Scott Feschuk Last week: 9-7 Season: 129-102-9
Scott Reid Last week: 8-8 Season: 112-119-9
A note: There may possibly be some NFL-based tweeting this weekend perhaps. Follow Scott Feschuk at @scottfeschuk. Maybe this will coax Reid into actually joining Twitter. I ask you: What possible trouble could Scott Reid get into with an unfiltered outlet for his musings?
New Orleans (minus 10) at Seattle, Saturday 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Feschuk: Did you see how coaching mastermind and Up With People alumnus Pete Carroll waited to tip his hand about who’s going to start at quarterback for his Seahawks. That left New Orleans at the disadvantage of having to prepare for both Dumb and Dumber. That’s some sneaky maneuverin’! It’s too bad Seattle couldn’t bring in The Most Sought After Man in the World, Jim Harbaugh, to coach this game. Or quarterback it. Or use his heavenly powers to part the Saints D-line while curing leukemia with his farts. Because according to sports talk radio Harbaugh could totally do it. HE’S A MICHIGAN MAN! Alas, the Seahawks are stuck with the roster that managed exactly one victory this season against a team that finished with a winning record. Every single one of Seattle’s nine losses this year was by more than 10 points. Every. Single. One. Why? Because they are terrible. TERRIBLE. Do not let yourself forget this: They are a terrible football team that is awful! Although in their defence Mike Williams has had a nice season and Carroll’s hair has never had more lustre and bounce. Some people seem to be trying to talk themselves into taking the points. At ESPN.com, one blogger wrote about how “the planets are aligning for a Seahawks victory.” His proof? “The defending Super Bowl champs must travel across the country to face a 7-9 team they defeated by two touchdowns already this season. Is that anything for them to get fired up about?” Um, yes, actually. I’d think the prospect of beginning your quest for a second consecutive Super Bowl title by lining up across from the Spazzy McNumbnuts would indeed be a tantalizing and highly agreeable proposition. Sure, the Saints will be without their two top running backs. But you know why that’s no big deal? BECAUSE THE SEAHAWKS ARE TERRIBLE. Pick: New Orleans.
Reid: I agree that Seattle is going down like Mila Kunis in Black Swan. And Matt Hasselbeck is the key to this game – for the Saints. I will bet a year’s supply of Pete Carroll’s hair conditioner that the Seahawks veteran pivot throws at least two picks and Seattle turns the ball over no fewer than four times in total. How confident is New Orleans that it can handle this matchup? After news broke that neither Pierre Thomas nor Chris Ivory can play, Sean Payton announced their feature back on Saturday will be this guy:
True, Brees won’t have all the weapons he’s used to. But just as sure as ol’ Dark Square there knows all the words to Margaritaville, the Saints are going to run up a huge score. Pick: New Orleans.
New York Jets (plus 2.5) at Indianapolis, Saturday 6 p.m. Mountain
Reid: The question on my mind isn’t whether Indy will be able to pick up the Jets blitz packages. Or whether Sanchez will come through in the post-season. The question on my mind is: Aren’t the Jets’ players totally creeped out by Rex Ryan’s foot thing? After all, feet are pretty much unisex appendages, aren’t they? Sure, you can get a peddy and paint the nails. But feet don’t have hourglass figures. Or boobs. Or the other thing that girls have that boys don’t (the ability to lie right to your face). A heel. Five toes. Some arch. It’s pretty much steady as she goes for men and women alike. So if you know that your coach – the same man who prowls your locker room and sees your bare naked feet daily – has a total Favre-on for your pedals, aren’t you totally grossed out and distracted from the task at hand? I think so. Big time. At minimum, I think you want a closed-door meeting where Coach makes it absolutely clear that his twisted peversion is limited solely to women’s feet and he’s got no fire burning for what the boys keep in their Doc Martens. Because I assume that meeting has happened and because I don’t believe the Indy offense is truly balanced (notwithstanding the past couple weeks re-found running game), I’m going with the Jets to win this with superior D. Pick: New York.
