Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rugby for fairies...2010 Divisional Saturday

Many folks call this the best NFL weekend of the year. Bokolis always used to think so. This was back when we had traditional powers. By traditional powers, I mean, back when the NFC used to kick the snot out of the AFC; 49ers, Cowboys, Skins, Giants. This decade saw the two most productive teams come from the AFC; Patriots, Steelers and, it may play out, Colts.

Back then, things seemed more predictable. During the divisional week, the team with the bye typically kicked the shit out of the visitor. These days, someone has anointed the Patriots a dynasty for going 3-1 in Super Bowls, all decided by 3 points. They didn't cover in two of them, they won as a big dog and lost as a big favorite.

Fitting then, that the divisional week has lost its predictability. The results have been all over the place. But, we do know that the P. Manning hasn't won coming off a bye and that the Cardinals won in the exact same spot last year. While not forgetting what was just written, both scenarios are getting the points.

Cardinals (+7) over SAINTS - Last week said a lot for declining momentum. Having lost their last three, the Saints stink of it. We've seen their high-powered offense and we've even seen them play the pass. But we haven't seen it in the last month. I've watched the Cardinals jump out to big leads in the last three NFC playoff games. Getting a TD, it's about time I learn my lesson.

Ravens (+6.5) over COLTS - With the Colts, it's not so much declining momentum as it is no momentum. P. Manning, like Greg Maddux, is a victim of his own consistency in that, if someone dials it up to his level or better, he never has an answer. Flacco isn't going to dial it up; I'm talking about the Ravens defense. On the surface- the Colts have bagged the last seven here- it would seem the Ravens defense hasn't matched up all well against P. Manning in recent years. But, they did this year and he was last held without a touchdown by the Ravens during the playoffs a few years back. That would indicate that, it is more an issue of the Ravens being good enough to be bothered. Winning is still going to take some doing, but the Colts, their record notwithstanding, aren't that good. I think we can land on the right side of the number.

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