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Thread: Article: Council of the Learned 2012: Wild Card Playoffs

  1. #1

    Article: Council of the Learned 2012: Wild Card Playoffs

    As a writer, I'm like the last girl at the bar. In the morning, you may regret asking for my services, but I'll get the job done. As long as I don't puke on your floor.

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    I'm curious to see if Ray Rice runs through the Colts defense all day. Baltimore's defense is horrid. But maybe Ed Reed closes out his career with a big pick or two.

    I don't really understand what happened to Cincinnati's offense.

    Washington-Seattle is a marquee game and it's because of two rookies. Who'd a thunk it?

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    By the way, I'm ATD on the Vikings. I just think AP has thier number this season, and think Minny might pull out a close one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    By the way, I'm ATD on the Vikings. I just think AP has thier number this season, and think Minny might pull out a close one.
    That would transform a homehum affair into an epic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
    I don't really understand what happened to Cincinnati's offense.
    Loss of #2 WR Mohamed Sanu late November. Offense has not clicked since.

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    ATD on Indianapolis and Washington.

    Indianapolis vs. Baltimore- The whole 'Ray Lewis is retiring' story is great, but does anyone else think it makes the Ravens come off as desperate? They are supposed to be the better team, yet I get the sense that Lewis felt like they needed the motivation.

    Of course, it's not like Indy has been playing fantastic ball either. They've won 5 of their last 6, but other than splitting with Houston, they've squirted by against competition that hasn't been all that great. And Andrew Luck has not been very good over his last 5 games.

    @Det- 44.4% 7.24 YPA
    Ten- 47.1% 5.76 YPA
    @Hou- 48.1% 6.89 YPA
    @KC- 48.6% 5.86 YPA
    Hou- 50.0% 6.82 YPA

    In most cases, I'd think Indy was done after this week. They've overachieved the sum of their parts this season. However, they've run into a Baltimore team that is reeling. With the added motivation of winning one for Chuckstrong, and the fact that Indy feels like the epitome of the word "team", I'll give them a win, even if I don't feel all that confident about it.

    Besides, the viewing public deserves the "Peyton Manning vs. his heir apparent" narrative next week.


    Seattle vs. Washington- This game is one of the most even Wild Card round games I can remember. Usually the team that is hot is the one to go with, but these two teams have combined to win 14 of their last 15 games, so check and check. I guess I'll have to resort to distorted statistics to figure this one out.

    First of all, home field is going to play a small factor. As has been noted elsewhere, while Seattle is 8-0 in the friendly confines of Qwest Field, they are only *EDIT* 3-5 in stadiums that force them to follow generally accepted grammar rules, including losses at the appropriately spelled Sun Life Stadium (Miami), Ford Field (Detroit), Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis), and Candlestick Park (San Francisco). They now travel to a stadium that should be somewhat comfortable to them, considering that the Redskins also play in a stadium, FedEx Field, that scoffs at generally accepted proper grammatical abbreviations.

    Second, the Redskins are a 3 point underdog at home. Since 1980, playoff home underdogs are 20-11 straight up. I expected this to be a pick 'em game, or the Redskins as a small favorite, and was legitimately surprised when I saw that Seattle was a 3 point favorite.

    Third, both rookies have been playing great, but the sense is that Russell Wilson is the hotter of the two players. That is tough to argue, but there are some possible chinks that the Redskins will be able to expose. Over the past few weeks, Wilson has started to rely on his running ability more than his passing ability a little more often than earlier in the season. Over the 1st half of the season, he ran the ball 5 or fewer times in 6 of his first 8 games. That has reversed itself in the 2nd half of the season, as he's run the ball more than 5 times in 6 of his past 8 games, including averaging over 8 carries over his last 3 games. To counter that, Jim Haslett has done a great job during the Redskins 7 game winning streak of confusing opposing offenses. During that stretch, the defense has yielded an average of 95 yards rushing per game, and has only allowed more than 250 yards passing on 2 occasions, the Thanksgiving game vs. Dallas which they led by 3 TDs in the 4th quarter, and also their blowout over the Browns. Washington's defense has the ability to limit Marshawn Lynch. If they can also force Russell Wilson to make decisions from within the pocket, they should be in great shape.

