NFL's Colts on a mission

Jan 19, 2010 5:03 PM


You’re right, Rex. It’s probably not the matchup anyone wanted. Most fans wanted to see the best four quarterbacks taking snaps on championship Sunday. But here you come and that means we’re not going to get a chance to see one of them thanks to your Jets.

If the hottest team in the NFL playoffs could have only stepped up to the plate and delivered what the betting line promised they would. But the team riding the 11-game winning streak couldn’t punch out the rookie QB or the rookie head coach. The Bolts couldn’t validate their AFC championship ticket so NFL fans will be cheated of that potential special treat.

It was a costly blunder, for the Chargers and fans everywhere. The Jets registered the upset, thereby keeping the four best quarterbacks in the NFL out of championship weekend. The fans could have seen all four – Favre, Manning, Brees and Rivers – on the same weekend. But the Chargers’ fans can cry themselves a river, because there will be no Rivers flowing or throwing this weekend.

We will have to settle for the three best QBs in the NFL. Denny The Dog’s backers had to settle for 3 out of 4 winners last weekend. I feel extremely fortunate to have a 6-2 record thus far in the playoffs, especially with three favorites covering the point spread last weekend. Here’s hoping Denny The Dog will stay smart and red hot!

Jets +7 at Colts: It’s déjà vu all over again for these two AFC east foes. Flash back to week 16 when the Jets visited the Colts with a playoff berth on the line. The Jets played like maniacs for the entire game. But they caught a big break when the Colts decided to rest Peyton Manning and several of their starters in the second half. The Jets won the game easily. Some people have said the Jets would have won the game if Indy didn’t rest their best players. I’m not buying that argument. I believe the Colts could have grabbed their undefeated regular season by keeping the best QB in the game – in the game. The Colts would have won week 16 and could have won week 17 in Buffalo, if they had wanted to. But I think the GM Polian and head coach Jim Caldwell had another feat in mind. They wanted to get their key players ready for the playoffs and more importantly win a Super Bowl.

So far that idea has paid big dividends. The Colts looked well rested and ready to roll when the Ravens came calling last Saturday. The Colts defense flashed their speed, picked Flacco twice and basically shut down a great rushing attack. Manning and company moved the ball very well on what had been an excellent defense over most of the season.

But I still love Rex Ryan’s brash, cocky, tell-it-like-it-is way of doing business. The Jets were good to me last weekend and I hate to pick against them. But I think we’re going to cash the ticket on the other side this Sunday. I’m going to miss Rex Ryan in the Super Bowl. He would have been a great show.

The Jets have a great defense and a super rushing attack. But they don’t have a scary passing attack. Mark Sanchez has played well above his head so far this season. I think the rookie will make a few critical mistakes, feeling the heat of this underrated Colts’ defense. But the Colts will need to play all their starters to cover this spread. I know Rex would prefer if Peyton didn’t play again, but I think everyone plays as much as they can this time around. And the one thing the Colts have that the Jets don’t is the best QB – Peyton Manning. I don’t think the Jets will score 20 points. Mark Sanchez comes back to earth right here. It was a hell of a run Jets fans, but it’s over. COLTS.

Vikings +4 at Saints: Wow, what a matchup! This game treats us to two teams that stumbled down the stretch but seemed to have found themselves again just in time for a Super Bowl run. That’s not hard to do when both teams feature two unbelievably talented QBs like Brees and Favre. The Vikes lost 3 of their last 5 games while the Saints lost their last three. The difference being, Minnesota needed their games for a top seed and still couldn’t deliver until the final game against the G-men. The Saints on the other hand blew two in a row to Dallas and Tampa Bay but then pulled all the starters against Carolina on week 17. Looking at both clubs, neither one did fantastic the last month of the season.

I think the Saints will take advantage of the same home field advantage they used against the Cards last weekend. It was the same type of home field edge the Vikes used on the Cowboys. Drew Brees had no interceptions last week and I think he’ll edge out Favre in that category again this Sunday. Both QBs have great running backs watching their back. Favre has Peterson and Taylor. Brees can counter with Pierre Thomas and Hamilton. But I think the real wild-card might be Reggie Bush. He was a one man wrecking crew versus Arizona and I think he’ll dish out more of the same to the Vikes.

Vikes flashed their D and made Tony Romo run for his life most of the game. I think the table turns here and Favre runs for his life this week. SAINTS.

So there you have it. Denny The Dog picks both the favorites on championship weekend. And in doing so, I predict that the Super Bowl will have the two number one seeds in it for the first time in about 6 years. Here’s hoping the hot picks continue for this Sunday and then again for the Super Bowl. I have to keep that Super Bowl winning streak alive!

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Dennis Ball