NFL Picks: January 11 and 12

I did a search and didn’t see this thread yet for this week, so I thought I’d kick it off. I’m sure I can’t do it justice like Omniscient did starting it last week, but I trust the better prognosticators will come along shortly. So let’s talk about the NFL playoffs for this week! Incidentally, I got the lines from Yahoo!
AFC Matchups
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, Saturday 4:30 pm ET, Titans favored by 4:
My personal loyalties to the Steelers may be coloring my judgment here, but I’m not sold on the Titans. I know they finished the season hot, but I think the Steelers got a good wakeup call last week and will be ready for this game. On paper it should be a fantastic game as the teams are so close to each other in nearly every statistical category I could find. I say the Steelers win this one.

New York Jets at Oakland, Sunday 4:30 pm ET, Raiders favored by 5 1/2:
I have a bad feeling for the Raiders. They started the season looking like the best team, tanked for a bit, then seemed to get their act together. Gannon won some accolades for a great season, too. For some reason I have this gut feeling that the Jets pull off a miracle here and manage to beat the Raiders this year, gaining a bit of redemption for last year.

I’m sure I must be wrong about at least one of the AFC games… picking both road underdogs? Oh well… fortunately I’m too poor right now to have any real money on the line!

NFC Matchups
Atlanta at Philly, Saturday 1 pm ET, Eagles favored by 7 1/2:
I think this could be a very exciting game. McNabb is returning and has been talking all week about how happy he is to hear about people expecting him to be rusty. Nonetheless, I don’t see how he can’t be a little rusty after sitting out this long. Vick doesn’t seem intimidated by anyone, but I think the Eagles defense is going to figure him out enough to force somebody else on that team to beat them, and I don’t think anyone else will be up to the task. I pick the Eagles, but I don’t think they cover.

San Francisco at Tampa Bay, Sunday 1 pm ET, Bucs favored by 6:
I think San Francisco is going to be feeling a bit lucky to even be in this game, as well as a bit distracted by all the talk this week about how they should not be here. I think Tampa is out to prove they can do something in the playoffs now that they have the home field and aren’t going to freezing weather to play. I think the Bucs win this one AND I think they cover.

(Now I’ll just sit back and wait for the real prognosticators to show up … )

NY Jets 34 Oakland Raiders 27
Pittsburgh Steelers 33 Tennessee Titans 20
Atlanta Falcons 23 Philadelphia Eagles 16
Tampa Bay Bucs 24 San Francisco 49ers 10

Titans (by 5)
Jets (by 14)
Eagles (by 2)
Bucs (by 3)

Man, I hope there aren’t an blowouts or I’m screwed. Unless the Titans blow away Pittsblurgh, then I won’t care.

Realhhoops, those times are wrong. The correct ones are:
4:30 ET Steelers vs. Titans
8:00 ET Falcons vs. Eagles
4:30 ET Jets vs. Raiders
8:00 ET Bucs vs. 49’ers

my predictions:
Steelers by 10
Falcons by 3
Raiders by 6
Bucs by 8

Super Bowl: Raiders beat the Bucs, 17-10

According to, it’s 4:30 and 8:00 ET on Saturday, but 1 and 4:30 ET on Sunday. My apologies for having the wrong time for the Falcons and Eagles games, and thanks for pointing it out.

I’ll only accept your apology if you’ll accept mine for being wrong about the 49’ers/ Bucs time. :slight_smile:

Hey, the Bucs pregame is at 12. Fortunately my daughter’s birthday party isn’t until 1:30. Maybe I’ll get to see the final 30 minutes. And, oh, how I hope that astorian is the prognosticating genius I’ve made him out to be!

Beeblebrox, done. //insert smiley//

Hopefully, between the two of us, we’ve got it right now!

I think Oakland and the Buccs will win easily. The Buccs are VERY hungry and Sapp is a madman. The Buccs won’t collapse like the Giants. Oakland is just too good a team to not pick. I’m not convinced about the Jets yet. Too much hype too, I think, so I think they must be due for a letdown.

Philly will win, but it won’t be easily. Vick I don’t think has it all together yet to add the dimension to figure out a really, really tough defense. He was almost a non-factor in the game against Green Bay, and I don’t think Philly will give this one away like Green Bay did.

