With the worst regular season of my life picks-wise out of the way (made somewhat better by the fact that I didn’t place a bet and the Packers went 15-1) let’s start anew and take a look at the postseason. With the Packers getting the week off to heal their bodies and get ready to host a rematch against somebody on the 15th at 3:30 I got to thinking about who Packer fans should be rooting for in the NFC games (you’re free to walk your own path as it pertains to the Andy Dalton-TJ Yates showdown). With the NFL format where the top seed faces the lowest remaining the three teams in play for the Divisional game are the Lions, Falcons or Giants.
#1 – Detroit Lions: Path for this one to happen is simple, beat the Saints on Saturday in the Superdome and they’ll book their trip to Green Bay.
Pros: I think this team quietly stinks despite the gaudy passing numbers from Stafford against bad defenses…if Matt Flynn can throw for 480 and 6 scores at Lambeau against them I imagine Aaron Rodgers could make mince meat of them in the first half and not need two late TD passes…most importantly it knocks the Saints out of the tournament opening up the door for the Packers to only have to get past this team and an offensively challenged 49er squad in all likelihood to make the Super Bowl
Cons: Not even going to use the standard “It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season” bit since every time it gets used seems like the better team finishes 3-0 (save for the 2007 Cowboys but they could find a way to lose to a college team in January). But a divisional foe will always be a tougher out since they know you inside and out, I would have been petrified of seeing the Bears the way they were playing before Cutler got hurt. Also, Calvin Johnson.
The Pick: I think they cover the 10.5 since even if the game isn’t close at the end 17 points can become 10 and biggity-bam, winner. While this is the least likely scenario I don’t see how this can’t be who the Packers want to see emerge if only to beat those assclowns again, I mean they even look evil.
But assuming the Saints run train on those bums (wonder if Payton would still have Brees throwing TD passes up 24 in the 4th quarter of a playoff game) it sets the stage for the noon kickoff Sunday to determine which familiar foe will make the trip to Lambeau.
#2 – Atlanta Falcons (Am I the only person who remembers that post-Super Bowl episode of The Simpsons where they made a joke about an obvious late voice dub once they knew who the teams were where Moe flatly says “Atlanta Falcons”? And then always think of it when you see their name? Just me then? Alright then.)
Pros: Might be different outside of the Georgia Dome but safe to say the Rodgers owns that ass, a 2-2 career record against them doesn’t accurately reflect how often he gets his against their defense…dome team outdoors and Matt Ryan isn’t a great downfield passer in perfect conditions…the best defensive game the Packers put together against a strong opponent was Week 5 in Atlanta
Cons: Michael Turner, Michael Turner and some more Michael Turner…despite lack of downfield passing without a pass rush Ryan could pick them apart as Tony Gonzalez catches 25 passes and they pick up a maddening amount of 3rd and 5 plays…every team I’m sure will bring a certain level of hate into the game but I’d have to imagine the Falcons would relish the opportunity to turn the tables on last year’s playoff rout
#3 – New York Football Giants
Pros: While I said the Lions quietly stink I think this team has the ability to play the worst football of the NFC field…despite Cris Collinsworth saying they were peaking after beating two 8-8 teams to end the season they were smacked around at home by Washington just three weeks back…everything I said about Rodgers versus the Falcon defense applies to how he’s torched the Giants in two career meetings, including this season’s masterpiece
Cons: While basic football sense seems to indicate that Atlanta is the stronger football team just can’t shake the idea of being scared of Big Blue, might be the close call the Packers had to get to 12-0 or residual bad feelings about the ’07 NFC Title Game…there is no logical explanation here for them being the team I’d like Green Bay to face the least but here we are
The Pick: As said above, I still think the Falcons are the better team and seem to match up well, I’ll take Atlanta +3 giving John Abraham another chance to act the fool.
Breaking news in to BSS reveals the AFC is still holding their own tournament to send a team to Indianapolis and it starts this weekend.
Texans (-3.5) over the Bengals: Cincy is ass on the road and Houston can hold them under 14 points…no more thought needs to be put into this game other than haters of the Patriots should pull for the Texans in this one and the Steelers Sunday
Broncos (+9) over the Steelers: I don’t think this shit team is actually going to win the game but Roethlisberger is moving around like Fred Sanford and they just gutted out a 13-9 win over the Browns, when was the last time you watched a Steeler games and came away thinking “That’s a championship offense”?
Enjoy the football kids.