It's that time of year again folks, The AFC and NFC Championship games are upon us. Last year I split on my predictions, but did pick the eventual Super Bowl winner.
Before I get to my picks for this weekend, I have to write a little bit about what I call "the gift that keeps on giving", namely the monstrous choke job that the Indianapolis Colts pulled in last weeks divisional round. Those who know me know that as a Titans fan I despise the Colts and more importantly Peyton Manning. They seem to get fawned over every year by the media and fans alike only to get completely spanked come playoff time, not to mention the last three years have bitch-slapped my Titans repeatedly. Peyton has never won a state, college or pro championship football game in his life, yet is already annointed as "best QB ever". After the Steelers attempted to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in last weeks game, the Colts had a chance to send it to overtime and sure enough the choke went from "minor choke job-got outplayed, but didn't really choke" to "major choke job-had the game gift wrapped and couldn't seal the deal". Everyones favorite "idiot kicker" Mike Vandershank missed the game tying field goal by about three miles and sent the Steelers to Denver for Sundays AFC Championship game.
After the game, the giving started. First, you had Peyton calling out his O-line for "having some protection problems". Hey Peyton- maybe if you didn't move slower than my three year old nephew the O-line wouldn't have had that many problems. And calling out your team after a loss is how you become a disrespected loser with talent as opposed to a champion calibre winner like Tom Brady. How many times when the Pats lose do you hear Tom say "well, my receivers couldn't catch the ball, that's why we lost." Never. Even McNair, win or lose, puts the responsibility on himself. That's what true champions do. After the game Vandershank also added "I guess God wasn't on our side". Um, what? So I was right that Satan has been in the Colts locker room all this time? Man what an idiot.
Like I said, the gift that keeps on giving.
So to Peyton and Colts fans I leave you this photoshop obtained today from Fark.com's best headline of the day-
Indianapolis Colts raise prices of tickets, presumably to cover the cost of heimlich maneuver classes
Heh. Yes, the gift that keeps on giving. On to my picks....
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: BRONCOS vs. STEELERS in Denver.
I've recently been changed in to a Jake Plummer believer thanks to Jeff Goldstein from Protein Wisdom. Jeff is convinced that Jake is consistently underrated as a QB, and has been one of the NFL's best for the last couple of years. Until his game last week against the Pats, I wasn't really sold. But then Jake made this TD pass in the second half while rolling to his right that was an absolute rope, splitting two defenders and hitting the receiver on the numbers so hard he fell over. It was dare I say- Elway-esque. Jake did a decent job of managing that game, and with a coach like Shanahan, all he has to do is stick with the game plan. I don't think that the Steelers can go blitz happy against Plummer because he is actually a better QB when he gets flushed out of the pocket, and the Steelers secondary is WEAK. The other problem for Pittsburgh is they are dependent on the running game to keep Big Ben clean enough to pick apart a defense, and no one has been able to run against the Broncos this year. Add that up to the two pro bowlers in Lynch and Bailey in the Denver secondary and you get a long day for Steelers fans.
Final pick: Denver-28, Pittsburgh-10.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: SEAHAWKS vs. PANTHERS in Seattle-
Much as I hate to admit it, Seattle (and ex-Titan) cornerback Andre Dyson is about to get served on a platter this weekend by the most dangerous football player on the field Sunday in Carolina wideout Steve Smith. Chicago inexplicably left Smith single covered during the majority of last weeks game, and Smith made them pay repeatedly. While I don't think that the Seahawks will make the same mistake, I don't think they have enough talent in the secondary to stop Smith. He's a stronger Marvin Harrison with blazing quickness and a fearless attitude over the middle. Just about anywhere they line him up he's a threat. As crazy as this sounds, Jake Delhomme has the most big game experience out of all of the QB's left in the playoffs. Seattles offense has a Jekyl and Hyde mentality, and I'm not sure which one shows up this weekend. The Titans couldn't stop Alexander when we played them this year, but the Titans still should have won that game. I have no faith at all in Seattle's QB Hasselback, as he made some cover-your-eyes-awful, Kordell Stewart-esque decisions in last weeks game against the Redskins. I think Carolina wins this going away.
Final score: Carolina- 34, Seattle 14.
Should be some good games, looking forard to it....have a good weekend everyone!!