    Last, if the Seahawks have a weakness defensively, it's against the run. They've only allowed 5 100 yard team rushing performances this season, but they've allowed 4.5 yards per carry, which ranks as a tie for 23rd. The Redskins are the best running team in the league, and have been great at utilizing the play-action off of their effective running.

    Of course, I'm sure I could come up with just as many reasons why Seattle will win. This should be a great game. But in the end, I think the Redskins have enough to take out the Seahawks.
    Last edited by Trumpetbdw; 01-04-2013 at 12:59 PM.

  7. #7
    Usually when it's perceived to be a great players last game at home, the home team, responds with a win, thus BAL is the pick SU.

    HOU D has greatly regress'd and CIN D is being overlooked I think, somehow CIN produces just enough run O and AJ Green to pull out the win

    I think Woodson comes back for GB this week at home, with last weeks loss @MIN, GB returns the 'favor' and marches on for another week

    SEA @WAS, hoping for a close game and as long as Flecther is in this should be fairly close. I expect both teams to run and run, scoring? well maybe not as prolific as some of the other games this weekend. I give the road team the edge, I'm thinking Carroll n Co have a better idea on how to stop pistol and they have the personnel

  8. #8
    I'm only after the dash on the Cincinnati game, but to be honest, I don't have a good feel for how either AFC game is going to go. It seems to me like Cincinnati is playing a bit better than Houston right now, but I could see that game going either way (Weighted DVOA confirms this thought, but I'm not 100% sure how much it matters). I sense that Indianapolis is not as good as their record (based on point differential, DVOA, Advanced NFL Stats rankings), but I have lots of concerns about Baltimore as well; I'm trusting the advanced metrics but I don't feel confident.

    As for the NFC games I'm surprised at the margins for each game. I am confident that Green Bay is better than Minnesota, but Minnesota seems to have some strong matchup advantages to the Packers. Robo-Peterson 2.0 has just destroyed the Packers defense, and the Vikings pass rush seems to cause problems for Rodgers and the Packers. I went with the Packers, but I must say, my confidence level is low. On the other hand, I'm quite confident that Seattle will win, and win significantly against Washington. I think the home field advantage/road disadvantage gets played up too much with them. Seattle is just a really good football team that should be really prepared for Washington's offense, and with a not-100% RGIII, I just don't think Washington is going to put up very many points at all. I'm not going to say it's a blowout, but I'm pretty sure Seattle will win by a comfortable, 2 score margin.

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    Usually there's at least one game in each round that can be predicted with 80-85% certainty. I just don't see that being the case this year, really in any round. Green Bay seems to be the best bet this weekend, but Minnesota has played them tough twice, beating them just last weekend. And as DBF pointed out, it's not like the Packers have figured out how to stop AD. Is it possible he could put up 600 yards on them this year, before it's all said and done?

    Even moving beyond this round, is anyone sold on Atlanta or SF? Denver and NE both seem safe, but I have a sneaking feeling that at least one will go down prior to the AFC Championship, and honestly, I feel like the AFC rep in the Super Bowl is coming from this weekend's games. Denver is clearly the most likely of the 4 to advance, but it's not like Peyton has been immune to a playoff dud. Cincinnati is the potentially most dangerous opponent for them, in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
    I'm curious to see if Ray Rice runs through the Colts defense all day. Baltimore's defense is horrid. But maybe Ed Reed closes out his career with a big pick or two.

    I don't really understand what happened to Cincinnati's offense.

    Washington-Seattle is a marquee game and it's because of two rookies. Who'd a thunk it?


    now on their 4th different #2 WR of the year.

    The interior of their oline has also seemed to have hit a rookie wall in rookie Zeitler, and 2nd yr guy Boling who didn't play much as a rookie.

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