I told you Wild Card weekend always produced some incredible moments and it literally saved its best for last. Personally, it wasn’t a bad weekend for my prognosticating powers, although like many other people out there, I got “Tebowed” out of going 4-0. More on the Denver Demigod in a minute but I would like to start off by giving the losing teams their due.
The Cincinnati Bengals were fool’s gold all season (0-7 against playoff teams) but they were hanging tough until JJ Watt completely flipped the script for the Houston Texans. After that, Andy Dalton began to look more like a first year player with every drive.
The Atlanta Falcons were matched up against a defense and a quarterback playing with a lot of swagger the last few games. After the slow start to the game by both teams you knew the Falcons were going to struggle mightily to get anything going.
The Detroit Lions were hanging tough, but a few bad calls and a few missed opportunities on defense let Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints hit their stride and they were too much.
The Pittsburgh Steelers…holy cow. Big Ben Roethlisberger was banged up, they were without Ryan Clark, Maurkice Pouncey, Rashard Mendenhall, Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton but they still had this game until divine forces intervened. Even the mighty Steelers can be Tebowed. I’m not entirely sure if I should consider any wins Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos get from this moment moving forward as “upsets”.
Here’s a song for the losers and how they must feel today:
: “Sabotage” Beastie Boys
“So, so, so, so listen up 'cause you can't say nothin'
You shut me down with a push of your button
But yo, I'm out and I'm gone
I'll tell you now I keep It on and on dam!
Cause what you see you might not get
And we can bet, so don't you get souped yet
Scheming on a thing that's a mirage
I'm tryin' to tell you now it's Sabotage”
Here’s a song for the winners:
: “Harder Better Faster Stronger” Daft Punk
“Work it harder, make it better
Do it faster, makes us stronger
more than ever, Hour after
Our work is never over”
For continuing to defy critics, Tim Tebow gets his own bonus track:
: “Personal Jesus” Depeche Mode
“Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess
I will deliver
You know I'm a forgiver
Reach out and touch faith”
Now it’s time for the Divisional matchups, my picks and some tasty guitar licks.
New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers
This will be the ultimate test of wills on the weekend: can the 49ers’ defense remain stout in the face of an unrelenting Saints’ offensive attack? Drew Brees and his band of brothers are unstoppable in the Super Dome but take some criticism for being an arena football style team. If they walk out with a victory here, I think they instantly become the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Saints
win here and they will look good away from the dome.
: “So Far From Your Weapon” The Dead Weather
“You dream of seeing fire in them hills
But you better wipe that smile from your lips
Which of us will be the one to go?
He who hits the road's the one who lives”
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
The sides with a rooting interest in this matchup are on opposite ends of the spectrum; it’s almost like pitting creationists against scientists. On the one hand, Tim Tebow shouldn’t be a winning quarterback yet he seems to use magic or divine intervention when the Broncos need a big play. Those backing Tom Brady and the Patriots have evidence of his greatness and his ability to win. I think the nerds will be proven right on Saturday with the Patriots
winning easy and Brady keeping his crown as the best quarterback around.
: “Magic Fountain” Art vs. Science
And we were never told
That the fountain was a trophy for the kingdoms of old
A treasure a plaything a Trojan in disguise
And in the last great war the secret burned up in the fire
So the peasants stormed mountain tops pretending to be king”
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens
This is going to be a slobber-knocker, reminiscent of the days when the Ravens and Titans used to lock horns and beat each other into submission. Expect a low scoring tilt with a lot of hard hits at the line of scrimmage, quarterbacks wearing grass in place of their jerseys and a lot of close-ups of Ray Lewis screaming. This is the type of game that is decided by which quarterback makes the fewest mistakes. I think Joe Flacco plays clean enough to keep his team in it until the Ravens
’ defense forces TJ Yates into a few mistakes and the Texans out of the playoffs.
: “Mouth For War” Pantera
I feel a conquering will down inside me
The strength of many to crush
Who might stop me
My strength is in number
And my soul lies in every one
The releasing of anger can better any medicine under the sun”
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
I want to pick an upset badly this weekend and many experts are looking at the Giants as the team that gets hot and rolls through the playoffs rather unexpectedly like the Packers last year and…the Giants in 2008. As tempting as that is, I think the Packers
are a tough team to surprise. The Giants’ pass rush will make life hard on Aaron Rodgers but he is playing at such an elite level and he has the mystique of Lambeau Field in January on his side. As much as I like Eli Manning and the Giants, I think this is where their ride ends.
: “Sooner or Later” N.E.R.D.
“Sooner or later it all comes crashing down (crashing down),
crashing down (crashing down) when everyone's around
I bet you would've paid up all your cash down (you'll cash down)
and not make a sound (to make a sound) everyone knows now”
Thanks again for tuning in and I’ll leave you with a bonus pick and a hidden track for you and for the BCS title game: Both teams should be less tentative this time around which will likely mean more mistakes forced by the great defenses of LSU and Alabama. This time though, I expect the Bayou Bengals to force more turnovers and take control of the championship game early on. LSU
takes the title and here’s a song for BCS and the reason why we’ll never see a playoff.
Song: “C.R.E.A.M.” Wu-Tang Clan
Until next week friends!