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In Wilbon's World

Wilbon's Super Bowl picks

I'm not as nearly as excited as I should be about the NFL conference championship games. Perhaps six blowouts in eight games have left me afraid to expect anything dramatic from these playoffs. My problem with the Vikings vs. Saints is those two teams ended the regular season by losing three straight (Saints) and three of four (Vikings). And they're the best two teams in the NFC. I guess I'll take the Vikings, even though they're going on the road, to win because Brett Favre has been so, so damn good this season. He didn't even peak last week when he threw four TD passes to no picks. Adrian Peterson is due. Leslie Frazier's defense is playing the way it was early in the season. I don't think the Vikings front four can be blocked. Don't get me wrong, I think the Saints winning would be the better story. I've found myself rooting for all things New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina (except in 2006 when the Saints and Bears played for the NFC Championship). Reggie Bush could trump Peterson because Bush can beat you in the return game or the passing game while Peterson has to beat you running from scrimmage, which he hasn't done all that much this season. I just think the only way for the Saints to win is in a blowout. Close games haven't been their friend this season and the Vikings can take this one, 31-24.

The better football matchup is in the AFC where we have an old-fashioned Defense vs. Offense situation with Jets vs. Colts. I like defense. No, I love defense. In fact, I think a big reason for these playoff blowouts is that the NFL has come dangerously close to legislating defense out of pro football. You couldn't breathe on the QB for much of the early part of the regular season. And as Rex Ryan so perfectly put it last week, "Sometimes you hit the QB and the whole team feels it." Hey, Ryan's defense did that to Tom Brady in the regular season, Philip Rivers last week...and Peyton Manning is on deck. I think the Colts will win because the Indy defense can throw a shutout against Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense. I'm looking at a 17-3 game in which Sanchez throws a pick-six and, oh, makes a total of four turnovers all by himself. Two can play at the game of Kill-the-QB. So Indy and Minnesota wind up in the Super Bowl.

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


Michael Wilbon

 |  January 21, 2010; 10:49 PM ET  |  Category:  NFL , Post Pro Picks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Interesting. In this post he picks the Vikings, but in the Post contest, he gets 16 out of 16, meaning he must have picked the Saints. Way to have it both ways, Mike.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | January 25, 2010 8:33 AM
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I see where Wilbon picks Vikings in his super bowl picks and lists Saints on the pick-against- Wilbon. I guess that is one way to be sure to have a winner.

Posted by: desatonyp | January 24, 2010 10:45 PM
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Wilbon provides absolutely no value. He is useless. His opinions are juvenile. It's amazing that the Post continues to employ him and their other tool, Kornheiser.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | January 24, 2010 9:51 AM
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I believe that the ghost of Namath and unitas are watching, I say the Jets beat the Colts again and throw Manning back to his "Pony Girls".

Posted by: tomniederberger | January 23, 2010 7:49 PM
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Wilbon's a basketball guy and, except for his blinders about Michael Jordan (come one Mike, MJ can't run a team to save his life yet I've never seen one comment from you reflecting this reality), he's pretty good with basketball.

But his comments on the NFC game show he doesn't know football. Like all ESPN guys, he was in love with USC and Bush at USC (hence why USC has never tried to report on Bush's potential NCAA rules violations). But anyone who has watched the NFL in the last few years knows Bush is a minor cog in the NO offense while Peterson is one of the elite RBs in the NFL (he was within 25 yards of the NFC rushing title).

Come on Mike. For all the absolutist hyperbole you use, you could get it right instead of relying on collegiate highlights.

Posted by: cbjornson | January 23, 2010 6:06 PM
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Wilbon's picks: Buyer Beware!!
In an industry full of self-absorbed pundits and prognosticators, mIchael wIlbon (note the " I" in each name) stands out... only consider his advice with great caution! It took me over 6 months to pay off a bet when he picked the Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship over the Giants. They got crushed 41-0.

Posted by: nb888 | January 23, 2010 2:59 PM
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The NFL must be doing something right in promoting high flying offense over desultory defense. While "old school" myself, the record TV ratings of Dallas vs. Minnesota had nothing to do with defense, and everything to do with Favre and the resurgence of a powerful Dallas offense.

People are still talking about the GB/Arizona wildcard classic.

Posted by: wxdancer | January 23, 2010 11:04 AM
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One thing in this league that you cannot do is even breathe on the QB! The way this thing is going the NFL will have its first woman QB in no time! That being said, IMO I think that the noise in the big easy will affect the way the Viking play and will change what they can do. I will take the Saints. The Jets have shown me something in taking a rookie QB deep into the playoffs with their good o-line and even better defense. The Jets and the Colts know each other well and this will be a good matchup for them. I will take the Jets in an upset.

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | January 23, 2010 9:01 AM
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I have to agree with you Wilbon about the blowout games especially last week. The only team I was truly happy to see get blown out was the Cowgirls since I am a die hard Skins fan. I really expected much better games with closer scores and better playing by the losing teams. I hope this weekend will be much better and competitive games will be played. The playoff games should be better and very competitive, not blowouts with the exception as I stated above about the cowgirls, these are playoff games not regular games. I am going for the Jets and Vikings this weekend. I am just not a Saints fan, never have and never will be. There is just something about the Saints that does no sit right with me. Go Jets and Go Vikings. I want a different superbowl with teams that haven't been there in years and this would do it.

Posted by: ladyredskins | January 22, 2010 7:16 PM
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I'm finding it hard to pick against the Saints after last week--though I'll probably be rooting for Favre & the Vikings. But Brees and Bush seem just too strong for the Vikes--& it's in the Big Easy!

As for the AFC, I'm surprised the Jets got past the Chargers--and I don't think they'll make it past Peyton Manning.

Super Bowl? Classic QB matchup--Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning!!! Pick 'em!

BTW...hope they make that pre-Super Bowl Pro Bowl a PERMANENT fixture. I've never understood that two week layoff between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. It has made for many a Super Bowl blowout in the past.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 22, 2010 1:49 PM
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I agree with you Wilbon. The NFL is getting dangerously close to changing the game into an all out free for all Ariz. vs GB in the wild card round type of game. All the defensive restrictions on both hitting the QB and interfering with the pass catchers are getting so strict that it makes you think about which fans is the NFL really targeting with these rules? The current teenagers and 20 somethings that tend to prefer an all offense, all passing game or the older generation that generally likes a balanced game with both offense and defense, running and passing. The way I see it, that type of balance in the game combined with the salary cap made the league what it is in popularity today. We will see what happens to that popularity in the future after the full effects of the rules changes and the coming uncapped seasons have...
So this weekend, I am rooting for the Jets and for Jared Allen to knock the living daylight out of Brees! Smash mouth, that's what the game is all about!

Posted by: WECnDC | January 22, 2010 1:29 PM
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