Play Off Predictions!
January 11, 2007 11:28pm CST
This is perhaps the most exciting week of any football season, the divisional round of the playoffs, in particualr this year (especially in the AFC) is about as even matched and full of potential classic matchups. Let's take a closer look as I also give my predictions up to this year's Super Bowl champion. divisional Round: AFC: San Diego vs. New England Patriots This one has two teams that are not superior in any particular way but are very good in all three areas, offense, defense, and special teams. I belive this one will come down to a steady dose of LT2 wearing down the Patriot defense while Rivers goes to Gates and Mccardell to convert crucial 3rd downs until they give it to Tomlinson to finish off the drives. The Patriots won't be able to run and have no reliable receivers to consistantly keep drives alive, so unless they can break at least 5 huge plays this one won't be as close as some people think. The intriguing matchup is wiley veteran Tom Brady against essentially a rookie QB in Rivers. Indianapolis vs. Baltimore WOW what a match up in this one (and it doesn't matter where you look either, you will see a great battle). Dungy matching wits against Billick, and how ironic the Ravens are known for defense but Billick is supposed to be a great offensive mind and Dungy is supposed to know defense better than anyone and the Colts are one of the best offenses ever. In this you have Ray Lewis against Peyton Manning,Ed Reed covering Marvin Harrison,Chris McAllister blanketing Reggie Wayne,on and on... This one will come down to the Ravens offense against the Colt defense. Mark this one up to the Ravens signing Steve McNair when nobody else wanted to as he leads them for the winning score with under 3 minutes to go. Again breaking Mannings heart and chances (but don't give up on him, remember John Elway!!!) NFC: Chicago vs. Seahawks Well we get to see just how well Shaun Alexander is running as he gets to take on Da Bears. I think this will be the most ho hum game this weekend and not why you may be thinking. The Bears will have no offense to combat the 'Hawks offense and Seattle will absolutely shut down Rex Grossman and...and...well that's my point he won't have any help!!! Granted, it may start slow for Seattle but the passing game will open it up for Alexander who will (as always) make the most of the oppurtunity. New Orleans vs. Philadelphia Philadelphia made the absolute most this season and may need to start planning for life woithout McNabb, and this may push them in that direction as they now know they can succeed without him. This one will be exciting as I expect a shoutout for the first 20 minutes only to see that the Eagles can keep pace with the high-octane Saints, expect a huge game from Brees. AFC Championship: Baltimore vs. San Diego This is where young Mr. Rivers will show that nobody needs Eli when your this good! San Diego will open it up as they attempt to outsmart Baltimore only to find that against this defense it wont matter as they are just to good, the difference will be that Baltimore won't be able to run the ball and San Diego will become oppurtunistic with the 3 turnovers they force and win what will no doubt be the most competitive game of the playoffs. New Orleans vs. Seattle New Orleans' dream season comes to a sudden end as they wont be able to outgun the Seahawks (however what a bright future for the Saints if the can shore up their defense). The Seahawks will win going away in the second half as the Saints passing game begins to falter as they fail to run the ball. SUPER BOWL XLI Seattle vs. San Diego We have been fortunate to witness several close championship games in the past 7 years or so, dont expect this one to be any different. Each team will protect the ball and allow us to witness the two best running backs in the game do their thing. The difference in this one will be which defense will step up. I expect that defense to be the Chargers (mostly due to Shawn Merrian becoming the true star he was destined to be). Also look for big games from the tight ends Antonio Gates and Jeremy Stevens. San Diego will nurse a lead in the second half until Hassleback seals Seattle's fate with an interception. Seattle will soon be the new Buffalo Bills!!! CHAMPIONS: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS!!!!