Kickoff is less than three hours away. Which means it’s time to blog!
At some point, on some radio station, I heard these Jets-Chargers gems from a very serious radio person: It will come to Rex Ryan vs. Philip Rivers. And while the Chargers have won 11 in a row, San Diego isn’t all that impressive because some of the games have been CLOSE! (That is the stuff of genius. So the head coaches and quarterbacks really do matter — imagine that! — and it somehow means LESS to show the toughness to win CLOSE games in the NFL. Sigh.)
Hey there, time for picks. After a 3-1 week in the wild card round, I’ll admit to showing uncharacteristic cockiness when we made our picks Tuesday prior to taping “This Week in Football.” I might pay for that today and tomorrow … but at least I’m not in last place! (Here’s to celebrating victories, however small.)
Cardinals over Saints because I love Kurt Warner in the playoffs. When I made the pick, I thought Boldin would play. But Warner and Fitzgerald are so tough, and it’s not like the Arizona offense doesn’t have other weapons. This should be a wild one and the Superdome will be nuts. (By the way, the Saints are so fun and such a great story that I won’t be sad if they win. I’m just not sure they will. So I’m emotionally hedging, but the pick is Arizona.)
Colts over Ravens because of Peyton and Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne. After that competitive disgrace in Week 16, it would be pigskin poetry for the Colts to lose in front of an angry home crowd, but I doubt they will.
I feel like I’ve been to Minneapolis for a million sporting events. One trip stands out. A few of us reporter-types were at dinner in downtown Minny in the fall of 2004. Nice restaurant. Expensed meal. Good time. Out of the blue, Steve Serby of the NY Post — he is terrific and his Sunday Q&As are must-reads — interrupts the table next to us to tell one of the women that she looks “just like Teresa Heinz Kerry.” Well, that didn’t go over particularly well, with the woman or her husband. We continued eating while stifling laughter. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy.
So I’ll go with the Vikings over the Cowboys because of home-dome advantage and because of my guy, Favre. It’s as simple as that. (By the way, you have to love the evidence, usually presented in graphic form, that the Cowboys have Favre’s number in postseason. That was in the mid-90s! A decade ago! Tony Romo was going through puberty! As my favorite no-show, Ochocinco, would say, Child please. If Dallas wins, it won’t be because of a game in 1990-something.)
And finally, I think the Chargers beat the Jets. Too many weapons for the Jets and their Revis Island defense to deal with. So Revis negates Jackson. Who accounts for Gates and Sproles and Floyd and Tomlinson?
And Sanchez will truly show remarkable progress if he duplicates his composed, mistake-free performance that was on display in Cincy. Rivers is good, really good, particularly in December and January. This might be the year he plays in February.
That’s it for now. If you want to chat after the weekend, give me a call on WFAN at 10 a.m. Monday. I’ll be on with my buddy, Carlin. Yeah! We don’t promise genius, but we do promise fun.
It’s Saturday and I haven’t submitted my picks for “This Week in Football.” Producer Jared Boshnack doesn’t like that.
My picks have stunk most of the season, but here goes:
I’ll go with the Jets over the Jags, for no particular reason.
And for my other pick, the rationale is this: I got burned last week picking the Giants over the Chargers and the Eagles over the Cowboys. So, I’ll take the Chargers over the Eagles on Sunday.
Meanwhile, it seems like a very good Sunday for the Giants not to have a game, wouldn’t you say?
Well, it’s been extraordinary, the length of the season matched by its success, excitement and abundance of compelling story lines.
Today’s parade provided perfect punctuation to a memorable year — and that’s coming from someone who generally loathes parades. This one was fun.
Where did the Yankees season turn? There are several reasonable answers, but one ultimately stands out: When Alex Rodriguez returned.
With one swing of the bat he instilled confidence. And regained confidence. You could argue, and I have, that this was his most valuable season as a Yankee. Really.
The MVP always comes down almost solely to numbers, which I find silly. There is an intangible nature to the word “valuable.” Voters never seem to take that into consideration.
(If the award were Most Outstanding Player, I would understand all the obsessive numbers crunching. It’s not.)
And, to be clear, I’m not suggesting Alex should be the league MVP; Joe Mauer’s season was remarkable and the award should be his. Just suggesting that Alex has never been more valuable to the Yankees.
And who could have imagined that seven or eight months ago?
“This Week in Football”: I have been delinquent in making my picks for the week. Giants over Chargers. Why do I continue to pick the G-Men? Because their defense is getting healthier and because they have to win this game. Have to. And the Eagles over the Cowboys. The birds looked like a team ready to take off last week against the Giants. DeSean Jackson in particular.
I’ve been called for jury duty on Tuesday. If I don’t have to go, I’ll see you on “This Week in Football” next week.
I’ll pop up on WFAN in the meantime. And will continue to blog. As always, thanks for reading.