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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wild Card Week

--posted by Tony Garcia on 1/03/2006

The playoffs are here.
Saturday, January 7, 2005 3:30 PM CST
This is a very close game on paper. The things that stick out in my mind as intangibles are Washington has been playing playoff caliber football since Week 15 against Dallas; Gibbs is still kind of getting his feet settled on the changes in the NFL since he last coached; Gruden is a big-game coach; Washington is beat up. I think that Washington is a bit bruised up and that could be the factor here.

TradeSports says Tampa Bay has a 56.5% chance to win and I agree...close but I choose Tampa Bay.

Saturday, January 7, 2005 7:00 PM CST
Both teams have been beating up on week teams lately. The only exception is a Week 15 drubbing of Tampa Bay by New England (28-0). Tom Brady has been carrying a very beat up New England team and holding his own very nicely. Now that they are a bit healed I think they are a much stronger team than they showed us in the middle of the season. Jacksonville had the benefit of Houston and Tennessee to boost their record. I am not sure they are as good as their record shows...and being in New England in January gives them more of a handicap.

TradeSports says New England has a 76.5% chance of winning and I think that is a bit low. I pick New England to win this.

Sunday, January 8, 2005 12:00 PM CST
First of all, this game depends on which Carolina team shows up on Sunday. Will it be the team that beat an alright Atlanta team 44-11 or the team that lost to miserable Minnesota 38-13? If it is the former then I think they will destroy New York and frustrate young Eli Manning. If it is the latter then we are in for a very close game where the key will be how well Carolina can contain Tiki Barber (a favorite player of mine, btw) and how few mistakes Eli Manning (one of my least favorite players) will make. The only saving grace for New York is that they get this game at home.

TradeSports has New York with a 55% chance to win and I will have to disagree. I am picking Carolina.

Sunday, January 8, 2005 3:30 PM CST
A month ago I would have picked Cincinnati to win this hands down. But Pittsburgh has a lot of experience while Cincinnati has none. Pittsburgh has beaten Chicago recently (while destroying some weaker teams like Cleveland and Detroit). Pittsburgh also does not have a seive masquerading as a run defense. Pittsburgh can run very well while Cincinnati cannot stop the run at all. On the flip side, Cincinnati did beat Pittsburgh the within the past month+ and gave the best team in the league (Colts) a good run for the money. For Cincinnati to win they will have to score probably 40 points...as the more Pittsburgh runs the ball the worse Cincinnati's defense will be. A tough task this coming Sunday. I would say that Pittsburgh's points this week will not be what they fought to earn, but will be what Cincinnati gave them. If the weather is good then this will be a shootout that Pittsburgh wins. If the weather is horrible this will be a showcase of stuggling offenses and Pittsburgh's defense will win this.

TradeSports has Pittsburgh at a 60% chance to win. I agree, I pick Pittsburgh.


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