Alas, another NFL regular season has come to an end (oh, the horror!). However the playoff field for Super Bowl XLV is perhaps the best and deepest in recent memory.
This weekend’s match-ups in the Wild Card round is quite intruiging. Let us examine this, shall we?
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts. This is a rematch of last year’s AFC title game, but both teams differ from last year’s game. There is one constant though: Rex Ryan’s big-ass mouth. I love me some Rex, but he’s running the risk of writing checks that his players won’t be able to cash. I do like the Jets’ chances this time around. They have a healthy Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson toting the rock, and Mark Sanchez has another weapon to throw to in Santonio Holmes. While I do not want to count out Peyton Manning at home, I think the Jets will go into Indy and swagger out a win. Jets 27, Colts 24.
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs. This is a study of contrasts: a playoff-experienced club (Ravens) going against a group of playoff virgins (Chiefs). The Chiefs had a great year, albeit against a soft-ass schedule. Look for the Ravens to take away the running game from the Chiefs. I don’t like Cassel’s chances against Baltimore’s D. Oh, did I mention that this will be Cassel’s first playoff game. I don’t care that this game is in Arrowhead. This will be an ass-whupping for the ages. Ravens 27, Chiefs 10.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks. This is perhaps the biggest mismatch on paper. The Saints visit the sub-.500 Seahawks, and a lot of people are counting Seattle out. To quote Lee Corso, “not so fast, my friend”. First, the Saints have TWO running backs on IR, leaving Reggie Bush as the lone back toting the rock. Also, Seattle has one of the biggest home-field advantages in the league. Quest Field gets loud, and the field shakes as the fans jump and stomp. And given this game will be in Seattle, expect the weather to be a little bit chilly for Drew Brees and Co. The Saints will win, but it will be closer than folks think. Saints 24, Seahawks 17.
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles. This may be the best match-up of the weekend. One thing that the Packers have going for them: Eagles QB Michael Vick is banged up. The Packers already have one of the best defenses in the league, so look for them to pressure Vick from start to finish. The Packers’ secondary matches up well with Philly’s weapons. Plus, I love Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who should have a field day against a suspect Eagles D. As long as the Packers do not give up a special teams touchdown to DeSean Jackson, they should emerge victorious. Packers 30, Eagles 24.