“After another ‘sister kisser’ (2-2, 4-4 on the playoff season) last week, Colin makes this guarantee – either 2-0 or 0-2 this week!” – Colin Wynner, 1/22/2016
VICTORY! Colin delivered on his promise, of course, it was the 0-2 version of the guarantee but nonetheless I provided everyone a guaranteed winner in the NFC title game.
Ugh, 4-6 so far in the playoffs is an ugly end to an ugly season. The fact is 4-6 feels about right as I haven’t had a good feel this post-season. I committed the handicapping sin of allowing personal bias to seep into my decision making. My hatred of this garbage 2015 Packers team cost me twice and my, largely media fueled, love of the Cardinals cost me another time.
Oh, Cardinals, thou art suck thy sweatiest of goat testicles! I think that is a Shakespeare, though I could be wrong.
Now I don’t want to turn this Super Bowl prediction column into a 3500 word, running rant on the Cardinals performance in Charlotte, but I need to get a few things that have gnawed at me for a couple of weeks:
- Sometimes you have to lose to win. Carson Palmer handed me two losses this post-season that will never happened again. Next playoff start by Carson Palmer will be an automatic, “play against.” If only I would have figured this out prior to this season, I would have had two retirement scores. Trust me, I will be rooting for “regular season” Palmer to lead the Cardinals back to the post-season next year. #CantWait
- I have never liked Bruce Arians, probably because early in his tenure as Cardinals coach he made a comment similar to “everyone looks great in shorts and t-shirts. But when you put the pads on they disappear because they’re not football players.” It was an unnecessary slam on soccer, as Arians might be the only NFL coach who is insecure about Futbol. However, it’s that bold, brash, “no balls, no blue chips” attitude that I had come around and thought would serve him well in the post-season. Uh, not so much, as he clearly had “deer in the headlights” syndrome in the Packers matchup. I incorrectly thought Arians would be better in Charlotte but three plays in I knew I was dead. You see, mr. “no balls, no blue chips,” mr. “there is one team that is 11-3 and one that is always 8-8” (shot at the Los Angeles Rams), boldly thumped his chest in Carolina proclaiming, “give us the damn ball!” Now one would think the brilliant Arians knew he needed to get an early, therefore, he scripted his best set of plays, with full intent that they would work and the Cardinals would get the early lead. Not so much, as Arians handed off to his rookie running back or “the dancing machine” not once, but twice and then with the Panthers D-line ready to tee off, Palmer threw the first of his several errant passes. Game Ovah! Oh, by the way, fat-head, I have a comment for you, “one team has a Lombardi and one team has never won jack crap, you figure it out.”
- One more thing on Arians and Palmer – after the Panthers took a knee late in game and surrendered possession, the dynamic duo decided to throw. #Classless. Knowing now that Arians would stoop to such a level, I wish Rivera would have not only went for a touchdown, but would have gone for two and onside kicked.
- I still cannot decide if Carolina is that good or if the Cardinals didn’t show for the game. I lean to the latter because the Cardinals best defender, Patrick Peterson, was getting torched by Corey Brown. I didn’t know the Cardinals second best defender, Calais Campbell, was playing until he jumped off-sides in the 3rd quarter.
I was about to update my playoff rules column to add a corollary about beware of the great regular quarterbacks who despite being surrounded by exceptional talent have never won anything, when I realized that it was already there and I missed. #dumbass
Colin’s playoff player card:
Super Bowl Props:
Panthers -10.5 (+200) & Broncos -3.5 (+285) – With 1 unit on the Broncos and 1.3 on the Panthers, I get a +167 return provided game does not end Panthers 1-10 or Broncos 1-3.
Under 38.5 (+200) – Have to take a shot on a good old fashioned defensive struggle.
Total Field Goal yardage over 124.5 – Good defenses = stalled drives = field goals; this is almost guaranteed to hit with four field goals, and a decent chance with three 42+.
Total Touchdown yardage under 84.5 – Again good defenses that do not give up big plays. Only real concern here is a defensive or special teams TD.
Player to score first touchdown Under 22.5 – This gives me goal-line threats Newton and CJ Anderson, plus virtually every receiver not named Olsen or Thomas.
Number of different Panthers to have a rushing attempt over 4.5 – Newton, Tolbert and Stewart are locks. One reverse to a WR (4 of the last 5 games) and one carry to Fozzy.
Greg Olsen over 69.5 receiving yards – The Broncos couldn’t stop Gronk in the AFC title game; Olsen will have similar numbers. Someone has to catch the ball for the Panthers
Ted Ginn Jr under 47.5 receiving yards – Risky since Ginn can eclipse this with a single catch but I will take my chances that, if open, Ginn will drop the pass.
Peyton Manning over 21.5 completions – I see the Broncos throwing a lot of short passes, hoping pop one for a big play.
CJ Anderson over 13.5 rushing attempts – I have to figure the Broncos will attempt to control the clock with the running game.
Carolina (-5.5, 44) vs. Denver
I wanted to pound the Panthers on the way out of Bank of America stadium, but, as typically happens when you have two weeks to think and re-think, I started to lean towards the Broncos.
It comes down to two things for me – 1. The NFL needs this to be a great Super Bowl. It’s the game that is “50 years in the making.” What better way to make fans forget all the concussion issues and off the field crap than send people to the off-season with a memorable game, wanting more NFL. I don’t believe the NFL is fixed conspiracy theorists, but I do believe somehow, someway things tend to fall the way of the NFL. And there is no doubt in mind that the NFL would love to send Manning out on top, regardless of whether or not he plays great in this game. Call it a lifetime achievement award; and 2. The Panthers have not been challenged this post-season. Yeah, they had to hang on against the Seahawks but they admit they shut down the offense in second half. The Cardinals offered about as much resistance as a bug does to a windshield. None of the Panthers have played a minute of the post-season with the pressure of being behind or even the threat of being behind.
Denver 20 Carolina 16