Thursday, January 8, 2009

Playoff Preview: Divisional Round

Last week, Subway Sports went 3-1 against the spread. This week we go for perfection.

Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Tennessee Titans

Is there a more exciting defensive player than Ed Reed? He's as big a threat as anyone to score on Saturday. In a battle of two physical, defense teams, the question is which defense will be able to set up their offense for easy points. Earlier in the season when these teams met, the Titans won 13-10. It was Flacco's 4th game and he threw two interceptions. I think he'll do a better job taking care of the ball and the Ravens defense will find a way to put up points. The Ravens are a sexy pick right now, which makes me nervous, but I like them to win this one. Take the Ravens with the points and check out Ed's return skills.

Ravens 23 - Titans 10

Arizona Cardinals (+9.5) at Carolina Panthers

The Cardinals were 3-5 on the road this year, while the Panthers went 8-0 at home. The Panthers barely got into this bye position on a last second field goal by John Kasay, but I think the week off will probably do them well. In games like this you have to pick the more physical team. It's hard to give 9.5 points when the Cardinals can score as well as they do, but the Cardinals proved down the stretch that they are soft, so I expect the Panthers to win this one easily.

Panthers 34 - Cardinals 20

San Diego Chargers (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Earlier in the season the Steelers beat the Chargers 11-10, although they should've won by more. A controversial call on a Troy Polamalu fumble return caused the Steelers not to cover and angered many sportsbetters. With LaDainian Tomlinson hurt again this week, the question is can the Chargers put enough points on the board to beat the Steelers. The Steelers offense is dreadful and the Charges have been hot, but I don't think there will be very much scoring. I like the Steelers in a close one, but I think the Chargers will cover. Check out Polamalu's play. There's no way that was a forward pass, but even if it was the refs got the rule wrong. Either way people who bet on the Steelers were robbed.

Steelers 14 - Chargers 13

Philadelphia Eagles (+4) at New York Giants

The Eagles and Giants have played two tight games this year with the Giants winning one 36-31 and the Eagles winning the other 20-14. The difference in these games was the Giants ability to run the ball. In their win the Giants ran for 219 yards headlined by Jacobs gaining 126 yards at about 6 yard per carry. In the Giants only home loss of the season, the Eagles limited the Giants to only 88 yards. The week of rest should do the Giants well as it helps Jacobs get healthy. I think this will be a tight one because the Eagles are playing so well, but the Giants defense and running game should carry them through to the next round. The Giants will be ready to play and if you don't believe me, listen to Justin:

"You know what, I think people make football more complicated than it necessarily needs to be. You got a helmet, a jersey, some cleats, and some pads and you go out and beat the guy in front of you. If you need a speech to go do that, then you shouldn't be here."

Weather may be a factor here, so I don't think they'll be too much scoring.

Giants 21 - Eagles 16

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