Update by Ben Sunday 11pm: Once again I was wrong about both games, that drops me to 0-4 and 0-8 for the weekend, everyone loves to see the Patriots take a beating and if there is are local deal for free pizza toppings for every Cardinals or Packers touchdown, there are going to be some heavy pizzas delivered today.
Sunday playoff football in the traditional 1pm and 4pm ET slots, a good way to cap a weekend and ensure my Monday is not miserable, sit back and enjoy two more rematch playoff games.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, 1:00 pm ET, CBS
Consensus line: NE -3.5
Curly R spread pick: Patriots
Curly R straight up pick: Patriots
A more distant rematch, the Ravens and Patriots met in week four, the Patriots came away with a 27-21 win. The Ravens are not quite themselves on offense or defense this season, still a team to be reckoned with and Ray Lewis and that defense can still get a helmet up in Tom Brady's giblet.
The big question for the Patriots is how the team will deal with the loss of Wes Welker, who tore his ACL and MCL in the season finale, Wes was New England's leading receiver by get this, forty catches more than number two, Wes went down with 123 catches, he is most certainly Tom Brady's relief valve and occupies the role tight ends play on many other teams. They are still a threat anywhere and everywhere, I look for them to get Ben Watson more involved with Randy Moss being sort of a decoy.
Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals, 4:40pm ET, FOX
Consensus line: ARZ -2
Curly R spread pick: Packers
Curly R straight up pick: Packers
Like yesterday's games, a direct rematch, this game was played in the same place last week with the Packers rolling 33-7, in that game both playoff seeds were set and the Cardinals kept it close to the vest. As a result of the seedings and final week, we have a situation this game where a team with eleven wins comes to play a team with ten wins. I have read variously over the past couple of weeks of a movement, tied to fake concern about landed teams sitting their starters at the end of the season, that playoff seeds should maybe be tied to final record period and not division title seeding slash wild card seeding. In this model Arizona would be traveling to Green Bay because even though the Cardinals won the NFC West and the Packers did not win the NFC North, the Packer had the better record, thus giving teams fewer cushy scenarios in which they could sit players.
Well that is all bullshit, we separate the teams into divisions for a reason, that is the central competitive conceit of the NFL, winning your division should always place you in the playoffs ahead of teams that did not. I think the playoff seedings and structure are just fine the way they are, the solution to the fake problem of teams sitting players at the end of the season, which is a marketing and revenue issue not a competition or safety issue, is more competitive divisions. AL that said, the Cardinals play better on the road than at home,
This is a playoff gameday open thread.
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