lesser man might try to shirk this round and hope the readers didn't notice. Not I. I will make my picks, right after we look at last weeks games.
First came the Steelers and Ravens. The game lived up to the hype. These are two teams that hate each other and this was an old-fashioned bloody knuckled showdown between two evenly matched teams. Early on, it looked like Baltimore had the better of the Steelers, but in the end the Ravens choked and the black and gold got a little help from their friends in the black and white to secure the win. Since I already reviewed the other AFC game, let me go ahead and make this pick.
I think the Jets match up pretty well with the Steelers, and I have to give them respect for backing up their trash talk. These are two tough defensive teams, so points should be at a premium. In the end, I think the Steelers offense can better handle the Jets defense, so I look for them to win this one. I'm going to go with 17-13 for your final score.
Over in the NFC, the Bears made light work of the Seahawks. At this point, I should refer to a comment from Metalman, because he was pretty god with this insight.
I say the Steelers fall into a hole early and won't be able to recover, the Seahawks will lose, but it'll be closer than you think, Atlanta SHOULD win this game.
He nailed the Steelers in the hole early, and I'll give him partial credit on the Hawks. The game was closer than I predicted in score, but Seattle was never in this one. On the other hand, I was way off on the Packers/Falcons game. That's an embarrassing pick. Once again, a lesser man might edit that think out of the article, but I own up. Let me have it, Packers fans. You deserve that. Man, what a game from Aaron Rodgers. And that makes the NFC a very tough game to predict. I, however, being the crystal ball of societal evolution, believe that I can handle the duty. Hence, here is how the game will go down.
Packers/Bears game will finish at a 30-30 tie, giving us our first overtime game under the new playoff rules. The best part about that? Chaos. There is one scenario that nobody has been able to tell me who would be the winner if... And in this game, we are going to find out. Here is how it will go down.
The Packers will get the ball first in overtime. Robbie Gould will kick it deep, and the ball will be returned by James Starks. He will bust one loose and have only the kicker to beat. While trying to juke Gould, Starks will get hit from behind, fumbling the ball. The ball will sail straight into the hands of Robbie Gould, who will take off down the sideline. He gets hit at the 30, and fumbles it himself. The ball is picked up by Starks again, who returns it all the way to the Chicago 5 yard line. Packers can't punch it in, so they line up and kick a field goal. 33-30, Packers.
Is the game over? The new rule says if the receiving team kicks a field goal, the other team has to have a possession before the game is over. Does the fumble recover count? This will require a call to the Commish, which will require him to get out of the hot tub where he was looking at Mrs. Ryans feet picks so he can noodle this one for a minute. Ultimately, he comes to the conclusion that no, it doesn't count. Hence, Green Bay will line up to kick the ball off.
On this kick, Chicago returns the ball to the Green Bay 5 yard line where they fumble and Green Bay recovers. Is the game over now? Not to be contradictory to his previous decision, Roger Goodell decides that no, it isn't a possession since the Bears didn't line up. So, the Packers take over. On the first play, Aaron Rodgers is hit in the end zone and fumbles the ball. Bears recover, 37-33 Bears. Game over. Right?
Back to the Commish, who is really ticked to be disturbed again. He puts down his Brett Favre member picks to wrap his brain around this situation. Still no offensive snap for the Bears, game isn't over. So now, the Bears have to kick off to the Packers, who put a nice drive together that stalls out on the Bears 12 yard line. What to do? The Packers line up and kick a field goal. 37-36 Bears.
Now, all the bears have to do is snap the ball and take a knee, game over, right? Trouble is, the Bears fumble the kickoff and recover it on their own 1 yard line. They hand the ball off, and the running back is dropped in the endzone for a safety. Final score? Packers 38 Bears 37.
What is the moral of this story? I'm not sure. It might be not to make a stupid rule that you might regret later. But more likely it is to be entertaining with your pick in a scenario where you could as easily be wrong as right.