The new year is on the horizon and that can mean only one thing.
That's right, the playoffs are back, and it should be a pretty good one. Granted some good teams were left out, but this is a very talented group of teams and should be a good month of football.
Wild card Weekend
This match up intrigues me more than most of the others. Despite the fact that Baltimore handily defeated the Fins early this season, I think this game is going to be determined less by X's and O's and more by some other factors on the field. The Dolphins have a bunch of momentum coming into this game and they have one of the feelgood stories of the year playing in Chad Pennington. Besides, rookie QBs historically don't have great playoff performances. I like Flacco a lot, but I'm gonna have to take the Fins in low scoring game
Miami 17, Baltimore 7
First of all, let me start out by saying how ridiculous it is that an 8-8 team will be the HOME team against a 12-4 team in the Playoffs. It's ridiculous an 8-8 team got in over an 11-5 team, and this needs to be fixed. Sorry, had to get that out of my system, but now let me get back to the game. San Diego has had Indy's number for the last few years and their D has always had its way with Manning. I expect for that to continue and I think that San Diego's offense will continue to thrive against this Indy D.
San Diego 41, Indianapolis 37
I know early I talked about how rookie QBs usually don't play well in their first playoff experience, but this game is against Arizona, and Matt Ryan will have no problem with them. Atlanta will use a a balanced attack of Matt Ryan to Roddy White, and then have Turner and Norwood run right by them.
Atlanta 38, Arizona 14
This is a hard one to pick because both teams have been playing well lately in my opinion. If Minnesota hadn't have fumbled the game away against Atlanta, I'm sure a lot of people would have a much rosier view of the team. Jackson isn't a very consistent QB but he has been playing much better lately. But their opponent has been much hotter. Philly is riding into this game after absolutely demolishing the Cowboys. Another interesting fact is the Eagles have beaten the Giants, Falcons, Cardinals, and Steelers. They went 4-2 against teams that are in the playoffs. That is a very good record, and i Think that the Eagles will win this one. They will lose if they call 75% pass plays though.
Eagles 31, Vikings 10
Philadelphia(6) at New York(3)
This is a game that the Eagles are going to show up ready for and that will be the difference right there. The Giants have really started to play worse later in the season and I think the bye week is going to mess them up. Philly is gonna come out and play them like they did in the week 14 and the defending Super Bowl Champs are gonna be going home early this year.
Eagles 24, Giants 13
Carolina(2) vs Atlanta(5)
This is where the dream story of the Atlanta Falcons is going to end. Carolina just has too much for the Falcons. The defense will dominate Matt Ryan and force him into just enough mistakes to give them the game. Carolina will also dominate the time of possession battle with the duo of Smash and Dash. It will be a one-sided affair and it will set up an oh so familiar NFC championship game.
Carolina 27, Atlanta 10
Pittsburgh(2) vs Miami(3)
Miami has had a wonderful season but that wildcat formation will not play out well against the number 1 defense in the league. The Steelers will be able to contain Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams unlike some other defenses they have played this year. Miami has not seen a D like this yet, and they will not win this game on momentum alone. The Steelers are a lot better than the Ravens, and they have an experienced QB, barring that Big Ben will actually play. If Roethlisberger doesn't play, they don't win. Leftwich is good, but there is a reason he is a back-up.
Steelers 20, Miami 9
San Diego(4) at Tennessee(1)
San Diego will be coming into this game on a 5 game win steak, and they'll make it 6 with a win over Tennessee. I know everyone is still talking about LenDale White stomping on the Terrible Towel; well that won't come back to bite White in the butt, because they won't even get a rematch against the Steelers. I like the match-up of Rivers vs the Titans D, and I don't believe that Titans are good enough on offense to keep up with Rivers' high-paced squad. The Chhhhhhhargers advance to the AFC Championship again.
Chargers 38, Titans 17
Philadelphia(6) at Carolina(2)
Well this game sure brings back memories. It is a rematch of the '03 and '04 NFC Championship games. Each team won one of them, but both ended up losing in the Superbowl to the Pats. But this year it will be two very hot teams and I believe that Carolina will be heading to the Superbowl. The Panthers have a good defense, a solid two back system, and a decent game managing QB. The Eagles are a very good team, but they don't have enough to get past this excellent Panthers team.
Panthers 44, Eagles 27
San Diego(4) at Pittsburgh(2)
Pittsburgh is better fitted for this game than the Chargers. It is a January game in Pittsburgh, and those are the kind of games that the Steelers pride themselves on. The Chargers have been dependen't on Rivers arm during this season, with a little help from Sproles. Sproles is gonna be ineffective against a defense that is a run stopping machine, and LT won't be much better. I'm no weather man but I'm guessing it is going to be cold, maybe some snow, and that is not Philip Rivers kind of weather. Pitt wins an old fashion defensive shootout.
Steelers 10, San Diego 3
Carolina vs Pittsburgh
Carolina's and Pittsburgh's offenses match up about evenly, but the old saying "Defense wins Championships" will be the deciding factor. Pittsburgh's D is statistically the best in the league and they're one of the scariest to see in person. Like I have been saying, Pittsburgh's Defense is dominate against the run, and that is what has been carrying Carolina. If Pittsburgh can continue doing what they do best, they will be the first team to reach 6 Super Bowl Championships ever.
Steelers 27, Panthers 17