A shocking ending that no one could have expected!
A shocking ending that no one could have expected!
This is absolutely the best set of games that could have happened. The narrative surrounding the first game is a classic chess match between some of the best players and coaches in the history of the game. It is a matchup for those who love the “art” of the game – the finesse and strategy run through the quarterback position. The second game is the epitome of the recent movement within the NFL; utilizing dual threat quarterbacks to bring the speed and options typically seen at the collegiate level. In addition to these dynamic quarterbacks, both of these teams play at a physical level reminiscent of some of the great old school defensive units. Regardless of this week’s results, the contrasting styles will make for a great Superbowl.
Sunday, January 19th
New England Patriots AT Denver Broncos (3:00 PM ET CBS)
Andrew – Denver Broncos. I…. I don’t know…. This game could go either way, as evidence in the overtime game that was played earlier this year (not to mention the extreme swings that forced it into overtime in the first place). A Denver mishap on special teams was the only thing that prevented the game from ending in a tie. In addition to all the normal pressures of just trying to get to the Superbowl, there is also all the legacy talk – is BB the best coach ever (yes), is Peyton Manning the best quarterback of all time (technically – probably), however if Tom Brady goes to the Superbowl he would be the first QB to go 6 times, and how could you argue against that feat (and his playoff record)… and honestly, this was just off the top of my head, there are probably several other interesting nuggets that will come to light after this game – but no pressure! It’s actually kind of amazing, and for those of us without a dog in the fight, this could arguably be one of the best Conference Championship games that has been played in the past decade (or more). I realize there isn’t any analysis in this soliloquy, or even an argument for my pick but honestly, I imagine if the NFL scheduled a full season of just Broncos vs. Patriots games, they would end up 8-8, so flip a coin.
Greg – New England. I have been battling this pick all week — and changing it every day. I really don’t know how this game will go. If the Patriots can run the ball like the past few weeks, I think they will take this one. But that depends on how their defense plays against Manning, who could put up a quick 21 points and force the Pats to pass. I’m not sure how this game will go, but I’m taking the Pats coming in as underdogs to steal one. As a fan — sit back and enjoy seeing these quarterback greats play against each other, someday you’ll tell your kids you saw these two play.
Genesis – Broncos – NEEEIIIGGGHHHH
San Francisco 49ers AT Seattle Seahawks (6:30 PM ET FOX)
Andrew – Seattle Seahawks. I don’t know what to say. I picked the 49ers, starting to write out why, and thought “ah this sucks, the Seahawks are going to win.” So I switched my pick to the Seahawks and started to write something out and thought “ah shit, the 49ers are going to win.” So. again, here is my non analysis…. I am not going to enjoy this game. It’s going to chippy until the refs get overly involved, and then it’s just going to be frustrating and annoying. The thing is, I know people love this type of football too, so another ideal matchup for the NFL.
Greg – San Francisco. Wow, picking both road teams in a Championship game — not smart Greg. Yeah I know. But something about this San Francisco team has me hooked. Their offense and defense are clicking at the right time and seem to be unstoppable. Add into that mix that Seattle’s offense has looked pretty awful recently — mainly Russell Wilson not being able to do anything and making the wrong reads — and you have a recipe for a 49ers win. It’s key they get points on their first 2 or 3 possessions to quiet the crowd a bit and get their confidence. This game is going to be very interesting from the get go. While the AFC game will be interesting in the second half, the first half will be very telling in this one.
Genesis – Seahwaks – cawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
January 11th – Saturday Playoff Games
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (4:35 PM ET Fox)
Andrew – Seattle Seahawks. I imagine that when it’s all said and done, the final score will suggest the game was closer than it actually will be (that was a terrible mix of past and future tense). I don’t doubt that New Orleans will put up a fight at one point, but I think Seattle will be in control throughout the game.
Greg – Seattle. It is so difficult to not pick the Seahawks in this game. Even though the saints proved last week they can win outdoors, I just cannot pick them. I think New Orleans will come out with some trick plays here and there to throw off Seattle’s defense, but it won’t be enough in the end.
Genesis – Saints faint as the Seahawks walk – to victory!
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (8:15 PM ET CBS)
Andrew – New England. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s abilities have covered up the ugly underbelly of New England’s season. Aaron Hernandez, major injuries to key players on both sides of the ball, and lack of depth have plagued this team all season. Despite all that, I think these two teams come in pretty evenly matched. If New England can get out of its own way (meaning, not have a bunch of dropped balls, fumbles, penalties and other mental errors) than this is their game to lose.
Greg – New England. This game makes me nervous. The Pats are not a good team, but then again, the Colts aren’t very good either. Look for the Pats to try and establish the run early on.
Genesis – Colts bolt after New England wins. Give yourself a PATS on the backs
January 12th – Sunday Playoff Games
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (1:05 PM ET Fox)
Andrew – Carolina Panthers. I can see this game going either way. The popular pick is 49ers because they should have more offensive weapons than what they had the last time these teams played (and the Panthers won on the road). This time around, the Panthers are dealing with injuries despite coming off a week of rest. All that said, (and this is why I keep going back and forth) I think this is will be a tough game for 49ers to go across the country and beat the top ranked defense in their own house.
