2012 NFL Playoff Predictions - Week 2, The Divisional Round(and Golden Globe Predictions)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Last week, I was 3-1 against the spread and 3-1 straight up.  If not for the Saints deciding to swat away Detroit's backdoor cover, I'd have hit a perfect ATS.

I don't like any game as strongly as did I Houston giving the FG last week, but I'll still give you each game in the order of my belief in it.

Houston +7.5 Baltimore (Ravens win)
A week ago, I said Houston would get to Baltimore and lose, but if I were back here for round 2 writing "the Texans are going to the AFC Championship game" don't be shocked. 

I'm not writing that, Yates is a third string rookie QB going on the road against a rested Ravens Defense; I'm picking Baltimore to win.  That said - this is a field goal game, Houston's just as good as Baltimore; the public undervalues how good Houston was throughout the year and maybe overvalues the current version of Baltimore's defense.  I think there's a better chance that Houston wins outright than that Baltimore wins by double digits.(win/win)

Giants +7.5 Packers (GB wins)
A week ago I said if any unexpected team won SB46 that it would be the Giants, I liked them to cover against Atlanta and they matchup as well as any team does against the champs.  I'm taking the champs, they're better than NY and were they to win by 10 it wouldn't surprise me.  But I'm not giving more than a touchdown.  I like this game a good bit less than the Houston game.(win/loss)

Niners +4 Saints (NO wins)
Yeah, it's up to 4 now.  I picked the Saints to win the whole thing a week ago and if I'm really wrong about anything this week its this game and the Saints beat us (I'm a Niner fan) by three touchdowns.  They're the best team in football (I say that like it's so, but in truth I don't have any idea if they're better than the Packers or not) and we're a good team who hasn't faced an offense of nearly this quality all season.  But given the rest, given the long trip they're taking west, given the ability of our defensive line to get pressure without blitzing, this could be a field goal game so I'm taking the points.(win/loss)

NE -13.5 Denver
Yes, I hate giving that many points.  Yes.  The factors that led me to take Denver getting 9 last week aren't present this week; to me this feels like 35-10.  It was just two weeks ago that Tebow couldn't score a touchdown at home against the Chiefs, there's no reason why he isn't that guy this week instead of the guy who beat the Steelers.  I do not like giving 13.5, but gun to my head, I think it's more likely they cover than don't.(win/win)

If I get a chance, I'll give you some Golden Globe winners in this spot to help ease whatever damage I otherwise do to your portfolio with these picks.

Drama - The Descendants (its favored, but maybe not by as much as the likelihood of victory, Hugo is really only other possibility)
Comedy/Musical - The Artist (lock)
Animated - Rango (if not, then Tintin)
Foreign - A Separation (as likely as is Descendants; In the Land of Blood and Honey is only other possibility)
Drama Actor - Clooney (favored, but not quite by as much as likelihood of victory, Pitt is only other possibility)
Drama Actress - Streep (Davis just won at Critics Choice, so she's a possibility, but Streep's almost as likely as Clooney and maybe worth a small investment)
Comedy Actor - Dujardin (lock, if you're just paying attention now to the Oscar race, the Artist has a solid lead for Best Picture)
Comedy Actress -Williams (not quite a "hey, was she in the Artist too" lock, but close)
Supporting Actor - Plummer (only Brooks has a chance)
Supporting Actress - Spencer (pretty close to a lock, only Chastain has a chance)
Director - Scorsese (this is a close race, a coin flip with Hazanavicius)
Screenplay - Allen (lock, is he going to the ceremony?)
Song - The Living Proof (jump ball with Hello Hello)
Drama: Homeland (Boardwalk would be the alternative; Homeland also should win)
Comedy: Modern Family (I don't see much chance of anything else winning, it would get my vote given the shows they chose to nominate; I'd have an entirely different slate of nominees)
TV Movie: Downton Abbey (my vote would be Mildred Pierce and thats only other choice)
Drama Actor: Grammer (wide open with Buscemi, Cranston, Lewis as the other options - my vote would be Cranston)
Actress: Danes (lock, she gets my vote also)
Comedy Actor: LeBlanc (I'll say he upsets Baldwin, Baldwin gets my vote)
Comedy Actress: Deschanel (this is a tailor made Globe pick; it's Dern, also another Globe-y type pick, otherwise, my vote to Poehler)
TV Movie Actor: Elba (this could go to any of the nominees, my vote to Hurt)
TV Movie Actress: Winslet (lock, also gets my vote)
TV Supporting Actor: Dinklage (either he or Pearce, and that's who would get my vote)
TV Supporting Actress: Lange (if not it's Smith, my vote to Wood)


