Friday, January 07, 2011

2010 Playoff Predictions

Well it's that time of year again, the football season is wrapping up and after a few more exciting games we are left with six months of doldrums. But I bet you want to know how the playoffs are going to shake out though...


Jets at Colts = Jets

While I could very easily see the Colts winning as Peyton Manning is a Hall of Famer by any standard and getting Indy to the playoffs is a tribute to him, they are too beat up. Don’t believe the hype - that four game win streak was the Titans twice (by a combined 5 points), the Jaguars at home, and the Raiders. None of those teams had a winning record.

Ravens at Chiefs = Ravens

For all the hype about Cassel and Bowe the Chiefs were 30th in passing offense, not good enough to exploit the Ravens diminished secondary. And the Ravens are good enough to stop that rushing attack.

Ravens at Steelers = Steelers

This will be a tough game, and honestly one that could go ether way, but I think with a slightly better defense and the home field the Steelers take it.

Jets at Patriots = Patriots

The Jets are fading and have been figured out. The Pats have a Hall of Fame QB and Coach the Jets have a pair of overhyped meatheads.

Steelers at Patriots = Steelers

Seems crazy given that the Pats crushed Pittsburgh at home I know, but while it would be no surprise at all if the Pats won, they are not as good as in years past. That defense is going hurt them at some point and for all the talk about how great their offense is with just a bunch of guys and Brady the lack of a go-to guy is not something to be celebrated. Pittsburgh has the passrush to do what the Giants did to Brady three years ago. Plus the Pats have been surviving by having a huge plus-turnover ratio, but Big Ben has only five picks (admittedly in 12 games), just one more than Tom Terrific. That said I would feel more confidence if it was Baltimore coming to Foxboro as I think they match up better with New England.


Saints at Seahawks = Saints

No brainer. Saints aren’t what they were last year, but the Seahawks are awful.

Packers at Eagles = Packers

The Eagles are a good team with coach who know how to win playoff games and I nearly picked them, but Packers have the secondary to match up with the Eagles receivers, while the reverse is not true. Plus as time is passing, the NFL is remembering how to defense Fido Vick.

Packers at Falcons = Falcons

Sometimes teams just have a little magic and are better than they seem on paper. The Falcons just feel that way – so does Matty Ice. The Packers certainly could win – they almost did in November – but they are beat up, and have been playing with no margin for error for a while, that wears you down sometimes.

Saints at Bears = Saints

Every year some high seed lays an egg and the Bears are a good candidate – they are in the 20s in passing and rushing offense and passing defense. I’m not overly impressed with their coach and their QB is a meathead. Who are their offensive weapons? With their top two runners on IR though this game will be tough, New Orleans is about as far from a lock as you can get.

Saints at Falcons = Falcons

Did you know that Drew Brees threw twenty-two interceptions this year? Second most in the league. With all the injuries on offense there is too much having to go through the quarterback. The Saints showed they can beat the Falcons, but Atlanta is not afraid of them (and they were riding an eight game winning streak, they were due).

Super Bowl

Steelers vs Falcons = Falcons

These are two fairly evenly matched teams, it will be a good game, but I have to lean toward Atlanta. The Steelers’ D is better than the Falcons,’ but not as much as the Falcons’ offense is better than Pittsburgh’s. Rashard Mendenhall averaged 3.9 yards a carry, Mike Wallace is mainly a deep threat, and the Steelers OL is beat up – say hello to Flozell Adams (who is dinged himself). Plus the Falcons have a ProBowl return and solid specialists while Pittsburgh changed both their punter and kicker during the season and is dead last in punt returns.

One final work of caution. Every year tons of people who don't gamble bet on the Super Bowl. That is dumb, you can win just as much money on any game during the season - you don't need to waste your money because it is a big game. Plus the lines are often crazy because lots of naive folks bet, fans of the teams in the game bet irrationally, and the media hypes the underdog and constantly tries to tell you why they can do it as part of their game hype.


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