All set to see New Orleans defend its Super Bowl title? How about Indianapolis rising to the top again? Well, forgetaboutit.
The Seattle Seahawks decided to ignore the fact they were 10-point underdogs and beat the Saints, 41-36. It was one of those games where you thought that if the Saints came back and won, say, 43-41, it would be a moral Seattle victory for a team led by former USC coach Pete Carroll.
Guido, my composite Nevada sports book guy, said they were getting a lot of “juice” for the Saints even with having to give up over 10 points. The reasons were: The Seahhawks had a losing record, 7-9, but won their weak West division squeaking by the Rams and 49ers. They were home but their quarterback was back from a long break and they were playing the champs.
The Saints were 10-6 but had to travel to Seattle because they were going as a wild card. It was the Seahawks that went wild scoring 41 points on New Orleans. Did you see that wild 67-yard run by Marshawn Lynch? It happened with 3:22 to play and iced the game for the Hawks. (Did you know there is no such thing as a Seahawk? Don’t tell that to the Saints. They would disagree with you.)
It was the greatest run I’ve ever seen. It looked like something Reggie Bush used to do for the Trojans. This time, he had to sit and watch it. There were eight missed tackles caused by Lynch’s jukes. I could watch that replay 100 times. (I have watched it about 25 times!)
So now Seattle travels to play Chicago on Sunday. The Seahawks are again 10-point underdogs! Anyone taking the Bears and giving up the points? I’m not.
How about another underdog? The Jets were only three-point dogs to the mighty Colts. Guido said he got bets on both sides on this one but said New York (as well as L.A.) usually bets a lot more than other towns. The Jets travel to Foxborough to take on the Patriots for the third time this season. They split the first two but lost 45-3 the last time they visited this Boston suburb. New England is favored by 9.
With that in mind, I have to take the Brady bunch but I know the Jet’s quarterback, Mark Sanchez, has a lot of bravado after leading his team to a last-second 17-16 victory over the Colts last week. That sets up the Sunday afternoon affair with the Pats.
How about another underdog? Okay, Green Bay beat Michael Vick and the Eagles, 21-16. So much for the storybook comeback of the dog abuser. To be fair, I’ll say “former” dog abuser but many are happy to see him done this year.
The Packers, meanwhile, will play at Atlanta at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Meanwhile it will be Baltimore traveling to Pitt after the Ravens burst the bubble of Kansas City, 30-7. Hey, a favored team won! On Saturday while Pitt is favored by 3.5 points, Atlanta is favored by 2 over the Green Bayers.
I couldn’t find anyone to favor the Trojan’s basketball team over the UCLA squad last week, except Guido. He favored them by five and they won by 11. How does Guido do that? I’ve always said Guido knows more about college and pro teams than the teams themselves.
Congratulations to the Trojans for beating the Westwooders four times in a row now. Honestly I never thought I’d see the day. But the Trojans look good and UCLA will be better.
There is a lot of debate over the decision by Stanford’s Andrew Luck to stay and play another year at Stanford. Yes, he could be the Heisman winner next year , but he won’t get more money than he can command now as the projected number one pick this year.
And next year he won’t have his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, who fell for $25 million and the San Francisco 49ers. That means a new system and different environment. I think he made a big mistake.
Contact Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com.