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2009 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP

EAGLES AT CARDINALS

1/18/09

For Our AFC write up click here

 

3* Eagles -4 over Cards - We can sit back and romanticize about Kurt Warner returning to the Super Bowl, and the underdog Cardinals being the feel good underdog story of the year and so on and so forth, but from where we sit, it looks like that it the least likely outcome of this weeks NFC Championship game. It's incredibly difficult to make a case for the Cardinals this week. So, we won't.

We even gave the Cards the benefit of the doubt when breaking this down. Rather than taking into account games in New England and Minnesota, games they didn't need, we tossed those games. We took their two playoff games and then their 4 games against Seattle, Philly, the Rams and Giants in order to come up with a six game break down. It still ain't pretty. It's the defense that presents problems.

The yards per points numbers for the Eagles are 13.3 on offense and 24 on defense over their last 6 games. Those are Super Bowl numbers folks. They haven't given up more than 14 points in any of those 6 games. For the Cards, their numbers are 12.4 on offense and 11.7 on defense for the 6 games we considered. Not only are those not Super Bowl numbers, they aren't even playoff numbers.

The Cards went to Carolina and upset a Panther team that quite frankly was a bit shaky defensively, going in. Carolina had given up some big time points in games so really, no surprise that the Cards were able to do what they did. But we can't make a case for that happening again this week. It simply doesn't figure. The Cards have some questionable losses all through the entire season. They have no signature wins. During the regular season, when they played good teams, such as the Giants and these Eagles, they lost. They made their living beating the 49ers, Bills, Rams and Seahawks. This week they run into an incredibly talented, well coached, dangerous Eagles team playing as good or better than any other team remaining in the playoffs.

The Eagles have a core group on this team, including the QB and coaching staff, that's been to this game 4 times and the Super Bowl once. They are simply the better, more experienced team here on both sides of the ball. While we are not crazy about laying more than a field goal, the number is still reasonable. You've heard the saying cut off the head and the tail will follow? Well, when picking AFC and NFC title games, pick the winner of the game and the cover will follow. The pointspread simply hasn't come into play all that often in these title games. If you had just managed to pick the straight up winner the last 12 years in both the AFC and NFC title games you would have also gone 21-3 against the spread!

Well, we think we have the straight up winner pegged in the Eagles, so hopefully the cover follows. 3* Eagles -4 over Cards

 

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