unless i decide to do a pro bowl edition (and if you're interested in placing a bet on the pro bowl, you are a degenerate gambler and you should probably call your parents), there are only two more opportunities to drop knowledge before we enter the long, knick-filled off-season. well, we should all expect tiny nate robinson to catch fire, and the knicks to retake their rightful throne as the beast of the east. but we'll leave that to another day.
for the moment, what the nfl calls championship weekend is coming up. now i've been on something of a roll in the playoffs (6-2), so part of me wants to quit while i'm ahead, and try doing the whole pregame show thing, where i tell you what each team needs to do to win and then watch the money roll in.
well there's no money. so fuck it.
turns out god doesn't want kurt warner to win a second super bowl. i'll admit that this surprised me. He kept boldin out of the game, He made every break go the saints' way, and He even knocked warner on his ass, almost as if to say "my son, it is time to retire." new orleans' has a terrific offense, perhaps the most explosive in the league (watch the flea-flicker from last sunday, if you doubt), but expect jared allen to foil that plan. however, if the saints are able to run between the tackles, and reggie bush seemed pretty unstoppable last week, they will neutralize the viking pass rush, and take advantage of a so-so secondary. as for the mall of america vikings, the cowboys were too soft last week. at least one of favre's touchdowns would have been intercepted by a half-decent corner, and the blowout score is misleading, as minnesota piled it on late. it's been a while since the vikings have played a team that can control the ball, even score touchdowns every now and then. a strong running game and a few more monster plays from bush, and favre will retire yet again, only to be resurrected next year in an effort to save the oakland raiders, which will fall short, yet again.
as for my dearly beloved jets, i watched every snap this season, and one of the joys has been that nobody takes them seriously. you get to feel like you're anti-establishment, but you don't have to stop watching Marines-sponsored pro sports. they may have the best defense in the league, but nobody's afraid of them. check with overpaid pansies carson palmer and phillip rivers to see how underestimating this defense works out. but here's the problem: manning. the chargers, the cardinals, the eagles... this has not been a great post-season for high-flying offenses. they don't seem capable of winning a dog fight. once the going gets tough, they get desperate and soft and start throwing dumb passes (which was kind of their game plan anyway). thing is, the colts are not a high-flying offense; they are an efficient offense. slowly but surely, small chunk by small chunk, they move the ball down the field until they're in the endzone. the jets are best at preying on video-game-type offenses, and may have trouble against a guy who knows that a six yard completion is actually good. additionally, manning gets the ball out of his hands before pressure gets to him, every time (he was sacked only ten times this year, and the texans had four of those all to themselves). this is also a problem for the jets, as manning comfortable in the pocket will be able to cut up any defense he sees.
further, manning runs the best two-minute offense maybe of all time, and the jets have an annoying habit of giving up game-winning touchdown drives in the last two minutes (atlanta, jacksonville, miami, just to name a few). this is the greatest mismatch in the game, colts offense against jets defense down the stretch. if the jets play their game successfully, it will come down to the final possession for indy. but personally, i'm anticipating a crushing last-second loss, followed by a colts-saints super bowl.
win or loose, though, the jets have made this blog exponentially more fun to write this year. for that i am very grateful. one more post about how much "real estate" sucks, and people would start to think i was obsessed.