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Eye on the Enemy: Wild-Card Weekend

After discussing briefly with Josh about whether this should continue into the post-season, I decided to go on ahead and give it a shot.  Besides, we all need at least some distraction from the insane mess our current team is in, right?  We can't spend ALL our time lambasting Mike Brown, can we?  (Well, OK, some of us could, but we probably really shouldn't.)

Like all other teams, I'm going to reset my record to 0-0.  I didn't do too horribly for my first time ever trying to call games in the regular season, ending up with a 16-15 record.  And while that's only barely a winning record, it's better than a losing one.  But I figure the post-season records should stand on their own merits... or lack thereof...

Last week the Browns absolutely laid down for the Steelers.  I don't know whether they decided the devil they didn't know couldn't possibly be worse than the devil they did, or whether they just ran out of gas and didn't have anything left.  But regardless of why, they were absolutely annihilated and the "Mangenius" paid the price by being fired on Black Monday.

This week the Browns and Bengals are, of course, playing no more, and the Steelers managed to grab a BYE week.  So with only one game to pick, I will have a perfect record next week no matter what -- either perfectly right or perfectly wrong.

AFC North Game of the Week

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs

Raise your hands if you saw this coming at the start of the year: a Kansas City team that actually makes the playoffs.  Anybody?  Put your hand down back there, Herm Edwards.  You too, Todd Haley.  Neither of you saw this coming either.

But it has.  And despite a very shaky start, the Chiefs have managed to turn Matt Cassel into a competent NFL QB in the late season as well (unfortunately only after I dropped him in fantasy).  They have also had a powerful running game and a fairly decent defense all season.

On the other side, we have a Ravens team that has been incredibly inconsistent.  Some weeks their defense is great, others it's pretty average, or even collapses and needs overtime to beat the Bills and Texans.  Some weekends their offense is on fire.  Others they escape with a win only because their opponent turns the ball over five times.

This makes me want to pick against the Ravens.  I don't actually think the Chiefs are better, but they do have a very strong home field advantage; they only lost one game at home all year.  On the other hand, with Charlie Weis leaving for a lateral move to the college game, and getting pasted by the Raiders just last week, I have to wonder whether they are in full meltdown mode at this point.

In the end, I guess I have to take the Ravens.  I don't have a huge degree of confidence in it, but they are the better team, whether they win or not, so I'll take my chances on them pulling it out.  Ravens 24, Chiefs 17.