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Old 01-10-2009, 02:31 AM   #16
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There has never been an all-wild-card Super Bowl.

Here's a nice opportunity?
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:29 AM   #17
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Wow, there is just no explanation for the Panthers. That was the worst game they have played all season long, especially Jake Delhomme. He was downright brutal on Saturday.

I was thrilled with how the Eagles closed out the game yesterday. The first quarter was downright brutal for them but I thought McNabb regrouped and held it together down the stretch. Manning either choked yesterday or he never adapted to the elements as he was flat out bad in that game. Asante Samuel is earning his weight in gold. His two picks have led to two of the Eagles 4 TDs in the postseason.

The NFC title game should be interesting with argubaly the hottest offense in the league butting heads with the hottest defense in the league.

The AFC title game is going to be a flat out slugfest. That game is going to be intense and there is going to be some serious hitting going on.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:08 AM   #18
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This weekend I like...

Cards over the Panthers. Lot of people seem to think Carolina has this really formidable defense, but the truth is they play NO defense whatsoever. They have good linebackers and Peppers and that's about it. Plus, Jake Delhomme is the most wildly inconsistent QB in the league whereas Warner is a borderline hall of famer. Zona stopped Turner, so why can't they stop Williams? The only thing that really bothers me is the fact they gave Whisenhunt a Gatorade bath after winning a first round game, but I'll just chalk that up to inexperience and move on.

Eagles over Giants. It's a toss-up but, gun to my head, I'll take and root for the Eagles. I would be surprised by absolutely no outcome in that game, though. Really I'm just pulling for McNabb to McNab (TM) a little more redemption. Seems like an all right guy so who cares if he doesn't understand how overtime works? Giants miss Plaxico.

Steelers over the Chargers and Baltimore over Tennessee. I think fate is conspiring to pit those two teams against each other in the championship game. We seem to always miss out on the dream matchup, but I really hope we get it this year. Ravens in Pitt would be epic.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:30 PM   #19
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Eat it, Sports Central Messageboard
Steve, right on the money! Very nice job picking. Now, keep it up and I'll be willing to say it was more than luck...
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Wow, there is just no explanation for the Panthers. That was the worst game they have played all season long, especially Jake Delhomme. He was downright brutal on Saturday.
I was in uptown Charlotte with all the fans pumped for this. What a letdown. Delhomme is prone to these atrocious games and he sure picked a bad time for one. I think it's time the Panthers get a new QB.
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I was thrilled with how the Eagles closed out the game yesterday. The first quarter was downright brutal for them but I thought McNabb regrouped and held it together down the stretch. Manning either choked yesterday or he never adapted to the elements as he was flat out bad in that game. Asante Samuel is earning his weight in gold. His two picks have led to two of the Eagles 4 TDs in the postseason.
Many of us, including me, were calling for the heads of McNabb and Reid, declaring it an end of an era. Now they could very well be in the Super Bowl. Hard to believe McNabb was benched earlier this season. The Eagles have the momentum that the Giants had last year, that is not to be underestimated. Being hot counts.

Cards vs. Eagles
Ravens vs. Steelers

You've got an offensive game in the desert and a slugfest between two defensive teams. I like the Eagles and Steelers to make it an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl...
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #20
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I was in uptown Charlotte with all the fans pumped for this. What a letdown. Delhomme is prone to these atrocious games and he sure picked a bad time for one. I think it's time the Panthers get a new QB.
The problem is who? They already traded away this year's #1 pick to get Jeff Otah in last year's draft and the depth in the draft is pretty thin this year to begin with and there is not supposed to be much available via free agency. I don't think Matt Moore, their backup, is going to be anything more than a career backup.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:05 AM   #21
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Don't know about you, but the way both the Panthers and the Falcons ended the regular season left a bad taste in my mouth (coming within a whisker of losing to last-place teams) - and then both of them lost to the Cardinals in the playoffs.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:43 AM   #22
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The Falcons were one of those teams that were not as good as their record would lead one to believe. They won 3 games by 3 or fewer and six games by a TD or less. They easily could have been 8-8 this year if a play had gone another way in some of those games.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:57 AM   #23
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But that's the hallmark of a team that is the equivalent of a racehorse who "knows where the wire is."

Contrast that with the Eagles and their 1-5-1 record during the regular season in games decided by 7 pts. or less (and even the one win is tainted, since the Giants pulled within that margin by scoring a TD with a few seconds left and no timeouts).

