LET THE GAMES BEGIN !!

Well, guys..it’s that time of year..when we all hope our team is “in the hunt”…but, even the most die-hard fans know, deep down, that only a few teams really have a decent chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy…except for our Jints last year, when did a “true” underdog win the SB ? I’ll tell you…the Pats against the “invincible” Rams…but as history proved, the Pats were no fluke and the Rams were short-lived..The experts may minimize the #1, #2 seeds, but the extra week to heal cannot be underestimated… and to have the FIRST game at home is huge…not just b/c of your fans, but b/c the team is COMFORTABLE and has a better chance to handle the emotions and adrenalin of its first playoff game..this year, more than in recent times, I do believe that the 4 top seeds stand an excellent chance of emerging…with all that, I shall give you my prognosis:

1. NO CHANCE: Ariz, Mia, ATl, Minn….I actually believe AZ has a good chance to “surprise” and beat ATL, which is decent team but game is NOT in a dome, and they’re “inexperienced”…Cards are the ultimate HOME team…after which they’ll get killed…Mia is the worst 11-5 team I’ve seen in a long time…they MAY keep it close against Balt, but I doubt it…Vikes stand a chance against Phil (I like +3) IF they can RUN and NOT TURN ball over…but they have little hope to prevail in the SB….

2. A LITTLE CHANCE: Phil, SD, Balt…it’s just not that easy to win 3 games to get to SB, much less with at least 2 on the road..that’s what makes the Jints and Steelers SB victories recently so special..granted they were good teams that peaked at the right time, but it’s just HARD TO DO…and while a lot of the so-called experts are jumping on the Eagles’ wagon, need I remind them that only a short while ago McNabb was BENCHED and the team was 5-5-1…and they CAN’T run the ball or stop the run consistently…SD is interesting and IF LT, GATES can play at 90% today, I give them a reasonable chance to upset the COLTS….but that “IF” re: health is a BIG concern and a bad secondary against Peyton will make it tough..and then have to beat Pitt and Tenn on road? not likely…Balt is pretty interesting b/c I think they have the EASIEST opening game and that DEF is in rhythm…no matter what, if you want to beat Balt, you better bring your hard hats and “A” game on BOTH sides of the line…

3. A “DECENT CHANCE”: IND, TN….this was a hard category for me…I realize IND is playing well (9 straight)..BUT who have they really beaten except a close, lucky, game at home vs. the PATS ? granted, SD and Pitt as well (VERY lucky in ALL 3 games)…but they have not been TESTED in their last 5 “gimme” games…I know how good Peyton is..BUT if you take a good look at IND off., it’s NOT what it was..they really don’t have the “big play” dynamic they used to have..in addition, their inability to run or stop the run will be their downfall in bad weather…as for TN, if Mia is the worst #3 of recent times, TN is the worst #1…whatever “it” is, they don’t have “IT”…yeah, I know…they beat Pitt when they needed to…it won’t happen again..the best thing they have going for them is Chris Johnson and a solid def…but they are a little banged up (haynesworth, vanden Bosch) and I do not believe they are “ready” for that next step…that being said, a team has to BEAT TN… b/c they usually don’t beat themselves…

4. A PRETTY GOOD CHANCE: CAR, PITT…If one defines this category as WINNING the SB, I think both these teams have the attributes…first, Car has a solid, all-around team…their one flaw is INCONSISTENCY on offense, which may be directly attributed to their QB Jake…stop their running game, and pressure DelH while “doubling” steve smith, and he’s just not good enough to beat you…also, while I respect their D, I don’t FEAR their D, and that’s a big difference…as for PITT, if they had the Jets’ O-line, much less Car, Den, or the Jints, Pitt would be scary..BUT, they don’t…and that leads to an inability to run the ball and crippling bigben…their D is awesome AND scary…soooo, DON’T turn the ball over (more than once in a game) and you will beat them

5. A REAL GOOD CHANCE: JINTS….I don’t want to hear about losing 3 of 4…this is the DEFENDING SB CHAMPS..they have experience and confidence as well as talent on their side.. simply put, they can RUN and STOP the RUN better than any other team..in the cold, that gets you TO the SB…as for the actual SB, you also have to be able to pass due to better weather… I believe Eli has come a LONG way to where he is UNDERESTIMATED by his opp AND the so-called experts..he is a SILENT ASSASSIN…effecient, consistent, and cool under pressure… the only problem I see for our Jints is the HEALTH of Jacobs and the DL…Jacobs MUST be his normal smashmouth self and the DL MUST get back to RUSHING THE QB!!….I also feel having both NFC games at home is HUGE…and I do NOT fear the baby Eagle(t)s !!…I think the Jints’ toughest task will actually be the SB itself… GO JINTS !! more next week, WONDER

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