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Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Great NFL Pigskin Pick 'Em: Wild Card Weekend 2015

Welcome one, welcome all! The postseason is here. Weeks of blood, sweat and tears have led to this weekend and four intriguing games. There’s not going to be much preamble here as the playoffs speak for themselves. 

I do want to say a few things though before I hop into my picks. I thoroughly enjoy putting out these columns every week. I enjoy every step in the writing process and because it’s football, I never feel like it’s an inconvenience or a chore. So thanks for reading, occasionally interacting, and keeping this fun for me.

I suppose I should give you some real analysis besides my usual snark, so there will be some more thorough explanation behind my picks as we go through the playoffs. Also, I think I’ll include some music and maybe a few memes as we go along as a way of getting back to my writing roots. 

That’s it, let’s hit it!

Last Week: 13-3 (No Lester)
Regular Season: 159-103-1 (5-10)


Cardinals @ Panthers: Song - All Due Respect by Run The Jewels ft. Travis Barker

  • I'm very torn on this game as there's a part of me that wants to see the Cardinals win and continue to defy the expectations that without their top two quarterbacks they can't advance in the playoffs. Plus, they're playing a division champion that is below .500. However, the Panthers are playing their best football right now and the last time a division champ with less than 8 wins hosted a playoff game, Beastmode was born. I think the run ends here for the Cardinals but they deserve every last bit of praise coming their way for a great season.

Ravens @ Steelers: Song - Can't Kill Us by The Glitch Mob

  • The Ravens are like a slippery eel. You think you have them cornered, you think you have them down and out, you think you have your hands on them, but they always manage to wriggle free and take a bite out of your ass. My friends and I used to call the Ravens-Steelers games "Body Bag Games" and I think this will live up to that billing with that slippery eel slithering away with a win. 

Bengals @ Colts: Song - Sabotage by Beastie Boys

  • One detail about this game I feel confident in predicting: there will be at least four turnovers. Between the Andrews, Dalton and Luck, there will be a lot of interceptions and fumbles. What this means is that one of the two quarterbacks is going to have to make a big play either with their legs or arm, probably both, late in the game if they want to advance. Dalton has a pretty horrendous track record in the playoffs so I have to side with Luck in this game. 

Lions @ Cowboys: Song - 777 by Danzig

  • This might wind up being the best game of the weekend. You have strength vs strength (Lions' defense vs. Cowboys offense), two marquee wide receivers and a pair of gunslingers at quarterback. There's a good chance a lot of points get racked up and something fluky, like a special teams play (perhaps a missed Lions field goal?), might be the determining factor in this game. I like Tony Romo to shake off the critics and notch a big home playoff win.  


One last thing: How exciting were those college football playoff games? Okay, how exciting was the Sugar Bowl and the first half of the Rose Bowl? Every time some NCAA official, a conference commissioner or college football purist wants to claim the playoffs will ruin the meaning of the regular season, tell them to shove it. New Years was thrilling knowing there was a bigger prize for the victors straight ahead. Making the two marquee bowls semifinal games did nothing to diminish the reputation or prominence of either, especially since neither of them produce a national champion anyway. Sorry college football purists, the playoffs are here to stay. 


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