The Eddie Kranepool Society

Friday, January 16, 2004

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PICK Home team in CAPS PATRIOTS -3 over Colts The line on this game is the standard 3 points for home field advantage. If this one were played on a neutral field, the Colts probably who�d be a 1 or 2 pt favorite as this game is up for grabs. With the Colts you have Peyton Manning doing things we have not seen in the NFL Playoffs in ages. Manning is a film watching freak and you know his teams inability to beat the P-Men has him obsessed. The Patriots have a 13-5 record against the Colts and they are 8-1 vs. Indy at Foxboro. Bill Belichick is a film-watching freak as well, and has given Manning fits. The Pats won this years meeting 38-34 and twice in 2001 when both were AFC East dwellers, 38-17 and 44-13. The thing that has me swaying towards the Pats (besides I�ve been riding on their band wagon for half the season) is the run defense. The way Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel has devised schemes to stop the run all year; I think it will be a long day for Edgerin James and Dominic Rhodes. The Pats D will play a very aggressive game as well in pass defense. Watch for blitzes coming at Manning from all directions. On offense he�s not pretty like Manning but Tom Brady is a winner. Look for the Pats to get the ground game going, as that seems to be the week link in the Colt D. NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PICK Panthers +4 over EAGLES Another playoff game, another road trip for Foxy�s Panthers. If Stephen Davis were 100 %, I�d have a lot more confidence in the Panthers to win this game. But as long a DeShaun Foster does not get a case of the dropsy�s (also known as the �Tiki�s here in NYC) he should be able to move the chains, against an injury plagued Iggle run defense. This is a huge game for the Iggles as it�s their third straight appearance in the NFC title game (all at home) and they have not advanced to the �Big Game�. Donovan McNabb has shown he can make the big play and the key part of a game, with that classic �4th and 26� last week. The Iggles are on a mission and just may have enough to get by Carolina. This game will come down to turnovers and the kicking game. Panthers kicker John Karsay will be looking for vindication after blowing 10 points (3 missed FG�s and missed extra point) in a 25-16 loss to the Iggles in Week 13, and Philly leg man David Ackers could determine which team is Texas bound. < |