Post-Season Football Picks: Hugs!

Suburban Underground's Post-Season Football Coverage: HUGS!

On the football field, there is no one to hold your hand. There is no one to tell you it is all going to be okay. There is no one to reassure you that your bones are not about to be broken, that you're not about to receive your umpteenth concussion, or that a pile of 300-pound men is not about to be sprawled over your lifeless body. But, if you're lucky, there may be someone who will give you something better than all that: a hug.

Here in the playoffs, a hug from a teammate can be the difference between surrender and triumph. The manly celebration of a job well done can give a player the guts he needs to get back out there and give it his all. Some teams recognize this, and regularly administer the full-body bear-hugs that mark the path to victory. Other teams withdraw from such shows of brotherly affection, at their peril. After weeks spent observing NFL hugs in action, we are proud to present Suburban Underground's Post-Season Football Coverage: The Hugs! Edition.

Divisional Weekend Picks
Washington (11-6) at Seattle (13-3)
The Redskins' offense was as weak as its huggage last week, picking up only 120 yards in a victory against the affectionate but ineffective Bucs. The Seahawks did not distinguish themselves as huggers during the regular season, but if they are able to turn on even low-power embraces they will defeat Washington to extend their perfect home record and move one step closer to Detroit.
SU Pick: Seattle
New England (11-6) at Denver (13-3)
The Patriots stepped up their game to defend their Super Bowl title last week, with big plays and big hugs from QB Tom Brady. The defending champs got all the little things right, too, with consistently strong head- and butt-pats keeping spirits up on the field. Denver quarterback Jake Plummer will have to keep his cool under the pressure this week to deliver the hug leadership the Broncos need to snuff out the Patriots 10-game playoff winning streak.
SU Pick: New England
Pittsburgh (12-5) at Indianapolis (14-2)
The Colts made easy work of the Steelers during their only regular season meeting. But the Steelers' Wildcard Weekend hugs, lead by Willie Parker and Hines Ward, will pay dividends this week as they look to frustrate the Colts' offense with their trademark Steelers' blitz.
SU Pick: Pittsburgh
Carolina (12-5) at Chicago (11-5)
The Panthers' stifling defense didn't give the Giants much of a chance to hug last week, shutting out Suburban Underground's top-ranked huggers 23-0 at Giants Stadium. The Bears have excelled largely on the strength of their defense this season, but Sunday their offense will be gaining a lightning arm in the form of oft-injured quarterback Rex Grossman, playing in only his third game this season. Grossman's hugging is as much of an unknown as the rest of his play, and the Bears will be looking to their QB to continue the celebratory head-butts and embraces that have brought them victory during the regular season.
SU Pick: Chicago
Hug Ranks for January 13, 2006
RankingTeamScore+/-
1New England8+3
2Chicago7.3
3Pittsburgh6.5+3.5
4Carolina5-1
5Seattle5
6Denver5
7Indianapolis5
8Washington4.5-0.5
Scores range from 10, "Hugs All Around," to 1, "No Touching, Please"

Most Huggable Player
Come back soon to find out who we picked as this week's most huggable!

Hug of the Game
Come back soon to see this week's Hug of the Game!
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