January 06, 2006

Frinklin Playoff Preview: Saturday

What a weird slate of games these are. If anybody accurately predicted the Bucs, Giants and Redskins in the playoffs at all, with the Patriots having to play this weekend, I’d like to see it.

Washington Redskins (10-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)
The Redskins were dead in the water six weeks ago, sitting at 5-6 and fighting the Eagles to stay out of last in the NFC East. Since then, they’ve ripped off five in a row. The Bucs held of the bizarrely erratic Panthers to win the South despite losing QB Brian Greise early in the year.

Both teams run a ball-control offense, and both use a two tight-end look more than most teams. Washington’s star back, the Incomparable Clinton Portis, is a bit beat up right now, while Tampa rookie Cadillac Williams (does he even have a real first name anymore?) is in prime form. Both teams also feature one star wideout: Redskin Santana Moss and Buc Joey Galloway. I can’t for the life of me understand why both guys wouldn’t be double-or-triple teamed all game. Can you name any other wideouts from this game? I think one of the Michael Claytons plays for Tampa, but I can’t be certain.

So why do I like Washington on the road? Chris Simms, that’s why. Simms wasn’t known for his toughness in college and now faces a Redskin defense that will attack him in about 120 different ways. Look for Simms to make costly mistakes and Washington wins in a close, low-scoring game.
The Pick: Washington 16, Tampa Bay 10

Jacksonville Jaguars (12-4) at New England Patriots (10-6)
The Jags must be getting pretty sick of all this. Despite 12 wins overall, with victories over Seattle, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, it seems everybody would rather play them instead of Pittsburgh. The Patriots ran out Doug Flutie and Matt Cassel instead of Tom Brady just to cinch this matchup.

It wasn’t really necessary. I’m not sold on Pittsburgh (more on that later), and I don’t think either the Steelers or the Jags have enough to win in Foxboro. That isn’t to slight the Jags: they’re a big, physical team that will give the Pats a game. I just don’t think it’s enough. Jacksonville has questions at QB (Leftwich or Garrard) and Matt Jones has faltered the last few weeks of the regular season. Plus, I’m just not sold on Jack Del Rio in a big game.

And really, are YOU gonna bet against Brady and Belichick at home in January? I will continue to root against them though; especially after Brady’s ridiculous “We don’t get no respect” bit this week. Yo, Tom… you’ve won three Super Bowls in four years. Your opposition is the team that you purposefully lost in order to play. New England is the disrespector here, not the disrespectee.

Now shut up and go away you creepy plastic boy.

The Pick: New England 24, Jacksonville 14

Posted by Frinklin at January 6, 2006 10:32 PM | TrackBack
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