By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Picks: Divisional Playoffs
NEW HAVEN, Ct.– Act one of the playoffs is now history. Welcome to the divisional round and “Rematch Weekend”. All four games this weekend are rematches from the regular season.
In fact, when you think of this weekend’s games remember the number 19.
Add up the point differential in the 2008 regular-season meetings of the teams playing in this weekend’s four NFL Divisional Playoffs, and you get the grand total of 19 points.
And that’s not in four games, but five, because one of this week’s match ups is a division rematch.
Like we said last week, let the games begin — again!!
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
Six of the eight Divisional Playoff teams start a quarterback who has previously started in a Super Bowl. That number tops the previous NFL high of five such quarterbacks in 1993.
What player holds the Eagles’ record for most career postseason interceptions?
A. Herman Edwards B. Brian Dawkins C. Roynell Young D. Chuck Bednarik
(The answer comes at the end of the column).
LAST WEEK: 1-3
I’d like to personally thank the Eagles for saving me from a win less weekend. I probably stayed on the Atlanta bandwagon a little longer than I should have. As for the other losses, I’m like Dave Chappelle and I “plead da fif”. Needless to say, but we’re hoping to improve this weekend or I’ll face the wrath of Upset, the wonder dog.
RAVENS at TITANS
Back in 2000 — the only other time Tennessee had the AFC’s No. 1 seed — they would go on and lose their playoff opener to, the Ravens. Baltimore was en route to their lone Super Bowl crown that season. Last week’s win at Miami and their play over the last two weeks have evoked those same sort of memories. The Titans will have defensive stalwarts Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch back in the lineup, but the real key will be just how much offense Tennessee will be able to generate against Ed, Ray, and the boys. This has all the makings of a low scoring defensive struggle. I’ll give the home team a slight edge, but it’s not gonna be easy.
CARDINALS at PANTHERS
It took a a furious fourth quarter rally by Carolina to defeat the Cardinals back in October. Down 17-3, the Panthers got two TD passes from Jake Delhomme for the win. Both Jake and Kurt Warner have been great postseason performers. However, I feel that the defenses will decide this contest. We all know about Carolina’s “Smash and Dash” combo of Stewart and Williams. But one of the unsung heroes for Arizona last week was the forgotten Edgerrin James. If the “Edge” gives the Cards a similar performance, it could make a big difference. I may regret it, but I’m going with the upset.
EAGLES at GIANTS
The matchup says it all. New York vs. Philly for the third time this season. The winner advances to the NFC title game while the loser will have a tee-time awaiting them during Pro Bowl week. Ironically, the road team one both battles this season which adds to the intrigue. Both teams have rock solid defenses. Philly was able to do just enough to win in Minny last week. But I think now that the Giants are completely healthy in the backfield — especially at running back — I think it will be enough for them to win. This will be a close one, but I’ve gotta go with the champs until you beat them.
CHARGERS at STEELERS
When these two teams last met in November, bettors across the land were more than just a little peeved at the 11-10 ending. As for the actual game, the Chargers’ offense was held in check by the Black and Gold. San Diego’s output has more than improved since that day, but the Pittsburgh defense was just doing what they’ve been doing all season. The Steelers haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher or 300-yard passer this season, and have limited eight of its opponents to 10 or fewer points. I know the Bolts were impressive against Indy last week, but I think it all comes to an end on Sunday.
A. In seven career playoff games, Herman Edwards has a team record five picks. Dawkins is right behind him with four in 16 career playoff games.