Sunday, January 20, 2008

Conference Championship Sunday

Thank Tom Jones Sunday is finally here. This weekend has gone by so slowly waiting for the best Sunday of football of the year. But there’s always a bittersweet feeling to Championship Sunday, knowing that there is only one more football game that season… and that game is for everyone but the football die-hards.

That’s alright, though, because we have a couple of classic football encounters in store for tonight. Harkening images of yesteryear, both games contested today will be played in well below freezing temperatures. It won’t be “The Greatest Show on Turf” or the best X’s and O’s games we will ever see, but the beauty of watching four teams braving the elements giving everything they have for a chance at the Super Bowl… we’re not lucky enough to see that every year.

For seven hours today, if you’re so lucky, you will meet with the guys for one last time this year... enjoying some food, some drinks, some jokes only the few of you think are funny… and enjoying, hopefully, two classic football games to tide us for two weeks until the Super Bowl. That’s what sports and the NFL is truly all about.

San Diego (+14) over NEW ENGLAND

In my head, I can see just about anything happening in this game. I can see the 17-0 Patriots get off to a fast start and blitzkrieg the Chargers out of the building; I can see the Chargers getting a quick turnover and score, while New England struggles in the first half… I’m going into this game expecting anything and praying to my Lord & Savior that it isn’t a Pats blow out.

That being said, I have to take the points. This line started at 14.5 and, to be honest, I’d feel a lot better getting that extra half-a-point. The Chargers have a tough defense, but Patriots offense is clearly the best in the league. New England doesn’t have their defense of years past, but San Diego injuries to Phillip Rivers, LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, their three best players, can certainly slow them down.

I don’t expect this to be a high scoring game at all, which makes taking the 14 points that much easier. Something is telling me that the Chargers can win this game outright, but my head is telling me that just isn’t possible. Take the points, but don’t be shocked if the Pats go wild.

Patriots 29, Chargers 18

New York (+7.5) over GREEN BAY

This line actually climbed a half-a-point this week, which really shocks me. I know Green Bay blew out Seattle last week, but it’s hard for me to take that romp too seriously considering the Seahawks gave up after the Pack went up 11 going into halftime. The weather significantly affected that game.

What this game is going to come down to is two fold; One, can the Giants defensive line break through the Packers offensive line and get to Brett Favre and Two, what can this Giants offense do against a solid Packers defense.

I think the Giants defensive line is going to do just enough to get to Favre and I think the Giants depth of runners compared to just Ryan Grant of the Packers helps them a lot in this frigid weather game.

I’m probably speaking more with my New York heart than head with this pick, but I just think seven-and-a-half points are way too many for this type of game. Plus, I think the Giants finally have the meddle to get through this game and get to Phoenix. Hide your hearts, girls... Eli's coming to Phoenix.

Giants 16, Packers 14

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