The NFL Playoffs are the best system to decide a champion that doesn't involve Madness. There is no controversy (there is with the BCS), it doesn't take 5 months to complete (the NBA does), it is shown on national television in prime time (the NHL isn't), and, as much as I love baseball, people still care about it at the end of the year (people don't with the MLB). The 2010 NFL Playoffs are shaping up to be a good one with more parity than any year in recent memory.
Wild Card Weekend:
New York Jets vs Cincinnati Bengals: J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS! I understand that Cinci had nothing to play for but come on, 37 to 0!? I see this game being a lot closer but close doesn't count in the NFL. An interesting side plot: if Darrelle Revis shuts down Ochocince AGAIN, he will change his name back to Johnson (sorry Reebok).
Prediction: Gang Green
Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots: Wes Welker who? As long as Tom Brady is under center the offense will continue to roll behind 50 receptions from Julian Edelman, yes the same Julian Edelman who was a 7th round pick after playing QUARTERBACK for Kent State last year.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys: How bout dem Cowboys? After losing to the Eagles 44-6 in Week 17 last year to miss the playoffs they beat the Eagles 24-0 to win the division last week. Does this mean the demons are exercised? I think not. Jerry Jones still can't win a game in the playoffs and the Eagles have too many weapons when everyone is healthy.
Green Bay Packers vs Arizona Cardinals: The Packers are on fire, and Aaron Rodgers is helping ease the pain of Cheeseheads everywhere as Brett Favre makes opposing defenses look like they should be in Wrangler commercial. Lightning doesn't strike twice in Arizona. All signs say they should NOT win this game.
Prediction: Cheese and Beer
New York Jets vs Indianapolis Colts: Rex Ryan said his team, yes, the Jets, are the team to beat in the playoffs. In this game Ryan will see how important a quarterback is, and for those who don't know, Brad Smith is NOT the Jets starting quarterback. Revis can only cover one of the Colts' weapons so prepare to see why Peyton Manning is the best around.
New England Patriots vs San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are the hottest team in football and even with Welker the Patriots would st ruggle to win this game.
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings: Some say it is hard to beat a team three times in one year but since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, there have been 18 times when a team went into a playoff game with a chance to go 3-0. The sweep was completed 11 times. In the last ten years those teams are 4-2. Look for Jared Allen to rope enough cattle to feed Bryant McKinnie AND Pat Williams for a month.
Philadelphia Eagles vs New Orleans Saints: Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? The Eagles, that's who. The Saints limped into the playoffs with three straight losses and haven't scored over 20 points in nearly a month.
San Diego Chargers vs Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning is starting to hear conversations that place him as the best. . .EVER. The Colts scored 35, 27, 28, and 35 before Jim Caldwell decided to bench everyone. San Diego may be hot but can anyone picture Norv Turner and Philip Rivers in a Superbowl? I know I can't.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Minnesota Vikings: Will Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid ever win a Super Bowl? Are the Eagles the team that will keep the wildcard tradition alive? Will Brett Farve really settle for anything less than Lombardi? Ragnar will be dancing to Will Smith all the way down to South Beach.
Super Bowl 44:
Minnesota Vikings vs Indianapolis Colts: Is this finally the year? Will a 49 year drought be ended or will Peyton Manning add another accolade to his collection? Brett Farve will ride off into the sunset as Curly Lambeau rolls over in his grave.
Prediction: Purple Pride