NFL Playoff Predictions: Volume II

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NFL Playoff Predictions: Volume II

I'd like to start by pointing out a flaw in last week's article: I had the Lions in the sixth seed, when the Cardinals had the same record and had beaten the Lions earlier in the season.

My bad.

That being said, neither of those teams would be in if the regular season ended today.

The Minnesota Vikings have sole posession of that spot after slaughtering the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

It's a shame that while this win has moved them into a playoff spot, it doesn't really gain the Vikings any extra respect—except from the Patriots, who are always happy to see the Niners lose. Imagine if Darren McFadden found himself in Foxboro next season?

Anyhoo...here's volume two of how the playoffs would pan out, if the regular season were to end today:

 

Wild Card Saturday
 
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Not much changed last weekend in the AFC playoff picture. But after watching the Steelers fall apart in the second half of their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, you have to give the Browns a little bit more credit in this game.

Steelers 21
Browns 17

 

Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks

Here's an interesting matchup. A young, inexperienced Viking team traveling to face the aging, more experienced Seahawks in Seattle.

You have to wonder how Seattle would be able to contain the rushing attack that is Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson—and I'm not so sure the Seattle offense has been consistent enough to hang. Call me crazy, but...

Vikings 31
Seahawks 14

 

Wild Card Sunday

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

IconIn a matchup of typical NFC weakness, the Giants defense is just too much for the injury-riddled Bucs.

Jeff Garcia is ailing. He won't be playing like himself—but since it's the playoffs, Tampa has to start Garcia over Luke McCown.

New York's front seven will give Garcia fits for the entire game, and this one won't even be close—despite Eli Manning's inability to make a big play.

Giants 21
Bucs 10

 

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers

I'm still pretty confident in last week's prediction. The Jags are probably the most underrated team in the league, and they will take care of business in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jaguars 24
Chargers 7

 

Divisional Round: Saturday Games

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots

While the Jags will have effectively gameplanned to shut down San Diego's offense in the week prior to this matchup, they won't have as much luck with the Pats' offense.

Brady and Co. open the playoffs by routing Jacksonville in a game that will be over by the end of the first quarter.

Patriots 42
Jaguars 10

 

Minnesota Vikings @ Dallas Cowboys

This would seem to be a no-brainer. The Cowboys' only loss to this point was against the seemingly immortal Patriots. The Vikings slipped into the playoffs through the backdoor.

All signs point to a victory for America's Team—but not today. The Cowboys have prevailed in a lot of games this season which they should not have won, but they won't be so lucky in this one.

Vikings 21
Cowboys 20

 

Divisional Round: Sunday Games

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

A game that appears to feature a great offense versus a stout defense—but ends up just featuring the great offense.  Packers' RB Ryan Grant literally runs over the Giants, and Eli Manning never gains anything resembling focus as Green Bay wins this one with ease.

Packers 44
Giants 9

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts

Easily the most exciting matchup of this year's playoffs. This game is a defensive struggle decided in the trenches. Joseph Addai is somehow able to muster a 100-yard rushing performance in a game where the rest of his offense is almost non-existant—and you can credit the Colts' O-Line for that.

Colts win in the final seconds, and Adam Vinatieri has nothing to do with it.

Colts 14
Steelers 13

 

AFC Championship Game

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

This is almost an exact replica of last season's AFC Championship—except this time, Brady is throwing to guys other than Reche Caldwell when the game is on the line.

Patriots 45
Colts 38

 

http://www.squibkick.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/brett-favre-mouth-open.bmpNFC Championship Game

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Well, isn't this a treat? I don't think anybody expected to see these two old friends facing off in this year's NFC Championship game.

Unfortunately, the hype dies down by halftime, and Green Bay runs away from the Vikings convincingly.

Packers 35
Vikings 7

 

Super Bowl Sunday

New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers

Hooray! The matchup we've all wanted to see is finally here. The legendary Brett Favre and his upstart Packers get to face off against Tom Brady and the unbeaten Patriots on the biggest stage of all. But sorry, Brett—the Pats are simply too good this year.

Patriots complete a magical season that puts them into NFL history forever. Let the asterisk chatter begin... *rolls eyes*

Patriots 28
Packers 14

 

That's all for now. Look for Volume III next week, and stop by at my sports community when you have time to say hi.

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