NFL: Divisional Weekend Predictions

Sam SchleismanContributor IJanuary 15, 2010

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 20:   Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL game on December 20, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

In light of terrible performance last week I will advise you to read my picks, see my point of view, and then believe what is exactly the opposite. Lets get it.

Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. EST, FOX.

The Saints just don't do it for me. They just don't have that killer instinct. They barely beat St. Louis, Washington, and Atlanta. Then with multiple chances to clinch the 1st overall seed they proceeded to loose and, in a sense, back into the playoffs. I'm not sold on their defense either (even though they were a great fantasy football defense for me). They've given up 20 points in 5 straight games and the only defensive player whose name pops into my head is Darren Sharper. They're not going to win the Super Bowl so they have to lose sometime, why not now?

Now to Arizona. I can't find many things I like about this team other than Kurt Warner's gloves and Darnell Dockett's dreds. They SHOULDN'T win, but they shouldn't have won last week or last year either. As long as the Cardinals are the underdogs and playing the "us against the world" card I am going to pick them.

Prediction: Red Birds

Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, 8:15 p.m. EST, CBS.

The Ravens are going to need a heck of a game out of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee if they want a chance in this one. With the emergence of Joe Flacco's bumps and bruises the RBs are going to need to control the game even more. It has been proven in years past that the only way to beat Colts, pending they don't play the Big 10 All-Star team (Curtis Painter and Mike Hart), is to keep Peyton Manning and company off the field. Ed Reed also needs to lateral the ball at least twice for the Ravens to have a chance in this one.

Indy isn't too difficult to figure out. Manning will run the play clock down to three seconds on every play and then proceed to throw the ball 35-40 times, Addai will get 10-15 carries and their defense will get 1-2 turnovers. This has been their recipe for success for the past however many years and it has worked out quite well. I believe this trend will continue.

Prediction: Balti. . .wait, Indianapolis Colts

Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EST, FOX.

Dallas is scary. Their defense is playing incredible, giving up 31 points in their last four games and their offense almost has too many weapons. Tony Romo (no homo though) even won a playoff game last week.

The Metrodome, The Thunderdome, Mall of America Field. Call it what you want but it will be LOUD. Adrian Peterson plays his best against 3-4 defenses and that is exactly what Dallas runs. If the Vikings can get off to a quick start and get the home crowd behind them the game could get out of hand early.

Prediction: Vikes

New York Jets vs San Diego Chargers, Sunday, 4:40 p.m. EST, CBS.

I understand the Jets have a great defense that is playing extremely well but you can't win if you don't score. I find it hard to believe that a team without a quarterback can win on the road in the month of January. I invite the Sanchize to prove me wrong but until he does, I cannot support him.

The Chargers are on fire. They've won 11 straight and show no signs of slowing up. Get ready to watch the lights go out in Qualcomm Stadium early Sunday night. I don't see this one being close.

Prediction: San Diego Superchargers