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NFL Bargain Bets for Wildcard Weekend
January 5th 2010 - Old Man Winner             

GB +3 @ Phi

Its hard to take a team playing on the road in the playoffs, but if there is a team that has their "arrow pointing up" its the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is healthy as are his receivers. That's their team identity. However, their defense is the hidden story. In their last 6 games they are only allowing an average of 15 points per game - and if you take out the 31 that the worldbeater NE Pats dropped on them then the number is only 12 pts a game. Their defense is probably the quickest in the whole league and is peaking. That is bad news for Philly and Michael Vick.

IMHO the Eagles arrow is pointing down right now. If you've watched Vick in any of his last three games you may have noticed that he looks a lot more human. He looks like he's slowed substantially and he has taken a beating of late. I also heard a stat this week that Vick has the highest rate of "bad decisions" of any QB in the league (definition unknown). I believe it. Although he throws a beautiful long ball and can scramble like Charlie Sheen grabbing his clothes in the morning, he doesn't seem to make great decisions with the ball in the other situations. Vick has gotten physically abused this year and it is definitely starting to show. DeSean Jackson also looks like he may have lost half a step, which only means he is still probably at least a half step faster than anyone else in the league with the exception of maybe Jacoby Ford of the Raiders. Philly's defense is not as quick as they used to be and their pass rush has dropped off. Aaron Rodgers is more mobile than most NFL QB's and he could cause big problems out of the pocket. The Eagles have allowed an average of 26 pts to opponents in their last 10 games, and their opponents haven't been the offensive juggernaut that the Packers are.

Although I give the coaching edge to Philly (which will help them keep it close), I just don't see the Philly defense being able to keep up. Both teams have explosive special teams and I also wouldn't be surprised to see at least one return for touchdown.

GB 30 Phi 24
 


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