Again, there will be some combination of live-blogging at Awful Announcing this weekend. Don’t know what it will be yet.
Giants @ Packers – We know it will be cold as fuck on Sunday. We don’t know if it will snow. We are all praying, as football fans, that it will snow, because playoff football in the snow rules. But, as a far more serious matter, snow means some trouble for the Giants in trying to get a pass rush going; traction and what not. Plus, the Giants’ secondary is depleted after the Dallas game. The battle on defense also tips towards the Packers, as far as the passing game goes — Charles Woodson, Al Harris, and Atari Bigby are all much more physical in terms of secondary play when compared to the Cowboys (again, the biggest sin of this year’s Pro Bowl is that Roy Williams is replacing Sean Taylor despite doing fuck-all in terms of hitting this year.) We’re probably going to be seeing a lot of Ryan Grant and Brandon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw, but when it comes to the crucial throws, I trust the Old Teapot above more than I do Eli’s recent streak. Eli’s going to figure it out soon, but this isn’t his year.
Chargers @ Patriots – Philip Rivers is going to wish he hadn’t asked anybody. I have to find reasons to pick against an undefeated team, and I can’t find a lot of good ones. It sounds like Tomlinson and Rivers will play, but Gates may not — although I’d be surprised if he didn’t. They’re all hobbled but can still be effective. The problem is that I don’t think San Diego has the stones to go all four quarters — and once they have a drive that ends in a field goal in the second half with the game either tied or down by a touchdown, you can probably go all Easterbrook and mark “game over” because the next drive will result in a New England touchdown. Essentially, the shot the Chargers have is to exploit the corners who aren’t Asante Samuel and hope Gates is healthy enough to treat the Pats old linebacking corps as his personal valets. On defense, there are too many weapons on the field to defend — Randy Moss requires double coverage, meaning you leave Stallworth or Welker open, and the dump-off to Faulk is always there. Expect a similar short-game passing from Brady, and maybe more Maroney to keep the Chargers on their toes. This one will be closer than we think, but only the Pack stand in the way of 19-0.
Photo: AP/Morry Gash