Not to worry we have two games today, two next week, and one after that to finish the season with enough to buy that new boat this spring.
The Eagles go to NY to play the Giants. The Eagles whupped the Giants in NY in their last meeting this year. And our analysis leads us to believe that these Giants are not the same team without WR Plex Burress. (10-1 with Plex, 2-3 without Plex) The Giants are favoured by 4.5 points and that's a lot. The Eagles think they're a team of destiny, and we picked them last week.
But today we go with the NY Boyz, Giants -4.5 + 100. We love the Philly D, but we just can't put our faith in a team that passes to set up the run. We'd love to see the Eagles win and set up an NFC Championship game in Arizona, but we don't think it will happen.
A little tech talk: Without having to worry about Plex, the Eagle Defense, which wakes up in a blitz, can roll the safeties up for run support. The Eagles want to shut down the Giant running game. The Eagles want to make Giant QB Manning throw the ball. The problem is that we think Manning is good enough to carry his team, at least through this game. But still...
The Chargers play the Men of Steel next to the Monogahela River today in Pittsburgh. These Steelers are an enigma. They play tough D, they want to run the ball, and yet they can be beaten at home. The Chargers are 2-0 in post season games in Pittsburgh, which means nothing.
The Chargers are hurting, and we neglected that fact yesterday when we picked the Titans (their starting center Kevin Mawae was out, and that was a big factor.) The Chargers have their all world back LT on the bench, and their equally all world linebacker S. Merriman. This is too much firepower to lose to win a playoff game in Pittsburgh in January.
The Steelers are relatively healthy after working through a year of injuries. The weather in PGH will be cold and snowy for the afternoon game, and that probably makes a difference. In warm and sunny San Diego the Chargers excellent special teams, and especially their fantastic punter would be a distinct advantage. In cold, snowy and windy Pittsburgh both punters will have a tough day, and the weather is enough of a factor to let us predict the Steelers and the Ravens will playing a matchup next week.
But can the Steelers cover the 4.5? It's a 50-50 proposition. The safe bet is the Chargers +4.5, as we see the Steelers winning 17-14. But for the heck of it, we're going to assume tough Steeler WR Ward becomes a factor in the game and the Steelers cover.
Pittsburgh -4.5 +100; Under 39 +150. A little tech talk: In the first matchup, the Steelers used a defensive formation where they had one D-Lineman and 4 linebackers rushing the QB. And the interesting thing is the pressure was all up the middle. There was no outside containment, as the book on Charger QB Rivers is that he cannot run outside the pocket. If we were the Charger O-Coordinator (and by the way, any NFL team looking for an offensive or defensive coordinator and wanting to go in a different direction with a high powered gambling trial lawyer, shoot us an email and we are there) we would throw in some designed rollouts where the entire pocket rolls to the left or right. That might shake the vaunted Steeler Defense up a bit.
But still...look for the Steeler to come out with two TEs, a full back, and run Willie Parker until, in the words of coach Tomlin, "the wheels come off. "
We have a few rough weeks coming up. We really don't want Sunday to end.