Disclaimer: Keep in mind based on last year, I am only 50% on my picks each round (look up my archive). I certainly hope this is the case this year since all my picks are the opposite of what I want to happen.
Also please keep in mind the new overtime rules which take effect this year to be used for the playoffs only.
A FG in OT on the team winning the toss' 1st posession NO LONGER ends the game.
Only a TD or safety does. Otherwise the opponent will get a posession to see if a TD would win it.
In the event of a 2nd FG to again even the score, you would then face the old "sudden death" OT.
Also, an on-sides kick counts as a team's posession even if they don't recover it at the hands of the kicking team. In other words if the receiving team gets caught off guard and doesn't recover it, too bad. That counts as their one posession leaving the kicking team with just a FG try to win it.
Thanks to Mike and Mike in the Morning today for reminding us of this information.
In 2008 when the Arizona Cardinals won this weak division, it was suggested that they would go on and make a run some hoped for. The difference was, as one ESPN analyst pointed out, that team had Kurt Warner.
As much as I'd like to see goody-goody Brees and the Saints gang to lose, it probably isn't going to happen. Still, I guess Seattle could make it a game given the fact that Qwest Field is a tough place to visit, and the Dome Saints will have to play outdoors.
Even though I am not one of those fans since I think its hilarious a sub .500 team made it, which is what I was pulling for, people are going to complain so let's hear it. I do look forward to the 7-9 references and the fact two 10-6 teams missed the playoffs at the 'Hawks expense. Here's hoping that either team's playoff run is short. Should be some good tv in an otherwise snoozer.
New Orleans 34 Seattle 13
Did you really expect Peyton Manning and the Cowtown Colts machine to actually miss the playoffs? As a Vikings fan, I was actually pulling for them to make it so Jacksonville didn't go off on some sort of historic, Super run and save their franchise (I am going to need them to move to LA before my team does.).
With that said, I hate the Colts and Manning and wanted them to move to LA. Since that can't happen, at least Manning should be able to wipe that smirk off the face of overrated big-mouth Rex Ryan and his hero-Boy Sanchez. And even it he doesn't, I can't lose since the Colts would be out and its not like Rex and the Jets are going to beat New England anyway. Why not let them have their fun?
I was really hoping for a Ravens @ Colts 1st round match up since I think Manning would have been DOA but thanks to my Chiefs with the 4 seed, that can't happen. I'd break some game down but I really don't care for either team so who cares? The lesser of two evils.
Indy 38 New York 24
I was really hoping the Chiefs would get the 3 seed and host the Jets who I know will be easier to beat. What really would be fun is if KC, who was 7-1 at home in Arrowhead this year, could get the #1 seed and thus, home field. Then they might do some damage. As it is, we better be happy they are in the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
Yesterday's home loss to the erratic Raiders didn't do anything for their or my confidence and when you mix that with their opponent, I think they have no shot but I hope they prove me wrong as I'd love to see them come out of the whole conference. Still, you get the idea this isn't their coming out party and they are simply happy and relieved-to simply be here. Small steps.
Its a shame we won't get to see Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones run wild on a defense. The bigs on Baltimore's line should shut them down but if there is an x-factor, its Arrowhead but that optimism goes away when you consider Baltimore is one of the few teams that can go anywhere and win (yes, even in Foxboro). They won 12 games for a reason and got only a Wild Card to show for it. Hmmm.
I'd love to see Baltimore's ghetto/thug linebackers get whacked but KC is just too inexperienced. Don't let the score fool you, it will be a big Ray Rice play on offense and boring defense the rest of the way.
Baltimore 20 Kansas City 13
Now as much as I could care less about Indy-NY Jets, more can be said about Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles and the Vikings #1 rival, the Green Bay Packers.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only football Vick should be playing is versus the Leavenworth guards in a remake of the Longest Yard. He's no role model, rather he's gangsta thus I cannot root for him or his team.
But I can't stand to see the arrogant Packers (watch their showboating after routine tackles or big plays) have any kind of success. Aaron Rodgers has a bit of Peyton Manning like choking in the playoffs as he appears to be a regular-season quarterback only at this point. Let's hope that continues.
Still, the Eagles are the worst team in the league in the red zone this year and I think the Vikings exposed Vick and the formula to beat him. The Eagles do these runs every year so the first round or two mean nothing. Its just a matter of when is the collapse coming? Even if they survive they won't win in Chicago where they already lost this year. At this point I'm hoping for a Chicago vs. Kansas City Superbowl.
Green Bay 31 Philadelphia 23
Information from ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning contributed to the preface of this article explaining the new playoff OT format.