As you might’ve noticed, I like to predict things, and I meant to do an article with my predictions for last week’s playoff games (which my family will tell you I predicted 3/4, missing only the Cardinals / Packers shootout – which I figured would be a defensively won game by the Packers). Here are my thoughts for this weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoff Games.
Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints
Kurt Warner is the second oldest QB in the league, and he was involved in a shootout last weekend. Think his arm’s going to be tired? On any other week, he’d probably be able to match Drew Brees in an offensive battle, but I’m not convinced he’ll be able to do it this week.
The most under-rated part of the Saints’ team is their running game, which I think will be the key to their victory this week, moving them back into the NFC Championship game.
Prediction: New Orleans Saints
Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts
A lot of the guys on TV and radio are picking the Ravens, talking about how the Colts needed 4th Quarter comebacks to win a few of their games this year, and how the Colts will probably regret that they took their foot off the gas in Week 16.
How about the fact that the Colts are well rested, healed up a little bit, and won all 14 games they actually had their starters playing in? Did they have a rough time in some of the games? Sure, but they found ways to win, and that means something. Given that Peyton Manning a chance to watch the Ravens / Patriots game last week without a game of his own to worry about, and I think he is going to come up with a plan to beat Baltimore.
Plenty of people agree that the Patriots got disheartened last week when they were being crushed early, and that they stopped playing hard – not putting in enough effort to mount a comeback. The Colts have proven a few times this year that they’re definitely going to stick in there and try to comeback from any deficit they might face.
Baltimore hasn’t ever beaten the Colts in Indianapolis, and it’s not going to happen now.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts
New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers
This game is the hardest one for me to predict, because the Jets have a good running game and a good rush defense, but the Chargers have looked unstoppable for the majority of the season.
I’d like to pick the Jets, because the Run game is key to winning in the playoffs, but traveling to the West Coast is TOUGH, and with a rookie QB, I don’t know that the Jets have enough to beat the Chargers. Darrelle Revis is a great shut-down cornerback, but the Chargers can still score enough to beat the Jets using their WR2, WR3, and pass-catching runningbacks.
Prediction: San Diego Chargers
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
If everything happens like it should, the Vikings will beat the Dallas Cowboys.
I make no bones about it, I don’t like Dallas, never have, and I don’t wish them well in this game – or ANY game (unless somehow they could beat a team which would help get the Redskins into the playoffs, which clearly is not the case in this game).
Brett Favre needs to listen to his coach, and Brad Childress needs to rely on Adrian Peterson this week. If that happens, Dallas will lose. Their starting left tackle (whose name escapes me) is not good in loud conditions, and Minnesota should be loud this week – allowing Jared Allen to sack Romo a few times.
Dallas won’t be able to rush against Minnesota as well as they’ll need to for a balanced attack, and the Vikings should win this game. There’s a reason they had such a good record this year.
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings (lead by Adrian Peterson)