Football's best weekend
This weekend is the best weekend of the football season. The top 8 teams in the league are playing each other in the Divisional round of the playoffs. All the games are at least very good, and a couple are great match-ups.
Football is my favorite sport to follow because each game matters so much. The season is short, and a few false steps can ruin a team's chances. Also, the salary cap structure and rotating schedule maintains parity. Every year, there are teams that improve greatly (like the Saints) and teams that fall from grace (like the Steelers). However, each team has a reasonable chance to improve greatly next year, so hope springs eternal.
Colts-Ravens - As much as I would like to see a Pats-Colts AFC Championship Game (just to have the Pats stymie Peyton Manning one more time), I can't see the Colts beating the Ravens on the road. The Ravens have a great defense and a strong enough offense. The Colts defense looked great against the Chiefs, but I think that was more due to the Chiefs being playoff pretenders.
Eagles-Saints - I think that this will be a great game. Both teams have strong offenses, and Jeff Garcia has the Eagles playing well. They played a close game in October, but that was pre-Garcia. We'll see how the Saints fare in their first second round playoff game ever. I like the Eagles, but it should be very close.
Seahawks-Bears - The worst of the 4 games this weekend. I'm taking the Bears, but I think that they are overrated, particularly with Rex Grossman as quarterback. I'm still mad at Deion Branch for spurning a reasonable offer from the Patriots (in the end) and forcing the trade to Seattle.
Patriots-Chargers - The best game of the weekend (OK, I am a biased Pats fan). The Chargers have been the most consistent team in the league this year and have no real weakness. But, the Patriots have experience, have been playing well, and should confuse Phillip Rivers and force him to make a couple of mistakes. If the Patriots can avoid making turnovers and show some sure tackling, they'll win. But, it will be a close game.
If I'm right, I'll take the Eagles over the Bears and the Patriots over the Ravens. Of course, the Patriots will then beat the Eagles in a re-match of SuperBowl XXXiX (and I'll be there to cheer them on again, too!).