Last night I dreamt about football.  In this dream I was hanging out with the backup squad of the Green Bay Packers as they were losing a meaningless game to Oakland by the dismal score of 98 – 0.  The game was a rout.  Neither my dream friends nor I were interested in watching any more of this fiasco except for the small part of all of us that was fascinated by the score.

Instead our attention was turned to one of the many games being played, the most exciting one, the Dolphins beating the living snot out of the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.

Now, as a gambler, I know better than to make bets based on strange dreams involving huge piles of ice cream and weird friendships with people that do not exist, but I can’t help but feel that the Miami @ Tennessee premonition might actually come to life despite the almost overwhelming odds against it.

In order for that to happen Miami would have to beat Baltimore this coming Sunday, which is no easy feat, but they would then have to beat Pittsburgh the following week.  Not only that, but the Titans would have to eliminate the Colts.  That is, of course, assuming that the Colts will beat the piss out of the Chargers this weekend which they almost certainly will.

That would mean the Miami Dophins, a team that finished the 2007 season with the worst record in the NFL at 1 – 15, a team that lost the first 2 games of this season, would go to the Super Bowl and suare off against… and I’m just guessing here… the New York Giants.

This is an unlikely scenario as, in my opinion, the Ravens, the Colts, the Steelers, and the Titans are all better teams than the Dolphins.  In fact, the Dolphins entire season has almost seemed like a weird fluke.  It has been a strange phenomenon that defies nature like the vortex in Oregon where water supposedly flows uphill.

If I relied on my dreams to predict the future I would have a helicopter and a DeLorean, and my cupboards would be filled with endless boxes of cereal.  No, it was a dream.  A dream that didn’t make much sense.  Miami is going nowhere.  They may beat the Ravens this weekend, but they probably won’t.  Even if they do they certainly won’t get past the Colts.  No way in hell.

Round 1 Picks

Indianapolis @ San Diego

The Chargers have won 4 on the row climbing from a miserable 4 – 8 record to a very unimpressive 8 – 8 to steal the crown of AFC West Champions from under the noses of the lacksidaisical Denver Broncos who loafed their way through another blahze season.  Yes the Chargers crushed the Broncos last week, but the difference between facing the Broncos and squaring off against a healthy and mature Colts team in the post season is the difference between riding on a commercial flight and piloting the space shuttle.

The Chargers have not looked this good all season.  Some say they are finally living up to their potential.  Others say they have what it takes to go all the way.  I do not.  Super Bowl champions do not lose 8 games in a season.  The Colts’ 12 – 4 record betrays how strong of a force they are.  All of those losses were in the  first 8 weeks of the season.  They have won every game since week 9 including the brutal shutout of the top-seated Tennessee Titans last week.  The Colts are the superior football club.  They are a proven team of winners while all the Chargers have proven is that they can beat some mediocre teams when they have to.  Look for the Colts to win the AFC Champion spot this year.

Colts by 2

Baltimore @ Miami

In my dream last night the Miami Dolphins looked great, but dreams are not real life.  I am impressed with the Miami Dolphins’ stunning turnaround in only one short season, but I am more impressed with Baltimore’s #2 ranked defense in the NFL and their consistent ability to win football games.  The Ravens may be the wildcard, but on Sunday the Dolphins will look like the Jokers.

Ravens by 2

Philadelphia @ Minnesota

Both of these teams deserve kudos for earning their respective playoff slots, but it’s the kind of congratulations that you give a 5-year-old for finishing his supper.  Neither of these teams play consistent winning football and neither of these teams are going anywhere past next week.  Still, one of them is going to win this contest, and for now that is all that matters.  The Vikings have more heart, but the Eagles have more talent.

Eagles by 3

Atlanta @ Arizona

The last time the Cardinals were in the playoffs was 1998, and before that dismal showing it was 1982 when they called St. Louis home.

But that means nothing.  They are here now and that is what counts.  What also counts is that they had an easy schedule in an even easier division.  Their closest rival all year was the negligent 49ers who finished out with a losing 7-9 record.  Their quarterback is a washed-up madman that thinks he knows Jesus on a personal level.  Their entire ball club is a mixed bag of random levels of talent ranging from not impressive to mediocre.  Their patchwork team is held together only by the poorly tied string of fleeting real-estate money that is leaving their city as fast as water evaporates in the middle of the desert where they were dumb enough to build it.  Arizona will play badly and get beaten silly by the younger, faster, smarter, and more together Atlanta Falcons.  Good Riddance.

Falcons by 6

That is what will happen.  I know there are some of you out there thay might think San Diego has a chance and maybe they do.  If the 8-8 Chargers upset the 12-4 Colts I still will have seen crazier things in my life.  But I am a hopeless gambler and I will always bet the odds.  See you next week.


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