Blog said...

"It was just two weeks ago that Tebow couldn't score a touchdown at home against the Chiefs, there's no reason why he isn't that guy this week instead of the guy who beat the Steelers. "

Since he was most recently the guy who beat the Steelers, the burden of proof is on you to convince us as to why Tebow should suddenly revert back to the form of the unimportant Chiefs game.

Jim said...

1. The Chiefs game turned out to be unimportant because the Raiders lost, but they didn't know that at the time - at the time, it was a playoff game.

2. There's nothing about last week that makes it more likely to be replicated than the week before; who he's more likely to be is who he has been all season, an okayish quarterback who, given his running skill can help you as long as he isn't turning the ball over and who has some success with deep balls that he doesn't much have with midrange passes.

3. Things happen in a one game sample, Tom Brady might throw 4 picks. But if you're picking, more likely than not players are who they've been. Tebow has generally been not very good; not as awful as he was two weeks ago, but not as good as he was last week. He didn't become a different player last week that is now who he is, more likely than not, he'll be some variation of who he's been all season.

Blog said...

1. Surely John Fox knew that the Raiders were down by 11 at the half, and down by 12 with less than seven minutes left to play? And that, nearing the end of the game, it was more important to keep everyone else healthy (they'd already lost Kuper and Larsen) than to try to force some Tebow Magic and risk more damage?

2. Once again, you discount the intangibles. By any objective benchmarks, the Denver Broncos season is already an incredible success. They are playing with house money against a team that is heavily favored to beat them. The situation is a lot more like last week (well, without the altitude...) than during the regular season.

3. Tebow did what he did against the team with the best pass defense in the league; the Patriots have one of the worst. Shouldn't that imply that Tebow will have an easier time being the Tebow of last week? I would think that this game will be decided not by Tebow, but by the Broncos defense.

John DeWolfe said...

I don't think it's "discounting the intangibles" so much as... well, they're intangible. We measure what we can measure, play the odds, and win more often than we lose.

The best recent example is the Rays in the MLB playoffs. The way they snuck into the Wild Card was every bit as much of a surprise and an astonishing story as the way the Broncos won last week. They were playing with house money against the Rangers. But because the Rangers are a better team, they won, as they would most of the time if those teams played a best of five series. Both teams were somewhere within the subset of who they were, and that range is higher for Texas than it was for Tampa. Same thing here. The top range of the Broncos performance definitely lies above the bottom of the Pats - Denver could win. Denver and Tebow could play as well as they did last week. But it's hardly the most likely outcome.

Blog said...

I don't think I was questioning the likeliness of a Patriots victory (I would be pleasantly surprised if the Broncos win but, indeed, surprised) I was challenging the assumption that Tebow would go back to being the mediocre-at-best quarterback from December, when in his most recent performance he's shown otherwise.

If Tebow did so well against one of the best pass defenses in the league, shouldn't he also stand a good chance of performing well against one of the league's worst? Or is there some intangible that brings Tebow back to his December form as the default?

Anyway, this story will probably be over in a few hours, at which time we can go back to a heated debate on the merits of the Funkasaurus.

Blog said...

I still don't follow the logic, but obviously Jim was right. And so was I...ain't no QB could win with what the Broncos defense is giving up...

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