Friday, January 15, 2010

NFL Divisional Playoffs Preview

Pretty embarrassing 1-3 last week. Totally embarrassed and totally ashamed.

Cardinals @ Saints: Could easily be a repeat of last week's Packers-Cardinals game, which was an all-timer. Both teams are going to air it out a LOT, and neither team's defense is particularly impressive, so it should be a very high scoring affair. In what is pretty much a crapshoot, I just cannot pick against Kurt Warner in a playoff game. The man just rises to the occasion.

Cardinals 38 Saints 35

Ravens @ Colts: We're going to find out whether or not it was worth it to bench the starters, and punt away an undefeated season for Indy. Two very battle tested and experienced playoff teams, with very contrasting styles. The Ravens play the game the way you have to to win in the playoffs: Run the Ball and play good defense. Unfortunately, this won't work against the Colts. Indy's weakness is their pass defense, but the Ravens only throw the ball 10 times a game, and the Colts are stout against the run. To win this game, Joe Flacco is going to have to convert some big 3rd downs, and probably have a big play or two, to match the big plays that Indy inevitably is going to score.

Colts 24 Ravens 14

Cowboys @ Vikings: Game of the week imo. Both teams have very well-balanced offenses, with plenty of playmakers, and very strong defenses particularly upfront. Both teams are very explosive on special teams, although both teams' field goal kickers leave something to be desired. In a game that is as evenly matched as any we've had in the playoffs so far, I'll take the Vikings just because of the home-field advantage, which actually will play a role since the game is in a dome. The Vikings have more WR depth that the Boys, which will be crucial, since both teams are close to impossible to run against, as this game will be determined in the air.

Vikings 21 Cowboys 17

Jets @ Chargers: Get off the Jets bandwagon everybody! Yes they have played very good football for the past 3 weeks, but lets look at who they beat: A Colts team that punted away their undefeated season by benching their starters in a close game late, a Bengals team that didn't show up, and a Bengals team with only 1 solid WR, a QB that had a horrendous day, and a FG kicker that might have been on the take. The Chargers have none of those problems. Philip Rivers has had one of the quietest big seasons in NFL history, and he has TONS of weapons to throw to. While Vincent Jackson will be quieted by Revis, Malcolm Floyd, LT, and Sproles are all big playmakers that the Jets must account for. However, the big X factor is Antonio Gates, who is a monstrous TE that is going to create all sorts of matchup problems for the Jets. Look for a 100+yard 2 TD game from Gates, as the Chargers roll. Once they get a lead, they will stuff the box, shut down Thomas Jones/Shonn Greene, and Mark Sanchez will be unable to rally the Jets with a weak WR core.

Chargers 34 Jets 13

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