You may want to listen up, I went 4-0 this past week.
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
With the playoffs going on, everyone in our locker room has been talking football. J-Rich and Amar’e like to give me their predictions and Shaq wants to bet anybody on anything. He always bets the opposite team that I’m betting on, so I just take money from him. When I’m back at home, me and my friends will get together and watch the games together. But we really start getting into it once the playoffs start.
In the AFC, the Steelers started off a little slow, but the Chargers gave Ben Roethlisberger too much time to throw the ball and he just picked them apart. He did a great job with that and their defense has been real solid.
I think Baltimore just overwhelmed Tennessee. Tennessee was a good team all season, but there was just something about them where I just didn’t think they had what it took to get by Baltimore. But that being said, they had their chances at the end… like with that fumble down at the goal line.
Going into the playoffs, you just have to get hot at the right time. And I think the Eagles are that team right now. They proved that when they knocked the No. 1-seeded Giants out.
They are coming in to play a tough Arizona team that is playing really well right now. Watching Carolina’s Jake Delhomme against the Cardinals… Ooh. That was tough. Five interceptions. It was almost like a nightmare for him. Everything he did, he kind of looked like he was hesitating and once he threw it, they’d pick him off.
You gotta give the Cardinals credit though. They played great in that game. They really went into a tough place, in cold weather and really beat them down.
The Cardinals definitely have a chance to beat the Eagles because absolutely no one can stop Larry Fitzgerald. And if they give Kurt Warner time to throw the ball, with Anquan Boldin back, they have the best 1-2 combination of receivers in the league.
On top of that, Edgerrin James is running the ball well now. He’s fresh because he hasn’t been playing a whole lot the entire season. Usually this late in the season with the Colts he’d be beat up and dragging, but he’s stayed relatively fresh.
So with him and Tim Hightower running the ball, it’s going to be important for them to protect Warner by establishing a running game. Because Philly blitzes a lot, it’s going to be even more important than usual. But overall, I think it’s going to come down to who’s defense shows up because both of those offenses are high-powered and doing well.
But offensively, I like the Eagles because they have the best quarterback left in the playoffs. Donovan McNabb has had a real up-and-down season, but ever since he’s been benched, he’s been on fire.
He’s had a tough season this year. Since he’s been there they’ve wanted to get him out, they want to trade him or do this or do that to him. He went through a tough spell, which all athletes go through, and being an athlete, you definitely understand that.
But seeing his team do well without him may have given him a wake-up call. I know he wanted to get back out there prove that he’s the man for that job and he’s done a great job of doing that.
For the Cardinals, I think home-field advantage is huge, especially for a team and a city new to this experience like Arizona. The whole state is going to be standing behind them. But with a veteran team like Philly, playing in someone else’s stadium may not bother them as much.
Coming into a hostile environment like this is exactly what the Giants did last year. They went on the road and won all three games and then they won the Super Bowl. It’s going to be a very tough game, it’s going to be a good game.
But with Philly, it’s just another road trip – a business trip – so I see Philly beating them and playing Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl. But I’m going to be interested and excited to watch it.
On the other side, Baltimore’s D has been tough so we’ll see how Ben Roethlisberger does against that D. I think Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh is going to be good, but I think it’s going to be Pittsburgh and Philly in the Super Bowl.
Although I’m picking Pittsburgh and Philly to win, I have to see how both teams play this week before I say who’s going to win the Super Bowl. I’m leaning towards Philly, but we’ll have to wait and see…