Leftridge: NFL Playoffs, Take 2; An In-Depth Analysis of Murderers, Dragons & Chapped-Lips

Like the late, great Jerry Reed said, “when you’re hot, you’re hot.

Perhaps more importantly, he followed that up with, “when you’re not, you’re not.” And when it comes to picking playoff football, my friends, I am not. I’d feel bad about this if I prided myself on my ability to accurately predict the winners, but I don’t. I know I’m terrible at it. That’s why I don’t gamble. I don’t put my money where my mouth is, nor will I ever claim to. Instead, I put chicken wings where my mouth is. This weekend. While I watch what is certain to be some tantalizing NFL action.

I said last week that the Wildcard round was going to be bad, and it was. At least I didn’t—what’s the expression?—have intercourse with the dog in that regard. The only game that provided any high-drama was the Miracle at Mile High, when the ghost of Jesus—reincarnated as a gun-slinging, chapped-lipped quarterback—reigned redemption upon all of the naysayers and non-believers with an uncharacteristically accurate game-winning bomb in overtime.

“Get thee behi-yund me, Say-uh-tun!”

This weekend will probably be better. Maybe. Shit. I don’t know. Don’t listen to me.

The action gets underway Saturday with a game that will take at least 60 minutes. That much, I’m sure of.

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers, 3:30PM Sat, FOX

You know the old paradox about the irresistible force and the unmovable object? Yeah, it’s that thing. And I’m betting (look out!) that I’m the ONLY “sports-blogger” who’s employed that tired, old cliché regarding this game. But I don’t care. Originality isn’t my thing—picking winners IS. Wait… DELETE! DELETE!

Anyway, Drew Brees and his super-crew of offensive wizards head to San Francisco to take on the league’s fourth best defense. That’s the headline that will be beaten to death over the next few days, and that’s to be expected. There will also be lots of side-stories about quarterback Alex Smith, the number one failure, and whether or not the Niners can win with him. I’m inclined to say no, but crazier things have happened.

No matter what happens, this will probably be worth watching. It seems unlikely that the Saints will stomp SF to death like other recent opponents, given the likes of Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, etc., but the Saints offense is far and away more talented than anything else they’ve come across this season (with all due-respect to, um… Cleveland?).

One thing we DO know for sure: it has become apparent over the past few months that Saints coach Sean Payton is a complete ass, (if you’re a pussy who whines about teams "running up the score"), so if he’s given a chance, and things fall the Saints way, this game could end up being 86-10 in favor of New Orleans.

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots, 7PM Sat, CBS

I wrote the Broncos off last week. Everyone did. The only difference is, mine is archived forever on the internet (or at least as long as Hearne keeps paying the bills) and a majority of everyone else is now countering with, “Aw, man… I could SMELL it coming. The Steelers were banged up, it was in Denver, blah blah blah, I’m a huge fucking liar, yada yada yada.” But come on… NOBODY saw Timbow pissing all over the Steelers’ staunch secondary like they were a bunch of bloodied Taliban corpses (take THAT, terrorists!) . NOBODY. And if you say you did, you’re a totally full of shit OR dangerously delusional.

So knowing what we know now—Tebow CAN throw a decent pass, should the *ahem* spirit move him—it won’t be at all shocking if he puts up 300 yards against the awful Patriots’ secondary. The Patriots’ defense is as bad as their offense is good. And that’s saying something.

And as respectable as the Broncos defense has been lately, the Patriots seem almost unstoppable, like a maple-syrup and LL Bean’d version of the Packers or the Saints. In order to hang with the Pats, it’s likely that the Tebows’ will have to put up 45 points, which they’ve done precisely never this season.

Good luck, fellas.

Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens, 12PM Sun, CBS

According to some, the Ravens are the sexy pick to win the Super Bowl. According to others, Houston RB Arian Foster’s “Texans” logo that he shaved into the side of his head is well-executed and completely awesome. Frankly, I don’t know that I believe either of these. What I DO know, is that the irresistible force meets the unmovable object (wait… what’s that? I already used that? Dang. Hearne—delete that, please, and come up with something really clever) when Foster and his 230 lbs of thoughtful, black muscle collide with the Ravens’ ageless, perennially terrific defense. Something’s gotta give! SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!

Look, like last week with the Broncos, I wrote the Texans off early. They’re missing key components on both sides of the ball, suffered from some late-season swooning and were suspect at best coming out of the punk-ass AFC South. But I was giving the Bengals too much credit last week, too. The Bengals, folks, were an utter fraud (this wasn’t exactly a revelation, but I expected a *bit* more fight from the Toothless Tigers). And much like their equine-counterpart, it would appear that the Texans are taking on a far superior team this Sunday.

The Ravens keep winning despite Joe Flacco’s mediocrity (although it’s worth noting that he’s the only QB in NFL history to reach the postseason in his first 4 yearsno thanks to him), a testament to great game-planning and that previously mentioned ageless defense. While Ray Lewis isn’t what he used to be—and not many senior citizens make great linebackers—and number’s wise, the teams are pretty even from a statistical defensive standpoint, Baltimore is full of those intangibles that analysts love, like “heart, passion, experience, determination,” and, “ability to murder without ramification.

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers, 3:30PM Sun, FOX

According to others, the Giants are the other sexy pick to win the Super Bowl, Baltimore be damned.

I remain unconvinced that the Giants are anything other than a one-and-done team, and this has nothing to do with the fact that they’re playing the preseason favorite to win it all. I just… I just don’t believe in the Giants. I never have. You can’t convince me otherwise, so don’t bother trying. Maybe it’s Eli Manning’s “Cleveland Eye,” you know—one eye looking at you, the other one looking at Cleveland. (Is this why he throws so many picks, perhaps?) Maybe it’s the rushing attack of Jacobs and Bradshaw*, which, at times, seems as unstoppable as a perfectly un-slayable two-headed dragon breathing fire and shitting coal, and at others, like a wagon where the wheels never start rolling, leading to ineffective handoff after ineffective handoff.

*great law firm, by the way

The Packers, on the other hand, are exactly as they’re cracked up to be. They have no defense—they really haven’t needed it, yet—but their offense more than compensates. Aaron Rodgers could complete passes underwater that Matt Cassel couldn’t make in the backyard throwing a Nerf ball to his nephew during a family barbecue. Plus, the receivers are like every blowjob you’ve ever received; even when it’s not that great, it’s still a blowjob.

So, yeah, on the unseasonably un-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field this Sunday, the Underwater Blowjobs battle the Googly-Eyed Dragons in a battle for supremacy.

At first glance, these games look much more entertaining than last week’s general thrashings (again, with the exclusion of the Broncos/Steelers). I’m probably wrong, though. Lord knows I generally am. But you know what? I’m gonna watch anyway, and if I know you (I don’t, I promise) you’ll probably do the same.

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One Response to Leftridge: NFL Playoffs, Take 2; An In-Depth Analysis of Murderers, Dragons & Chapped-Lips

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Sprinklers are running SF as we speak
    That field will be watered until rice starts to sprout. That will slow down the Saints offense quite a bit. Enough to win? I give ’em a 40% chance.

    The Steelers didn’t leave a safety back to stop a short pass from becoming a long gain. They ran the same play successfully against NE in the first game but NE kept a safety back and it worked. Broncos have 20% chance.

    The Giants hit their stride at the right time, something they did last time they won the SB. Ol’ Tom has groked what worked for KC against GB. I give the Giants a 48% chance to win. As an Eagles fan I hate to say the Giants are anything but the New Jersey Midgets.

    Baltimore’s duty in the playoffs seems to be to remove the unworthy, pretenders to the crown from the playoffs. Houston has 30% chance.

    My sole bet was a pool where you got the same number for all games. That’s my best expertise on football, playing a pool 🙂

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