Saturday, January 12, 2008

NFL Playoffs: The Divisional Round

Here are my quick assessments of the NFL playoffs this weekend, with my always-entertaining predictions. (Unless I'm betting Holmes, in which case I always win, I'm pretty mediocre at this sort of thing.):

Seattle at Green Bay: Green Bay is at home and is by most measures the better team. Bret Favre's magical run continues for at least another week as Seattle on the road is not a great team. This is a nice JV game before the varsity takes the field in Foxborough. Green Bay 34-Seattle 17

Jacksonville at New England: Lots of folks love the Jags because they can run and stop the run and thus are a good bet in a cold weather stadium against a team predicated on passing. This is, to put it bluntly, nonsense. The Jags are also not a great pass D, and the Pats not only have the best passing offense in the league, but arguably the best passing offense in the history of the NFL. Meanwhile the Pats have had two weeks off, Belichick has been able to game plan for the Jags, the game is at home, and the weather is supposed to be conducive to a passing offense. I have a pretty demonstrable history of getting insanely nervous before these games. But I am confident that the Pats are going to maul the Jags. The Pats may lose before completing the run to perfection. But not today and not against this team. New England 44-Jacksonville 23

San Diego at Indianapolis: My guess is that Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning, and the rest of the Colts love flying this low below the radar. No one is talking about them. Meanwhile the Chargers won their playoff game last week, but in far from compelling fashion. There has been lots of talk about Marvin Harrison this week, but his return won't be as much of a factor as the inevitable implosion that the Chargers will engage in sometime around the third quarter. maybe this would be a game in San Diego. It won't be in Indy. Indianapolis 38-San Diego 27

New York at Dallas: This will likely be the closest game of the weekend, and in that sense the most entertaining, but for some reason I see this being a typically ugly NFC east slugfest in which the team that turns the ball over last watches their playoff hopes fade. Given that a Cowboys-Pack, Pats-Colts weekend might be the greatest pair of games in the history of the NFL, and given that I don't think Eli can get it done again, even if they are on a roll and this is the dreaded third matchup this season after two Cowboy wins, I think Dallas will win. Dallas 21-New York 17

Enjoy the games, and Go Pats!!!

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