This is it, win and you are in. It seems like this season flew by, from the first mini-camp we attended back in June to what amounts to a playoff game regular season finale. It has come full circle, if you would have asked me back in the dog days of camp would you take an eleven and five record and winning the last game of the season to get it the playoffs I would have said yes in a heartbeat.
Back then we didn’t really know how this team was going to play in 2013 coming off a disastrous season with more question marks than answers. I think a couple of things that stood out as the season unfolded was that this team has a ton of depth on defense and the offensive line what was once a strong point has become a liability. But these are issues for the dog days of 2014 and right now only one thing matters and that’s beating Tampa Bay.
Sometimes you can over analyze the X and O’s (I’m guilty of this) but it is really simple, get in the tournament and catch fire. Block, tackle and cover better than the other team and keep the turnovers to a minimum and you will win.
I can’t remember a year in the NFL were all four NFC divisions are up in the air on the last Sunday of the regular season. Two divisions it’s winner take all and the other two need the division leader to lose and they must win. This is a must watch Sunday in the NFL, it doesn’t get any better than this folks which brings me to my awful weekly picks. I have been extremely horrible with these this year so the odds are stacked in my favor to at least get one weekend right and this is the one. So get in line at Wal-Mart and return your re-gifted gift and scrape up that cash and lay it on the line because there is no way I will let you down this week or my name isn’t egghead….wait it isn’t? Never mind…..
The Falcons +6 ½ over the Panthers in Atlanta I have struggled with this one all week and I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I try I can’t bring myself to pull for the Falcons. In fact I would rather have a thousand paper cuts and then thrown into a pool of battery acid than to pull for these chumps. I’m just going to act like this game is not happening and somehow when the Saints game rolls around they will be playing for the division title. Seriously I’m going to leave my house before the noon games start and head down to Champions Square not checking the score or even worrying about the outcome. By the time I get into the Dome the outcome will have been decided so you know what? Screw Atlanta and maybe, just maybe, screw Carolina more.
The Eagles -6 ½ over the Cowboys in Dallas Stomp stomp stomp stomp Orton stomp stomp stomp stomp Jerrah stomp stomp stomp stomp Swiss cheese defense stomp stomp stomp stomp Jason Garrett stomp stomp stomp stomp 15 dollar beers and 50 dollar parking stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp……
The Cardinals “pick” over the 49rs in Arizona is there a hotter team in the NFL right now than the Cardinals? This team is playing at a completely different level the one the Saints smacked around back in September. I not only expect the Cardinals to win, I expect them to skull drag the 49rs up and down that tumble weed infested desert field. Shark face Kaepernick will be under pressure from the opening whistle and Jim Harbaugh will blow out another hemorrhoid with his struggle face plastered on the Jumbo-Tron. Arizona will miss the playoffs with an 11-5 record while some other bum teams squeaks in and that my friends is highway robbery.
Your New Orleans Saints -12 ½ over the Bucs in the Thunder Dome™ Talent and good coaching wins in the NFL and the Saints from top to bottom are better than Tampa Bay. I fully expect a blowout Sunday, there is just too much on the line in this one. Tampa is going to do what they do, pound the ball, play good defense and take a few shots down field with V Jax. Problem is…is that formula has gotten them exactly four wins this year. In their last two losses the Bucs have scored a combined 27 points, the Saints may have that by the middle of the second quarter.
Which brings us to the Saints; it’s been a bumpy ride this year with a high of extracting some revenge on the 49rs and a low of being owned by the Rams…again. From the great last second win in the home opener against Atlanta to the heartbreaking loss to Carolina last week. How is everything going to unfold these next few weeks is anybody’s guess but as history has shown us anything can happen when you punch your ticket to the big dance.
My only concern is when you have to play on the road the offensive line is critical, not only for Drew Brees’ well being but you have to be able to run the ball effectively. Will the Saints pound the ball 35 times? No, the team’s not built that way but you have to be able to move it on the ground somewhat effectively to freeze the linebackers and safeties with the play action pass. When the Saints needed the running game in the biggest moment of this season they failed miserably when they couldn’t get that crucial first down to run the clock out against Carolina.
It was a bold move by coach Payton putting in an untested rookie into the offensive line and going on the road for the biggest game of the year and to be honest I’m glad he did it. Terron Armstead is only going to get better for it and once he gets another game under his belt in the comfy confines of the Super Dome his timing and understanding of what it takes to succeed in this league is only going to improve heading into the post season. Tampa will go right at him with stunts and blitzes; it will be telling how he performs in the game. Coach already went out of his way giving him a shout out to stroke his confidence, it’s up to him to take it, play well and build on it.
I’m not going to predict the score in this game because let’s be honest, I have been bad luck to the boys in the black and gold when I do so I will just say the Saints win going away in a romp.
Well my gang of gambling goons that’s it for this week, remember the odds are in my favor of not repeating my past blunders and closing out the regular season on a winning note. I am so confident that the Saints will take care of business this week that if they don’t win Sunday I will change my avatar to Roddy White until after the Super Bowl. And to that I say as always….Rise Up! WHO DAT!!!!