NFL Playoff Games: Sunday

Sunday’s games bring us the current hottest team in the league vs. the grizzled veteran leader when Dallas visits Minnesota, and defensive powerhouse (usually) New York Jets at perhaps-overhyped San Diego. Let’s just say if the Chargers can put up 28 points or more on New York, then I’ll start believing they can win the Super Bowl. Until then, they’re still the same old Chargers. Different coach, same result. Too harsh? The don’t listen to me, but you know there’s a part of you that still believes there’s a powder blue epic fail just waiting to happen.

Here’s my upset for the weekend. Minnesota is favored by 2.5 points at home, but I don’t think they’re even going to win outright. And usually, the only time I believe the “hot” team running the table is during the MLB playoffs, but the Cowboys are more than a hot team, they’re a hot team that’s actually realizing it has the talent to be this good all the time. Scary. Minnesota, for all the commercials we’ve seen this year, has only received a 100-point rushing performance from Peterson 3 times this year. Yeah, the Vikings have a nice spread offense, but from a guy who started looking a little broken down toward the end of the regular season, you have to look at those yardage numbers and wonder why? Will he be there during the pressure of the big game? I think he will, but it might not be until it’s too late. Let’s face it, Minnesota’s defense has disappointed this year, even if that’s the only part of the team that has. Dallas is going to look to exploit that early and often, and if they’re successful in that first quarter – on the road – Favre’s old nemesis the interception might make things even worse before the end of the third quarter. Dallas wins in an upset.

And finally, the Sunday AFC game has the improbable football betting matchup of New York at San Diego. Chargers have the biggest advantage of the weekend as 7.5-point favorites. If I have to hear how the Chargers are the best team in the league one more time, I’m going to lose it. Are they? I don’t know, and neither do you. But they certainly haven’t proven anything yet. But, to be fair, if you want to talk about hot teams, the discussion has to start and end with the team that’s won 11 straight. So they obviously know how to win. But of those 11, the only game that really impressed me was a 20-17 win at Dallas. Take a look at the other 10 games, lots of Oakland, KC, and teams that were dead in the water before they played San Diego. The Chargers don’t have a 100-yard rushing game at all, for the entire season, which is probably good since the Jets’ defense focuses mostly on stopping the run anyway. Expect a big game from Rivers and enough of an annoyance from the Chargers on Sanchez to keep him in check. Chargers cover.

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