It seems like just yesterday that Brett Favre was contemplating another year in the NFL, but fast forward four months later and the playoffs are finally here! As fun as it is to follow sixteen games a week with the Red Zone channel and the NFL Sunday Ticket, there is something refreshing about watching one game at a time all the way through (what a novel concept).
New Orleans (-10.5) @ Seattle ( Saturday 2:30 NBC)- I don't think the best home field advantage and the Saints sudden lack of running backs can save the Seabags in this one. Matt Hasselbeck has a ton of experience, but I don't think any one else on Seattle's active roster has ever played a playoff game. Save a colossal meltdown by Drew Brees, I'd be shocked if Seattle stayed within two touchdowns of New Orleans.
New York Jets (+2.5) @ Indianapolis (Saturday 6:00 NBC)- Ok, this is where Peyton Manning and the Colts flip a switch and make another playoff run..........WRONG!!!! The Jets were the most hyped team in the offseason and they lived up to the hype for the first twelve weeks of the season. Then they went into New England on Monday Night Football, got waxed 45-3, lost to the Dolphins at home the next week, and people were fleeing the ship faster than rich people on the Titanic. I never lost the faith because the Jets are built for the playoffs. The can control the ball and play defense. Unless the Sanchize completely forgets how to play football, I like Gang Green in a minor upset.
On to the Sunday slate of games:
Baltimore (-3) @ Kansas City (Sunday 11 A.M. CBS)- The Ravens were my preseason pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, and I'm not about to jump ship now. A few things about the Ravens scare me. Flacco can go m.i.a. in the playoffs, and the Ravens have a tendency to take the foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, but I think the Chiefs are a year away from making a real run in the playoffs. Baltimore beats upstart Kansas City by a touchdown.
Green Bay (+2.5) @ Philadelphia (Sunday 2:30 Fox)- The Packers were my preseason pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and......(you know the rest). ARodges critics will point to his lack of a playoff win, but I argue he has already won two playoff games. The Pack's playoffs began week 16 when they had to beat the Giants and Bears in consecutive weeks. ARodg passed those two tests (along with some concussion tests along the way) and will pass yet another test in the hostile confines of the Link. Michal Vick has taken a beating this season and is not the same player he was in week 10. The Packers defense is immensely underrated, and Dom Capers will draw up a dandy of a game plan to contain the high octane Eagle attack. As long as ARodg keeps his beautiful, delicate head out of harms way Green Bay will escape Philadelphia with a win.
Enjoy Wild Card weekend!