ESPN’s Bill Simmons makes his weekly NFL picks and also warns against betting on an old coach to win in the playoffs. Here is the Partiots goodness.
Patriots (+5) over CHARGERS I know how it looks on paper. I know the Pats have to play perfectly to win. I know they can’t turn the ball over. I know they have to knock Tomlinson around like they did Marshall Faulk in Super Bowl XXXVI. I know they can’t give up any long plays to Antonio Gates. I know they can’t screw up on special teams. I know they have to run the ball, keep running the ball and keep San Diego off the field. I know that it’s intimidating to face a San Diego defense with two known steroid guys on it — after all, people who use steroids are prone to violent acts of rage.
But I also know these four things:
A. Two Januarys ago in this space, not only did I vow never to pick Marty Schottenheimer in another playoff game, I gave you permission to slice my Achilles tendons if it happened.
B. Marty’s playoff record is 5-12; Philip Rivers’ playoff record is 0-0.
C. The playoff record for Belichick and Brady as a team: 11-1.
D. Not only are the Pats getting five points, but they’re nearly 2-to-1 underdogs. If I took you to a boxing match where an 11-1 heavyweight was fighting 5-12 heavyweight, then suggested “Let’s wager on this — you take the 5-12 guy, I’ll take the 11-1 guy, and you give me 2-to-1 odds,” is there any way you would take that wager?
Didn’t think so. Maybe the Patriots can’t win in Baltimore (we’ll get to that next week), but they can absolutely win in San Diego. And they will.
The Pick: New England 30, San Diego 27.
I think he’s right on most of of his assessments….but you could also have said many of the same things last year against the Broncos that are being said about the Chargers, only the Chargers have a MUCH better offense. And the problems they had against Denver last year are the same problems they’ve been having all year.
- Holding onto the ball against a ball hawking defense.
- Getting off the field on 3rd down.
Both of which worry me against this Charger team.
……… I almost just talked myself into going against my pick of the Pats winning which I made only yesterday. Almost.