NFL Divisional Round Predictions, Part Two of Two

Jeremy PikeCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 34-3.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Part Two of my NFL divisional round playoff predictions. Went 2-0 for the Saturday games.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

The Cowboys have been on a tear as of late. They finally started winning in December and won their first playoff game since 1996. Quarterback Tony Romo is playing some of his best football ever. The Cowboys are running the ball well, and their defense is putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback.

The Vikings stumbled towards the end of the season and did not protect quarterback Brett Favre well. Their defense has been struggling as of late as well, especially after the injury to linebacker EJ Henderson.

However, with the time off, no doubt they have been focusing on protecting Favre. They also need to run the ball more with running backs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor.

Also, with rest their defensive line should play good football. If anyone can slow down the Cowboys’ rushing attack, it’ll be the center of the Vikings’ defensive line, the Williams Wall (Pat and Kevin Williams, no relation). Plus at home in Minnesota, the home crowd will be loud and supportive. If the Vikings can get Peterson going early, they’ll win.

While momentum is going in the Cowboys’ side, I still think the Vikings will win.

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers

The Jets are riding the best defense and running game in the NFL. That’s a championship-winning combination.

The Chargers have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, along with one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Defense trumps offense, generally. However, not many teams in the NFL have the offensive depth of the Chargers. Two very good wide receivers in Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd, one of the best tight ends in Antonio Gates, and the running back tandem of LaDanian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.

I don’t think there’s a defense in the league that can cover that many targets. If the Chargers can jump out to an early lead with those targets, the Jets will be forced to put the ball in rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez’s hands.

That’s been a very risky prospect this season. At times Sanchez looked very good and at other points, he looked like one of the worst rookies.

So I’m going with the more explosive offense and the home field advantage in the Chargers.

That means I took all four home teams this weekend. The one I feel least confident about is the Vikings, but I still think they’ll do it.