08
Jan
11

NFL 2010/11 Playoffs: Wild Card Round

The NFL second season is upon us and like the rest of the sports blogging world, it’s time for me to make my useless predictions based on practically nothing at all.

New Orleans @ Seattle

The Saints are the defending Super Bowl champions, but haven’t always played that way this season.  The finished 11-5 (6-2 on the road).  They’re on the road to play the 7-9 NFC West champ Seattle Seahawks.  At first glance, this looks like a road blow-out for the Saints.  They had no problem handling the Seahawks in the Superdome in week 11 winning 34-19.  Things are much different, however.  The Saints are very thin at running back and having to play a vastly over-confident Seahawks team in their home nest will prove to be quite a challenge for Drew Brees and the Saints.  All that aside, the Seahawks finished 7-9 for a reason.  I think the raw talent of Brees along with the coaching acumen of Peyton and Williams gives the Saints a win in a close game.  SAINTS

New York Jets @ Indianapolis

This is a tough one to call.  The Jets are playing strong and Mark Sanchez settled down more as the regular season wound down, despite his late season injury.  For the Colts, all you have to say is Peyton Manning.  These aren’t the same old Colts.  Indy has fallen back to the pack and Manning has shown he is human after all.  I was thinking Jets for a while, but now I think the Colts front 7, and the home crowd, harass the still young Sanchez into making just enough mistakes for the Colts to pull this one out.  COLTS

Baltimore @ Kansas City

Baltimore was my preseason pick to make the Super Bowl this year (Minnesota was my NFC pic).  I’m not sure if they can still go all the way, but I think they can go on the road and handle the Chiefs.  The Ravens, always known for their great defense, has become much more balanced.  Kansas City has definitely shown improvement under head coach Todd Haley, but they’ve benefited from playing in a relatively weak AFC West division.  Despite hosting the game in the notoriously loud Arrowhead Stadium, the Ravens talent, experience and drive should carry them to a first round victory.  RAVENS

Green Bay @ Philadelphia

Probably the toughest game to call.  Green Bay finished the season on a very strong note.  Aaron Rodgers is playing his best football.  But so is Michael Vick.  Despite the quality of the guys under center, this game will be won or lost in the trenches.  Whichever defense can put more pressure on the opposing quarter will win the game.  Vick is very banged up and Clay Matthews is worthy of Defensive Player of the Year honors.  This will be a very close game.  The Eagles have ridden Vick for most of the season.  I think the Packers defense harasses him just enough to give Rodgers a chance to win the game.  PACKERS

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