The Pitts vs. Titans game is something I can’t begin to figure out. Tennessee beat Pittsburgh earlier this year, but there wasn’t any standout performance by anyone on either side. That makes me think the nod must go to Tennessee. They didn’t need miracles or anything else to win; they just won. On the other hand, Pittsburgh has a pretty exposive offense and Tennessee is one-dimensional at wide receiver, meaning the banged up secondary of Pittsburgh won’t be as big a factor as it was against Cleveland. Tennessee hasn’t really been tested in over a month, though. I’m going to have to take Pittsburgh on this one.

Oakland 35 - NYJ 17
TB 24 - SF 10
Philly 24 - Atl 14
Pitt 31 - Tenn 24

Pittsburgh at Tennessee - Titans large, they’re hot and at home. Pittsburgh’s defence clearly has issues.

NY Jets at Oakland - I didn’t know who to pick here but Oakland beat the Jets early in december so I"m going to say Oakland wins but they don’t cover. My trouble stems from the fact that both teams have been very impressive the last half of the season. Oakland, I think, has a better team but the Jets did just get over absolutely thumping Indy…

Atlanta at Philly - I don’t think Atlanta has another week like last week. Same story as before, cold stadium that isn’t their home. If Donovan McNabb is healthy the eagles win and big, if they have to go to a backup, they win but don’t cover.

San Fran at T. Bay - It’s a tragedy that both teams I like are playing each other. On the plus side, one of the teams is going to the NFC Championship game so that’s good. Tampa is clearly a better team I don’t think there is any arguement. From what I understand, Brad Johnson is back who is more than capable of putting points up against San Francisco. I’d love to pick San Francisco as I am a huge Terrell Owens and I even think he’ll have a decent game. The thing is, noone else in San Francisco will so I’m picking Tampa to cover.

AFC Matchups
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, Titans favored by 4:
Not quite sure how to feel about this one – Steelers ended the season on quite a rip, Titans have been quietly getting better all season. I’m gonna go with the Titans; I think they’re the more solid team overall. Titans win and cover.

New York Jets at Oakland, Raiders favored by 5 1/2:
I gotta admit, I’m partial to Oakland – Gannon and Garner led my fantasy football team to the Super Bowl this year, so my heart is with the black and silver. I think overall the Raiders have a stronger team and a more balanced attack, so I’m taking them to win this one and cover.

NFC Matchups
Atlanta at Philly, Eagles favored by 7 1/2:
This is gonna be the best game of the weekend and will be a total shootout. I like the Eagles here but they won’t cover the point spread.

San Francisco at Tampa Bay, Bucs favored by 6:
San Fran has been way too streaky this year – they’re good, they’re bad, they’re good, they’re bad… Garcia has been streaky and their running attack ain’t the best (Garrison Hearst being a disappointment both in real life and in fantasy terms this year). Bucs win and cover.

Titans – should cover too

Raiders – I’ll be rooting hard for the Jets, though

Eagles – the Falcons are one guy. He’s hella good, but the Eagles have been knocking at the door for a few years now. It’s time.

NINERS – hey, they have a good shot. And no, they aren’t lucky to be there. They scored 25 points in the final 19 minutes. They earned it! I don’t care what the heck the refs said on Monday. There may be a let down. Tht was an emotional victory. I hope they can make it work for them.

Titans over Steelers
Raiders over Jets
Philly over Atlanta
49ers over Tampa
I don’t think I got one right last week vs. the spread, so if you wager then pick the opposites.

Tennesse minus the points
Atlanta plus the points (Philly wins)
49ers plus the points (Bucs win)
Jets Vs. Raiders – Charles Woodson is a huge factor. Pennington looks damn good and the Oakland secondary has been their weak spot for several weeks. The Raiders will win, if Woodson plays they will cover the spread.

Oh God, please no…

The real one is bad enough, the last thing football needs is a huge one. Are there no players with a modicum of class left anymore?

I totally suck when it comes to scores so I’ll just tell ya who I think/hope will win

I want San Francisco but think Tampa Bay will win

Course once Green Bay was out, I have no idea who I want to win the Super Bowl… sigh

Hey, where the heck were all you guys during the rest of the season?

AFC Matchups

Pittsburgh at Tennessee, Titans favored by 4:
This is one of the games I not to sure about. I haven’t seen the Titans play this year, but everything I’ve read says they’re a good team. The Steelers I do know, and everything I know says a Steelers loss. Titans to win and cover.

