NFL Picks: Divisional Playoff Weekend

Scott Feschuk Last week 4-0 Season 130-124-6

Scott Reid Last week 1-3 Season 129-125-6


Arizona (plus 7) at New Orleans, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET

Feschuk: Hard to say who had a better weekend – Kurt Warner or me. On Old Man Warner’s side of the ledger, he went 29-for-33 against the Packers, tossed more touchdowns than incompletions and still got home in time to watch Murder, She Wrote. I, on the other hand, went a perfect 4-0 in my picks – winning widespread admiration from men* and gazes of intense sexual longing from women**. If New Orleans plays like it did for much of the year, I think they handle the Cardinals. But here’s the thing: Arizona actually ran the ball a ton last weekend (and very successfully) while over the past few weeks the Saints’ run defence has revealed itself to be more fractured than NBC late night. Assuming Kurt Warner is willing to stay up past his bedtime to see this thing out, Arizona has a shot at the upset. Pick: Arizona.

* Not true. ** The lady at Subway kinda winked (possibly a tic).

Reid: Last week – on my way to a blistering 1-3 record – I boldly stated, “If Green Bay loses this game, I’ll put anything you say on my face for at least 10 seconds.” So when Michael Adams stripped Rodgers and Karlos (what’s with the ‘K’?) Dansby walked the ball in to win the game in OT, I knew something truly awful was in my future. But even I couldn’t imagine the depths of your depravity:

And now look at me! I’m hideous. Hideous, I tell you!!

I acknowledge that Arizona looked insanely dangerous on offence last week. Warner could score at will. But if we’re going to talk about defensive performances let’s spare a panic or two for the Cards who, until the final, fluky, nutsmashing play of last week’s game, appeared about as fierce as Meg Ryan. When I push Clay Aiken to the side, I see this game very clearly. It will be Brees, not Warner, who lights it up for 400+ yards and walks off the field victorious. And frankly, if you were half the man you claim to be (Mr. 4-0), you’d agree to wear Ruben Studdard on your face for ten seconds if Arizona loses. Pick: New Orleans.

Feschuk: Alas, I just checked and I’m only 2/5ths the man I claim to be. So close.


Baltimore (plus 6.5) at Indianapolis, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET

Reid: Who was last seen in public – Peyton Manning or J.D. Salinger? I am firmly of the view that Jim Caldwell has been waaaay too cute by half. There’s such a thing as karma in this world (unless your name is Sean Avery – little prick weasel, that he is) and the Colts are taking it for granted. They may be an offensive machine but how do you take the better part of a month off and then just turn it back on? Media reports this week say that Indy is playing ‘really hard.’ Wow. Those media types sure dig hard to get at the unfound truth. My gut is that Indy will pull this game out but that’s it – after this week, Indy is done. (And when has my gut ever been wrong? Or flat? Or washed?) Pick: Indianapolis.

Feschuk: So you think Indy will struggle, do you? You know what you’ve just done? You’ve just bought yourself some Conventional Wisdom, my friend. Come Saturday night, you’re going to wish you’d shopped around and gone with a little thing we like to call Actually Thinking it Through. Fact: Indy is an offensive juggernaut that can turn it on and off at will (like me with my sexual magnetism). Fact: Baltimore’s defensive stock is high because they pounded on the Pats, but New England never even bothered to show up for that game. Fact: Based on his numbers last week, Joe Flacco is the only quarterback remaining in the playoffs who makes his coach think to himself, “If only I had JaMarcus Russell at my disposal.” Fact: Waffles are delicious. Add it all up and you’ve got a walk in the park for the Colts and a hearty, satisfying breakfast. Pick: Indianapolis.


Dallas (plus 3) at Minnesota, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Feschuk: I can’t wait for this one – partly because it should be a good game, but mostly because I can’t wait to see what Brad Childress looks like. As his team started to come apart toward the end of the season, with losses to the Panthers and Bears, Childress’s creepy beard grew increasingly scraggly, dark circles appeared under his eyes and his skin grew sallow. After two long weeks spent in the film room, he’s going to come out looking like either Howard Hughes or Teen Wolf – both of which are preferable to how Brett Favre is going to look after he gets his spleen tenderized by DeMarcus Ware. The Cowboys will pressure Favre, Favre will panic and hurl up a couple of his patented “Hey, Maybe Someone On My Team Will Catch It!” freebies and Wade Phillips will jump up and down like a little girl who comes downstairs on Christmas morning to find a pony under the tree, a Jonas brother on top of the pony and a second pony on top of the Jonas brother. Pick: Dallas.

Reid: Not that it’s necessarily fundamental to correctly predicting the outcome of this game, but why does the Jonas brother have a second pony on him? And why would that please the little girl (or fat, middle-aged chicken dumpling of a head coach)? More importantly, why does everyone remember Teen Wolf but not Teen Wolf Too? You think it was easy for Jason Bateman to slide into a role that Michael J Fox had made so definitively his own? And yet, he turned in a beautifully layered performance. I think the Dallas defence is overrated based on beating up a weak Philly O-line. It will be Jared Allen flossing his teeth with quarterback on Sunday, not DeMarcus Ware. Player of the game? Peterson. He’s due. And a couple big plays will break the Cowboys’ back. Pick: Minnesota


New York Jets (plus 7) at San Diego, 4:40 p.m. ET

Reid: The last time San Diego lost a game, Tiger Woods was a stand-up family man, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno were pals and the United Federation of Planets was still believed to be fictional. Can you imagine the blinders we were all walking around wearing? The Jets act like they have a little mojo going. Don’t believe it for a second. Mark Sanchez threw 15 times against the Bengals. Philip Rivers will throw that many times in the first quarter. And two of them will be touchdowns. No one can hang with the Chargers right now. They’re so hot, they’re going to have to change their last name to Johansson. This game will be a romp. Which takes us back to Tiger. I wonder what he’s hitting these days? Pick: San Diego.

Feschuk: I’m so confident this one will be over by halftime that I’ve scheduled a pedicure for 6 p.m. And I’m planning on bringing along Rivers, Gates and Sproles (but not Tomlinson – that dude hogs the polish). The Jets were perfectly matched against the Bengals because Cinci has only one legitimate downfield threat. The Chargers have approximately eleventy-seven legitimate downfield threats. Unless Rex Ryan has figured out a way to give Darrelle Revis the Multiplicity treatment (by which I mean making clones of him, not turning him into a lousy movie), the Chargers are going to score early, score often, score in a boat, score with a goat, in a box, with a fox and take us all one step closer to a Super Bowl in which Norv “Blank Stare” Turner lines up across from Wade “Blank Stare” Phillips in a coaching matchup for the ages. Pick: San Diego.

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