Last year, each Friday the 3 Founding Fathers of Pocket Doppler (yours truly, BigSnakeMan & Chris Richards) would square off in picking the winner of the Packers, Sunday night & MNF games in an attempt to prove their football acumen and entertain. We’re not sure either of those things happened. So this year, the Founding Fathers will be joined by two Pocket Doppler veterans: favored stepson Rich & Senior Angel Colleen. Like last year, we’ll keep a running tally throughout the season.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators.  With heavy heart, after the Divisional Playoff weekend the results are:

Wally: 46
Colleen: 46
Chris: 42
Rich: 41
BigSnakeMan: 41

Well let’s see here…I gambled on the Texans & it cost me sole possession of first place however Chris’s realism (*cough*pessimism*cough*) served him well picking against the Packers as it vaulted him out of the basement into 3rd now. With no real vested interest in these games anymore, beyond trying to pick up points here, let’s see who has what for the Championship weekend.


Hmm, turns out there’s still football left to be played.  Who knew?  I thought the season ended last Sunday night.  Oh, well then, we press on……….

Ravens at Patriots – After Baltimore’s win over the Houston Texans last week, veteran safety Ed Reed publicly questioned whether quarterback Joe Flacco had a proper grasp of the offense.  As if Flacco didn’t have enough to contend with the Patriots defense, now he has to deal with his own as well.  Reed maintained that there was a method to his madness and that he was only trying to light a motivational fire under his teammate.  Perhaps that message would have been better delivered after an early regular season game rather than on the cusp of the AFC Championship.  New England gets the nod here if only for putting an end to the charade that was the Denver Broncos.

Giants at 49ers – Does anyone else find it ironic that the team doing all the talking is the one coached by taciturn Tom Coughlin, while the one directed by fiery Jim Harbaugh quietly goes about its business?  New York seems to be mirroring the Packers formula of last season, struggling early only to get hot at the end of the year and go on a strong playoff run.  But I didn’t really see anything special from the Giants last week.  Both of these teams are in this game because they won the turnover battle last week.  The media seems to be looking forward to a Super Bowl rematch between the Giants and the Patriots, but little in this season has gone according to Hoyle.  I’m reluctant to pick a Super Bowl trip for a team led on offense by Alex Smith but I believe the 49ers defense will succeed where Green Bay’s failed and San Francisco will do just enough on offense to prevail.

BigSnakeMan’s Picks: Patriots & 49ers


Ravens at Patriots – All is darkness. Shadows crossing a dim, cold, snow-covered, lifeless winter moonscape of excruciating defeat and truncated dreams. Usurpers dance in games of utter meaningless, a horrid black bird picking the detritus of a defenseless paramilitary corpse. In Boston they learn Wisconsin anguish, the crushed dreams of a home upset.

Giants at 49ers – Yeah, sure. NYG are rolling. Why not take down the Niners? I mean, WTF, anyway? Whatever. I’ll take the Giants. Pffff…

Chris’s Picks: Ravens & Giants


Ravens at Patriots – I’m picking both games based on emotion this week & because of that I’m going with the Ravens.  There was so much talk leading up to the playoffs about a re-match between the Patriots & Packers that seeing the Patriots advance would make my healing take that much longer.  I do think the Ravens may have enough on defense to slow the Patriots down & conversely the Patriots defense is so bad even Joe Flacco has a chance.  It’ll be a close game, the Ravens will do what the Giants did last week & pull the upset.

Giants at 49ers – Is there a single Packers’ fan out there that isn’t pulling for the 49ers here?  Beyond that, the San Fran’s defense will be able to do what the Packers couldn’t last week which is get pressure on Manning.  I also have a certain level of new found respect for Alex Smith after seeing him rally in the final minutes last week.

Wally’s Picks: Ravens & 49ers


First, I have to say that I would happily take back tying up with Wally as top Progrnosticator last week not to be picking the NFC Championship game this week.  The Packers sadly lacked the total concentration we’d come to expect from them during the vast majority of this year.  In fact, this was the week to expect the unexpected. This loss, to me, certainly came out of nowhere, much like a sudden shot to the chest.  Until next year, I guess.

Second, I don’t really care about these games.  Or football, until the draft.  Or the Super Bowl.  Have I mentioned I’m still in the Bargaining phase of grief?  “If you only make that game be a bad dream, I’ll….”   Yeah.  So far, that tactic hasn’t worked either.

Now then.

Ravens at Patriots – I had mentioned a Ravens vs. Packers Super Bowl matchup at one point.  Although that will not happen, this game would be an intriguing matchup if I only cared who won.  (Maybe I’m in the despair phase of grief.  Is that a phase?)  The Patriots looked amazing as they dismantled the hapless Broncos, but, I remind myself, those were the hapless Broncos.  I didn’t watch the Ravens game, tailgating at Lambeau instead, but it didn’t sound like they looked as good against the Texans as I would have expected.  Joe Flacco, in fact, sounded like he might have been abysmal, which he’s been more than capable of this year.  Belichick’s got his foot on the gas, and the Patriots are going back to the Big Show.

Giants at 49ers – This game comes down to two things for me.  I do not want the Giants to be anywhere the Lombardi Trophy.  (Maybe I’m still in the anger phase.)  Also, my kid Colin Kaepernick, despite playing perhaps one play since the regular season started, will get a Super Bowl ring if the 49ers win.  I’m picking the Niners for the sake of my fellow Nevada alum and also because he’s a Milwaukee native and a lifelong Packers fan. Jerry Rice fumbled, but the Niners are going to the Super Bowl.

Colleen’s Picks: Patriots & 49ers


Ravens at Patriots – Um…well…meh, Patriots pull ahead late.

Giants at 49ers – The wounds are still open, festering, and the bandages are soaked through. If I wasn’t losing a significant amount of blood, barely holding on to my NFL consciousness after last week, this would be a fantastic game to watch. I want to; I’m trying to, but I can’t. I’ve got nothing…my pulse rate is dangerously low. During Tuesdays with Rodgers this week, #12 said something about embracing this feeling–the hurt of loss–letting it sink in, fully tasting the bitterness of defeat, as it will provide motivation for next season.

I’ve done, per Aaron’s request, but I’m afraid I’m going to drown in it.

…49ers at home.

Rich’s Picks: Patriots & 49ers


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  • Chris

    Excellent, Wally. Now turn your head and cough the other way…

  • Colleen

    “Usurpers dance in games of utter meaningless, a horrid black bird picking the detritus of a defenseless paramilitary corpse.”

    Chris, sometimes you absolutely amaze me. Well done.

    • BigSnakeMan

      I see Chris is channeling Bruce Cockburn again.

      • Colleen

        I hate it when you make me Google stuff.

        • BigSnakeMan

          As Rocky LaPorte would say….’Hey, Google ‘dis!’

      • Chris

        “Down on the plain of 10,000 smokestacks
        Trucks butt each other to establish dominance
        The newspaper next to me leans over and says matter-of-factly
        “Sacred mountains towers above meadows” -uh huh- and above us”

        I didn’t realize it, but I think you are right. I suppose there are worse influences. I mean, I could have been channeling Jimmy Webb the day he wrote MacArthur Park.

        • BigSnakeMan

          Ahh, a fellow ‘Grim’ Traveller….