Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 NFL Divisional Round Predictions

Most football experts point to the Divisional Round as the best weekend of football of the year. It's the best of the best as you have eight top teams all battling for their shot at getting to the Super Bowl.

Of course, last weekend was supposed to be filled with good football but only the epic Cardinals/Packers game saved it from being a complete dud. I can't remember the last time we saw three teams completely dominate their opponents in the playoffs the way the Cowboys, Ravens and Jets did last week. The dangerous thing for those looking to place their Super Bowl bets on one of those three would be to think they are just going to roll over the top seeds like they rolled over their weak first round opponents. Momentum does have a lot to do with who wins in the NFL Playoffs but momentum can be given or taken away on the first play of the next game. The cream will rise to the crop in the playoffs this year just like it does every year.

Despite my poor record in the first round and the fact that the Eagles have been eliminated, I will continue to make my weekly NFL picks throughout the playoffs. Remember, all picks are made strictly based on who I think will win and do not take the spread into consideration.

Record Last Week: 1-3, .250

Saturday Games:

Cardinals @ Saints After what happened between the Cardinals and Packers last week, even if you don't think you know who is going to win this one, everyone should be calling up their favorite bookie and putting as much money as they can on the over, no matter how high it is. The Saints offense is even better than the Packers so 50 points for them seems like a given. Of course, we also know the Saints defense is also better than the Packers, so they should be able to keep Kurt Warner from finding wide open receivers all over the field. Seriously, what kind of defense were the Packers playing? Why was there no one within 10 yards of any Cardinals wideout? While it's a bit dangerous to assume the Saints offense will run on all cylinders after the week off and the way they limped into the playoffs, you have to believe that offensive mastermind Sean Payton will get them prepared. My pick: Saints

Ravens @ Colts Count me as someone who didn't see the Ravens buzzsaw coming. Even though my preseason picks called for the Patriots to win it all, I was more than happy to see them basically lose the game in the first three minutes against Baltimore. While it's tempting to pick the Ravens to roll their way past the dormant Colts, who haven't shown us anything in a month, Peyton Manning isn't going to let his team lay down in this one. Even if the Ravens do manage to score two early touchdowns, who doesn't think Manning will calmly exploit the over-aggressive Ravens and guide his team right back into the game. Joe Flacco also didn't convince anyone that he can actually throw his way to victory so the Colts will be stacking the line all day and just daring Flacco to try and beat them. Seriously, when it comes down to it, you would have to be out of your mind to take Flacco over Manning. My pick: Colts

Sunday Games:

Cowboys @ Vikings You aren't going to like this, Eagles fans: the Cowboys are going to make a run to the Super Bowl. After watching Dallas rip through a solid Eagles team like it was nothing, I'm convinced that the Cowboys are going to beat the Vikings and the Saints and be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. That doesn't mean I'm not going to root against them every step of the way, but the Cowboys are simply playing the best football of anyone right now. The Vikings do represent a tougher matchup for the Cowboys than the Eagles did as they will actually run the ball but Dallas is just playing too good on both sides of the ball. Their swarming defense is going to hound Brett Favre all day as he won't be able to elude the rush at all like Donovan McNabb did. I expect this one to be fairly low scoring but the Cowboys will win it by a touchdown, prompting the Brett Favre retirement questions to start up again. Ugh. My pick: Cowboys

Jets @ Chargers Unless I'm completely missing something here, this one should be a cakewalk for the Chargers. Sure, the Jets will be able to slow down the passing attack but San Diego simply has too many weapons to be completely neutralized. And, sure, the Chargers defense isn't great but it's good enough to beat up on the worst quarterback still playing, Mark Sanchez. If I made a "lock of the week", this would be it. My pick: Chargers

Those are my picks for the second round of the NFL Playoffs. Check back every round for my playoff predictions. Feel free to discuss, argue or make your own picks in the comments section!

1 comment:

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