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In Wilbon's World

Divisional playoff picks

This weekend's games can't possibly be as lopsided as three of the four last week. In fact, the NFL's second weekend of playoff games often make for not just the best weekend of football but the best sports weekend of the season, given the appetizers of basketball games, professional golf, NHL, etc. Teams enjoying the bye-week win a huge percentage of the time but I'm going upset city in a couple of them, and wouldn't be shocked to see the road team win three of the four games this weekend...

Cardinals at Saints
New Orleans, after starting the season with 13 consecutive victories, lost its final three games of the season and tried but couldn't win in Weeks 15 and 16. Seemed to me the Saints crested a few weeks earlier when beating the daylights out of the Patriots. The Saints haven't been the same since. The offense was predictable and sloppy down the stretch. The defense couldn't even stop Tampa Bay when necessary. Yes, the Saints will be rested and motivated. But when Kurt Warner is healthy, which he is, the Cardinals offense is even more unstoppable than the Saints offense. Also, after being embarrassed by the Packers last week, look for the Cardinals defense to give up no more than 24 points. No way the Saints hold Warner/Fitzgerald/Breaston/Doucet/Wells/Hightower to fewer than 24. Cardinals win by a field goal in The Big Easy.

Ravens at Colts
Baltimore's defense has the kryptonite for Hall of Fame QBs: hit 'em in the mouth. Last week they took down Tom Brady and this week the one thing we can count on is the Ravens D getting after Peyton Manning. Problem for Baltimore is, the Colts defense is good enough and veteran enough to confuse the heck out of still-young Joe Flacco, enough to get the Colts to the AFC Championship game.

Cowboys at Vikings
Minnesota beat one team of consequence this season: the Packers. And the Vikes beat Green Bay before the Packers really became a good team. The Vikes lost four of their final five games and Brett Favre looked like a 12-game season was about as much as he could take. The Cowboys defensive ends will look like Usain Bolt on that Metrodome turf and turn Favre into an interception machine. Cowboys win and advance.

Jets at Chargers
Here's where so many people expect a home team blowout, what with San Diego having won 11 straight and playing at home after a bye-week...Thing is, the Jets have just the kind of defense, especially the kind of secondary, that can make it tough on the Chargers. The Jets can mix coverages, rush the passer without going blitz-crazy and they're playing with less pressure than any team this weekend. I don't have the courage to pick an upset here but I will pick a score: Chargers 20-17 in OT.

Editor's note: Play the pick 'em game and compare your results to Mike's here.

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  January 15, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Category:  NFL , Post Pro Picks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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I don't know what is more amusing in retrospect, reading the picks, or reading the comments on the picks -- especially from those sorry Cowboys fans. Sorry, 'boys -- still not up to prime time, eh?

Posted by: dhmcarver | January 21, 2010 4:49 PM
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If you listen to Wilbon, he is the most all-knowing sports journalist in the country. Everybody else doesn't have a clue and they are knuckleheads.
Nice picks Wilbon. You still picking the Chargers, Patriots, and Ravens over the Colts and Saints because they upset you by resting a few key players in the final few weeks of the season. When do you apologize to Caldwell for ridiculing him in the press?

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 20, 2010 8:46 AM
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Them BOYS stunk it up again, yep, really something..crash and burn cowboys!

Mike you was terribly (tuuriblbly) wrong 3 times, dude.. w/up?

Hope ole Man Farve wins it all or the JETs fool everybody like 40 years ago... .
Saints I guess they could use a break too...

Don't care if Indy goes again.. sick of all the "Manning is so F^^^King SMART" talk. Lets see somebody ring his bell a few times... play through that genius.

Posted by: Tobor58 | January 19, 2010 5:21 AM
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Well, you were one for four with your picks. Have you had second thoughts about your choices? I would like to submit that the Saints were very impressive and Reggie played the way everyone was hoping he would when he was drafted. If they can play like that against the Vikings, I don't see us losing.

Posted by: vicknair | January 17, 2010 10:44 PM
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"This weekend's games can't possibly be as lopsided as three of the four last week."

IND 20, Bal 3
NO 45, ARI 14
Min 34, Dal 3

Only 1 more non-lopsided hope left...

Posted by: trutrini | January 17, 2010 4:15 PM
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Mr. Wilbon you might only be right on the Cowboys vs. Vikes game. Already Nawlins and the Colts have embarassed the Cardinals and Ravens and I do believe that San Diego will blow out the Jets and I agree with you the Cowboys will defeat the Vikings. Go Dolphins. A transplanted South Floridian in small town in Northwest Georgia. See I couldn't hold back on pounding on the Jets, why would that be?

Posted by: amva55 | January 17, 2010 5:47 AM
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You picked New Orleans in the U-pickem game and Arizona here. So which is it?

Posted by: cbm1 | January 16, 2010 8:04 PM
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Picking against the "home" team? We invite all the Redskins fans on-board for the Ravens defeat of the Colts via "Ball Control". Manning cannot score if he's standing on the sideline.

Posted by: LesWall | January 16, 2010 12:37 PM
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Hi Wilbon you say the wiz need to start over Im life long bullets/wizards fan they cant they way handler Gil nobody with sense will ever come here and play this is the second time they turned back on a player CWebber now Gil is mad and you know he is going to go somewhere else come back and bring his sign my house before Gil got here they was trash AJ and Caron cant carry no team they good players but not killers Gil is the man look at them now Ernie cant trade thats who need to go not Eddie or the players he think Haywood is good you to we will never play in the finals with him at center and aint no free agents coming here to be treated like trash when they mess up i forgot about MJ look how Abe did him when Gil leave im goin to im tired I cant do it nomore.

Posted by: rodneymurphy15 | January 16, 2010 10:20 AM
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Cowboys defense is going to shut the Vikings down. Favre will be pressured all day long and will have multiple turnovers, whether it's fumbles in the pocket or interceptions.

Obi Wan Romo, Marion the Barbarian, D-Ware and the rest of AMERICA'S TEAM move on to the NFC Championship Game.

HOW 'BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!!

Posted by: sleastacks | January 15, 2010 4:01 PM
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Comment on ONE game only:

Vikings win by 17 and Brett Farve has
ONE interception.

Posted by: mugel | January 15, 2010 2:38 PM
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