I decided not to do predictions for last weekend because I thought the games were rather predictable.
This weekend, however, features two games that could cause some serious storylines. The next two weeks are surely going to be filled with interesting stories on blogs, in newspapers and through any other source of sports writing you can find.
With no notable injuries on any of the four remaining rosters, this weekend promises the very best playoff football we could ask for.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots 3:00PM EST
This game is going to be a battle between a high-powered offense and a stingy defense. There’s no question that Brady can win big games but this may be the last stand for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. They have both added another great year to their Hall of Fame resumes, not to mention great seasons from Terrell Suggs, Bernard Pollard and Haloti Ngata. Brady won’t do to this defense what he did to Denver’s and the Ravens offense just isn’t that good; in other words, this is going to be a low-scoring affair. Gronkowski and Welker are two of the best targets in the game and I don’t think Baltimore can stop both of them. The Ravens offense is at its best when the defense causes turnovers but Brady isn’t going to put interceptions right in their hands as T.J. Yates did last week.New England’s defense isn’t very good but the Ravens haven’t been winning because of their offense. I think their defense will keep Baltimore close but the offense won’t be able to outscore Brady.
Prediction: New England wins 27-17
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers 6:30PM EST
A month ago I would’ve bet any amount of money the Giants wouldn’t make it this far. I didn’t expect them to catch fire and become the hottest team in the league. It’d be hard to believe anyone who says they did. Not to mention the 49ers, who had a very good regular season but nobody expected them to make it this far either. But now that it’s the situation, I couldn’t think of a matchup I’d rather see (besides the Eagles playing of course). The Giants lost a close game in San Francisco earlier this season but the boys in blue are a different team right now. Perry Fewell deserves a world of credit for pulling this defense together just in time, but the 49ers defense is legit; they’ve been the best all year. Eli Manning has been shredding up defenses with all the time he’s been given in the pocket. I can assure he won’t see that much time tomorrow; Aldon and Justin Smith are going to be all over Eli and the secondary is like a blanket when it comes to coverage. The Giants aren’t going to score a lot but if their defense plays at the level it has been, the Giants will win. Smith was lucky to win last week and I think his luck has run out. Eli is a big game quarterback and he’ll do just enough to win in the nasty field conditions. I’m predicting a defensive battle that sees New York heading back to the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Giants win 17-10
Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh but I’m seeing a rematch in the near future. Whether I’m right or wrong, I can guarantee the games will not disappoint.
Agree or disagree with my predictions? Let me know.
Jason Arias (@ImTheRinger)
Here are the links to all the polls. They will remain open for about 2 weeks and then I will post the results. Please spread the word so we can get a lot of votes. Remember, this is not solely based on stats and skills but on your favorite players. Your favorites aren’t always the best, especially when you’re a Mets fan.
Intro post: http://wp.me/p21MMK-1y
Jason Arias (@ImTheRinger)
To me, the closer spot has always been the weak spot for the Mets recently. With that being said, this should be a pretty easy vote.
Braden Looper – 6-12 3.22 ERA, 57 saves, 2.29 K/BB
Armando Benitez – 18-14 2.70 ERA, 160 saves, led league in games finished in 00, 2.71 K/BB, All-Star selection
This wraps up the ballots for the New York Mets All-2000’s Team. Thanks for participating.
Jason Arias (@ImTheRinger)
The bullpen has had many fan favorites but it’ll be hard to not vote for that great bullpen of 2006. Pick up to 3 and write in whoever I may have missed.
David Weathers 12-12 3.22 ERA, 42 games finished,
Darren Oliver – 4-1 3.44 ERA, 81 innings in 45 games, 2.86 K/BB
Duaner Sanchez – 10-2 3.48 ERA, 29 games finished
Pedro Feliciano – 19-13 3.13 ERA, 61 games finished, led league in appearances (08,09) 8.3 K/9, 2.21 K/BB
Chad Bradford– 4-2 2.90 ERA, 3.46 K/BB
If you think anybody got left off, you can write them in.
Here’s where the going gets tough, choosing the starting rotation because there’s been so many. Choose up to 5 and write in whoever isn’t included.
Steve Trachsel – 66-59 4.09 ERA
Tom Glavine – 61-56 3.97 ERA, 300th win with the Mets, 2 All-Star selections
Pedro Martinez – 32-23 3.88 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 3.39 K/BB, 2 All-Star selections
John Maine 38-29 4.01 ERA 2.01 K/BB
Oliver Perez – 29-29 4.71 ERA, 8.6 K/9
Orlando Hernandez – 18-12 3.88 ERA, 8.2 K/9, 2.29 K/BB
Johan Santana – 29-16 2.78 ERA, 3.23 K/BB, led league in ERA, games started and batters faced (2008), 1 All- Star selection
There are certainly plenty of other options you can write in.
This should be the best section for position players. There are so many to choose from and you can choose up to three outfielders.
Jay Payton – 340 games, 33 home runs, 127 RBI
Derek Bell – 144 games, 18 home runs, 69 RBI
Roger Cedeno – 297 games, 14 home runs, 78 RBI
Timo Perez – 372 games, 18 home runs, 114 RBI
Jeromy Burnitz – 219 games, 37 home runs, 99 RBI
Cliff Floyd – 468 games, 81 home runs, 273 RBI, 31 outfield assists
Mike Cameron – 216 games, 42 home runs, 115 RBI,
Carlos Beltran – 677 games, 127 home runs, 466 RBI, 4 All-Star selections, 3 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers
Shawn Green – 164 games, 14 home runs, 61 RBI
Shortstop will probably be the biggest landslide but we’ll give it a shot anyway.
Rey was great but this should be easy. If for some reason you want to write in Anderson Hernandez or anyone else, feel free to do so.