NFL Playoff Predictions: 10 Most Intriguing Personnel Matchups

Allen KimSenior Analyst IDecember 3, 2010

NFL Playoff Predictions: 10 Most Intriguing Personnel Matchups

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    NFL playoffs are nearing with only a few weeks left in the season.

    While playoff seeds are still up for grabs, the playoff picture is starting to look a little clearer.

    For teams that are still in contention, there are a number of match-ups that would make for some great football should they ultimately meet in the playoffs.

Roddy White vs. Charles Woodson

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    Roddy White has been absolutely destroying opposing defensive backs all season long.

    White is second in the league with 1,066 receiving yards and he has seven touchdowns to his name. He has broken the century mark in five games, with a career high 201 yard receiving performance against the Bengals.

    Charles Woodson certainly has his work cut out for him.

    While Woodson only has one interception this year, part of this can be attributed to the respect he garners from quarterbacks.

    He's fresh off a Defensive Player of the Year award and he's one of the best in the game today.

Jamaal Charles/Thomas Jones vs. The Steel Curtain

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    Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are one of the most dynamic running back tandems in the NFL. While Charles is easily the more electric and gifted back between the two, Jones inexplicably gets more rushing attempts.

    Pitted against the Steelers and their imposing rush defense, this would make for quite a show. Particularly if they opt to feed the rock to Charles more than they would to Jones.

    The Steelers run defense has been suffocating running backs all year long and the Chiefs will have their work cut out for them.

Jay Cutler vs. Any Defense

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    While Jay Cutler has been brilliant at times this year, he's also reverted to being the turnover-prone quarterback we've all come to know and love.

    With Mike Martz helming the offense, Jay Cutler will find himself under siege at all times with the lack of protection around him.

    If Cutler goes into panic mode—like we're accustomed to seeing him—then expect multiple turnovers with the opposing defense's secondary turning into pick city.

Hakeem Nicks vs. Asante Samuel

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    Asante Samuel has been playing like a shutdown corner all year long and Hakeem Nicks has been embarrassing defensive backs in that same span.

    Samuel did a respectable job against Nicks in their first matchup of the season by keeping him to six catches and 65 yards. But most importantly, he kept Nicks out of the end zone.

    The two will see each other again in the regular season, but nothing is better than a playoff matchup between two hated division rivals.

Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Indianapolis Colts Defense

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    It seems that Maurice Jones-Drew always plays at his best against the Colts.

    Watching Jones-Drew face off against the Colts and their woeful rushing defense would make for some great football, especially in the playoffs.

    The Jaguars shocked the Colts in Week 4, and MJD led the charge with 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Reggie Wayne vs. Revis Island

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    Darrelle Revis did a solid job against Reggie Wayne in the AFC Conference Championship game last year—holding him to three receptions and 55 yards—but the Colts ultimately came out on top.

    Revis is one of the rare corners in the league capable of completely taking out an opposing wide receiver and essentially shutting down one half of the field.

    However, with Peyton Manning throwing the ball to Reggie Wayne, it won't be easy for Revis.

    If Wayne is expected to have any success, Peyton will have to fit in accurate passes into the tightest of windows and Wayne will have to capitalize on whatever openings he can find.

New York Giants Defense vs. Michael Vick

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    The Giants' defense set the blueprint for limiting Michael Vick. While it's pretty much impossible to stop Vick completely, they at least curbed the damage he was capable of inflicting.

    This would be a heated divisional game, especially if the two teams split their regular season match-ups.

Drew Brees vs. Matt Ryan

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    The Saints first loss of the season came in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons in overtime.

    Drew Brees played brilliantly for the most part, throwing for 356 yards and three touchdowns.

    However, he also threw two costly interceptions.

    The teams traded points back and forth and the Saints eventually forced overtime in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

    Brees had an opportunity to win the game, but ended up stalling in their only overtime possession. From there, Brees could do nothing but watch the Falcons march the ball down the field and win the game on a kick.

    To watch these two face off again in the playoffs would be picture perfect for the two divisional rivals.

LaDanian Tomlinson vs. Ray Lewis

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    The New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens currently sit atop the AFC playoff picture. Should the two teams meet up in the playoffs, the most intriguing match-up would be LaDanian Tomlinson and Ray Lewis.

    Both players are widely considered to be one of the all-time greats at their respective positions. Even though they're up there in age, each are still capable of playing at a high level.

    The two met in their first game of the season, with the Ravens ultimately coming out on top. Tomlinson was limited to 62 yards, but he only had 11 carries. Lewis had four tackles, tying the team high that day.

    If these teams were to meet in the playoffs, Tomlinson and Lewis would surely clash on multiple occasions throughout the game.

    The success and effectiveness of each player could largely determine the winner of the game.

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady

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    Year in and year out, this is the quarterback duel we all want to see.

    Both are sure-fire Hall-of-Famers and they're two of the top quarterbacks in the game today.

    The two have had some fierce battles in the past and their annual regular season match-up is must watch TV.

    If they're playing each other in the playoffs, it becomes can't-turn-away T.V.

    In another close match-up, the Patriots walked away with a 31-28 victory over the Colts in Week 11.

    Peyton is sure to be eager to face off against his rival and come out on top in the playoffs.