>> Saturday, January 09, 2010
Jets +2.5 at Bengals. I'm generally inclined to think "Never, ever, EVER back a crappy QB on the road" is a good rule. I'm inclined to make an exception, however, when 1)in a given state of health and offensive context the much more accomplished veteran he's facing isn't terribly good either, 2)the home playoff team is a ringer, and 3)his team has an outstanding pass defense. Granted, even in an off year Palmer is a lot better, but this looks like a close game and I think you have to take any points on offer. Plus, Revis will take 85 out of the game, leaving Palmer looking at Andre "8.5 yds/rec" Caldwell and a washed-up Laveranues Coles in key situations. Good luck with that.
Eagles at Cowboys -3.5. I don't want it to happen, either. And, yeah, picking Wade Phillips in the playoffs is rarely a good idea, although Andy Reid (while a good Tuesday-Saturday coach) is even more tactically inept. Still, football's most odious franchise features the better team here, and with their offensive line problems I just can't see the Eagles hitting enough big plays to win.
Ravens at Patriots (-3.5.) I'm torn -- the Ravens are better than their record, and without Welker the Pats probably not as good. Still, it's Brady (who somewhat quietly had as good a year as anyone, and better than the more noted St. Favre) and Belichick against Flacco and Harbaugh at Foxboro...I think they'll get a first round win.
Packers +1 at Arizona On paper, the biggest mismatch, and since Rogers is at this point probably better than Warner I won't disagree, especially with Boldin's health questionable.