Necessary Roughness

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS, WEEK 17: THE STAGE IS SET

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The regular season has sadly come to an end, and I emphasize SADLY, because I have no idea what the hell I’m gonna do every Sunday for the next four months when its fuckin -6 degrees, ugh. The final day didn’t really post any surprises for me, as all of the teams I picked to make it did so; with only two seeds being incorrect (pats self on shoulder, slams a shot of whiskey). So lets take a look at the matchups coming up this weekend.

The first game is Cincinnati at Houston. This is such an interesting game to me as neither team really knows what to do in this position! The Texans are going to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and the Bengals just their third time in something like 20 years. Even though Cincinnati lost to Baltimore this week, they played them tough, and Baltimore is arguably the most well rounded team in the entire NFL. Rookie Quarterback Andy Dalton is playing at a high caliber, while his rookie receiver A.J. Green is mirroring that. They have a run game, and a decent defense. I like their chances against Houston. With Matt Schaub in the lineup, I take Houston, but he’s gone. Houston’s defense is super sick, and they will stop Cincinnati more than once. It’s their offense I’m not sold on entirely. With T.J. Yates now possibly out, it’s not what you want going into the playoffs. But they do have home field advantage and that is big, especially in these situations with teams who haven’t been here before.

Saturday night is going to be a shootout. Matthew Stafford might not put up as much as he did in Green Bay this week, but he’s going to make a game out of it that’s for sure. The Saints are by far the hottest team in the NFL right now, looking just like they did two years ago. But Detroit has a better defense than New Orleans. Being in a dome is very familiar to Detroit and I expect them to really cause a lot of problems for Drew Brees. After losing to a star player-less Green Bay on Sunday, Detroit is going to make adjustments and come out swinging. I pick them for the close upset. The Saints are rolling hard, but they lost to Seattle last year, a team that didn’t even require a winning record to make it to the playoffs. The Saints have the hardest playoff schedule out of any team. If they beat Detroit, they then have to travel to San Francisco, a team that CAN stop their offense, and control the clock by running the ball successfully.

Sunday afternoon a bruised and battered Pittsburgh travels to Denver to take on Tebow. Even if Charlie Batch starts for Pitt, I still like them to win. Denver went on a three-game losing streak to win the AFC West. What does that say not only about how weak that division is, but their chances to move forward in the playoffs as well? All is exposed and ended this Sunday against a raging Pittsburgh defense.

Sunday night we have the New York Giants hosting the Atlanta Falcons. Another game that will come down to the wire. Atlanta’s offense is balanced enough to contain the now unstoppable front four of the Giants. I would be scared to play the Giants right now, they are out for blood, and Eli Manning just keeps on making plays when he needs to. He has such an awkward demeanor on field, but he comes out on top more times than not, can’t knock that. In the end, I think NY comes out on top at home, they are playing really hard right now, and Atlanta hasn’t shown me anything other than destroying a terrible team this week and getting destroyed by a good team last week. You got Tony Gonzalez for 1 more year, better make it count.

Tom Brady and the Patriots fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter against Buffalo. They then decided it was time to play, and put 49 to the Bills 0. Look for the Patriots in the Superbowl this year.

As for the Most Valuable Idiot award for the week. To NY we go, and Santonio Holmes is the victor! Dude is the CAPTAIN of his team. Meaning, he’s the one everyone looks to for leadership, especially when things aren’t going their way. He’s won a Superbowl already, he is an amazing receiver, and surely deserves that title as captain. But he quits on his team half way through a must win game. Like a six year old girl, he starts moping and quits on his team. He is then benched. “I’ll make my millions by not performing today, because I don’t like how things are going” he says to himself. Loser. #youdontdeserverespect

GO BADGERS!

-Jeff Paulick

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