Sunday, January 9, 2011

NFL Wild-Card Weekend - Sunday Games

Through the regular season, Ryan and I had made picks on all the games on the slate. The NFL playoffs are now here and we aim to bring about more insight and thoughts about each game. Here we will also try to predict the score. As always, you are free to place your picks in the comment thread. Enjoy! -- J.L....P.S. - Live Blog for the Eagles/Packers game right here at Lattanzi Land.

Arrowhead Stadium
1 PM
CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

Ryan’s Take: This will be an interesting game. This game will all depend on the Baltimore offense. If they show up, then it might not be as close as most people think, if they play like last week, Kansas City has a chance to pull the upset this week. Joe Flacco has played very inconsistent this year. With his inconsistency, it has really slowed down this offense throughout the year. If they Ravens run their offense through Ray Rice, they will have a greater chance in winning this game. The Ravens defense has not been the dominant defense it has been the past decade. Still, Ed Reed has helped this defense tremendously and is still the best ball hawker in the league. Now, the Chiefs are an interesting case. They won the AFC West with a 10-6 with a very conservative offense. Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles were the 2 players that the Chiefs depended on this year. Matt Cassel has played like he did in 08 with the Patriots. Charlie Weis is the main reason for this offensive turnaround, but he is leaving for the University of Florida (YES!!!). Maybe this departure will lead to the offense being distracted like last week against the Raiders. Their defense has played well under Romeo Crennel. They have a promising future with all this young talent, but they will lose this game because Ed Reed will make a couple of plays on Cassel late in the game.

Baltimore 17, Kansas City 7.

Josh’s Take: The $64,000 question is….actually, there are two. First, which Ravens’ defense will show up? At times they have looked as dominant as they ever were ten years ago when they won it all. Other times they have looked as porous as a strainer. Secondly, will Kansas City get over their excremental performance from last week? With Charlie Weis officially going to Florida, this whole thing has been a distraction. I think for at least one week, Baltimore’s defense will party like it’s one year after 1999. The Chiefs are no slouch, but they can be beaten, even in an obscenely loud place like Arrowhead. Baltimore’s offense is nothing to sneeze at either, and Joe Flacco is quietly building up a big game reputation, especially on the road. The Ravens will win this and win it fairly handily.

Baltimore 21, Kansas City 10.

Lincoln Financial Field
4:30 PM
FOX - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

Ryan’s Take: This looks like it will be the best game of the week. That sucks because I’d rather have it be a Philadelphia blowout, but you can’t always get what you want. Green Bay was the team I didn’t want to play. They are good at everything the Eagles aren’t. Their passing attack is one of the best in football, while the secondary is decimated by injuries. They also have a defense that can shut down the Eagles. The secondary of the Packers will be a tough test for Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson. If they are able to be physical with those 2, the Eagles won’t have a shot on Sunday. The Eagles offense basically runs through Michael Vick. Instead of the typical West Coast offense, it seems to rely on the big play too often. If they are able to use LeSean McCoy with the screen and run game, then they will have a real chance at winning this game. Green Bay’s defense is not good against the run, but I don’t believe Andy and Marty will run the ball. This is why, with great pain, I think the Pack will win. Hopefully I’m eating my words on Sunday Night.

Green Bay 24, Philadelphia 17.

Josh’s Take: I’ll be honest. I am just not feeling it. As an Eagles fan, of course I want them to win. But there are just too many issues right now. I don’t like the secondary going up against Aaron Rodgers and that receiving corps (Jennings, Driver). I don’t like the way Michael Vick has been talking lately – arrogantly and flippantly. He has had a hard time reading the very thing at which the Packers’ defense excels: blitzing. He had better get with it, or else Kevin Kolb will be in the game by the 2nd half, and Kolb has some serious issues himself. This pick kills me, honestly, but as an objective observer, I am not sure the Eagles can stop a Green Bay team that is peaking at the right time. Although I will be thrilled to be wrong on this…I want them to prove me wrong. I will gladly take the loss here if I am wrong. I am just afraid that I will be absolutely right.

Green Bay 34, Philadelphia 21.

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