Okay, okay. So I've been wrong and wrong again in my picks for the NFC playoffs. In fact, I blew both picks this past weekend, figuring that the two high-powered offenses would carry the day.
How wrong I was.
I argued that, if Green Bay's offensive line could handle the Giants' pass rush and force New York to blitz to create pressure on Aaron Rodgers, the Pack would win. Well, the O-line was pretty good, especially early, but who could have expected the usually sure-handed Green Bay backs and receivers to develop a severe case of the drops? And I should have recognised the impact taking two full weeks off would have on Rodgers and his accuracy.
New York was full measure for their win over the Packers, showing a balanced offense and a defense that just keeps getting the job done. Even though their pass rush was blunted somewhat, their backfield (aided by the drops and the Packers' refusal to commit to the run) came through.
My pick of New Orleans to beat San Fran was, quite frankly, based on ignorance and prejudice. I had not seen the Niners play this year and I just could not accept that a young defense would play so well in its first appearance in the post season. I still believe that, if the Saints had scored on that first possession, the game would have turned out differently but... Alex Smith and that Forty-Niner offense also proved some things to me, particular Vernon Davis and his intense desire to succeed in his first sniff at post-season glory.
Thankfully, I got both the AFC games right. As I suspected Bill Belichick's schemes were more than a match for Denver's offensive attack. I wonder if the Patriot's would have been so successful defensively if they hadn't already played Denver this season? Anyway, the Bronco's only chance was to keep it close and keep the Pat offense off the field as much as possible. No dice. Brady and his tight ends at them alive.
And I found it no surprise that Baltimore beat Houston. They are such similar teams, with strong defense and servicable offensese, but I just feel that the Ravens are the model and the Texans the copy. Everything Houston does, Baltimore does just a little bit better. What surprised me, however, was just how bad both offenses performed. The Ravens are going to need a lot more from Flacco, Rice and co if they hope to stay with New England next weekend.
I think at the start of the season I picked a Green Bay-Pittsburgh rematch in the Super Bowl. Now that my original pick is out the window, I'm at a loss to pick who will win this weekend for the right to play for the big prize. We'll have to see tomorrow who I decide will win (and then, if you're smart, bet the other way, especially on the NFC Championship game).