I made the phone call today. Actually, Mrs. Maclone did. She’s the one that handles the bills, and she was looking forward to getting the extra $8 per month off of the cable bill.
Today was the day that I cancelled the Sports and Entertainment package with Comcast. Actually, there isn’t much there worth having. The NFL Network is cool, but most of the same info is available on ESPN and online. The MLB Network is okay, but the same pertains to them. The NHL Network, well what’s the point when there’s no games?
I had that package for one reason, and one reason only, NFL Red Zone, the greatest invention of all-time. Scott Hanson is out of my life for the next several months, and I will miss him greatly. It’s funny that a channel that simply has a holder screen 161 hours per week in place during the football season, and then for the entirety of the offseason is so important to me, but it is.
The regular season ended on Sunday, though, so I bid adieu to my favorite channel until next September. It will be missed, I hope it hurries back.
Unfortunately I could not embed the Week 17 TD montage, so when you’re done reading this, head over here http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/0ap2000000119610/Week-17-RedZone-recap and thank me later.
Week 17 not only had a ton of touchdowns, but a ton of wins by yours truly. I hit my season’s goal of 70-percent correct, for the second year in a row, thanks to a killer Week 17 showing, going 15-1 for the week. If only the Saints could play defense, I’d have been perfect. Matt continued his hot streak, and went 13-3 for the week and is at his best percentage of the season, but now eight games back with very few left to play.
We’ll count the playoff games towards our records. Then, when it’s all said and done, he’s going to owe me a nice lunch somewhere.
Rich: 179-75-1 (.704)
Matt: 171-83-1 (.680)
Cincinnati at Houston, Saturday at 4:30 PM: Houston choked its way into playing this weekend and all but guaranteed us a Manning v Brady game in two weeks, so we can all thank them greatly for that. As for this game, it’s easy to find reasons to pick against Houston after the way that they’ve played the last few weeks, but I’m not going to do that. The home field, in my eyes, will play a big role here, and let’s keep a few things in mind. The Bengals do not run the ball well, and they try to force it into AJ Green whenever possible. Houston has a good secondary, and a strong defense overall, led by JJ Watt, who should be the defensive MVP this year.
Cincy certainly is a strong defensive team, but it comes down to which team can score more. With your life depending on it, would you want the Houston offense or the Cincy offense? I wouldn’t want either, but I’d certainly put my life in the Texans’ hands first. I’m seeing a big day for Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and a close win by the Texans.
- Rich’s Pick: Texans
- Matt’s Pick: Texans
Minnesota at Green Bay, Saturday 8 PM: The Vikings won an exciting game last weekend to get into the playoffs, using a Blair Walsh buzzer-beating field goal to win in walk-off fashion by three over the Packers. My hero, Adrian Peterson, who I believe could face 11 man fronts each week and somehow average 5 yards per carry, was superhuman and deserves to be the league’s MVP this year. He carried the purple to the playoffs, and with Christian Ponder at the helm of the offense, that’s saying something (although Ponder does deserve some credit. He made a couple of clutch throws in that game to Michael Jenkins).
The Packers have been flying under the radar all season long. While Seattle, Washington, San Fran and Atlanta have been grabbing the headlines, the Packers have been biding their time and getting better and better each week. Yes, they lost last week, but they were locked in at the No. 3 spot and they didn’t go all-out. They still made a game of it, and Aaron Rodgers has been finding his mojo. I would not want to play Green Bay right now, especially at Lambeau.
While last week was a feel good story, and we’re all happy for the Vikings and proud of Peterson, this week is back to reality for Minnesota. I see the Packers winning, and I think it’ll be by double digits.
- Rich’s Pick: Packers
- Matt’s Pick: Packers
Indianapolis at Baltimore, Sunday 1 PM: I told you that there was no way that the #Chuckstrong Colts were losing last weekend at home against Houston. Now I’m telling you that there’s no way that they’re going into Baltimore and winning this weekend.
Listen, I admire what the Colts have been able to do, and think that Chuck Pagano’s battle with Leukemia is inspirational. The way that the Colts have rallied behind him is awesome, and tear-inducing.
To me, this game comes down to Luck, and he’s not quite as good as everyone believes he is, not yet at least. Did you know that he ranked 26th overall in QB Rating for the season. Yup, he was behind such superstars as Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder. He only completed 54-percent of his passes for the season and threw more interceptions (13) on the road than TD passes (11). Also, in the one cold weather game he played in, he completed just 48-percent of his throws. He was great at home, but he’s not at home this weekend, and he’s a rookie quarterback making his first postseason start.
Now Baltimore doesn’t really put the fear of God in you if you’re New England or Denver, but for the Colts, this is a big time game. Indy went 3-2 against playoff teams, but two of those wins came very early in the season. Since midseason the only good teams they’ve played were New England, who crushed them, and Houston twice, who they split with.
The Ravens are still trying to figure out what’s going on with their offense, but they’re better now than they were a month ago. Also, with Ray Lewis announcing his retirement, I expect that the defense is going to be fired up and they’ll be coming after Luck. Good luck, Andrew.
- Rich’s Pick: Ravens
- Matt’s Pick: Colts
Seattle at Washington, Sunday 4:15 PM: I love Robert Griffin III. He’s in my top five favorite players in the NFL right now easily, and whenever he’s on the field its must-see TV. I will certainly be glued to the television on Sunday, and I will watch him lose.
The Seahawks are playing at a level right now that the Redskins cannot match. They may have the best defense in the league, and they have a very efficient offense. The funny thing is that these teams pretty much run variations of the same offense, but with Griffin still gimpy, I just don’t see how they can keep up.
If we had a completely healthy RG3 in this game, it very well could be a different story. When he’s 100-percent, he plays the game at another level. Unfortunately he’s still not near 100-percent, it’s more like 70, and that’s just not going to be enough to knock off the Seahawks, who I legitimately consider a Super Bowl contender right now.
This game was moved to Sunday because the networks believe it is going to be the most entertaining one. I really don’t see it being all that close. The Seahawks are just too good right now for Washington. Russell Wilson may not win the Rookie of the Year, but unlike RG3 and Andrew Luck, I believe his team will still have football games to play after this weekend.
- Rich’s Pick: Seahawks
- Matt’s Pick: Redskins
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.