Conference Semifinal Weekend Preview
The Swami was 0-2 on Saturday and 2-0 on Sunday this past weekend, which naturally means only 1 of 4 of his predicted matchups for this weekend are actually playing. So what does that mean? Revised weekend picks, of course!!
Packers at Falcons: The Swami is quite nervous about this matchup and having to deal with Aaron Rodgers & Co. again, but the reality is that the Falcons had a week to get healthier, an extra week to watch film, and they are playing in what will be a very loud Georgia Dome. The Swami sees the not-so-dirty birds bringing it home courtesy of an opportunistic defense and the Ryan-Turner Express. Falcons 24-21
Seahawks at Bears: Merry Chrismas to Da Bears. The Seahawks were fantastic this past weekend, but the Bears defense is 8x the defense that the Saints’ is and they have the horses to get pressure on Hasselbeck without blitzing anyone. Additionally, there is no 12th man helping the Seahawks. Only the bitter cold and a host of angry Bears fans. Not even Jay Cutler can give this one away (in fact I expect him to have a very nice game). Bears 31-17
Jets at Patriots: Do you smell that? That’s the smell of familiarity and it seems to be running rampant in the AFC this week. There is definitely very little that should surprise either of these teams, so generally that brings it down to “Who do you trust?”, “Who is Special”, and “Who has the Coaching Edge”. Let’s break that down… Who do you trust: Brady or Sanchez? (I’m not even dignifying this with a response). Next: Who is special? New England – Tom Brady; The 3-Headed Tight End. New York – Darrell Revis; Holmes-Edwards; Tomlinson-Greene. Hmm… I have to weight the QB more heavily, so I’ll give this a draw. So finally we get to coaches. Rex actually did a nice job this past week, but seriously… Bill Belichick has 2 weeks to get ready for this… he HAS to have the coaching edge. So all that boils down to a New England victory. Patriots 34-24
Ravens at Steelers: There is no analysis for this one. It’s Steelers/Ravens. It will be vicious and violent. It’s the best team rivalry in the NFL right now. You can come up with all sorts of reasons for any potential outcome, but there’s really no way to predict it. Roethlisberger is a big play QB, but Flacco has won 4 road playoff games already in 3 years in the league. Polomalu is healthy and special. Ed Reed is also special. James Harrison is vicious. Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs are vicious. It’s a dart game. The bye week and home field should take care of Pittsburgh, but it is REALLY hard to beat a team 3 times the same year. Especially in this rivalry. [Which doesn’t matter since, as Durantula points out, the two teams split this year… pick stays the same!] Ravens 20-17