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2009 NFL Playoff Predictions

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IJune 22, 2009

To finalize our 2009 NFL Preview, we present final standings, leaders, award winners, and playoff results.

As part of a broader endeavor with FOXSports.com's Fantasy Football, each regular season and playoff game is simulated 10,000 times. Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of Jun. 9. A schedule of the 2009 NFL preview content is located here.

On Tuesday, Jun. 23, we will also post our fantasy football cheat sheets and first NFL power rankings of the season.

Today we preview the playoffs. We present playoff results with links to box scores and play-by-play of each game. Box scores are from example games with a similar result as the average outcome. Final standings, leaders, and award winners follow the playoffs.


AFC Wild Card Games

No. 6 Houston: 27 at No. 3 Indianapolis: 21 (OT)

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The lone divisional matchup of the playoffs is also the only overtime game. A more experienced Houston Texans team goes into Lucas Oil Stadium and eliminates the Colts on a 34-yard touchdown run six minutes into OT.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

No. 5 New York Jets: 21 at No. 4 San Diego: 24

A 28-point fourth quarter culminating in a Chris Chambers game-winning touchdown reception with 14 seconds left in the game makes for a thrilling Wild Card playoff game. LaDainian Tomlinson, who gains 163 total yards and scores a touchdown, is the key to the Chargers' success.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

NFC Wild Card Games

No. 6 New York Giants: 20 at No. 3 Minnesota: 23

Two of our top five teams in the league face off in the first round of the playoffs. A 45-yard Ryan Longwell field goal as time expires provides the difference in Minnesota.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

No. 5 Dallas: 17 at No. 4 New Orleans: 30

The Saints' prolific passing offense is too much for the Cowboys' secondary. Tony Romo continues his poor late-season play with three interceptions.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.


AFC Division;al Games

No. 6 Houston 14 at No. 1 Pittsburgh: 15

The Texans keep it close the whole game, but their dream season ultimately falls short against the defending Super Bowl champions when Jeff Reed connects from 27 yards in the final seconds. Reed makes five field goals in the win to put Pittsburgh back in the AFC Championship Game.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

No. 3 San Diego: 27 at No. 2 New England: 30

Far more points are scored in the second AFC Divisional Game, but the result is similar. The home team New England Patriots answer a last-minute, game-tying Chargers touchdown with a 49-yard, game-winning field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Tom Brady throws for 297 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

NFC Divisional Games

No. 4 New Orleans: 20 at No. 1 Philadelphia: 27

The Eagles erase a three-point halftime deficit by outscoring New Orleans 13-3 after the break. Philadelphia is guaranteed home field advantage in the NFC Championship against Arizona or Minnesota.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

No. 3 Minnesota: 21 at No. 2 Arizona: 28

The Vikings fail to avenge their biggest loss (and only game in which they are the underdogs) from the season. Arizona's win sets up a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game. Kurt Warner lights up Minnesota for 284 yards and three touchdowns on 26-of-35 passing.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

Conference Championship Games

No. 2 New England: 20 at No. 1 Pittsburgh: 17

After an injury-plagued 2008, Tom Brady and the Patriots are back in the Super Bowl. New England goes into Pittsburgh to get a tough playoff road win. Brady is incredibly efficient against the vaunted Steelers defense, with no turnovers and only five incomplete passes on 23 attempts.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

No. 2 Arizona: 17 at No. 1 Philadelphia: 28

The Eagles exact revenge from last season with a big home win in the NFC Championship Game. Philadelphia again comes back from a halftime deficit to win convincingly.

In a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb will square off for the title. Both quarterbacks have better weapons, so expect a shootout.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

Super Bowl XLIV

Philadelphia: 34 vs. New England: 31

E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles! Andy Reid works his magic at halftime for the third straight playoff game, leading Philadelphia out of a hole to win the Super Bowl.

Young weapons prove the difference in this example game, as rookies LeSean McCoy and Cornelius Ingram both score touchdowns. Interestingly, Tom Brady's performance is enough to earn him the MVP award in the losing effort. Brady completes 25-of-40 passes for 279 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

It's not enough to win the game, however. Brady gets a chance to lead the team to victory on the Patriots' final drive. Trailing 33-30 with 1:21 remaining and the ball on their own 34, Brady helps New England pick up 37 yards in less than a minute.

