January 16, 2009

The Hoser's NFL Postseason Picks, Week 3 2008: NFL postseason picks that just can't wait for this year's thrilling Pro Bowl.

Welcome to The Hoser's NFL Postseason Picks, Week Three, where we're wondering if former Cowboys star Michael Irvin actually avoided a carjacking by giving the thug one of his signature autographed crack pipes.

The Hoser posted another solid postseason week, going 3-1 both against the spread and straight up. We thought the weather would be worse in Pittsburgh, and frankly, we just didn't have a big enough sac to go with our gut and pick Arizona to win the game outright. To paraphrase Dabney Coleman in Dragnet, you'd have to have balls as big as church balls to have pulled that one off.

According to a report on Bloomberg.com, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner can add as much as $4M to his base salary for next season if Arizona wins the Super Bowl. That's probably enough to buy the photographic rights to those shots of his wife where she's a dead ringer for Susan Powter.

Speaking of Arizona, the Cardinals are running a great promotion at this week's NFC Championship game -- buy a family four-pack of hot dogs and drinks and receive the Phoenix Coyotes for free.

As always, these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as taking the head coaching job in Detroit -- good luck, Jim "May I Be With You" Schwartz!

Philadelphia (-3.5) at ARIZONA -- O/U 47.5: It pains us to say this, but this is where the Cardinals' road ends. Last week's win over the Panthers was more about Jake Delhomme's collapse than Arizona's dominance, and now they face an Eagles team peaking at exactly the right time.
If Philadelphia could handle the Giants with little contribution from Brian Westbrook, there's no reason to think they won't score on Arizona's weaker defense with him being targeted more. McNabb and the Eagles will dial up an easy victory -- and Donovan won't have to pick up a sideline phone to do it. Eagles 30, Cardinals 17.

Baltimore (+5.5) at PITTSBURGH -- O/U 33.5: We like Ravens' rookie quarterback Joe Flacco all right. We're just not ready to say he's the greatest first-year QB ever. In fact, he'll be opposite the man who probably is -- Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.
Flacco only managed to go 11-for-22 for 161 yards last week against Tennessee, and now he'll be facing the NFL's best defense both against the pass and overall. That doesn't smell like a third rookie playoff win to us.
The Steelers will ride their balanced offense just enough to win this game. However, at below-freezing temperatures and an 80% chance of flurries, we like the Ravens to cover. Steelers 19, Ravens 16.

Postseason Record:

Last Week ATS: 3-1

Last Week SU: 3-1

Total ATS: 7-1

Total SU: 7-1

posted by wfrazerjr to football at 12:16 PM - 13 comments

I still can't pick the Cardinals, but Larry Fitzgerald's going to have a big day. I'm beginning to think he's the best receiver in the game.

My prediction is an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl, the third time two teams from the same state have met in the bowl.

posted by rcade at 05:18 PM on January 16, 2009

shit, rcade picked the Steelers? we're fucked now. arse.

posted by scully at 06:14 PM on January 16, 2009

It's my stone cold lock, Terrapin! Enjoy.

posted by rcade at 06:37 PM on January 16, 2009

I couldn't agree with you more, rcade. Fitzgerald simply does everything -- makes the routine and the spectacular catch, makes them at clutch times and pulls double coverage to make Boldin, Breaston and Urban better.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:45 PM on January 16, 2009

Like the picks - the impression of Roethlisberger as the best ever, not so much.

Everytime I hear of "Flacco Flacco Flacco" I get a Rolling Stones ohrwurm.

posted by bobfoot at 09:13 PM on January 16, 2009

I like the Cards chances. NFC East teams often go adrift when they play in a foreign environment. The Eagles offense looks tired and overworked, with limited options (other than their nifty young receiver). Andy Reid will look strange standing on the sidelines without his usual pizza delivery body bag cold weather outfit.

Warner's group looks fresher and is bristling with weapons. Fitzgerald is our reward for suffering through years of watching nutcase asshole wideouts around the league strut their silly stuff.

Warner and Edge James know full well how precious this opportunity is. James might even feel like making something happen out there. (McNabb will have a sense of urgency too, but he's still a threat to go Chunky soup at crunch time).

The fans will be pumped. How often does a team get to go home- away- home in the playoffs? It'll be a house party. Even better than the after hours hot tub wave-ups that Leinart sponsors in his spare time.

Joe Flacco has had a terrific season, but at this stage, Dick LeBeau has a much deeper bag of tricks than Flacco does, and LeBeau is very familiar with Flacco by now. Big Ben as the best ever first season QB? Not if you look at his SB numbers. He was along for the ride in that game. But he did earn his oats in the extraterrestrial Indy playoff game when the Steelers came out throwing and spooked the Colts out of their own building for a good part of the game.

posted by beaverboard at 09:46 PM on January 16, 2009

Can anyone please explain to me why the games this weekend are scheduled as they are? One game, being played in Arizona, in a retractable-roof stadium, the other being played outdoors, in late-January, outdoors. So which one is being started after dark? Of course, the one being played in the East, in Pittsburgh, outside! The temperature as of Saturday morning in Pittsburgh is 8 below zero. It will be below zero again Sunday night, with a good amount of snow to boot. Does the NFL think playing these games in these conditions is cute? I realize the difference between a few hours in Pittsburgh isn't going to make a huge difference, but to play it after dark just adds to the potential of even more bone-chilling conditions. And I don't want to hear any rationale about these decisions being made well in advance. The league has proven it has as much flexibility as it wants with meaningful games, so these should be no exception. I live a few hours from Pittsburgh (in an area where the weather is even worse: minus 20 wind chill currently) and can tell you that conditions after dark are even colder than similar conditions played when the sun is still up. It just doesn't make a lot of sense.

posted by dyams at 10:09 AM on January 17, 2009

Big Ben as the best ever first season QB? Not if you look at his SB numbers.

That was his second season. The Steelers lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game his rookie season. He did go 14-1 as a starter, though.

posted by bender at 11:12 AM on January 17, 2009

Dyams, you're absolutely right. The NFL needs to get over itself--thinking that just because Pittsburgh is the most popular team remaining it has to fill the late slot, and throwing common sense to the wind. For the sake of the players and the fans, these games should have been switched.

posted by bender at 11:15 AM on January 17, 2009

The thing that impressed me most last week about Larry Fitzgerald was how he was able to dominate the Panthers secondary even with Boldin not playing. He was able to get separation several times, and made some great (by ordinary receiver standards) even when in double coverage.

I'd say he is the best receiver in the NFL right now, although Andre Johnson could give him a run for his money if he had a more competent quarterback throwing him the ball.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:15 PM on January 17, 2009

Playing the Pittsburgh game second also puts 65,050 people on the roads after dark in snow and ice and whatever alcohol remains in their system. Seems pretty dumb to me, but the NFL probably wants another Patriots/Raiders-like playoff game -- the Tuck rule game with all the snow -- one of the most amazing looking games I've ever seen on TV.

posted by rcade at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2009

YYM, I couldn't agree with you more about Houston's quarterbacks.

re: the timing of the games - why not one on Saturday and one on Sunday - didn't they used to do that?

posted by bobfoot at 11:00 PM on January 17, 2009

I would love to see one game Saturday and one on Sunday. This need to have night games in the playoffs every season, with darkness and bitter cold (like Green Bay last year) isn't necessary. Let the Steelers kick off at 2:30 EST one of the days, and the Cards could kick off at whatever the he'll time they wanted to the next. This is obviously for example-purposes since this year is practically in the books.

posted by dyams at 11:35 PM on January 17, 2009

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