Feschuk: The worst thing about this whole foot fetish business (aside from everything about it) is that it’s prompted Rex Ryan to start saying even crazier shit than usual in an effort to take people’s minds off the fact the Lord of the Rings movies give him a stiffy (“Golleeee, are these hobbits ever going to put on some shoes?!”). Have you heard Rex this week? We’re going to the Super Bowl! Tom Brady ain’t that great a quarterback! I’ve eaten a vegetable at some point in the past three years! This is by far the most difficult game to figure. Even with Peyton Manning, Indy is a shadow of its former self. The Colts have no running game. Their defence gave up more points this season than Detroit, Minnesota, Cleveland, St. Louis and San Francisco. And I’ve lost track but I think their receiving corps now consists of Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and a hologram of Princess Leia. But the Jets are so unreliable and unpredictable. And they’ve been torched by lesser QBs like Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler. I AM VEXED! I find myself with no option but to rely on the fact that Scott Reid has picked the Jets and, as you see from his record, Scott Reid picks football games the way Brett Favre picks texting buddies – unsuccessfully. Pick: Indianapolis.
Baltimore (minus 3) at K.C., Sunday 10 a.m. Pacific
Reid: Many doubt whether KC’s offense is consistent enough to rely on in a post-season matchup against the Ravens’ feared defense. But I regard Matt Cassel in much the same way I regard Tara Reid. Sure, they get trashed by the chattering classes. And yes, people snigger about the fact they both used to work under Tom Brady (Reid was performing sex acts and Cassell was his back up – meaning he was also performing sex acts). But when I look close at them, I see plenty to like.
I’m taking KC as my surprise pick of the weekend. I think the Ravens’ defence is overrated, the Chiefs are always a mouthful at home and a tummy like that deserves a little faith. The Chiefs put up at least 34 points. Pick: KC.
Feschuk: Regular readers of this blog know I am loath to incorporate actual facts into the making of my picks. They confuse and anger my dart-throwing monkeys. But for the playoffs I’m willing to make an exception. Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to consider the following numerical astonishment: The teams beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs this year finished with a combined record of… 60-100! Yes, people, I have resorted to actual math to prove my point: the Chiefs ain’t so great. For their schedule to have been any easier, they would have had to line up against twice against Carolina and once against the Partridge Family. Pick: Baltimore.
Green Bay (plus 3) at Philadelphia, Sunday 6 p.m. in Newfoundland
Feschuk: I’m excited about the new overtime rules that come into effect this weekend: They present Eagles coach Andy Reid with a whole new frontier upon which to make lousy decisions in a painfully slow manner. Sure, Reid is already a legend at clock mismanagement and nonsensical playcalling, but the opportunity to be a pioneer – to be the first to soil one’s underthings in the new OT format – has got to be too tempting to resist. I foresee a puzzled look, followed by a delay of game penalty, followed by a smoked meat sandwich, followed by the throwing of his red flag to challenge the day of the week (“I had to go with my gut – it felt like a Tuesday out there,” he’ll note later in his press conference.) Between these two teams, we could see blitzes on more than half the snaps. Can Michael Vick beat the rush and find the open man downfield? Can Aaron Rodgers make the Eagles pay by scampering for first downs? Can Clay Matthews, who had three sacks against Philly earlier this season, find his way to the QB and also maybe a scrunchie? Green Bay’s defence prevails. Pick: Green Bay.
Reid: What the hell is up with that anyway? You play all year long and then, when the games matter the most and in situations that matter the most, they change the rules? It’s coconuts. I can’t even remember how it works. Each team gets five shooters and the goalies can’t move til the ball’s struck? You have to double out? Turn three times, throw salt and say Macbeth? Beats the hell outta me but it’s a damn strange time to alter the way the game is played. This contest is 100% coaching. The league thinks it figured out Mike Vick a couple weeks ago and you can bet McCarthy will try to overwhelm him with pressure from all sides. Will Andy Reid look up from his double rack and mashed long enough to make an adjustment? I’m going to say yes. Like the NFL, I think Vick is stupid. I doubt he can direct his line and running backs on the fly to pick up changing blitz schemes. That’s why I’m guessing Reid will have spent last week teaching the line and backs to do it on their own. That, plus DeSean Jackson should be enough. I don’t think Philly will go far but sadly, I think they’ll beat the Pack this weekend. Pick: Philadelphia.