Facing a 4th-and-4 with 33 seconds to go, another Philadelphia rookie, defensive back Victor "Macho" Harris, blitzes from the blind side and gets to the frantic quarterback before he can release the ball. Brian Westbrook totals 93 yards and two touchdowns, and Donovan McNabb throws for 297 yards and two touchdowns for the victorious Eagles.

Click to view box score with play-by-play.

Regular Season Awards

NFL MVP

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: 328 rushes, 1,644 rushing yards, 15 total TDs;

2: Tom Brady;

3: Drew Brees;

4: Larry Fitzgerald;

5: Peyton Manning



Offensive Player of the Year

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: 335/544, 4,183 yards, 30 TDs, 14 INTs;

2: Adrian Peterson;

3: Tom Brady;

4: Andre Johnson;

5: Larry Fitzgerald

Defensive Player of the Year

DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys: 67 tackles, 15 sacks;

2: Mario Williams;

3: Troy Polamalu;

4: Jon Beason;

5; Trent Cole



Offensive Rookie of the Year

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers: 69 receptions, 888 receiving yards, six total TDs;

2: Percy Harvin;

3: Donald Brown;

4: Mark Sanchez;

5: Andre Smith



Defensive Rookie of the Year

Aaron Curry, Seattle Seahawks: 63 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions;

2: Louis Delmas;

3: James Laurinaitis;

4: Brian Orakpo;

5: Brian Cushing



Coach of the Year

Rex Ryan, New York Jets: In the first season, Ryan leads Jets into the playoffs with a rookie quarterback;

2: Bill Belichick;

3: Andy Reid;

4: Gary Kubiak;

5: Mike Singletary

Final Standings (*division winner, + wild card)

AFC EastWinsLosses
New England Patriots*115
New York Jets+97
Miami Dolphins97
Buffalo Bills79
AFC NorthWinsLosses
Pittsburgh Steelers*115
Cincinnati Bengals88
Baltimore Ravens88
Cleveland Browns313
AFC WestWinsLosses
San Diego Chargers*106
Oakland Raiders79
Kansas City Chiefs79
Denver Broncos511
AFC SouthWinsLosses
Indianapolis Colts*106
Houston Texans+97
Tennessee Titans88
Jacksonville Jaguars511
NFC EastWinsLosses
Philadelphia Eagles*124
Dallas Cowboys+97
New York Giants+97
Washington Redskins97
NFC NorthWinsLosses
Minnesota Vikings*115
Chicago Bears88
Green Bay Packers79
Detroit Lions511
NFC WestWinsLosses
Arizona Cardinals*115
San Francisco 49ers88
Seattle Seahawks79
St. Louis Rams313
NFC SouthWinsLosses
New Orleans Saints*97
Atlanta Falcons88
Carolina Panthers88
Tampa Bay Buccaneers511

League Leaders

Passing (by yards)YardsTDsINTs
Drew Brees41833014
Philip Rivers39652614
Tom Brady39012713
Peyton Manning38852613
Tony Romo36642217
Kurt Warner35222512
Aaron Rodgers34592014
Donovan McNabb34492111
Trent Edwards32822117
Ben Roethlisberger30701814
Rushing (by yards)YardsAVGTDs
Adrian Peterson16445.0115
Michael Turner15704.6512
Clinton Portis14664.4411
Matt Forte13353.8811
Willie Parker13084.6813
DeAngelo Williams12754.9310
Ronnie Brown12574.4410
Frank Gore12554.3212
Ryan Grant12084.0310
Brandon Jacobs11945.029
Receiving (by yards)RecsYardsTDs
Andre Johnson10814659
Larry Fitzgerald92138910
Calvin Johnson8113818
Greg Jennings8312886
Randy Moss8312839
Reggie Wayne7812838
Vincent Jackson7111648
Steve Smith (CAR)6911547
Wes Welker11111397
Dwayne Bowe8411256
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