Old dude, there's so much HYYYYYYYPPPPPPPPE! out there that I had to get it out of the way in the headline! Can you feel it?
I'm actually a bit desensitized to it, considering I experience it nearly every day.
Are you sure that it's just because you usually need a nap? Old dudes like to nap, I've noticed.
Could be. But what does that have to do with picking the football games?
Well, nothing. I'm supposed to care about your well-being. And whether or not you're taking your Geritol and all the other over-the-counter medications you see on the 5:30 news. But enough of that. We've got games to pick. Watch me work!
N'awlins Saints (-3 1/2) vs. San Francisco 49ers. So let me get this straight. The 49ers were 13-3 and earned a first round bye, but they are home underdogs? Speed of lighting, roar of thunder! Well, that's what happens when you play the New Orleans Saints, who are the best offense on the entire planet and perhaps the entire solar system as well. That's what they keep telling me on ESPN. Well guess what? They are now walking into the Streets of San Francisco and they're going to need more than a "Quinn Martin Production" to win this one. Jim Harbaugh doesn't wear a bad hat like that Karl Malden dude, but after his 49ers get after Drew Brees, they might be asking "what will you do? What will you do?" Niners 35, Saints 17.
Nice use of 70s references there, Benster! Your link fu is strong, grasshopper. Will your pick be correct, though? I'd like it to be, because as a Packer fan I'd prefer to avoid the Saints. But I think the Saints are probably going to be able to beat San Francisco after a bit of a struggle. Saints 31, 49ers 27.
Denver Tebows (+13 1/2) vs. New England Evil Empire. So is this one Carthage vs. Rome -- total war? Or is it a battle of Good and Evil? It's brave Sir Tebow, who is on a mission from God, although some people call him. . . Tim. Our man Tebow has been on a quest for the Holy Grail, and now he finds himself in Foxborough to face the dark lord Belichick. Guess what? You might expect me to pick the Patriots, right? Well -- NNNNNNNNNT! That is incorrect! The Patriots can't win at home in the playoffs. They have failed twice in a row and do not have a good defense. In fact, the Patriots were lucky to get out of Denver alive last time. The final score was pretty comfortable for New England fans, but their comfort level is about to plummet. Denver 21, New England 0.
Uh, no. I've been pretty impressed with the Denver defense this year, and there's no denying that Tebow has made a lot of big plays when it matters, but this seems like too large a task. The window is closing on Tom Brady and if he's going to make another Super Bowl run, it probably needs to be soon. Hard to see the Pats falling short this week. New England 34, Denver 20.
Houston Texans (+7 1/2) vs. Baltimore Ravens. It's T. J. Yates against Ray Lewis. That could be trouble for the fresh-faced kid from Carolina. The Texans played very well last week in defeating the Bengals, and our man J. J. Watt made a huge play by picking off a pass and lumbering into the end zone. Way to represent, J. J.! Gotta give some love to our Badger alums! But here's the funny thing -- if the Texans are going to have a chance in this game, it might be Badger alum Owen Daniels who might have to make a big play against the Ravens defense. In fact, I think the Ravens aren't ready for what they're about to face, because Joe Flacco is one inconsistent quarterback and you never know which Baltimore team is going to show up. Houston 17, Baltimore 10.
Houston plays very good defense, so they should have a chance. I agree that Flacco isn't all that great, but he's probably going to be better than T. J. Yates. I think it's a low-scoring game, but I'll go with the Ravens. Baltimore 24, Houston 14.
New York Football Giants (+7 1/2) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. I noticed this week that some of the Giants were running their mouths a little bit. Jason Pierre-Paul, who is a very good player but not known for his tact, went all Joe Namath and guaranteed a win. Good move, sir! As it happens, the old dude and I were at Lambeau the last time the Giants paid a visit. Tom Coughlin's face didn't freeze off that time, but the Giants were humiliated 45-17 and had to spend an additional night in lovely Appleton because the East Coast was snowed in. Bet that was fun for the Giants! My X Factors for this game are Jordy Nelson and Tramon Williams. I think both will get into the end zone and the Williams pick will be especially devastating to our old pal Eli Manning, who has played well lately but usually is good for a pick or two a game. Jordy Nelson has not been getting a lot of headlines, but if you look at the stats, you'll see that he has scored 15 touchdowns this season. That's a lot of touchdowns, kids. And when Jordy Nelson scores, the Packers win. Packers 45, Giants 17.
I heard some of the same things you did, young fella. The Giants are a hot team. They are playing so well right now. It's just like 2007. Pull back from the hype (not HYYYYYYPPPPPPPE!, which is a more wholesome thing) and you'll notice that the Giants were 9-7 and were outscored as a team this season. They played their best game of the season against the Packers on their own turf and still came up short. And it's not 2007, because Aaron Rodgers isn't an aging gunslinger. He's the best quarterback on the planet and he's at the peak of his powers. The Giants will give the Packers a struggle early, but I also think Jordy Nelson will score. As will a few of his friends. And the Giants won't be able to keep up. Packers 38, Giants 21.
Just a reminder, kids. This is what it will look like in Lambeau on Sunday. Get used to it. Ben out!