For the next few months, until the NCAA Tournament and baseball start, your Saturdays will revolve around watching people in prison on MSNBC and staying away from the cruel cold that attacks every time you’re foolish enough to open your door. Tomorrow is the last day you have a distraction from the brutal world that awaits outside, so get ready for the most fun NFL weekend imaginable. Kurt Warner says God’s okay with you not moving until Monday.
Yep, it’s the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, in which the best professional football players on earth (outside USC, of course) battle to the metaphorical death for our amusement. It’ll be about seven hours, each day. When it’s July and you’re thinking that if you stare at your picture of Eli Manning long enough, eventually, it’ll have to move, you’ll remember how great this weekend was.
Obviously, we’ve been covering the bejesus out of the Jets, but they are just the caboose of the playoff weekend. Last week, we attempted to predict the non-Jets games, and even though we were very wrong about the Eagles, we nailed the Patriots’ loss dead-on. Yay, us.
Anyway, to this week’s “predictions” of sporting “events”:
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints
Saturday, 4:30 p.m., FOX
The Cardinals follow up their record-setting outburst last week with a game against an even worse defense and an offense that hasn’t looked right for a month. It is possible that the Saints, after the loss to the Cowboys that ended their quest for an undefeated season, have been lying in the proverbial weeds, getting healthy, preparing to pounce on a Cardinals team and quarterback that keeps looking otherworldly in the playoffs. It’s possible. We doubt it, though. Cardinals 33, Saints 21.
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Saturday, 8:15 p.m., CBS
If the Colts lose this game, it would be the first game all season in which they were actually trying to win but failed to do so. When coach Jim Caldwell decided to let the Jets win in week sixteen — which is pretty much what he did — it took the mojo out of a potentially historic season for the Colts. Even Peyton Manning looked disappointed. (You sense he would have loved to stick it to Tom Brady by finishing what he couldn’t.) He may have to placate himself with another Super Bowl title. The Ravens looked fantastic last week, but Manning’s going to look better than Brady did. We will say this, though: If the Colts lose this one, we recommend Coach Caldwell stay away from all forms of media for a while. Colts 27, Ravens 13.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX
We hope you enjoyed your week off from Favreland — where the cookies are all shaped like tractors … and Brett Favre’s head! — because you’re about to be sentenced there, probably for life. The Cowboys are the hottest team in football right now (not that it did much for the previous holder of that title, the Packers), but they are no match for the all-encompassing planetary force that is Favreland. You will never escape him. Turn down the sound on this one. Trust us. Vikings 28, Cowboys 24