NFL Wild Card Sunday Open Thread

First, how 'bout Joe Concha absolutely pegging the first game score yesterday: Cards 30, Falcons 24? Nice job, Joe.

Second, anybody want to talk about the horrid officiating in the Bolts-Colts game? Almost started a fight in my 'bout yours?

Below the fold, Joe returns to preview Wild Card Deux:

Pigskins and Politics Playoff Edition
Joe Concha

Saturday's games proved three things:

1) You don't need big-name teams or players to have a riveting game (Saturday's MVPs, for example, include Darren Sproles, Edgerrin James and whoever the punter on San Diego is who buried the Colts deep to set up the game-tying field goal).

2) Snow is not an automatic ratings-grabber. The networks love it, but all things being equal I'd rather see important games decided on their merits, and not some Leon Lett-like fumble in the snow.

3) The Chargers must finally, absolutely, positively, without hesitation, permanantly switch back to the powder blue uniforms. Fate is begging them to do it.

So without any of the aforementioned hesitation, let's get to our not-for-profit picks for Sunday after a disappointing 1-1 day yesterday.

Ravens at Dolphins: Probably the least anticipated matchup in the history of playoff games. One team loves to pound the ball, the other subscribes to the "death of a thousand cuts" theory of 7-yard dump passes and running the option.

Can't you just picture NBC and CBS trying to decide who gets the game?

NBC: "Take it."
CBS: "No, you take it."
NBC: "C'mon, give us a break. Zucker sucks so badly that we're forced to run Leno at 10 five nights a week!."
CBS: "How do you think we feel? Our entire success hinges on shows that start with C-S-I."
NBC: "But we're stuck with Chris Matthews now that he saw the light and won't be running for the Senate after realizing he isn't electable. He's here to give us a lifetime of mediocre ratings until he or Olbermann finally lose it and take the other one out on-air, Sopranos-style! We were even forced to give David Friggin' Shuster his own show!"
CBS: "Wow, that is bad. Ok, we'll take the game. Some people may actually enjoy a defensive battle."
NBC: "America will eat it up like reruns of "Joey".
CBS: (abruptly hangs up).

When picking Baltimore-Miami, the thinking is the same as as when I went against Matt Ryan yesterday: A rookie quarterback like Joe Flacco playing on the road in January has never made an investor in that club's fortunes happy.

Meanwhile, Chad Pennington continues to twist a knife into every Jet fans' stomach...

Dolphins 15
Ravens 13

Eagles at Vikings: Vikings have one of the smallest stadiums in the NFL, yet can't sell out a playoff game? They only have arguably the most exciting player in the game (Adrian Peterson), and haven't been to the playoffs in four years. Where's the appetite??

How hilarious would it be to live in some outpost of Minnesota with no ability to drive to a playoff game due to small things like blizzards or having to work the next day, and still not being able to even see a home playoff game on TV while stuck at home with the wife on a Sunday in 4 degree weather?

OK, it's not that funny...

For lack of a better idea, I'll take the team that doesn't have Andy Reid as its coach. Never in my lifetime did I even think I would be going with Tavaris Jackson in this spot, but the pleasure of seeing Eagles fans suffer once more is too good to pass up.

Eagles 20
Vikings 24

Enjoy Wild-Card Weekend everyone! The matchups outside of Colts-Bolts are horrific, but at least the games will be close. That's all we can ask for, yes?

Joe Concha is a weekly contributor to and couldn't be more estatic knowing that Tony Kornheiser will be nowhere near any of the aforementioned games. Email Joe at or use the ultra-friendly comments section below.

Sports Open Thread