Now this is the same Doctor who picked the Chiefs to make it to the Super Bowl before the season started. But after reviewing his comments about the upcoming Colts Chiefs playoff game, I about fell off my Chiefs perch.
Paul Zimmerman is not a Doctor even though he pretends to be one for Sports Illustrated Magazine and CNNSI.com. He's been doing his shtick for years and for the most part you can take his game analysis with a grain of salt or use the paper his articles print on to clean up the mess your dog leaves behind in the house.
He starts out this weeks column by pointing out what an amazing performance the Colts put on the Denver Broncos last week. He claimed how potent a team can be when their fighting mad. He claimed the Colts defense was "more active" then the previous game against the Broncos when Denver controlled the game and the clock.
Well when you score points on every drive and you don't have to worry about stopping running back Clinton Portis, its not very hard to defeat your opponent. But the Colts defense was fortunate to be the benefactor of five touchdown passes from Peyton Manning. The Broncos had to pass and Jake Plummer is not a money quarterback yet. He still has playoff growing pains to love through before he gets that monkey off his back.
Listen NFL teams after getting embarrassed by one team and have a short turn around against the same team, will always have the advantage over the Dragon slayer the next time around. The NFL is very predictable and the Colts were not going to be dumped twice in three weeks by the Broncos.
Zimmerman also indicated that a ‘marginal player' can be productive the second time around. Well that's true. The marginal defensive players were able to stop the Broncos. But not many marginal players have a starting quarterback who throws five touchdowns in a playoff game.
The good Doctor also pointed out that the Colts defensive line is small, not very mobile and only has one tackle over 290 pounds, Larry Triplett. That's a good fit for the Chiefs offensive line should dominate that line and wear them down with a dose of Priest Holmes and the ‘Five Horseman.' But he's not as confident about the arm strength of Trent Green and thinks that if they can stop Holmes, then Green can't beat them.
Green is the second best passer in the NFL in 2003 just behind Manning. Tell me who's going to cover Tony Gonzalez. Nobody! The linebackers will all be up on the line of scrimmage trying to stop the run and Gonzalez and the wide outs will be single covered and Green will pick that defense apart. Green is not the best downfield passer in the NFL but he's the most efficient at getting chunks of yards. As for Holmes, every running back this season has chewed up the Colts rush defense.
As for the Chiefs defense, Zimmerman points out the John Browning, Vonnie Holliday and Ryan Sims have been getting ‘murdered' this season. Did he see the Bears game? I think not. If that defense shows up, it matters very little what the Colts bring on offense.
Thus Doctor Z predicts a 38-31 Colts win.
But the kicker for me was in his notes about the unsung heroes. He lists tight end Jason Dunn as a ‘decent blocker.' What an idiot! He's the best blocking tight end in the NFL. In fact he might be one of the best ever but Zimmerman thinks he's just decent.
Then he claims that Dunn is ‘more of a factor' than Tony Richardson is at blocking as a fullback; you think he's ever seen a Chiefs game? Nobody does it better than Richardson from his position. Maybe Zimmerman should line up on the other end of one of Richardson's plowing blocks near the goal line.
Now I'm no expert at predicting games. I split the four games last weekend in the Wild Card round. But Zimmerman really believes the Colts have a chance to beat the Chiefs on Sunday. The last ten playoff teams that won their previous playoff game by 30 or point or more are a combined 0-10 the last ten seasons.
If anyone thinks the Colts can do that again in Arrowhead in back to back playoff games, read the stat above.
With that said, time for Dr. Z to retire!
Quotes were provided from CNNSI.