Reporting a) Mike Stone
I know you are going to be downing a few brews this weekend so here is a six-pack to get you started.
1.The Lions will obviously have their hands full with the Saints offense. To me the key is containing Jimmy Graham. The guy has come out of nowhere to become the best tight end in the NFL. He caught 8 passes for 89 yards in their first meeting, including several receptions on third down that moved the chains. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Robert Meachem are a dangerous threesome, but if Graham is held in check the Lions can get off the field.
2. The Saints offense is prolific, leading the league in many categories including but not limited to first downs, total yards, third down conversions and touchdowns. New Orleans defense does have many holes especially defending the pass. They have given up the third most amount of passing yards in the league. Granted, teams have to pass more often to stay in games, but they are vulnerable. Their defensive line is average at best. They have a problem stopping the run and they don’t have a ton of sacks, in fact strong safety Roman Harper leads the team with 7.5 sacks. I look for the Lions to try and sneak in some runs on a team that gives up five yards a carry. If the Lions can at least be average running the football they should be able to stay in the game for a long time.
3. Hey the Pistons just announced that at halftime of the January 10th game with the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, Rob Base will be performing. Is this 2012 or 1988 I can’t remember? Do you think Dirk Nowitzki is a Rob Base fan?
4. The Red Wings are taking their annual road trip with their fathers this week. The stops this year are Toronto, Chicago, and Long Island. Hopefully the dads will be able to see some sights in New York City and not be confined to Long Island.l don’t know about you, but Broadway, Ground Zero ,and Times Square are slightly more appealing than anything Long Island has to offer. I don’t think playing golf at Bethpage Black or Shinnicock Hills is an option in January.
5. While most college football fans are livid over the absurd BCS system I am not. What bothers me more are the bowls that are not part of the BCS. I cannot believe that the Cotton, Compass, and GoDaddy.com Bowls are all played after most of the BCS games and before Monday’s championship game. All college bowl games should be done by January 2nd with the national championship coming on the 3rd or 4th.
6. Here are your picks for the Wild Card games. Take the Giants-3, Steelers -8 1/2, Bengals +3, and the Lions + 10 1/2… The Lions will keep the game close throughout with the Saints pulling out a 30-26 victory.