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Pickin' & Grinnin': The road to the Super Bowl has begun

So, remind me why teams want to earn the right to play at home during the postseason?

Four games are on tap for this weekend, and all four home teams are underdogs. And the New York Giants were on the road throughout the playoffs last season en route to winning the Super Bowl.

That's why I'm nervous about this week's picks. I made them at home. Perhaps I should have checked into an out-of-town hotel to pick this week's winners.

Let the second season begin.

Atlanta Falcons (-2 1/2) at Arizona Cardinals: Late in the game, with the Falcons driving for the potential winning touchdown, coach Mike Smith wishes that extra second allotted for the Earth's slowing rotation on its axis could have been added to this game. Pick: Cardinals 31-27.

Indianapolis Colts (-1 1/2) at San Diego Chargers: Don't tell the Chargers that with an 8-8 record they'll finish below .500 if they lose this game. As far as they're concerned, with the playoffs starting, they're 0-0 now. Which still means they'll finish below .500 if they lose this game. Pick: Colts 34-28.

Baltimore Ravens (-3 1/2) at Miami Dolphins: Dallas Cowboys fans who can't watch their team in the postseason can do the next best thing: watch former Cowboys players, coaches and executives in the postseason. They won't win in the playoffs with the Dolphins, either. Pick: Ravens 23-14.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Minnesota Vikings: A blind squirrel is to an acorn what Vikings coach Brad Childress is to the playoffs. Pick: Eagles 27-13.

Last week: 11-5 (.688) overall, 12-3 (.800) vs. the spread. Season: 157-98-1 (.615) overall, 121-118-4 (.487) vs. the spread.