Honestly, I was so distraught by the Britney drama yesterday that I forgot to post Jeremy's picks. Interestingly, we both chose the exact same teams -- for majorly different reasons, of course. When i pointed this out to him, he said that that sucked, because it "defeated the point." I think he just got scared that with only a week's experience of doing this (compared to his, oh, 17 years of doing this) I was quickly showing my brilliance. Who knows? Anyways, here are his picks. The great thing is he won't be able to comment on any of this for at least 24 hours because he's currently crying like a little girl/getting shitfaced and throwing up on bridesmaids at his best friend's wedding.
If you have seen the commercials about being an ESPN MVP and checking sports scores during things like weddings and honeymoons, that’s what I’ll be doing on Saturday. I don’t want to, but when one of your good friends decides to get married on NFL Wildcard Satruday, you are really left with little options. After this weekend I will be going into full Jeremy Mandel playoff freak out mode. Many of you are familiar with my San Antonio Spurs playoff mode where I am cocky and abrasive, but Dallas Cowboys playoff mode is quite different. In the NBA, having a 7 game series decide playoff winners almost always assures that the best team will come out on top, which is nearly always the Spurs. Thus, there is less of a need to feel nervous and more of a need to enjoy the ride smacking around the rest of the league. However, the NFL does not operate this way. If the team loses once, that’s it. NFL playoff games have the ability to scar me for life. One bad mistake, and that’s it. (See: Dallas Cowboys, 2006) As long as it isn’t my team playing, I love it.
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks – Seattle
As someone who bets on sports, I couldn’t be happier about the public’s infatuation with the Redskins and Todd Collins. In the playoffs, teams with shaky quarterbacks on the road do not win. This is a steadfast rule broken on very few occasions. The only way teams like that can survive is to have an absolutely dominating defense, and while the Redskins D is good, I certainly wouldn’t call them dominating. The loss of Sean Taylor really doesn’t help. Meanwhile, Todd Collins has been in the league for something like 12 years and at no point was considered a viable starting quarterback. To pick the Redskins you have to be saying that not only did he transform into a playoff winning quarterback after 12 years of being terrible, but he can win games in Seattle, which is notorious for being a very tough place to play. On top of all that, I think the Seattle defense is very underrated. Lofa Tatupu is excellent.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Bucs – Tampa Bay
The Giants played their Super Bowl last week. Eli Manning on the road. Big time injuries. Tom Coughlin late in the year. I would pick 75% of the league to beat the Giants in this situation. On top of the fact that they will likely beat themselves, they’re playing a veteran team in Tampa who is well rested and playing at home. This won’t be a blowout, but I definitely like Tampa Bay.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers. – Jacksonville
This always happens to me. I get excited about a team in week 10 or so before people are paying attention. The team is very underrated and getting better every week. Then, by the time their playoff game hits, everyone else has noticed and they become overrated. This is the story of the 2007 Jacksonville Jaguars. Whenever a bandwagon like this occurs, the team invariably collapses and makes me look like an idiot. Logically, this means I should pick against Jacksonville here. However, look at their opponent. Pittsburgh just lose Willie Parker, their best offensive player, and Aaron Smith, arguably their best defensive player (Troy Polamalu is vastly overrated). They got beat by Jacksonville at home a few weeks ago in a game that wasn’t as close as the score looks. Ben Roethlisberger is going to have to carry them and I don’t think it will work. They might get an early lead, but the Jags are a resilient bunch and I trust Garrard more than most do.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers – San Diego
By far the easiest game of the week to pick. Tennessee’s goal before the season was to make the playoffs and now they’ve done that. Vince Young isn’t completely healthy if he does end up playing, and the Chargers will make him move and take some hits. In the event that Kerry Collins plays, he instantly becomes an immoveable tackling dummy for the Chargers blitzing D. Also, as I mentioned previously, Norv Turner teams blow games like this out of the water to set up a monumental collapse against the Colts next week.
Note from Jordan: In my opinion, his choices are boring. I think picking the Jaguars because they are a cute animal is a much more logical reason than "trusting Garrard", whoever the hell he may be.