The Conference’s two top seeds, in San Jose. What to say? A-OK! I can rhyme all the time. I’ll stop now, I mean it. Does anyone want a peanut? Aaargh.
SATURDAY: Chicago at San Jose, 4:00 PM
TC SAYS: Well, well, well. It looks like a win-win situation for this prognosticator. If San Jose wins, I can continue my “I Told You So” Dance, and if Chicago wins, I can do my “My Hometown Team Is the Greatest” Dance. Let’s have a look – San Jose has been sturdy on defense all year (last week excepted), but nobody’s been stouter on that side of the ball than Chicago. On offense, Mark Grieb has quietly put up stellar numbers with consistency, and Matt D’Orazio has made noise by virtue of his wide reciever corps. The question, then, comes down to that of D’Orazio’s back, and who can keep their momentum going for four quarters? Also of concern – Chicago played on Monday, and is travelling to San Jose.
J SAYS: That plane ride from Chicago to San Jose is no picnic, my friends. It’s probably about as much fun as getting a cleat in the small of the back a la Matt D’Orazio. Maybe not as much, but the point being that Chicago, although resilient, is a little banged up not counting jet-lag. They played brilliantly last week, all things considered (so I hear from TC, I was on a Hot Movie Date), but San Jose has been solid all year long. This could be the battle royale I was looking for last Sunday when Philly was systematically destroyed by Georgia.
THE BOTTOM LINE: (TC) We at ISF will brook no argument: the American Conference’s two best teams are meeting on Saturday. They played in week 2, and it was a dogfight. This comes down to what unit comes down to carrying their team on its back. By all rights, this should be the best game of the season to date, as both teams need to play nearly-flawlessly to get past the other. (J) Yes, this will be the best non-wildcard game of the playoffs thus far. It could be as simple as whoever forces the first error of the game will get to go to New Orleans next week.
TC’S PREDICTION: I like Chicago’s defense, but D’Orazio’s back isn’t getting any better, and they’ve only had 4 days to recover from the Los Angeles game, which was pretty physical. This game’s going to be decided in the 4th, and the healthier, more rested team is going to have the advantage there. It grieves me to say it, but
San Jose moves on. No! I can’t! I must pick the Rush! Aaaagh. San Jose Chicago San Jose The SaberRush The Ru…Cats… Football wins, in a nailbiter. My nerves are shot, just trying to pick.
J’S PREDICTION: Hmm… it’s tough to call, but I think San Jose’s defense might get the best of D’Orazio’s pulsating lower back, but I’m not so sure I can call it against the hometown team. I’m picking San Jose with the hope that Sippio proves me wrong. And maybe answers a friendly phone call every now and again.