Friday, January 7, 2011

NFL Playoff: Wild Card Round Breakdown

A quick breakdown of this weekend's wildcard games.  With my predictions.

Saints at Seahawks
So, the first losing team in NFL playoff history is hosting a playoff game. 
-A quick aside here, can we just get rid of this talk about not letting losing teams in the playoffs, and re-ranking the seedings and all this sort of thing.  Listen.  If they have the divisions, you have to let the winner of a division in the playoffs, and you have to let the host against anyone who DIDn't win their division.  If you want to seed everyone by record, and such nonsense...then get rid of the divisions.  Make it an AFC and NFC and the six best records get in.  If you're going to have divisions, and make the teams play each other twice each have to honor the winner of them.  You have to.
OK, So the defending Super Bowl Champions are playing a playoff game at a team with a losing record.  Blow-out win, right?  Probably.  Seattle has two chances in this game:
1.  Turnovers by the Saints can keep them in the game.
2.  Their home crowd gets excited, if the game is close.
Depending on turnovers and home field advantage is typically always the battle cry of an underdog, so why even mention it?  Well, for starters, the Saints have turned the ball over alot this season.  And secondly, Seattle's home field advantage is better than most.  It's real.  They get loud up there in the Pacific North West.
Prediction:  24-10 Saints

Jets at Colts
I'm going to be honest.  I dislike the Jets.  Alot.  They are my most disliked team of the 2010-11 NFL Season.  Rex Ryan is a blowhard (who likes feet, evidently) and I'm not sure there's ever been a mediocre team that has been this hyped up before.  They don't pass it well, they don't run it as well as they did last year, and their defense is not as good as last year.

However, I'm not feeling particularly confident in this year's edition of the Colts.  They have been beat up, banged around, and put through the wringer this year.  The worst possible scenario for them is a team that will try to play extremely physical and beat them up.  I'm going to give the Colts the nod, but only because they are at home.
Prediction: 20-14 Colts

Ravens at Chiefs
This is the one game I feel almost certain of this weekend.  Ravens win.  And big.  The Chiefs are a joke and a fraud, and to be honest just a very fortunate team to have even made the playoffs.  In their last home game, with a #3 seed on the line, the Chiefs got pummelled by the 8-8 Raiders 31-7.  They weren't even in the game.  When they played San Diego with about a month left in the season, the Chargers dismantled them 31-0.  Who did they beat the last month of the season?  The Rams...who laid down to the Seahawks (the only losing team in NFL history in the playoffs), and the Titans, who basically threw the towel in on this season in October.
The Chiefs go down, and go down Hard.
Prediction:  Ravens 27 Chiefs 7

Packers at Eagles
The marquee game of the weekend.  Too close to call.  I could see either team winning by any sort of margin.  Close game, blow-out, overtime, etc, etc...  I do think Michael Vick's leg is bothering him.  I do think if Aaron Rodgers takes a big hit he might get a bit gun shy(two concussions already this season).  Neither team has been able to run the ball well, although the Eagles do that better.  Both teams like to bring the heat defensively. 

This has the feeling of one of those games that could be decided by a kick return for a td, and big fumble recovery for a score, something like that.  I have no idea what to pick here.  This is a toss up.
Prediction: 24-21 Packers

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