Friday, January 6, 2012

A Break From My Stuff - Link Drops By With a Few Playoff Predictions

As I mentioned in my last post The Hopeful Chase is going a bit more football this weekend.  Since I have no clue as to what I’m talking about I’ve brought in someone who follows the game a bit more than I do. Former Saint Leo baseball great, former radio talk show host, former gum slingin’ salesman, and unremitted Pittsburgh sports lover – Link!  You may remember Link from such posts as “An Eulogy in Black and Gold” and “Let’s Review Game Sechs”.

Home teams are in all-caps and the lines posted are the opening lines from the Las Vegas Hilton via

Take it away, Link………
Cincinnati vs. HOUSTON  (-3)

Kids - that is how you stiff arm.

The last time the Bengals let a 9 point lead slip through their hands was when T.J. Yates threw a late touchdown pass. In that game, the Texans were playing without their stud wide receiver Andre Johnson.  Right now Yates has a separated shoulder (non throwing shoulder) which make me think if he struggles we will see Jack Delhomme early in this game.
The real question is how long can the Texans can survive playing a 3rd string quarterback. I think the Bengals, despite their inability to beat winning teams, find a way to shut down Arian Foster.

Cincinnati 23 Houston 16

Pittsburgh (-8) vs. DENVER
It's funny 'cause Ben looks like he's dead.

First I have to admit that I am a Steelers fan from Pittsburgh (ed note – BOO HISS). Now that we have that out of the way, here are my thoughts.
To say the Steelers are hobbling into this game is an understatement. It would be quicker to tell you who is healthy as opposed to who is hurt. Pittsburgh has the best scoring defense in the NFL, but on offense, we all know Big Ben looks like Herman Munster trying to throw a pass. The offensive tackles have struggled all year with undersized speed rushers and the Broncos have two of them in Elvis Dummervill and Von Miller. The two mile high pass rushers should be able to get pressure on an immobile Roethlisberger and shorten a lot of Steelers drives.

Denver is led by Tim Tebow. It is hard to imagine a team playing a quarterback who can’t throw to his right. Good thing Denver can rely on their defense. I am not a Tebow basher, I do think he has talent, but I think he would have been better served learning to play the position by watching for a few seasons. The Steelers win this battle, but it won’t be easy.
Pittsburgh 15 Denver 10

Atlanta vs. NEW YORK GIANTS (-3)
Remember when Stokley caught the ball in the Super Bowl? I don't. I was a little tipsy

Can you tell who the real New York Giants are? Are they the team that shut Dallas out in the first half or the team that looked awful in Week 15 against the Redskins? Atlanta started off slow, so people forgot about the Falcons, but they have quietly put up 11 wins.

The big question is which defense will show up? The Falcons and the Giants have been passed upon all year. The Falcons 1-2 punch of Roddy White and Julio Jones is better than the Giants Victor Cruz. Even though I like the Giants defensive line a lot more, I think Atlanta finds a way to win. By the way, take the over (ed note – currently at 47.5).
Atlanta 41 New York 30

Detroit vs. NEW ORLEANS (-10.5)

Hey Willis!

Wow, what to say other than I think this is your old style WAC match up. If you are a defensive coordinator you won’t get a lot of sleep this weekend. The Saints come into the playoffs looking like a well-oiled machine. Their offense is on fire and their defense played surprisingly well down the stretch. The Lions are all offense and no defense, but damn is their offense fun to watch. Put the kiddies to bed early, this is gonna be a shootout (ed. Note – the over/under on this game is currently 59).

New Orleans 48 Detroit 34
Look for Justin G's unscientific breakdown on Saturday!

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