So if the Falcons could have been 8-8 if they didn't have more guns, might the Eagles have been 15-1 if they had more guts?
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:41 PM   #24
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More guts or better playcalling?

But again some of their losses go back to not having a suitable alternative on offense when Westbrook is not at full speed.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:34 AM   #25
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And whose fault is it that they lacked said alternative?

I also suppose you think it's some sort of cosmic coincidence that the Eagles allowed only 23 sacks this (regular) season - their fewest sacks surrendered since 1981 (and did so with one of their starting offensive linemen missing essentially the entire season) - and the blitz control DeSean Jackson provided had nothing to do with it.

Funny how this same offensive line - and not missing the aforementioned starter (Shawn Andrews) - gave up 49 sacks in 2007, but only 28 in 2006, when they had Donte' Stallworth to deter blitzes.

A genuine power runner would deprive opposing defenses of still more luxuries and options - just like having a genuine deep-threat receiver does.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:06 AM   #26
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So then are you telling me the line was letting those guys through to hit Westbrook in the backfield? I fail to see how the presence of a power back is going to keep the defense out of the backfield. Or are you implying they will be too afraid to square up to a 240 pound back so they will lay off?

Pass protection and run blocking are two entirely different things and McNabb's escapability has something to do with allowing fewer sacks. He was much healthier in the legs this year than last and was able to move around in the pocket much better than last year.

This is a team that went from averaging 4.8 Yards per carry in '06 to 4.7 yards per carry last year to 4.0 yards per carry this year. They may have allowed fewer sacks this year as compared to last but they are also not running the ball as effectively as the past two years.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:27 AM   #27
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But I guess they do let guys in the backfield every time they face a 3-4 team, but not against the 4-3.

And while McNabb's escapability may explain the fewer times sacked this year, it doesn't explain 2006.

You're not really Dave Spadaro hiding behind a screen name, are you?
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:04 PM   #28
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Ravens vs. Steelers

Eagles vs. Cardinals

I got an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl. And I'm pretty darn confident in those picks.
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:09 PM   #29
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Is it just me, or are those AFC teams vastly more impressive than the NFC ones? It's more than just the regular season records, the fact that the Eagles barely made it in, or that the Cards won the weakest division in football. The Ravens and Steelers both seem like stronger teams; the only question I have is how badly beat-up they are by their respective playoff runs, and if that will affect the SB contender. Barring that being a factor, I am already expecting an AFC victor this year, whichever of the 4 teams go to the SB.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:36 AM   #30
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Cool Anthony's Conference Championship Picks

Well, it's time for me to weigh in on the conference championship games:


Last week: 2-2. Postseason totals: 5-3, Pct. .625. Best Bets: 2-0, Pct. 1.000.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.


SUNDAY

Philadelphia
24, ARIZONA 16 (+3) - The usual talking heads have this one pegged as a gaudy offensive show. But not so fast: The Cardinals are moving way up in company here when it comes to what kind of defense they're facing, as the Eagles ranked third in the NFL defensively during the regular season, compared with Carolina's 18th and Atlanta's 24th. By contrast, the Eagles' offense will be descending the class ladder, as Arizona was 19th in total defense, compared with the Vikings and Giants who checked in fifth and sixth respectively. It may also be instructive to look at the way both the Panthers and Falcons hiccupped their way into the playoffs, with close calls against last-place teams in Week 17, while the Eagles, instead, demolished Dallas. Unless Donovan McNabb and company throw a most-uncharacteristic turnover party, McNabb will get his shot at channeling John Elway and shedding the dreaded choke label late in his career.

PITTSBURGH 16, Baltimore 7 (+5) - Curiously, the Ravens are 5-1 on the road in the playoffs since 2000 (and 1-2 at home), but that one road loss came at this venue, 27-10 in the 2001 divisional playoffs. Baltimore also came out of last weekend's games in worse shape than Pittsburgh injury-wise, with several starters missing some or all of practice on Wednesday. There have been 16 previous instances of division rivals facing off in a conference title game, and the division winner/home team won and covered in eleven of them, with all but one of those eleven games having final margins of at least 13 points. To the Vince Lombardi Trophy, add the Ed Rendell Trophy for the winner of Super Bowl XLIII.
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