Shaun Fagan's Blog
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Playoff time is here and the seeds have been decided

Contenders have risen and pretenders quieted

Preseason Super Bowl picks went misguided

And some matchups proved one-sided

The ultimate goal of the ring is prided

20 teams have since subsided

Now here's a little playoff blog provided

And I ask for your attention undivided 

1st round matchups:

Chiefs @ Colts

Jets @ Patriots

Giants @ Eagles

Cowboys @ Seahawks 

Some thoughts of the upcoming playoff season:

This much is clear, Larry Johnson is going to determine the fate of the AFC playoff picture over the next two weeks. Other than the Chargers, who own home field and a first round bye, the Chiefs are probably the worst matchup for the Colts to face out of any team in the AFC playoff picture. I distinctly remember only a few years back when Peyton Manning threw for 6 TDs against the Chiefs D on his way to the NFL record 49 TDs in 2004. With LJ in the backfield, Peyton might not get 6 posessions to throw the ball. I'm thinking that LJ might carry it 36 times and run for 202. Bob Sanders is said to play, but he's hurt, and LJ will run through him. I'm not seeing the Chiefs make it out of the divisional round, but they should win this game. Colts can't stop Ron Dayne, how are they going to stop LJ?

Mangenius versus his mentor. It goes without saying that this will be the best Jets game to watch all year long. With the way the Pats are playing over the past two weeks, is it possible to say they are finally ready to play to that spiffy 12-4 record? They seem like the worst 12-4 team ever, however they've effortlessly put up 40 points in 2 of their last 3 games. The receivers might not be USDA choice, but perhaps they can do enough and pull Brady through to a later round. For the Pats sake, its a good thing Denver isn't in the playoffs. I don't think they can beat the Ravens or the Chargers though, we'll see how far they go.

The Giants are so lucky to sneak into the playoffs. I don't think they have any chance to beat the Eagles, but I say again... watch out for the Jints next year. Bjake, Eli, and Plax are gonna pound the NFC into submission. They weren't ready this year. Also, good for Tiki Barber, what a way to go out and party like it's the last day of 2006. Oh wait. Anyway, awesome showing by him and I can't wait to watch him on TV for the next 20 years.  

I love how the Lions beat the Boys. How great of a way to finish the season. Then I realized that the freakin Raiders aren't going to beat the Jets. I think Brady Quinn is going to intentionally stink it up in the Sugar Bowl to persuade Art Shell not to pick him with the #1 overall pick in April's NFL Draft. I mean, that's the smart thing to do right? The Raiders scored 12, i repeat, 12 offensive TD's this year according to Peter King! Come to Detroit Brady, pull an Eli if you have to! Just do it!

Anyway, the Seahawks are getting decent and getting healthy at the right time. I see the Seahawks as the 2000's version of those 1990's Bills. They might make the Super Bowl for 3-4 years in a row, but they'll never be able to beat the mighty AFC team. They have such a good core of players with several more years of prime production in front of them. There's no reason why they can't continue representing the NFC as long as Rex Grossman continues to throw for QB ratings at or below 1.3. Unless the power shifts in the next 3 years from the AFC to the NFC, which would require a mass exodus of star players (never gonna happen), the Seahawks have a good chance at remaining an NFC powerhouse. I'm thinkin the Hawks will beat the Cowboys. Oh what a pretty blond girl can do to a QB, as Tony Romo found out. "Beginners luck, 20 bucks says you can't do it again"- Moving Man from Happy Gilmore... the story of Tony Romo's 2006 season. 

The Chargers will probably make the Super Bowl. The only team that could probably beat them is the Ravens, who can limit LT and beat Phillip Rivers. I'm glad to see Vincent Jackson starting to show signs of his potential, as he is one of my go-to guys in Madden 2007. I have this thing for big tall receivers, as most of you have probably picked up by now. Vjack is like 6'5" and 230 lbs. That's Shaun Fagan's prototypical WR. I hope he plays a big role in the Chargers run for the ring. Other than the Ravens, I don't know any team that can stop the Bolt's offense, as it has proved that a 3 TD lead in the 2nd half isn't enough to hold them down. 14-2 is a damn good football team, especially since their QB is a relative Noob. Such a trendy favorite to win. What's not to love about San Diego? They have a beautiful city, the best uniforms in football (the powder blues, which they better wear at the Super Bowl if they make it), and a bunch of fans that aren't superiorly passionate about the team. Anyone can love them. They also have the best player in football, which helps.

The Ravens will be a tough match for anyone, but I'd like to see them hang with New England. I got this feeling that if this matchup was realized, the Pats would have the edge. Their offense just bores me. We'll see if they can hang with the Pats.

The Bears are in obvious trouble. If you want proof, send a message over to Josh and type "0.0". He'll know what it means. Remember all that talk about how Mike Vick is the worst QB in the league? Rex Grossman is trying very hard to prove that wrong. Despite having home field, I think the Eagles and the Hawks are gritty enough to go in there and win a game at Soldier Field. I'm not sold on the Saints going to Chicago and winning, but hopefully they won't have to.

If America's Saints can somehow bypass Chicago and play their games at home, this looks to be the Super Bowl favorite for the NFC. The two teams that can hang with the Saints are the Seahawks and the Bears. If the Seahawks play the Saints, they'll be tired. If the Bears play the Saints, they'll be at home. Every other scenario points to the fact the the Saints are probably the best team in the conference. How sexy of a matchup would it be for the Saints to play the Chargers in the SB? If that happens, I will buy an LT jersey and a Reggie Bush jersey just for the fun of it. They'd look good on my wall next to the Barry Sanders jersey. 

So my picks are as follows:

Chiefs over Colts, 28-24

Pats over Jets, 21-16

Eagles over Giants, 31-26

Seahawks over Cowboys, 30-20

Chargers and Saints in the Super Bowl, as of Week 18, subject to review.

Peace out, and Happy new year!! 

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