First off, congratulations to Voodoo Brown for winning the 2013 Regular Season Office Pool with a 171-83 overall record. Mike P came in second at 168-86. For the rest of this year’s Playoffs, Voodoo Brown and Mike P. are is going to take their tight battle into the playoffs and see who wins the 1st Annual Voodoo Bowl (the battle between top 2 finishers). They’ll weigh in on each matchup and give their analysis. The final Week 17 had Jeepers in first at 13-3, followed by Voodoo (12-4) & Mike P (12-4). Darren turned in a 10-6 ticket, and CJ Sullivan has gone missing.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS:
Mike P: 168-86
Here is the Wildcard Weekend preview…
Voodoo Brown: What a disappointing finish for Houston… going from sure-fire home field advantage throughout the playoffs & a bye to most likely having only one home game. Matt Schaub, in my opinion, is one of the main reasons. He is nowhere near elite, but more importantly he lacks that competitive fire to make up for his shortcomings. If they get behind, he is NOT bringing you back. You put a very good QB on this team, and they could be lethal. Schaub is dead weight. Their once-stout defense is the other big reason though. How are they getting lit up like they have? Fortunately for Houston, the AFC is underwhelming this year, and they drew a team that they should be able to handle. Cincy is playing very sound football, but I think between Foster’s offense, JJ Watt creating Havoc on the defensive side, and Kubiak calling the game, Houston will have enough to pull this one out. I expect a close one, with the Texans squeaking out a field goal win.
Houston 24, Cincy 21
Mike Procopio: When two teams finish the season trending in opposite directions, it should be automatic which way the picks go. I am not a Matt Schaub guy, especially when the pressure is on. However, I’m an Arian Foster guy and a JJ Watt guy. I believe these guys make the difference in this one and the Texans win, fairly easily. Marvin Lewis, a guy whom has been on the hot seat many times before, is finally NOT coaching for his job. This will work in the Bengals favor and will allow Andy Dalton to test the weak Texans secondary downfield. Gary Kubiak will make some adjustments, double up on AJ, and force Andy Dalton to his next best option. I believe that is Brandon Tate. Remember him Patriots fans? I like Houston in this one.
Houston 28, Cincy 20
Voodoo Brown: Minnesota already won their playoff game last week. It was glorrrrious! … with AP getting his 2,000 yards (but 9 short of Dickerson), beating the evil Packers, at home in front of their fans. It’s a good turning point for a franchise that went from the NFC Championship game 2 years ago, to a nightmare season last year, back to being competitive. Ahhhhh the feel good Vikes. If they lose, they won’t care. They’ve achieved something this year. The PACKERS, however, got bounced by the Giants at home last year after a 15-1 season. They were en route to a back to back Superbowl title, dynasty claims, etc… and one dump of a game at home changed all that. Then they started the season off in a fog, wondering what went wrong last year. They weren’t themselves. They are so friggin good that as the season developed, they decided that they didn’t want to be that 40+ point juggernaut every week. They wanted to take it down a notch. Let the defense find itself again. Now they are in all-out war mode. The dress rehearsal is over, and it’s about to be a Packers party in the postseason. If you think for one second that the Vikings can come into Green Bay in sub-freezing temperature and knock off the VERY FOCUSED AND PISSED OFF reigning MVP – with Christian Ponder at the helm – then I need to know what you’re smokin, and where I can get some. There is not a chance in hell the Packers lose. Green Bay runs away with this one.
Green Bay 31, Minnesota 13
Mike Procopio: Adrian Peterson should be the MVP of the NFL. He won’t get it, but he should be. Christian Ponder is one of the worst starting playoff quarterbacks I’ve seen in a long time. When these guys get drafted so high, I say to myself.. why? What do these GM’s/scouts see that the casual fan doesn’t? He wasn’t too good at Florida State, he makes bonehead decisions more often than not, and would be a back up on three out of four teams in the NFL right now. Find me eight other starting quarterbacks who are worse than him? I sure as hell can’t. Green Bay is going to stack the box and make Ponder beat them with play action. Kyle Rudolph would be a good start for all you Fantasy Football Playoff Challenge fans. Minnesota’s only saving grace is if A-Rod throws a pick-6 or gets hammered early. I just don’t see it, and I’d hit the Green Bay line HARD.
Green Bay 35, Minnesota 17
Voodoo Brown: One thing we all love about the NFL is the sub-plots leading up to a game. How about the Old Baltimore-turned-Indianapolis Colts coming back to town to potentially end the career of Ray Lewis, easily the greatest Raven player in their franchise’s brief but accomplished history? It would be a brutal pill for Baltimore fans to swallow. To be honest, this Ravens D is garbage. Mainly because of injury & age. But they are not stopping anyone. They do have their playmakers though, and I think that Lewis will play this game until his injured arm falls off. Luck has thrown quite a few picks this year, and Ed Reed is a ball hawk. Old Ed has also played the retirement card in the past, and will probably play the game of his life since this could be his last as well. Add up the experience, home field, coaching advantage, and intangibles… and I don’t see how the Ravens lose. Congrats to the Colts for a great season, but the Ravens should move on in a close, high-scoring affair.
Baltimore 37, Indianapolis 34
Mike Procopio: The Colts have been riding the emotional highs and lows of the Chuck Pagano story all season. Isn’t it sad that it takes turmoil for a team to play to it’s full potential? We’ve seen it time and time again in professional sports. Ray Lewis, who is already a certified maniac, announced his retirement after this season. This could very well be his last game, and without a doubt his last home game. That is enough to get even the most casual fans fired up, never mind the guys in his locker room. This is on Jim Caldwell finally figuring out that Ray Rice is their best weapon on offense and feeds him the rock early and often. Having said that, the Colts are missing that run stopper on D to shut down Ray Rice. Remember Bob Sanders? Andrew Luck had a great year, but he led the NFL in interceptions. I think he throws at least one in this game and the Ravens never look back.
Baltimore 34, Indianapolis 24
Voodoo Brown: Marshawn Lynch might be the baddest man on the planet. He’s definitely the most frightening running back in the NFL. He is right up there with Adrian Peterson when it comes to running guys over then pulling away with breakaway speed. It’s amazing to watch. But Beast Mode has one thing that AP doesn’t have: a Skittles endorsement. He even has Skittles on his Nike cleats. Throw in the DMX grill, and you know he’s batshit crazy. Marshawn Lynch is easily one of my favorite players right now. It’s a shame he plays for that prick Pete Carroll or I could really find myself rooting for these Hawks. They’re rolling on all cylinders right now, but the Redskins are also on a hot streak of their own, having rattled off 7 straight wins after Shanahan threw in the towel at 3-6. They also have two very impressive rookie QBs who are not playing like rookies, which further levels the playing field, and makes this game so intriguing. I really feel that this game will come down to the Seattle defense being way too much for the Redskins to handle. They haven’t faced a unit like this all year – they’re huge, fast, strong, and punishing. I think it’ll be too much for Griffin & Morris to handle. I think Seattle wins rather easily, but not by a blowout margin.
Seattle 24, Washington 13
Mike Procopio: I think I’m the only one on this planet who thinks the Seahawks are pretenders, especially on the road. RG3 and Alfred Morris will be able to get the ground game going early and often. Russell Wilson is going to pick the worst time to play like a rookie and Ryan Kerrigan has a field day getting after the quarterback. I like the Skins at home here.
Washington 27, Seattle 20