AFC Wild Card
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
There has already been a Jaguars versus Steelers game this season. Week 15, the score was 29-22, the Jags won. The Jaguars are led by their great running game and David Garrard has been very good this season. Pittsburgh is missing Willie Parker and Aaron Smith. Without Smith they have had difficulty stopping the run. If you can't stop the run then you can't stop the Jaguars. Fred Taylor and MJD will have good games. It is unlikely that Garrard will suddenly make mistakes and blow the game, at least not yet. Both teams have good defenses and both teams are in the top 10 in points allowed per game, therefore it is unlikely to see a high scoring game here.
Jaguars win 24-17
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
Once again, these teams have already played against each other. The Chargers came out on top in that competition because the Titans blew it. These teams are pretty similar. They both are led by their running game, both have inconsistent quarterbacks, and both have strong defenses. The Titans are anchored by Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch and the Chargers are anchored by Luis Castillo and Shawne Merriman. Castillo and Merriman are both injured, but they are practicing. The Chargers and LT have been on a roll and they have momentum going into the playoffs. The Titans also haven't lost since the game against the Chargers, but I don't see them doing anything better than they did last time these teams played.
Chargers win 28-14
NFC Wild Card
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks
Matt Hasselbeck has come through and had a great season despite the disappearance of Shaun Alexander and Todd Collins has been a pleasant surprise for the Redskins. The Seahawks are 20th in the league in rushing yards per game this season and that will hurt them going into the playoffs. Bobby Engram has been spectacular however and he has over 1,100 receiving yards. The 'Skins have been performing well the last few weeks. Todd Collins has played well past expectations, Clinton Portis has ran the ball well, Santana Moss has three consecutive good games, and Chris Cooley has played well all season. This was my hardest pick and I predict the game will be close.
Redskins win 17-14.
New York Giants at Tamba Bay Buccaneers
Jeff Garcia has led the Bucs back to the playoffs and their defense has been unbelievable. Brandon Jacobs has excelled and the Giant's defensive line is exceptional. Eli has been very inconsistent, but he played well last week against the Patriots. The Bucs are great against the pass, but they have struggled against the run. The Giants stats are average for both offense and defense except for running and sacks. The Bucs are a very good team and the Giants are a pretty good team. Brandon Jacobs has a good chance of having a good game, but Eli will struggle against the best pass defense in the league.
Buccaneers win 24-14
AFC Divisional Round
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
Everyone is picking the Jaguars to be the team that defeats the Patriots this year. Many people are also saying the Patriots will choke. I read an article on ESPN.com today by Michael Clayton and he says that the Jagaurs are a field goal team. That's not good if you are facing the Patriots, who are obviously the league's top offense. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jags run all over the Pats, but the Jag's defense is 15th against the pass. Both defenses are pretty good, but the offenses are better. The Patriots defense is more inconsistent, but Bill knows how to prepare a team especially in the playoffs. This could be a pretty high scoring game.
Patriots win 38-27
San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts
Two very good teams going at it. However, I think this game's outcome is obvious. The Chargers have a great back, but an incredibly inconsistent quarterback with decent receivers. The Colts have the best quarterback in the league (I consider him and Brady even) and a versatile back who can run and catch. They both have good defenses. The Colts have quietly climbed to second place in the NFL. They have slipped under the radar. This game will not be under the radar. Despite these being two good teams, I don't see the Bolts having much of a chance against the Colts. The dome helps the passing game too. That's big for the Colts.
Colts win 35-28
NFC Divisional Round
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo and the 'Boys take on the Portis and the 'Skins. The Cowboys are the best team in the NFC. They have what it takes to win this game. A great quarterback, great receivers, a good running game, and a good defense. The Redskins will have trouble against this high powered offense and the defense may shut them down. They will manage to score some points but not many. The Cowboys will have trouble with the running game, but they should be able to get the passing game rolling. The Redskins just don't have a good enough offense to keep up with that of Dallas.
Cowboys win 35-14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers
It's the 'Battle of the Bays'. Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Both are led by older quarterbacks who have managed to lead their teams to the postseason and both have had great success. Both have had running backs come out of nowhere and succeed. Ryan Grant and Earnest Graham have been huge surprises. Tampa Bay matches up pretty well against the Packers because they have the best passing defense in the leauge, but the Pack's balance of passing and running should make it easier on Favre. The Packers don't have the best defense, the Bucs do. The Bucs have an average offense, the Pack has a great offense. Tampa's passing defense should keep it close, but Favre succeeds.
Packers win 27-21
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Yet again, these two great teams, these two great quarterbacks face off in the AFC Championship. Everyone knows what happened last year. The huge comeback by the Colts. Will it happen again? Will the Colts even have to comeback? Will the Patriots be the ones who comeback? Will the Pats have a lead the entire game? I doubt Marvin Harrison will be 100% for this game and that will hurt the Colt's chances. Once again, many predict a choke job by the Patriots, but that will most likely not happen. How often do the Patriots choke? That's what I thought. This is a good matchup, but I'm getting tired of facing the Colts in the playoffs every year. I want something new, something fresh. As usual it will be a good, close game.
Patriots win 38-35
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
Everyone has expected this matchup. The old, all-time great quarterback against the new guy, flashy quarterback. They both have great offenses and the Cowboy's defense is a bit better. This will be a very good, very interesting game. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys win and i wouldn't be surprised if the Packers win. The Packers have the experience going for them at the quarterback position and the Cowboys have the edge on defense. I think Favre will help guide his team to close, hard fought win over the Cowboys. Next year the 'Boys will most likely be the year they get to the Superbowl, but Favre will want capitalize on his great season by reaching the Big Game.
Packers win 31-28
Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots
This should be a much anticipated Superbowl with two of the greatest quarterbacks in the game playing against each other. These are two great offenses pairing up as well. The Packers running game is much better than the Patriots, though. The Patriots defense is better than the Packers even though it is inconsistent. The Packers have two good corners and Ellis Hobbs could get torn apart by Greg Jennings or Donald Driver. Tom Brady is a better big game quarterback than Favre and the Patriots receiving corps is superior to that of the Packers. Will the Patriots succeed in their quest for 19-0? I think so. Unless New England loses a player that is vital to their success, I don't see a team that will stop them.
Patriots win 38-24