Monday, January 18, 2010

NFL's Final Four

With another weekend of blowouts, this year's playoffs have been extremely one-sided. Take away the Chargers-Jets and Cardinals-Packers games, and its a pathetic post-season. However, I am not one to complain about football, especially playoff football. In fact, the ones who do the lashing of "this is terrible football" and "where are the dominate teams like the Steelers of the 70s, the Bears of the 80s and Niners of the 80s and 90s" are radiating bad vibes to what the game has become. Most times, the offense prevails heavily, as in the Saints over the Cardinals in the Divisional Round, or lack thereof as with the Cowboys and Ravens (who amassed an amazing two field goals between them), which speaks praises to what most consider the key to championships - defense.

The Vikings defense is only so deep, and they are not the Monsters of the Midway style defense. The meat of the team is in the trenches. Outside of the linemen, there are a few good players, but no Mike Singletary or Dan Duerson on this team, although you can argue Jared Allen is as close to any defensive player from the Bears Super Bowl team.

The Colts, not a defensive powerhouse, but did very well in stalling a vastly improved Baltimore offense this season, and forced Flacco to throw more than Cam Cameron hoped for. The lack of a disciplined defense killed the Ravens chances, and the offense was forced into 4 turnovers. The Colts do not have the defense to carry them if the offense is stymied by the Gang Green in the AFC Championship Game. Peyton Manning has to make plays on behalf of the defense, who could get ripped up by the Jets ground game.

As for the Saints, don't expect what was seen against Arizona. This will be a game very similar to that of the Saints game against the Jets early in the season. Well, maybe a few more touchdowns between the two teams, especially since its Brett Favre and not Sanchez, but this will not be shoot-out by any means. I don't know how well the Saints defense can hold up against a very talented group of skill players in Peterson, Rice, and Harvin. Brett Favre has been here plenty of times, and this New Orleans team ... not so much.

NY Jets (+7.5) @ Colts, and I'll take the over at 40
Vikings (+4) @ Saints, and I'll take the under at 52.5

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