If you've read the blog before (and if you haven't, welcome!), you know I have just a touch of the crazy. Not in the 'bite the head off a kitten' sense, but in the statistical sense.
And my number one obsession is with seeing a new matchup in the championship each year (mostly just with baseball and football, though it crosses my mind at the end of the NBA and NHL seasons).
This year's playoff batch presents a lot of possibilities for a new matchup - and features a lot of teams that follow the rules:
-New York Giants (4 Super Bowls, 4 different opponents)
-Minnesota (4, 4)
-Indianapolis and Philadelphia (2, 2)
(Funny that one of the all-time rule-breakers, the Oakland Raiders, are big-time rule-followers in my book, with 5 appearances against 5 opponents. The Patriots and Broncos are 6 for 6.)
The teams that have no restrictions this year are: Atlanta, Arizona, Carolina, Philadelphia, Tennessee, San Diego, and Indianapolis. Here are the restrictions:
-Baltimore and New York: Saw it in Super Bowl XXXV
-Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh/Miami: Minnesota, as I mentioned, has played 4 separate Super Bowl opponents, but two of them are in the mix again this year.
With my expectation that Miami and Minnesota will be first-round losses, it's really only the Giants and Ravens that are a threat - don't think the Ravens can't plow through the AFC.
For the rest of my picks in this weekend's games, check back a little later today.