NFL Conference Championships

From Sports Left -- J-E-T-S, JETS ! JETS! JETS! To listen to New York sports radio talk this week, you would think the AFC Championship Game, the Jets travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts, is a toss up. In fact, in Vegas, the Colts are 8.5 point favorites over the Jets. What explains this seeming disconnect? The Week 16 Colts-Jets game is the main reason (the Jets' wins at the Bengals and at the Chargers also has optimism for the Jets bubbling.) In that game, Colt coach Jim Caldwell rested his starters in the second half of a 15-10 game. The game went to the Jets and the Colts undefeated season went down the drain (I defended Caldwell's move at the time.)

So what about the game? It's intriguing. But ultimately a mismatch. The Colts demonstrated against the Ravens that they can handle pressure defense, that their defense can stop the run and manhandle inexperienced QBs. It may take until the 3rd quarter but I expect the Colts to get a 2 score lead and after that, the Jets will have to play catchup. If you have confidence in Mark Sanchez to get it done, then betting the Jets to make it close might make sense. I do not believe Sanchez can do it at this point in his career, on the road. I like the Colts (-8.5). I also like the Under (40).

The Vikings play the Saints tonight in the NFC Championship. This is a game that seems destined to be decided by the performances of the Saints OL and the Vikes'' DL. If Brees gets plenty of time to throw, the Minnesota secondary is too weak to hold up. New Orleans will score 40. Maybe the Vikings can score 40 too. But that seems a hard route for Minnesota. Especially with Percy Harvin questionable because of migraines.

Brett Favre is a great story, but the Saints will win and cover the 3.5 point spread. I like the Saints (-3.5). I also like the Under (54.5). While the game could be a shootout, having 30-24 as an under score is too much.

This is an Open Thread.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Damn proud of Gang Green... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 06:48:51 AM EST
    we gave 'em a run for their money, but the Colts are the better team, no doubt about that now.  We got the big plays we needed on offense, got the lead we needed...but couldn't get the run going to close it out, or find an answer for Manning's 3rd and 4th options in the 2nd half...he just makes every plyer on offense so much better.  My hats off to the Colts, a helluva team with a very underrated lightning-fast defense...Greene going down hurt but T.J. is no slouch and they shut it down.

    Didn't feel like a "same old Jets" loss, I think we're building something here...great season guys, thanks for the ride....now Lets Go Saints!

    Very classy... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:38:50 AM EST
    ...for a Jets fan.  :)

    It was a great year for you all.  Lots to build on for a young team and a rookie coach.  If nothing else, all those kids got a taste of what the play-offs are all about.  Experience is a great teacher and motivator.  

    How about that BritFarve fail?  That was delicious.  The watch is on--which team's emotions will he toy with and ultimately crush next year?  Or will he retire with the knowledge that his last pass in the NFL was a crippling, game losing interception?  Just like his last game as Packer and a Jet.  


    Farve sure took a pummeling (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:51:05 AM EST
    in that game. No senior discounts for him.

    What a send out. I bet he feels like a guy who was worked over with baseball bats today.


    Oh it was scrumptious... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:54:07 AM EST
    we waited all year for the killer Favre pick to send an entire fanbase into the depths of despair...and finally got it!  Was great to see the Saints D knock the crap out of him too.

    My prediction...he'll make up his mind one way or the other when training camp is 3/4ths complete.


    The killer pickerception... (none / 0) (#29)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:18:21 AM EST
    ...and for Chilly to channel his inner Andy Reid.  

    This year it will probably be the last day of training camp before he decides.  If the Vikes are smart they don't wait for him and draft a QB to start this coming year.  Like the Jets did...


    Manning is a machine (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:45:18 AM EST
    If you cant get pressure on him without blitzing, he'll kill you every time because he reads defenses and sees the field so well that he almost always knows where the weak spot in the coverage is -- and of course, he's likely to throw, accurately, to any one of three or four receivers on any given pass play. Plus, he gets great pass blocking from his line.

    Your only hope against the Colts is if you can get consistent enough pressure on Manning to throw him off without compromising your coverage and hoping your offense can score a lot of points on their defense. If Manning is getting a lot of time and your offense is having trouble scoring, you're done.


    Did you not see... (none / 0) (#24)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:50:20 AM EST
    ...Farve getting the crap beat out him yesterday?  Peyton isn't exactly mobile and he's not nearly as tough as Farve.  If the Saints get to him half as many times as they did ol' Brett yesterday they've got a real good chance.  

    I'm hoping for shoot-out myself.  They're pretty similar teams in a lot of ways.


    Could be a shoot out (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:59:29 AM EST
    the one thing Manning has over Favre is that he dosnt make as many reckless, foolhardy decisions in the pocket. If the play isnt there he'll either throw it out of bounds or go to the ground himself rather than take a bad hit.