New York Jets at Oakland, Raiders favored by 5 1/2:
Right off the bat I’ll admit it I’m biased against the Raiders. That being said, I think the Jets have a good chance to win this game. During their last meeting the Raiders looked like they couldn’t handle the Jets, until Brown got his record. Then the Jets were treated like props while play stopped. The Jets should still be angry about that, and that alone should have them fired up for this game. That and like Michael Vick, Pennington doesn’t realize that he’s not supposed to be that good. I’ll take the Jets in an upset.

NFC Matchups

Atlanta at Philly, Eagles favored by 7 1/2:
The Falcons dominated last week against the Packers, and they’ll bring all that energy into Philly. McNabb fresh off of injury will be starting and I’m not sure I agree with that decision. I’ve seen too many games already where a starter came back and performed poorly and or tentatively. Still it should be a hot game, with a lot of passing. I’ll take Atlanta to cover, with Philly pulling off the win. Maybe.

San Francisco at Tampa Bay, Bucs favored by 6:
OK first let’s settle one argument now. The officials didn’t beat the Giants the Niners beat the Giants. The officials didn’t score 24 points in 19 minutes. The Niners scored 24 points in 19 minutes. The Niners know it the Bucs know it. I think the Niners take this game and here’s why in a word: Garcia. One of the biggest factors in the Bucs defense is getting to the QB, which just don’t happen much against Garcia. Take away that factor away and the Niners win on offense, the Bucs weaker area.


AFC Matchups

Pittsburgh at Tennessee, Titans favored by 4:
I expect Tennessee to win this one handily.
Titans 28-13

New York Jets at Oakland, Raiders favored by 5 1/2:
I like the Jets here, but the sudden ground swell of support for them has me nervous. It has to be pissing off the Raiders, one team that thrives on emotion, as well. So I’ll still go with NY, but not as enthusiastically as I would have before.
Jets 24-23

NFC Matchups

Atlanta at Philly, Eagles favored by 7 1/2:
I’m probably the only one who thinks that the Falcons have absolutely no chance in this game. The Philly defense is just as good and maybe a tad meaner than the Bucs defense, who squashed Vick’s Falcons twice. The Eagles offense will be good enough to score on the Falcons, who have given up some points.
Eagles 30-10

San Francisco at Tampa Bay, Bucs favored by 6:
I think the 49ers are going to have a let down. Garcia is a bit under the weather. If the real Johnson (Brad) shows up then the Bucs win. If the evil Johnson (Rob) plays or Brad isn’t effective, then this will be the other upset this weekend.
Bucs 21-7

Wow. I guess maybe there really is something to that whole “home field advantage” after all? Atlanta’s win in Green Bay (of all places) last week being the only road win of the playoffs so far?!?!

So… a quick recap:

AFC Matchups
Titans win, but were unable to cover the spread. I guess Pittsburgh can blame their pass defense for losing this game, or maybe Fuamatu Ma’afala for that illegal block in the back that took away Randle El’s punt return, or… well, enough excuses. The Steelers overall defense was just too banged up this year. There’s always next year. Titans 34-31 in OT.

Oakland. If only the SuperBowl were played at Oakland they’d look damn near invincible, wouldn’t they. Guess I should have known better than to think the Jets were up to a road challenge in Oakland. As Shibboleth said, the sudden groundswell of Jets support should have set off warning signals. Oakland wins and covers both. Raiders 30-10.

NFC Matchups

Eagles handle Vick, win and cover. As usual, the real story here is the Eagles Defense which, when playing well, is darn near unbreakable. McNabb appears to be pretty healthy. Eagles win and cover both. Eagles 20-6.

Tampa Bay. Again, that defense just doesn’t seem to want to bend. Tampa looks as good as anyone right now in a completely dominating performance. Bucs win and cover both. Bucs 31-6.

Next week should be pretty exciting. Oakland has to be liking their chances against a Titans team that took a beating in surviving the Steelers. Tampa Bay and Philly should be a great matchup. You gotta figure the Bucs will play well in cold weather in the playoffs someday, right? Anyway… stay tuned for next week.

I’m just going to say right now that the Bucs vs Eagles will definitely be won in the trenches. The Eagles have the upperhand there, IMO, and on both sides of the line have a size advantage. Gruden is going to have to find a way to compensate if the Bucs are going to have a chance.