What to watch: overcoming the struggle

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I’m going to come out and say it right now so this doesn’t get awkward: last week I struggled with my picks. I look at it this way, even The Greats have their off-days and since I’m a Great, I’ll take my “off-day” pass. But it’s a new week, so I’m putting last week behind me and looking at what to watch for this week and what to expect for the outcome.

Yes, this will be a good week. I just downed a Muscle Milk, and my intuition is feeling strong.

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers, Sun. January 15, 3:30 PM (CT)

Just a reminder for those who forgot, Aaron Rodgers is a Super Bowl MVP and the creator of the Discount Double Check "dance."

Goodness me this is going to be a good game. Earlier this week I was driving my friends somewhere, and after ten minutes of bashing on my car and then another ten minutes of claiming how much better their car was, we somehow managed to talk about the game. And on behalf of the Giants Organization, I have an announcement to make: (like my car) the Giants bandwagon is officially full. I couldn’t believe it. I mean who cares if the Packers are 15-1? Who cares if they are playing at Lambeau? Who cares if Aaron Rodgers might be playing quarterback as well as anyone ever has? Who cares if the Packers already beat them this year? Ya, who cares? This big Giants love-fest reminds me of the North Face and current Patagonia love-fest (just wait, I’ll explain it.) Can anyone remember the days in grade school when I think maybe every person had a North Face? I remember I wanted one so badly, but my mom just laughed in my face.

“Son,” she told me, “I’ll print a North Face insignia on a jacket and that’ll save us a lot of money.” I didn’t ask her for a North Face again.

Now Patagonia rolls around and just about everyone has made a purchase to buy one of their chic, cool products. This time I ask people why they buy it; they claim it’s comfortable. I laugh. They look at me inquisitively. I continue to laugh.

Ya, I bet you’ll like the Credit Card bill you’ll be getting too (well it’s probably their parents Credit Card bill, but that takes away from the effect.)

See that’s the problem with the Giants. Just like no one inconveniently points out the price tag of North Face and Pata-whatever products, no one inconveniently points out the Giants issues.  The Giants are 29th in the league in passing defense. Sure, they might have the best pass rush in the league when healthy, but this is Aaron Rodgers, not Matt “water vapor” Ryan (I’m trademarking this nickname. He melted under the pressure and didn’t win a big game all year). I’m not even mentioning the Giants run defense, which is 32nd in the league. If the Packers can get their running game going like they did last year during the playoffs, McCarthy will be able to utilize the play action and Tuck and company will have to stay honest when rushing the passer. Ultimately, the game will be decided by if the Packers can protect Rodgers.

I do think the Giants running game will give the Packers defense fits, but Dom Capers has had two weeks to study, analyze, decode, develop, and institute a defensive game-plan. I see Charles Woodson waking up with the start of the playoffs and taking one to the house for a pick six, which will help propel the Packers to victory.

Packers- 35 Giants- 31

San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints, Sat. January 14, 3:30 PM

I really like this matchup for a multitude of reasons. One high powered offense. One great defense. One great quarterback. One mediocre quarterback. One awesome local rookie (Aldon Smith is a boss. Plain and simple.) One awesome local veteran (Darren Sproles is a huge game changer). What’s not to like about this game?

I don’t trust the 49ers, I haven’t all year. Ever since head coach Mike Singletary dropped his pants during halftime a couple years ago, you can never be sure when someone from the 49ers organization will have the urge to drop their pants. Obviously, I think you can understand my trust issues.  And the biggest person I have no trust in is their quarterback, Alex Smith.

I think almost everyone in the sports world can agree that an NFL playoff game, in today’s game, is won or lost by the quarterback. This is why the 49ers will lose. If they get behind, which won’t be hard considering Drew Brees is at the helm, I don’t see how Alex Smith can lead the 49ers to a victory. Drew Brees will be his usual self throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Jimmy Graham will catch a touchdown pass, whereupon the announcer will make some obvious comment about how Jimmy Graham played basketball and how it helped him make that catch (News flash, John Gruden and all other announcers, we heard you the first time when you said Jimmy Graham played basketball. WE KNOW.)

The 49ers will not be able to keep up with the Saints offense, which will set the stage for an NFC Championship game starring Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers featuring the Saints organization and the Packers organization.

Saints- 35 49ers- 17

Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots, Sat. January 14, 7:00 PM

Tim Tebow’s playing. That alone is enough of a reason to watch this game.

This time, though, there will be no late game heroics. There will be no incredible overtime victory. There will be no Tebow Twitter fiasco. That’s because the Patriots will be up by so much by the 4th quarter, Tebow won’t have the chance.

Does anyone remember when, after Tom Brady scored a rushing touchdown at Denver earlier this year, he spiked the ball with such passion and rage everyone thought the football was going to pop? Anybody?

Tom Brady doesn’t like to be outdone. Ever. Prior to playing the Denver game, that’s what was happening. Tebow had won 6 in a row. He was all the ESPN analysts talked about when discussing the game: him and his ability to win. That rubbed Brady the wrong way, because Brady must win. That’s not an if question, it’s a how question. When the Broncos came to town, Brady won 41-23. This time, when the Broncos come to town for the playoffs Brady will win big…again.

Patriots-28 Broncos-7

Kansas vs. Baylor, Mon. January 16, 8:30 PM

If this game is anything like the Kansas State vs. Baylor game, it will be worth every minute of your time. Can someone please create a montage of Frank Martin interview quotes?

“The last 6 minutes of the half were a joke, Stan.”

“How bout playing a litte defense. You ever heard of that one Stan.”

Coach Martin, what did Stan ever do to you?

Anyway, the Kansas vs. Baylor game will be a thriller. Thomas Robinson and Perry Jones are both future lottery picks and both haven’t even reached their full potential. The game, continuing with the story of KU’s season, rests on the shoulders of Tyshawn Taylor. If I got a dollar for every joke someone said about Taylor and his turnovers, I would promptly buy a ticket to the Super Bowl and then bribe FIFA into having the 2026 (or whatever year they’re on) FIFA World Cup in the United States. When Taylor doesn’t turn over the ball, however, Kansas can be a tough team to beat. And after watching a week of Big 12 Basketball, we’ve learned that home-court advantage is one of the most important factors in the game. Because it’s at Allen Fieldhouse, I see the Jayhawks pulling off the win in a thriller.

KU-77 Baylor-75

Blase Capelli

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3 thoughts on “What to watch: overcoming the struggle

    tophatal said:
    January 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

    All I can say is that I am looking forward to this weekend’s slew of games !

    tophatal …….

    marinest21 said:
    January 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Good stuff man, I think we are on the same page with most of our picks. What are your predictions for the Baltimore-Houston game?

    Cayman Thorn said:
    January 15, 2012 at 10:22 am

    If you would have told me Alex Smith would lead his team on not one but TWO game winning drives in the last couple of minutes? I would have traded you Matt Moore for Aaron Rodgers. Wow.

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