    Of course, NO is going to try to put a hurtin' on him the way they did on Favre, but I dont think they're going to be as successful. Manning's too smart.


    6'5", rocket-laser arm... (none / 0) (#30)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:42:29 AM EST
    ...reading coverages and calling plays at the line...

    All that aside, Peyton does not like getting his jersey dirty.  He gets hit like Farve yesterday and he's off his game.  


    He is something else... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:56:40 AM EST
    it wasn't like our coverage was bad on all but one or two plays...he just puts it in the perfect spot to beat tight coverage....the kinda QB to make a DB throw up his hands and say "wtf am I supposed to do?"

    I concur...the way to beat him is to get consistent pressure with a 4 man rush...no easy task against Jeff Saturday and crew.


    I predict (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:49:49 AM EST
    A Colts-Vikings Super Bowl.  It'll be hard to root for either team, because I like both QBs.

    The Jets?  No one outside of NY cares.

    I care! (none / 0) (#3)
    by talesoftwokitties on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:54:27 AM EST
    ; - P

    Colts have a very experienced QB (none / 0) (#2)
    by Saul on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:52:52 AM EST
    while jets have a rookie.  Jets can win but how does a rookie handle the pressure of the big game.  
    Nothing is impossible in NFL.  No rookie QB has ever been in the SB  if what I heard yesterday is correct.

    Profile of Jets coach is on NYT (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:54:50 AM EST
    front page today--below the fold.  

    Jets (none / 0) (#5)
    by Lil on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:17:27 AM EST
    If I remember correctly, the Jets played a pretty good first half against the Colts and stayed in the game. Then they ran the kickoff back to take the lead in the 3rd period. So you could stretch and say that the Jets took the lead before Manning was technically taken out of the game. That is why I have some hope that the Jets can sneak out a win. They were in the game. I'm rooting for NO. No matter who wins I think the NFC will be favored in the SB and have the upper hand.

    The Colts will win the AFC (none / 0) (#6)
    by kempis on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:23:47 AM EST
    but I think the Vikings have a chance to upset New Orleans. I'm rooting for NO, but if they lose, I'll take some consolation in seeing Favre go to the Superbowl. What a corker he is.... Still, I've loved the once-perpetual-underdog Saints for many years, and you gotta love what it would for New Orleans to have their team in the Superbowl.

    Cheering for the Jets (none / 0) (#7)
    by richj25 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:03:42 PM EST
    The smart money is definitely on the Colts but you
    can't count the Jets out. They've been playing some
    inspired ball lately and that can be the difference.
    My sense, though, is that they've been playing a bit
    over their heads and that could end at any time. I
    don't think this is their year but they could be
    the team to beat next year with a little more
    effective play at quarterback.

    The Jets are already... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:48:35 PM EST
    ...firmly into the Colts' heads. Their defense looks tough as ever, and their rookie QB just threw the perfect longball for the TD and the lead.

    This game could be a classic.

    Manning not happy after that (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:01:42 PM EST
    last drive {grin}

    My bets have already crashed and burned (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:28:04 PM EST
    I going to hedge the second half Over (probably around 16) and cut my losses.

    Actually (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:38:02 PM EST
    The halftime lines are tough for hedging -

    INDIANAPOLIS     -7  Over 20

    I do not see the hedge there. I think I have to suck it up and just take me beating.

    My under bet is gone. Lost that one.

    I have the Colts (-8.5) - so I am losing by 12.5

    If I bet the Jets (+7) in the second half, I could lose that and lose my colts bet. Colts win the second half by 10 and I lose both my original Colts be plus a halftime bet.

    Just gotta hope for the Colts to win the second half by 13 and split the bets.

    I'm screwed.


    What makes you think (none / 0) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:06:43 PM EST
    you're better analyzing the second half than you were the first?

    That's why they call it gambling. lol


    Was looking for a hedge (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:27:09 PM EST
    to lock in a smaller loss.

    Am I correct you've already lost the (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:35:04 PM EST
    under/over, but not the spread bet?  (Of course, don't know what "line" you used for the spread bet.)

    I am now winning my line bet (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    Colts now lead by 10.

    The Under bet is lost.

    At best, I can split and lose the juice/vig.


    OMG. (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:00:20 PM EST
    Maybe I would watch football if I bet on the games?

    That's the idea (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:29:53 PM EST
    Centsports (none / 0) (#18)
    by Raskolnikov on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:56:19 PM EST
    Not sure if any of you guys use this site, its great fun if you're looking to bet without spending any money (or getting any back, really).  But since adopting your bets, two line parlays on the over/unders and the points, I've doubled my account to a whopping $1.76!

    Doubling is a hell of a result (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:00:54 PM EST
    Go Saints! n/t (none / 0) (#22)
    by CST on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:44:54 AM EST