Do Not Take Lightly
by Ernie Williams

Ok football fans, here it is. Divisional Playoff time. 8 teams, four games. The best teams in the NFL are facing each other this weekend. That means you need to be prepared. First of all, if you have any plans, it is time to cancel them. Remind whoever might be inconvenienced or insulted that it is THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS DUMBASS and ask them what the hell were they thinking scheduling a whatever it is they have scheduled on the same weekend as THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS? Seriously. Jeez. DivisionalPlayoffs1.gif

The Divisional Playoffs are not to be taken lightly. Therefore, I fully intend on making an extremely potent batch of chili this weekend to celebrate the glory that is Divisional Playoff Football. Double the jalapenos. Double the chipotle baby and double the mutherfucking cheese and dive in. Since I ate hot-dogs last weekend during The Patriots / Jets game and The Patriots won (in fergi-licious fashion), being the superstitious sort, I will fully be making some hot-dogs to go with that chili this weekend, because chili+hot-dogs+divisional playoffs=totally awesome.

Divisional Playoffs:

Saturday, Jan. 13

Indianapolis at Baltimore - 4:30 pm, CBS

Epic: Definition: Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size.

There you have it my friends. The definition of this game. Epic. Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens. In case the hugeness of this match-up is lost on anyone out there, or if you did not realize or remember that The Colts once had a proud history in the city of Baltimore, before their owner had them secretly moved out of the city in the middle of the night back in 1984, an event that has not been forgotten in Baltimore, I’ll let my friend and fellow FTTW writer Kali break it down for you.

one of the most vivid memories of my childhood are at colts games, then of my mother telling some poor kid wearing an indianapolis colts t-shirt well before the deal was made that "them's fightin' words." (ahaha and if you knew my mom it would double you over in laughter.) i remember vividly the way those cowards stole away in the night. i can see stock footage of the mayflower moving trucks that they used. and then they kept the fucking name... OUR NAME. the colts belong in baltimore. and on saturday we'll play for johnny unitas and the colts' name. welcome home, give us your jerseys and you can leave wearing your tighty whiteys once we've taken back your dignity. fuckers.\

oh ernie i'm so glad they have to come here!! i think we can do this. "do it for johnny"

Awesome. Do you think Ravens fans want to win this game? Ah, yeah!

I’d say so.

I almost feel bad for Indy for the hate that’s gonna rain down on them on Saturday. Almost. Then there’s The Ravens Defense for them to contend with…

Philadelphia at New Orleans - 8:00 pm, FOX

This is going to be a great game. We all know about New Orleans coming back from the Katrina disaster and The Saints returning to the city after a year of exile in Houston, Texas. QB Drew Brees and rookie running back Reggie Bush have gotten this team into the divisional round and Saints fans are truly psyched. It’s a great story all around. NFC_Div.gif

On the other side of the ball, you have Philadelphia Eagles, who picked themselves up and brushed themselves off after Donovan McNabb went down earlier in the year and have gotten themselves one game away from a Conference Championship match. Who do you root for here?

Sunday, Jan. 14

Seattle at Chicago - 1:00 pm, FOX

Ok. Let’s be honest. Seattle should not even be in this game. Yes I was rooting against the Cowboys last week, so I’m not complaining, but if it were not for a botched hold during a field goal attempt, this is Dallas playing Chicago this week. But, that is the way it works in the NFL. That ball is shaped funny and it bounces in all kinds of crazy ways.

Chicago did not close out the season on a high note and played what was arguably their worst game of the year in their final regular season game vs. Green Bay. They’ve had a whole week to prepare and to get things right heading into this game. I expect this will be a close game. Seattle may not be that great, but I am sure they will take full advantage of the opportunity that was provided to them. Thanks Tony Romo!

New England at San Diego - 4:30 pm, CBSAFC_PO.gif

The New England Patriots vs. The San Diego Chargers. Where do I begin? Last week The Jets had me on the edge of my seat through 4 quarters of football. The Pats came away with the win and now they will face the #1 team in the NFL.

San Diego is stacked top to bottom on offense and defense. They’ve got the MVP of the league, LaDanian Tomlinson at running back, they’ve got a pro-bowl bound QB in Philip Rivers and a terror at defensive end / outside linebacker in Shawne Merriman. They’ve also got a coach, Marty Schottenheimer, with a whole closet full of post-season skeletons. The mark against Marty is that he has never been able to win the big game, even with teams in the past that arguably were just as stacked as San Diego is today.

For the Patriots on the other hand, the question they are hearing is: how do you stop the Chargers? The Pats are used to hearing that question. How do you stop The Rams? How do you stop The Steelers? How do you stop The Colts? The Pats have answered those questions and now they will step up and try to provide an answer to the latest question this Sunday. I have a feeling that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has some ideas on how to slow down LaDanian Tomlinson and how to confuse Philip Rivers. I have a feeling that Patriots QB Tom Brady might be prepared to handle the San Diego blitzing defense. Yes, the Pats are the underdog in this game but this is the playoffs, where the Pats have a 11-1 record with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, along with a 7-1 record on the road this season. Think they will be ready for this game?

