Update Monday 18 Jan by Ben: Man I love to see Tony Romo take a beating. And how can you not think the Colts-Jets game next week is going to be a great game?
Two more playoff games to sate your ravenous hunger for football, and in the traditional 1pm and 4pm time slots, I like the 4pm and 8pm deal for Saturdays, it would not work for me tonight as the only thing that trumps playoff football is on tonight: the two hour season eight premiere of 24.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00pm ET, FOX
Consensus line: Vikings minus 2.5
Curly R spread pick: Vikings
Curly R straight up pick: Vikings
Such a narrow spread, inside the de rigeur three point home field advantage gimme, reflects linesmaker thinking that the Cowboys are the better team, and I think they are, they have shown over the past two weeks that they can hit you with too many weapons for you to keep up with, starting with three tailbacks that all could be legitimate starters on many teams. Tony Romo is looking old school in his ability to find open receivers and there was even a Roy Williams sighting last week.
This game though is all about Brett Favre. If he has a Brett Favre kind of game then the Vikings are just as loaded with weapons as the Cowboys. If Brett is out there loose and tossing the ball around like he did in the first seven or so weeks of the season, there is no way the Cowboys can win this on the road. The Cowboys have to hope that we see the old and frustrated Brett, DeMarcus Ware will have a lot to say about that. All that said I think the Vikings will win this game, but that is my heart talking more than my head, I am very invested in seeing Dallas end its Super bowl run right here and now.
New York Jets at San Diego Chargers, 4:40pm ET, CBS
Consensus line: Chargers minus 8.5
Curly R spread pick: Jets
Curly R straight up pick: Chargers
The Jets and rookie head coach Rex Ryan have a bravado I love, coach Ryan published his team's postseason schedule and it included the Super Bowl and a Canyon of Heroes parade through lower Manhattan, he said before the Jets beat the Bengals that New York was the better team and should have been favored and after that game said there was no reason the Jets should not be the favorite all the way on out. Their defensive performance and statistics may bear this out, if it is true that defense wins championships.
The Chargers though have something about them that I cannot put my finger on. Phillip Rivers has the quickest release in the game right now, but it looks incredibly awkward, like a shot put and it does not seem like the ball should go so far so quickly and so accurately. The Chargers and Norval Turner are rolling on an eleven game win streak, rock on Norval.
This is a playoff gameday open thread.
Team logos from here.