Undrafteds' Divisional Playoffs NFL Picks

Chris FarmerCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is seen on the sidelines during  the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Wildcard Weekend left me with a satisfying three out of four correct picks .

The icing was that my favorite team's game was the most entertaining. The Packers and Cardinals left us breathless, and me hoarse.

The Jekyll and Hyde Birds dominated their way to a 31-10 lead, only to inexplicably try and fail with a more conservative defensive strategy that Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley, and Greg Jennings exploited at will.

Still, there were enough bright defensive moments, particularly in the first half, to carry some feel good into the Saints game despite the collapse.

Not to mention Kurt Warner was phenomenal. Karlos Dansby, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet, and Ben Patrick all had their best games of the year.

Cornerback Michael Adams was beaten at least as much as starter Bryant McFadden, but showed his resiliency by continuing to bring the heat . It eventually paid off when he caused the fumble on a sack of Rodgers that allowed Dansby to score on the return to end the game.

I am wondering if this play might be the turning point in his career?


Divisional Playoffs - Saturday, Jan. 16

Arizona at New Orleans : 4:30 p.m.

I am tempted to pick the Saints.

They have had the extra week of rest, but there is an extra pressure for the Saints that I don't think the Cardinals have. The Saints were undefeated for so long, it helped build up the expectation that they would make a deep run in the playoffs, with a Super Bowl appearance likely.

They have been out of sync for four weeks in live game situations, yet a playoff loss would feel like a failed season.

Still, Sean Payton and Drew Brees are a nightmarish combination and will surely win their share of battles. The Saints have 81 speedy receivers and three or four viable catching threats at TE.

Not to mention the angry running of Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas.

What I don't like about the Cardinals is the short week, and the fact that teams coming off of an emotionally and physically draining game are primed to come out flat the next game.

What I do like about the Cardinals starts with Kurt Warner. How can anyone STILL debate whether he is Hall of Fame material or not? I won't quote any stats here but they speak for themselves. Look it up .

Who is stopping Kurt in the playoffs?

Plus, Dallas laid the blueprint for how to beat the Saints: Pressure Brees and score more points. Those are two things the Cardinals can do.



Baltimore at Indianapolis: 8:15 p.m.

I still like Ray Rice .

But it's hard to trust any defense against Peyton Manning and his arsenal.

Pierre Garcon could be a budding superstar, and co-rookie phenom Austin Collie has been fantastic. Dallas Clark may be the best receiving TE I have ever seen.

Reggie Wayne may be the best least talked about player I have ever known.

I am looking for Donald Brown to be the X-factor in this one.



Divisional Playoffs - Sunday, Jan. 17

Dallas at Minnesota: 1 p.m.

I think Dallas is peaking right now. Romo is in control, the defense is finally playing up to its potential, and Felix Jones is another superstar in the making.

The Vikings have also had the extra rest, but they much like the Saints may have peaked too early? That is why they play the games I guess.

Obviously at this point in the season there are no surprises, but I'll side with the Cowboys only because they have been the hotter team.



N.Y. Jets at San Diego: 4:40 p.m.

I think this is the end of the road for the Jets. The Chargers have so many weapons, and Darrelle Revis can't cover all of them.

The Jets should continue to run effectively with emerging Shonne Greene and Thomas Jones, but Philip Rivers is one of the most fierce competitors at QB in the NFL right now and knows how to win.

Sure would be cool to see LaDainian end his career with a Super Bowl ring.



This article also appears on Undrafteds.com


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