You can look at the NFL Playoffs in one of three ways:
1. Excitement in watching some great football for the next month.
2. The winding down of the NFL season.
3. Three months until pitchers and catchers report.
Amazingly, around the Philly area, this year the fan base is squarely on Option 3. With the Birds battling through an 8-8 season and the Phillies making an improbable run to the playoffs, Philly is once again a baseball town. However, I still enjoy playoff football whether the Birds and/or fantasy football is included or not. Anyway, signing Chad Durbin isn't exactly making my heart skip a beat. So let's see the match ups for Wild Card Weekend, the I'll swerve my way through the rest of the playoffs.
Washington Redskins v. Seattle Seahawks
The Redskins were my sleeper team, so I'm happy that they made the playoffs and made me look that much smarter. Then again, I picked the Jaguars to be terrible, so it probably evens out.
With the out and out tragedy of Sean Taylor being shot and killed earlier in the year, you have to hope for the best for the Redskins, but injuries and a better Seattle team will stop any of that from happening.
It also doesn't hurt that the Redskins will be starting Todd Collins at QB. He's filled in admirably for Jason Campbell, but everyone has their limit, and Todd Collins is at the A.J. Feeley Limit for back up QB's, which is 4 games of not sucking.
A thought that made me chuckle is that back in the day, when Todd Collins was in high school or whatever, he was probably the most popular guy in the school. He probably dated a cheerleader and thought he was the shit. I'm thinking just stereotypical macho over-compensating dude that went to every high school. I mean look at his picture, you can sense a hint of douchebaginess that still lingers with the one time Mr. Popular.
He had to have some crazy skills in high school to even have a chance to make it to the NFL, which he has, but now he finds himself a career back up who basically gets trotted out there expected to fail and at the ridicule of anyone who wants to laugh at the guy. Aside from the punter and kicker, the career back up QB is the most pathetic position on a football field. There is just something hilarious to me about how his social life must have progressed. Although being a back up does have some up sides...
Seattle has shifted their offense to focus on QB Matt Hasselbeck, and not former MVP Shaun Alexander. Having cashed in for a big pay day, it appears as if the former single season TD holder has packed in his career and become a complete vagina at running back. When you're getting out performed by Maurice Morris, you have issues.
Seattle 24 Washington 17
Jacksonville v. Pittsburgh
Do you know anyone that has Pittsburgh in this game? Me neither. All you hear is how great Jacksonville is. David Gerrard doesn't throw interceptions, Fred Taylor is running like a young man, and the defense is physical. As I mentioned before I picked Jax to be rather awful, but they're slowly becoming the No Country for Old Men of football in the way everyone is drooling all over them. Similarly, it is not unwarranted acclaim, but some people are getting carried away with this team.
The Steelers were on their way to a solid playoff run, but late injuries to half their offensive line along with leading rusher Willie Parker has hobbled their chances greatly. Anything can happen on that field in Pittsburgh and David Gerrard is not a tested playoff QB like Ben Roethlisburger is, but the Steelers might have just a little too much to overcome. This is the most entertaining game of the weekend though, so I expect it to end closely. In the end, I'm going to have to go with the millions of others and pick Jacksonville, although I can see that blowing up in my face.
Jacksonville 27 Pittsburgh 23
NYG v. Tampa Bay
Who knows? Eli sucks, but not so much on the road. Joey Galloway is old. I'll be at the gym while this game is on.
Tampa Bay 17 NYG 7
Tennessee v. San Diego
So Vince Young might play, and Norv Turner is the head coach of a playoff team. Hmmm, seems like this game could end up being a stinker. Having been the latest victim of the Madden Curse, VY had a horrible year and took 3 steps back in his progress as a player.
Norv nearly lost his whole team within the first 3 weeks, but he eventually righted the ship by deciding maybe he should hand the ball off to the best running back in football, and not have Philip Rivers throw the ball 25+ times. Good work Norv. Enjoy your second round loss to the Colts.
San Diego 35 Tennessee 14
Remainder of Playoffs:
Dallas defeats Tampa
Seattle defeats GB
NE defeats Jacksonville
Indy defeats SD
NE defeats Indy
Seattle defeats Dallas
I'm sticking with my pre-season prediction:
NE defeats Seattle