BASN NFL Picks: Divisional Playoffs

By Tony McClean
Updated: January 12, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Before we take a look at this weekend’s divisional playoff round, here are some comments in looking back at last week’s Wild Card Weekend.
– If the league had any real guts, Washington’s Sean Taylor should have been suspended for the rest of the playoffs. Apparently this isn’t the first time Taylor has spat at an opponent. Taylor’s acts are the only blemish on what has been an incredible run by Grandpa Gibbs and the Skins.
– The worst part of the Bengals’ loss to the Steelers is the annoying spectre of the unknown. We’ll never know what would have happened if Carson Palmer had been able to play the full game against the Steelers. Maybe Cincy still loses, but I bet it would have been a much better game. But again, we’ll never know.
– So the New York tabloids are upset that Plaxico Burruss threw a hissy fit after not catching a ball in Sunday’s loss. Gee, wasn’t that Jeremy Shockey jumping up and down like a baby as well? Oh, well — it appears that the media darling is the only one allowed to bitch and moan about the state of affairs in the Big Apple.
– Call me the world’s most stubborn man, but I still don’t think the Pats will 3-peat. They have a good chance to win at Mile High, but that’s as far as I think they’ll go. Winning three of the last four Super Bowls was a tremendous feat, but it’s gonna be tough to win three straight.
Go to fullsize image FACTOID OF THE WEEK
For the first time in NFL history, two road teams (Carolina and Pittsburgh) won playoffs games by at least 10 points on the same day. Also for the second straight year, three of the four road Wild Card teams won.
Go to fullsize image TRIVIA QUESTION
The Bears haven’t won a playoff game at Soldier Field since 1991. Who did they defeat?
A. Saints
B. Eagles
C. Redskins
D. Giants
While playing for the Dolphins, Lamar Smith was the last back to rush for over 200 yards in a postseason game. He ran for 209 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime as Miami defeated Indianapolis 23-17 on December 30, 2000 at Pro Player Stadium.
After going 0-for-Saturday (much like last year’s wild card round), we bounced back to go perfect on Sunday. Hey, if Tampa’s Edell Shepherd had just held on to the ball, we could have gone 3-1. But it’s water under the bridge now.
In the first of this weekend’s rematches, the Redskins travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. In the first meeting, D.C. won 20-17 back in October at FedEx Field in overtime. The Skins were a sizzling 13-of-18 on third down conversions in that contest. They’re going to need that kind of efficiency to overthrow the Seahawks. Yes, I know Seattle hasn’t won a playoff game since 1984. But I really feel that Shaun Alexander will wear down the Washington D. In what should be a close ballgame, I’ll take the Birds to outlast D.C.
Pick: Seahawks.
The Broncos jumped out to large lead against the Pats in their first meeting (back in October) and had to withstand a late New England rally to win 28-20 at Invesco. While they would lose to the Colts a few weeks later, many Patriot players felt the Denver game was a turning turning point for the Champs. Not to beat a dead horse, but Mike Shanahan has gone 0-3 in the postseason since that Elway fella went home. He can’t go 0-4, can he? I’m sorry, me thinks the Pats have one week left to play.
Pick: Patriots.
To say the Colts and their fans have been waiting for this day would be a huge understatement. Granted the Horseshoes dismissed the Black and Gold back in November, Pittsburgh has gained some much needed momentum since. Big Ben was just coming off an injury that night, but now he and the Steelers are very healthy now. Just ask the Bengals. So can the Steelers pull off the upset? Of course. Do I think that they will? Not this Sunday. But it should be a helluva game.
Pick: Colts.
On a windy (surprise!!) day at Soldier Field back in November, Da Bears pimp slapped the Panthers 13-3. The tough Chicago D sacked Jake Delhomme eight times en route to the win. Now a few weeks later and coming off their on pimp slapping of the Giants, Carolina returns to the scene of the crime. This screams of another low scoring, defensive struggle. However, the difference this will be a new QB for Chicago. Now I’m not calling Rex Grossman the reincarnation of McMahon and Luckman, but he’s should be able to generate a few more points.
Pick: Bears.