RossCode Picks - NFL WIldcard Playoffs Week

posted on 01/06/06 at 12:35:56 am by Joel Ross

With the playoffs here, writing these things gets easier. However, picking winners gets significantly harder. It's easy to pick the winner between a 12-3 team and a 3-12 team. It's much harder to pick the winner between a 12-4 team and an 11-5 team. But that's what I'm going to do.

One more note. I had a feeling Texas was going to win the Rose Bowl - actually, I've had that feeling since early December. I'm kicking myself for never posting anything about it. I guess I'm just shy about putting my picks out in public! Certain players take their team, put them on their back, and will them to win, but few do it quite the way Vince Yong did it. I was recording RCW?during the second half, and I took a break, just in time to see Young run it in. I rewound the DVR, only then finding out that it was a 4th and 5 situation. Absolutely a gutsy play.

One last college football note: Did Reggie Bush's ill-adviced lateral cost him any positioning in the NFL draft? It showed a lack of judgement in a crunch situation - you can teach someone how to make better decisions, but when under pressure, you usually drop back to your roots. Will that scare any NFL teams? My guess is no, but...

  • Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Cincinnati (46 O/U): The sole game where the away team (thus, the worse regular season) is the favorite. The season series is 1-1, with each team getting the win on the opposition field. The difference here is that Pittsburgh went into Cincinnati at a time when both teams were hot, and won. Cincy, on the other hand, beat a Pittsburgh team that was already floundering. Since then, Pittsburgh has gotten hot again, mainly because they went back to what works: hard nosed grinding football. The Bengals better be ready for a Bus ride, or it's going to be a long afternoon.
  • Jacksonville* vs. New England (-8.5) (37 O/U): New England is the team that everyone fears right now, and?Rightfully so. They are the defending champs, and are entitled to that respect. They came on slow, but then they got Tedy Bruschi back, and have been playing much better ever since. Jacksonville has a better record, but plays away due to New England winning the division (and Jacksonville having the misfortune to be in the same division as the Colts), but that won't matter this weekend.
  • Washington vs. Tampa Bay (-2.5) (37 O/U): The NFC looks to have closer match ups this weekend. Both games are expected to be close (spread for both is less than a field goal). Tampa Bay looks like they are back in the form they showed when they went to the Super Bowl. Chris Simms is playing very well, not to mention the play of Offensive Rookie of the Year Cadillac Williams. He's pretty good too.
  • Carolina vs. New York Giants (-2.5) (43.5 O/U): I'm completely lost here. I think the Giants will win, mainly because of the play we've seen this season from Tiki Barber. I know the talk has been about the great play of Eli Manning (aided, in my opinion by the addition of Plaxico Burress, who is doing much more than just catch passes), but it's been the defenses having to focus on Barber that's given Manning the room to develop. Carolina has a great defense, so this one will probably come down to the Giants defense against the Panthers offense.

So there you have the wildcard weekend. I'm looking forward to the games. We'll review results next week.

Categories: Football