Saturday, January 09, 2010

Playoff predictions

Before you roll your eyes at my playoff picks let's take a quick trip down memory lane. In the preseason I said the playoffs would include these teams:



That's 4 of 6 in AFC and it would have been 5 of 6 if the Colts had not laid down for the Jets (Texans were the would be 7th seed). In the NFC I hit 4 of 6 as well and I will point out that the Niners swept the Cards. And both of my Super Bowl picks (Saints-Ravens) are still alive. And I will argue that losing Tory Polamalu for 11 games made a huge difference for the Steelers - despite playing in just five games he was a co-leader in interceptions. The offense wasn't terrible and their secondary let them down at key points. A superstar can make a difference, they would not have repeated, but would have made the postseason. Only the Bears were a serious misfire. I'm calling that pretty good prognostication.

Further, along the way I predicted Brian Orakpo would be good in DC and that Albert Haynesworth wouldn't be. I said if Larry Johnson faltered Jamaal Charles could carry the load, that Iron Mike had fixed Vernon Davis, and made a joking reference Pierce Garcon when you had no idea who he was. I was also right about the Colts not going for history.

So, do you want to know how the playoffs will go? I'd like to pick Ravens-Saints, but let's be realistic. This was a hard playoffs to pick - especially the NFC, going through picking each individual game gave me results I did not like wholistically - all three losers winning in the rematches for example.

Wild Card
**Bengals defeat Jets. The Jets aren't that good and haven't faced a team playing for real since Week 15 and were inconsistent before that. Meanwhile the Bengals have been been hearing about how not good they are and I am sure Marvin Lewis has been shredding them for the beatdown they suffered.

Ravens defeat Patriots. The Ravens weakness is their secondary but with Ed Reed back and former Kent State QB Julian Edelman starting at WR that won't be a problem, while Ray Rice will torch the Pats aging D.

Cardinals defeat Packers

Cowboys defeat Eagles. This was the hardest game of all to call, because it meant taking Mr. Fancypants and Turnoveromo over Reid and McNabb. And both teams have good defenses. But not only did Cowboys crush Philly with important playoff positions on the line, they swept them. Maybe Romo is maturing, it does happen, this is only his fourth season as a starter. Philly's offense has more weapons than in years past, but they are still too pass heavy, and with Westbrook done they have less of a running game.

Colts defeat Ravens. That bad corners thing comes back to hurt the Ravens in Indy.

Bengals defeat Chargers. I really tried to sell myself on the Bengals. I don't trust Norv Turner and think the Chargers are are primed for a letdown after such a long winning streak and the idea of the 1&2 seed both winning seems unlikely. The Ravens or Pats could do, but I doubt the Bengals.

Cardinals defeat Saints. In the playoffs I look at headcoach, QB, and defense. The Saints have the weakest D in the playoffs. Brees is better than Warner, but not as much better as the Zona D. And I like Whisenhunt quite a bit. The Saints secondary is hurting and of not super talent and going against at good passing offense. Maybe the time off will given Darren Sharper his legs back a bit.

Cowboys defeat Vikings. I don't like the way the Farkings finished or their secondary. Plus the 'Pokes passrush will be able to get pressure because the Purple People Protectors have been struggling lately.


Colts defeat Chargers. See above for why I don't trust the Chargers. I know they have won in Indy before, but their passrush was much better in those years

Cowboys defeat Cardinals. Cardinals just aren't that good.

Super Bowl

Colts defeat Cowboys in a rematch of Super Bowl V. DeMarcus Ware is MVP.

I don't like Jim Caldwell, he is winning with Dungy's team. But the fact remains the they are undefeated in games they tired to win, have a great and healthy offense, and the best QB in league. And don't tell me the defense isn't good enough - go and look at the 2006 defense.

Also there is no way in hell Taco Bell is healthy food or a way to lose weight - unless you get diarrhea easily.


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