Another week, and another leader in our Gridiron Rats weekly picks contest. Fat Jesus has pulled in to the lead by a game, and this Rat finds himself having a pick against his own team to try and make up the difference. I am hoping that the Patriots can pound the ball against the Colts, and the Patriots’ running attack should be able to tear up a questionable Colts’ defense. But it is the Patriots’ defense that has me worried, as now a fourth defensive starter has gone on the shelf for the season. While linebacker Brandon Spikes has been dealing with an injury for some time, it was aggravated in the Week Seventeen win over the Bills. But it took Spikes to be late to practice for Bill Belichick to place Spikes on IR, sending a loud message to the locker room, but shutting down the teams best run defender. It seems like the end of the road for Spikes in New England, and I for one will not miss this loudmouth when he signs on somewhere else next season, but his absence this week against the Colts could be troubling. The game is likely to be a high-scoring affair, and it’s entirely possible that the last team to possess the ball will win the game. However, I can’t help but envision a situation where the Patriots are down by four and need to drive the field in the last minute, but are unable to find the end zone. And, with a loss, perhaps Bill Belichick’s finest year as a head coach, will end with another January disappointment. I’d really rather be wrong about this pick, but I have a sneaky feeling the Colts will pull this one out.
For the divisional round, all of us chose the Seahawks in our only unanimous pick. We figure the Saints are not a better team than the one that got blown out in Seattle five weeks ago, having lost two defensive starters in that span. Bu, even if all else is equal, we figure the Seahawks’ secondary will just interfere with the Saints’ receivers in order to shut down Drew Brees. The Seahawks should win by two scores. Most of us like the 49ers to beat the Panthers, though this contest is truly up for grabs. The 49ers are playing well right now, but Ron Rivera has done a terrific job to earn Carolina the home field advantage. Look for a battle to the end. Finally, we favor the Broncos to take apart the Chargers, despite a recent Chargers win in Denver. San Diego has been on fire over the last month, but the Broncos just have too many weapons to be shut down two meetings in a row.
Here are our picks for the week:
|Writer||NO @ SEA||IND @ NE||SF @ CAR||SD @ DEN|
Our current standings:
|Like Gandhi, But Taller||161||104||16|
|Guest Quarter (coin flip)||130||135||47|