2011 NFL Playoffs: NFC and AFC Matchups Picks and Predictions

Eric CaspersonCorrespondent IIJanuary 5, 2011

2011 NFL Playoffs: NFC and AFC Matchups Picks and Predictions

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    The NFL Playoffs are soon to be underway and this year may be one of the more exciting playoffs we've seen in awhile. The AFC is stacked with all six teams having at least ten wins. The last time that happened was back in 2007. Out of the NFC, it is anyone's chance to come out of the conference. The Seattle Seahawks have dominated the NFC Playoff talk. However, it's not because of their chances at a Super Bowl. It's because of their sub .500 record. They are the first team to make the playoffs with a losing record. Listed in this show is the first week's matchups and my predictions for the games.

New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts

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    INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Adam Vinatieri #4 of the Indianapolis Colts kicks a 43 yard field goal as time expires to beat the Tennessee Titans 23-20 at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Jets at Colts is the first game of the the Playoffs. The 10-6 Colts come into the game on a four game win streak and will host a Jets team that is limping into the playoffs. They have lost three of their last five including a bad loss to Miami and a shellacking by the Patriots. The Jets have not really played well all season and QB Mark Sanchez has certainly had his struggles. However, each week it seems that the Jets are still in the ball game and end up pulling out a victory. Expect another one of those types of performances where the Jets defense keeps their team in the ball game. Peyton Manning has had a very average second half of the season including that bad stretch of games where he threw all those picks.

    I expect this game to be a close one. Who else is going to decide it besides all time great Adam Vinateri. The Jets D will keep the Jets in the game and Peyton Manning is just not looking like himself. He does have Joseph Addai back so that should help. A late Vinateri FG seals it for the Colts...17-14

New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks to throw a pass during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    This is the game that everyone is saying "Oh the Saints are going to kill Seattle." I would hold off just a bit on that one. I expect this game to be a little better and a little closer than most people are saying. Seattle, who just sneaked into the playoffs at 7-9, are playing at their home stadium which is one of the hardest cities to play in. A starter has not yet been named for Seattle at QB. Charlie Whitehurst started last week to clinch the NFC West with a win over the Rams. I expect Whitehurst to start since he has given a much needed boost to the team's offense. The Saints are bringing one of the best offenses into the game against a very mediocre defense.

    As of right now, it is supposed to rain the next four days in Seattle, including Saturday. The only way I see the Seahawks sneaking out of this game with a victory is if mother nature is on their side. Otherwise the Saints will just be too much...27-17

Baltimore Ravens Vs. Kansas City Chiefs

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    BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 2:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes against the Cincinnati Bengals  at M&T Bank Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 13-6. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The other AFC matchup will put the Ravens up against the KC Chiefs. The Chiefs own the best running game in the league with their combination of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Expect the Ravens to make it a priority to stop the run and make Matt Cassel throw the football. If the Chiefs are going to win this game, Cassel will have to shine. Against a stout Ravens defense, I don't see that happening. Joe Flacco will do just enough to get the job done and advance his team to the second week...20-13

Green Bay Packers Vs. Philadephia Eagles

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field and greets Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after a loss at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Packers bea
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Packers at Eagles, Round 2. This game is a rematch of the season opener for both teams. However something will be a lot different than the first game. The Eagles will be starting Michael Vick instead of Kevin Kolb. Kolb started the first game of the season and hasn't been the team's number one since. Mike Vick took over for an injured Kolb and the rest of the season is history. Vick has gone on to have one of the best seasons ever for an Eagles QB and is in the hunt for an MVP award. The Packers come into the playoffs barely making it in, but don't let that fool you. The Packers are a very dangerous team with Aaron Rodgers orchestrating that offense. The defense has been decent given that they've lost about half their starters to injury.

    I see the Eagles winning this game as long as Mike Vick is healthy throughout the game. He sat last week to rest up for this game. This should be one of the best, if not the best game of the weekend. I see the Eagles pulling out a win at home...27-23