Oh yes, tis the most wonderful time of the year. College basketball gets heated, baseball is soon around the corner, the NHL and NBA are in session (their seasons are so long they pretty much play all year) and who could forget the NFL playoffs.
It seems as if only yesterday analysts were picking a Super Bowl winner in Week 1, which many chose the Vikings. In any case, today begins the postseason for four teams: The New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts.
Being a die hard Jets fan, I know the odds are stacked against me that Peyton Manning will pick apart the New York defense. However, let's not forget that last year in the semi finals, the Jets D held up for most of the game, it was the offense that couldn't get going towards the end of the game. With Revis and the new addition of Cromarte, New York's defensive backs have the ability to jump a route and intercept the ball going the other way. Mannings loss of wide receivers has hurt his offensive unit, however he still is able to place the ball perfectly everytime "between the numbers" of his teammates.As for the Jets, Rex Ryan built this team based upon defense, so you know there will be a lot of different formations, blitz packages, and schemes to confuse Coach Manning. Also, with the addition of Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez has had another reliable option to throw to all year. The key to this game is the pressure put on both quarterbacks. Which ever QB has to move in the pocket the most, is hit more, or sacked will end up losing this game because the defenses will be able to capitalize. This may be a little bias, but I see New York taking revenge on the Colts: Jets 31, Colts - 24
And on to the game that I've been waiting all week to write about. Oh yes, it could be called "the mismatch of the year" or David vs Goliath as the Saint travel to Seattle to take on the 6-9 Seahawks who just barely squeaked into the playoffs in a 16-6 victory against the Rams. The Saints stand at 11-5 and have played wel all year against tough oponnents, including a road win against the Atlanta Falcons. Led by the always poised Drew Brees, who is about 400 yards shy of throwing for 5000 yards this year, New Orleans believes that they can shoot down those weak Seahawks. Why bother to watch this game, right? The experts say it's going to be a blowout, the city of New Orleans may even stop watching by halftime. Forget this game, too boring for me...
Oh wait, Im here with my man Lee Corso and he's saying "NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS!!" Keep that clicker close by because this game has the makings to be a good one. No offense to the Saints, but I'm all about upsets and the underdog when it comes to playoff or pretty much any sports event. Let me give you my top 3 reasons why I see this game being closer than anyone in the nation thinks:
1) Yes Drew Brees and the Saints offense is good, but how much do experts talk about their defense. The last time Hasselbeck played New Orleans this season he threw for 366 yards. In fact, his two best games for throwing yards in the past six seasons have come agains the Saints. You know he's looking for another career in order to try and embarass the Saints D.
2) Again, Drew Brees is a reliable QB but how about that running game? Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas have only combined for 7 touchdowns this season. This is by far the weakest part of the Saints entire team. Now although Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett are no better for the Seahawks, only recording 8 touchdowns together on the year, they will come ready to play in their home environment. Think about, the running game is awful for both teams, but who's playing at home in front of a wild crowd and will be looking to run over their opponent. Bingo! Seattle.
3) Your jaw has probably dropped right now, you've called your neighbor to see if pigs or flying yet or maybe you've begun to dig a hole in your background to see if the place down below has frozen over yet. Whatever the instance may be, I am fully confident is predicting a Seattle victory at 4:30 this afternoon.
Who: Saints vs. Seattle
Where: Seattle (as we all know and I've mentioned, they needed one more victory to get into the postseason. The city of Seattle will be rockin' later today because what do they have to lose besides the game? They already have a losing season, so why not go all out?!)
Why: Because it's it's the PLAYOFFS!!
How: Seattle will win this game based off of energy from the crowd, Hasselbeck having a strong game, and their defense shutting down the Saints running game.
So let's go!! It's cold, cloudy, snowing and icy so why not play some football?!
I wish I was in Seattle today, those Seahawks will be flying high and ready to soar to a new level.
I'll leave you with this, here would be my pregame speech my Seahawk team:
"They are a good team, they play and beat even better teams. They go on the road and handle opponents very well. Yes, the Saints are an amazing franchise, so why bother to play this game?...(long pause)...I'LL TELL YA WHY! You may not be as fast as them, you may not be as strong as them, and we may be outmatched but heck show them how we play football on the West Coast. The moment they hopped off that plane they were confident for a victory..make sure they go home with their heads hanging down and their confidence in the gutter. You hear that noise? Thats the sound of an entire city cheering you on. So let's do it, get out there, show them what you got and FLY HIGH MEN!!"
I rest my case.