NFl Divisional Playoff Predictions Pt. 2

Sam Richman Contributor IJanuary 17, 2010

Last night we saw the two best teams in their respective conferences come out and outplay their opponents in every facet of the game. The Cardinals could not find any holes in the Saints defense, as they were held to only 14 points. On the other side of the ball we finally saw the Reggie Bush everybody talked about in college. Bush had by far his most electrifying professional game both rushing for 84 yards on 5 carries and scoring on an 83-yard punt return. The Saints walloped the Cardinals 45-14 showing that they truly are a serious Super Bowl contender. In the second game the much questioned Colts showed why they started the season 14-0. The Colts were not as dominant as the Saints offensively, but their defense did not miss a beat. The Colts were all over Flacco and Rice, not letting them do anything they wanted offensively. And of course, Peyton Manning was Peyton Manning. He led the team to a 20-3 win, and then was not satisfied after the game. You can bet that both the Colts and the Saints want nothing less than a Super Bowl ring at the end of the season. Today we will get our final two AFC and NFC contenders. In the first game Brett Favre faces a team he has never beaten in the Cowboys (0-3). Right now the Cowboys seem to be the hottest team in football, holding their opponents to only 14 points in the last three weeks. On the other sideline, you have the Vikings. The Vikes struggled towards the end of the year, but seemed to rebound with a blowout last week win over the Giants. You can imagine this will be a physical, defensive game with the way these two teams are built. I would be shocked if either team scored more than 25 points. In the second game, two of the hottest teams in the NFL meet up. The Jets have won 6 of their last 7 games to make it to this point, while the Chargers have won 12 games in a row. Both teams seem to match-up well with each other, and the key to the game will be the Chargers' tall receivers against the Jets' smaller shut down corners.

GAME 3: Cowboys 21 @ Vikings 17
Right now the Cowboys are one of the hottest teams in football. Although the Vikings stepped up against the Giants, their defense has not looked great since the loss of E.J Henderson. Unless the Vikings can find away to decipher this tough Cowboys defense, I do not see the Vikings winning. The Vikings have struggled to keep a good run-pass balance over the past few weeks, and that could come back to bite them in this game. However, the Vikings do have a few things going for them. They are playing in at home in the dome today, where they have gone 8-0 this season. The Vikings also have a good pass catching tight end and running back, which could give the Cowboys linebackers some difficulty in coverage. Since the Cowboys beat the Saints, they have found a new swagger. No longer are they the team that can't win late in the year. With the addition of Miles Austin to the offense, they seem to be tough to beat. Both the Cowboys offense and defense has caught fire at the end of the season, and although I see this being a close game, I see the Cowboys pulling out this big win on the road. I think the three headed rushing attack of Jones, Choice, and Barber will be just too much for this Vikings defense.

GAME 4: Jets 24 @ Chargers 21
I know it seems crazy, but I think the Jets are the team that will break the Chargers winning streak. Though the Jets have a rookie QB, they have the makeup to win a tough road game like this. With the best defense along with the best rushing attack in the NFL, the Jets are built to win in these type of tough and physical games. The biggest concern I have about the Jets today is injuries. Thomas Jones, Bart Scott, and David Harris, three of the Jets top players all missed some days of practice this week. Although all three will play, the Jets will need them to be at their best to have a chance. I know I keep saying it, but the Jets really remind me of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. With Rex Ryan and his confidence leading the Jets, I think they will be a very tough out. On the other side of the field, the Chargers have clearly been one of if not the hottest teams in football. They've won 12 straight, their offense is rolling, and their defense has been forcing turnovers. Even though the Chargers have everything going for them, and are now America's new favorites to win the Super Bowl, I have a feeling that the secondary of the Jets led by arguably the best corner in football, Darrelle Revis, will have what it takes to win this game. Though Antonio Gates will be able to open up some running room for LT and Darren Sproles, by taking a linebacker or a safety out of the box, I think the front 7 of the Jets will be able to keep them the Chargers in check. This will be a close game, but the Jets will pull it out in the end.