The Pats are perfect in an otherwise imperfect NFL world. Many of you may love football perfection. But I’m not a huge fan of it.
Perfection means favorites covering point spreads. Bad news for underdogs. 16-0 means little or no parity. More bad news for all the Davids out there trying to bring down the Goliaths.
OK, I admit it. Not only am I not a big fan of perfection. I loathe it in professional sports. I actually respect and admire the Patriots and what they’ve accomplished in the regular season. But will I be rooting against them to stumble in the playoffs? Absolutely!
Denny The Dog will almost always come down on the short side.
Would I love Belichick and his unblemished boys to go 16-1? One and done in the money games? You betcha. It may have no chance of happening, because this is one special team that does whatever is necessary to win the game, no matter what the circumstances. They play as well when they’re behind in the game as they do when they’re ahead.
The Pats are special, from Brady and Moss down to the guys in the trenches. But will I be rooting against them in the playoffs? Oh yeah, just like every dawg lover out there in NFL land.
Enough of all this talk of perfection. Off we go with the imperfect Wild Card weekend contests. Due to the early, holiday press time, Denny The Dog will make a few assumptions and do his best to bark out some winners with a couple of the playoff matchups not yet firmly established.
Redskins at Seahawks: I like the way the Redskins have rebounded from all the adversity thrown their way this season. Joe Gibbs has won a Super Bowl with three different QBs. Todd Collins built an impressive 107 QB rating since starter Jason Campbell went down three weeks ago. The Skins seems to be jelling at the right time. The Seahawks have racked up an impressive record in winning their division. But, Seattle beat three chumps to win the NFC West. Also, the Seahawks played only three potential playoff bound teams and only won one! SKINS.
(Don’t believe the Vikes will be the team on the road here. If so, take the dogs).
Giants at Bucs: The G-men impressed the heck out of me against New England. New York had nothing to play for but pride and the integrity of the NFL. I was proud of Eli Manning, who has suffered through a ton of criticism (some deserved and some not) the last couple of seasons. Without Brady, Moss and all the Pats’ weapons, the Giants would have won. They did cover the point spread easily. The Bucs don’t have those Patriot-type offensive weapons. I see a huge defensive battle with Eli able to put enough points on the board. GIANTS.
Titans /Browns at Chargers: The Chargers are much improved since their 1-3 start. The team is hot at the right time. Even much-maligned QB Philip Rivers has picked up the pace. But San Diego is like Tampa Bay. Denver? Oakland? Kansas City? These aren’t exactly playoff-caliber teams. Go back to Week 14 to find a possible playoff-caliber team the Bolts played. The Chargers were at Tennessee that day and needed OT to eek out a win. The last six weeks have been nothing but chumps. This week they’ll face a tougher team, one that’s undervalued on the sports book board. TITANS/BROWNS.
(I’ll take the JAGS if San Diego fails to beat Oakland and secure the third seed)
Jaguars at Steelers: A rematch of Week 15 when the Jaguars beat up the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Normally, many would say it’s tough to beat a rugged opponent twice within this short a time span. But, Pittsburgh has lost their top running back. Willie Parker, who ran for over 100 yards in the first meeting. Davenport will try to fill Parker’s shoes, but I’m not coming down on the side of uncertainty when the big money is on the line. The Jags have to be the most feared fifth seed in the history of the playoffs. Fred Taylor and Jones-Drew are rightfully considered the top rushing duo in the NFL. David Garrard has been masterful. Jags only lost two road games. JAGUARS.
(I’ll take BROWNS or TITANS if Pittsburgh were to secure the third seed)