All right gang. Have a great weekend and enjoy the games! And lets hear your thoughts about the games in the comments!

Ernie sweats and sweats.



and 'arguably' is my new favorite word by the way


and apparently 'vivid' is mine... heh.


Indy @ Bal - Indy in a blowout
Phi @ NO - NO by 7
Sea @ Chi - Seattle in the "Upset", "Wrecks" Grossman is garbage, he was garbage in college and he's garbage in the NFL.
NE @ SD - This will look like the BCS The Chargers are the SEC and NE is the Big 10, the Chargers are bigger, stronger, and faster.


I'm thinking the Indy / Baltimore game will be a blowout but I think it will go the other way.

I would not be surprised by either of those predictions in the NFC games.

I'm not commenting on the Pats / Chargers game since everybody knows how biased I am but let it be known that I am less nervous for this game than I was for the Jets game...


"chili+hot-dogs+divisional playoffs=totally awesome."

I would go so far as to say, "Legend-wait for it-dary!"


My heart belongs to the Birds and I think that giving New Orleans 7 points is stretching it. This is going to be an ugly game defensively. But we still have Westbrook and Garcia keeps looking better and better. We just might surprise you guys...


oh ya plus it's due to rain here tomorrow and those indy fuckers are dome soft...


//oh ya plus it's due to rain here tomorrow and those indy fuckers are dome soft...//

Sloppy wet field=advantage: Baltimore.


Ernie, I am just trying to figure out how the Pats are going to keep Merriman out of Brady's grill, and still have any kind of offense. They will not be able to run against Williams and Castillo in the middle and they will not be able to get to the edges against the SD LBs, so they will have to max-protect and that means only sending one or two wideouts downfield, against some pretty good DBs and coverage LBs, that doesn't leave much except for screens and the wideout screen Brady likes to throw. Then how are the Pats going to defend Gates and the SD wideouts without giving up another 150 to LT or do they try and stop the run and give up another 130 to Gates like they did last time. I do believe Brady is one of the great QB's of this generation, problem is he and Morancy is all that this team can claim as true threats, they have gone as far as they can go with the limited talent they have, because man for man the Charges are bigger, faster, stronger, and better. Just remember 2003 when the Pats & Brady were the new team on the block, thats what SD is now.


On offense the Pats are going to have to be aware of where Merriman is and at times will probably keep their Tight Ends and or Running Backs back to help with protection. If SD tries to blitz too often, don't be surprised to see it backfire as Brady has been preparing and playing against blitzing defenses for the last few weeks. The screen pass that you mentioned is one of the best ways to stop a team from blitzing and the Pats run it as well as any team in the league. If The Pats burn SD on blitzes a few times, that will be the end of that.

Although The Pats do not have a back like LT on their team they do have a very potent running game with Corey Dillon, and Lawrence Maroney. Kevin Faulk is an excellent 3rd down back and Heath Evans has been very effective as a FB and in short yardage situations.

The offense is going to adapt depending on what SD does defensively. If it is a blitz-a-thon like you seem to think it will be, then yes I think you can expect more of a passing attack from The Pats with short passes and screens and like I said, if those are effective, that will stop the blitz. The main thing for The Patriots to have success is to play clean and not get into long yardage situations. If they can consistently get into situations where they are 3rd down and 5 yards or less, they will be successful.

Defensively the key for The Pats is going to be their d-line. Seymour Wilfork and Warren are going to have to be stout and slow LT. To me, that is the game right there on defense.

I would not be surprised to see the Pats switch it up to a 4-3 for this game in order to be more effective against the run. I would also not be surprised either to see them play both a 4-3 AND a 3-4, depending on what happens in the game

Gates is a very good receiving tight-end but after that the receivers tail off considerably and to be honest I don't think they are that much better than The Patriots receivers. I would give SD the edge in receiving but not by a huge amount.


I just have a gut feeling any team with a bird mascot will win this weekend. And the Chargers.
So that's Ravens>Colts, Eagles>Saints, Seahawks>Bears, Chargers>Patriots.


2 for 2 so far...

Baltimore really took it to the Colts, ouch, I'm sure Peyton and the boys are really feeling the big hurtin' the big "Bad" Ravens put on them, did Ray-Ray "Murder One" Lewis even play today?

Saints and Eagles was a fun game to watch, the Saints are for real and can beat either Seattle or the Bears.


I was really surprised at how ineffective The Ravens offense was. McNair did not play well in that game it thought.

I think you are right about the Saints.


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