Friday, January 07, 2011

1/07 Quickie: Wild Card, Luck, Harbaugh

One more time: My new company Quickish is launching Monday. DS.com readers will get a special message. To keep up, please "like" the Facebook page and/or follow the Twitter feed. Huge thanks in advance for your support. I really hope you'll like it. Wow, is it going to be a crazy weekend....

Of course, it's NFL Wild Card Weekend, intriguing at the macro level because the road teams all seem like presumptive favorites. Here's what I like about the individual match-ups:

Saturday, 4:15 ET: Saints at Seahawks. The defending Super Bowl champs versus the first sub-.500 playoff team. The Saints have no running game; the Seahawks are terrible, but will enjoy the home-field vibe. Pick: Saints, barely.

Saturday, 8 ET: Jets at Colts. Rematch of last year's AFC championship game. The Jets have skidded to the finish; the Colts didn't look good against the Titans last week (and nearly lost). Pick: Jets, with an extra dose of Peytonfreude.

Sunday, 1 ET: Ravens at Chiefs. It's really hard to buy these worst-to-first teams in their first playoff games, even if they play at home. I'm long the Ravens' experience. Pick: Ravens.

Sunday, 4 ET: Packers at Eagles. The marquee game of the weekend, featuring the preseason favorite to win the NFC against the most enthralling player of the season. I'd love to see the Eagles win the NFC. Historically, I am a sucker for the Eagles to win the NFC. I'm going the other way this year -- congrats, Eagles fans. Pick: Packers.

The NFL's new overtime rules: Rest assured, something will happen that will make everyone freak out.

Andrew Luck staying in college: I love this, if only because I think Luck is one of the best college QBs I've ever seen, and I really want to see him at the height of his ability next season -- as if he wasn't this season, too. (And, yes, I do think that Luck is better than the two previous star Stanford QBs, but if you want to be technical about it, we can wait until Luck wins the Heisman next season -- and leads Stanford to an appearance in the national-title game.)

Don't worry, Panthers fans: You'll probably have the No. 1 overall pick next year, too. You'll get Luck eventually.

(BTW: I tweeted this out yesterday, but if your team was a lock to not make the playoffs next year and was woefully inadequate at QB, would you trade an 0-16 tank season for 10 seasons of Luck? I would, in a second. You could say real fans don't ever root for their team to lose, but how about real fans want what's best for their team to position themselves for a title at some point?)

Jim Harbaugh Watch: With Luck coming back, I would go back to Stanford and ask for a big raise, with no promises beyond next year. The NFL jobs will be there next year, too -- probably even more emphatically after he takes Stanford to the national-title game. Sounds like it's down to staying or moving down the street to the 49ers. I'd stay.

More players turning pro: Mark Ingram. Despite the way he gashed Florida in the 2009 SEC championship game, I think he was overrated -- let's be honest: He wasn't even the most talented RB on his own team (as you'll see when Trent Richardson goes wild next season as the featured RB). In the NFL, he'll have a place, but does anyone see him as a 1,000-yard-a-season-for-5-seasons RB? The "shared-RB" revolution of the past few seasons actually favors him.

Great Read: ESPN.com's Amy K. Nelson on Galarraga-Joyce, six months later.

OK: Diving back into product development. More later. Blogging all weekend. Trying for a game-changer on Monday.

-- D.S.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

"I tweeted this out yesterday, but if your team was a lock to not make the playoffs next year and was woefully inadequate at QB, would you trade an 0-16 tank season for 10 seasons of Luck? "

As a Lions fan who went through exactly that, and got Stafford (Which, I should add, I do think Luck is better than, but I also think if he stays healthy he'll be really good) I assure you the answer is a big huge NO.

Tim said...

I'd like to see some research done on how players - particularly QBs - who elected to stay in college rather than jump to the NFL early have fared. I heard that NFL coaches are sometimes wary when a player stays through his senior season (He's too comfortable where he's at).

A year ago, Jake Locker decided to stay for his senior season and was mentioned in Heisman discusssion in the preseason. He was being projected as the #1 overall pick in the draft. Locker had a mediocre season and I don't see him being drafted in the 1st round now.

It is WAY TOO EARLY to be projecting Stanford in the national championship game next season. What makes you think they will jump past Oregon? What makes you think that they won't slip a little next season? Next year, Stanford will have to win 10 conference games (9 regular season and 1 championship) and not lose.