Boy, I'll tell you. . .I did amazingly bad in my picks last week, managing to go 1-3 straight up and 1-3 against the spread. That's why I was putting the disclaimers about gambling on my picks early on in the season. But, let's take a look at the Championship games anyway.
(Seriously, try to tell me that CBS Sports executives everywhere weren't attempting ritual suicide after they discovered it wasn't going to be Colts/Patriots. I'm not buying it.)
The Chargers are two-touchdown underdogs going into Sunday afternoon's contest, and for good reason. The Patriots destroyed San Diego earlier in the season to the tune of 38-14, and the Chargers face the very real prospect of playing this game without their starting quarterback (Philip Rivers) AND without the best non-Adrian Peterson running back on the planet (LaDanian Tomlinson). Meanwhile, they've also taken the liberty of talking trash, with Chargers DT Igor Olshansky intimating that the Patriots were more worried about the Chargers than San Diego is about New England.
Why in the blue hell do teams insist on poking the big dog with a sharp stick? Particularly when the Patriots aren't just any big dog. . .they're freaking Cujo at this point. Last week, Tom Brady set a record for the best completion % in any game. . .EVER. And he did it in the playoffs. And he did it with Randy Moss catching exactly 1 pass for 14 yards. And he did it against a defense that, quite frankly, is better than San Diego's defense.
Unless you really, really think that Billy Volek is going to be the guy to walk into Gilette Stadium and end the Patriots' undefeated run, I really don't see a hell of a lot of intrigue here. Right now, the spread has the Patriots favored by 14 points. I'll take that.
Gonzo's Final Score Prediction: Patriots 38, Chargers 13
Over on the NFC side, we've got the New York Football Giants visiting Green Bay. If you'll notice the poll on the right side, you'll see that among DN readers, about 43% of them want the Packers' season to end with a loss to the Giants, and another 32% would like to see them humiliated in the Super Bowl. (The other 25% are, apparently, either new to the site or not very smart.)
My take on the subject? I'm torn. On one hand, if Green Bay loses this game, I don't have to hear their fans for another 7-8 months, and the sooner that time period begins, the better it will be for all of us.
On the other hand. . .does any team deserve the 40-point ass-kicking that the Patriots are going to give whichever team wins this game more than Green Bay? And does any group of fans deserve to see their team receive the 40-point ass-kicking that the Patriots are going to give whichever team wins this game more than Packer fans? I believe that the answer on both counts is a resounding "No. . .no, there's not."
It certainly is the proverbial rock and a hard place, isn't it?
Gonzo's Final Score Prediction: Honestly. . .who cares? As detailed above, regardless of how the game ends up, the real winners. . .as always. . .are Minnesota Viking fans.
But for purposes of the picks, we'll take Green Bay and the 7 points, with a 27-17 victory. That will give Green Bay the right to get embarrassed by New England in front of a worldwide audience in two weeks, and will put the Super Bowl loser's curse firmly on their shoulders. Again. . .who deserves that more? I certainly can't think of anyone.
Enjoy your football Sunday, folks!