Greg – Carolina. This should be a very fun game to watch. I don’t expect too much offense in it, much like their first meeting, but each possession will be crucial. The 49ers have the experience here so this game is certainly a toss up, but I’m going with Cam in the big situation to come through.
Genesis – Panthers claw their way to victory! Meow this should be interesting!
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (4:40 PM ET CBS)
Andrew – Denver Broncos. If you combine the two games these teams played during the regular season, the Broncos have outscored the Chargers by a combined total of 1 point. Each team lost at home / won on the road. However, despite these close games, I would be really surprised to see the Broncos struggle in this game. They should be coming back healthy, with offensive weapons that they didn’t have in the previous games.
Greg – Denver. I really like San Diego in this situation, but I can’t pull the trigger. I’ve been saying for weeks that the AFC is Peyton’s to lose. He is set up perfectly here. That said, he’ll have a few mistakes that will be covered up by Denver’s running game. Broncos win a close one.
Genesis – Chargers will SHOCK the world and cause the Broncos to BOLT out of the area. Zzzt
THU, NOV 21 TIME (ET)
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons 8:25 PM
Greg – New Orleans. While I think that the Falcons might ACTUALLY show up for this game, I just cannot pick them based on their play this year. Matt Ryan is having an ICE COLD season and the rest of the team is following his lead. The Saints should pull out in front early, and then end up winning by a touchdown.
Andrew – New Orleans.
Genesis – New Orleans.
SUN, NOV 24 TIME (ET)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM
Andrew – Pittsburgh. Squeaker. Defensive battle.
Greg – Pittsburgh. Don’t look now, but the Steelers are coming and are creeping up on the AFC North! They’ve been playing much better lately, showing that their offense might be back on point in the past few weeks. Their weakness this year though is their secondary, but I don’t anticipate the Browns being able to take advantage of it enough to win this game.
Genesis – Steelers. Who cares.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM
Andrew – Detroit. Better team at home.
Greg – Detroit. I suppose this would be my lock game of the week, but I really hate picking with Detroit — can they just be consistent? They seem to struggle against teams they should beat — playing down to them. That being said, I still think they win this.
Genesis – Lions. Buccs are playing like they’re trying to save their coach’s job. But that will be put on hold here when Megatron goes crazy on Revis.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM
Andrew – Minnesota. Toss up.
Greg – Green Bay. This is actually a tough pick — this game is a toss up, but I’ll go with the backup at home getting more and more experience. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Minnesota pull this out though.
Genesis – Packers. Without Aaron Rodgers at the helm, Green Bay’s offense looks unrecognizable. But, the Vikings have been struggling all year. Yeah, the Vikings couls steal this win, but I just can’t get over their existing turmoil.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City 1:00 PM
Andrew – Kansas City. Despite the loss Cheifs should feel some what validated by their play. Bounce back, solid win.
Greg – Kansas City. That was a tough loss last week for the Chiefs. I’m sure the dumb 1972 Dolphins were popping champagne like the jerks they are. Now the Chiefs get to go back home, regroup and take on the Chargers — another tough matchup. A close game, but the Chiefs pull it out behind their crowd.
Genesis – Chiefs. So much for a perfect regular season. I can see Rivers keeping pace with his bid for the most perfect QB this season, but the Chiefs are going to want to make amends for last week’s loss.
Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams 1:00 PM
Andrew Chicago. Capable back up against a down and out team/franchise.
Greg – Chicago. With no Jay Cutler still, I think I am beginning to see some promise in McCown for the Bears — he has been keeping them in games and filling in nicely. The Rams are coming off demolishing the Colts two weeks ago — but the Bears offense I think will be able to power through and steal a road win.
Genesis – Bears. Chicago is in a weird position. Their main QB is good but is always fetting hurt. Their backup is also very good, but not as good as their starter – but he isn’t made out of glass. Keep Cutler or trade him? Think about it. Either way, Bears are the better team.
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM
Andrew – Carolina. Defense keeps them in it, Cam takes off late third quarter.
Greg – Carolina. This is a possible trap game for the Panthers — coming off two huge (AND ONE CONTROVERSIAL) wins. Now they take on the Dolphins who are just trying to claw onto the edge of the playoffs before falling off into the abyss again. After watching the Panthers last week for the first time, they are very good, still make some mistakes, but they should win this game.
Genesis – Panthers. SCAM NEWTON STRIKES AGAIN!! Panther defense might be having a field dayin this game. Get some Gatorade in you, Scam. You’re going to be on the field a lot.
September 19th – Thursday Night Game (8:25 PM ET)
Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles
Andrew – Philadelphia Eagles. I definitely think that the Chiefs have a shot, and given that their defense seems to be significantly improved, I feel as though this game could be lower scoring and closer than many people expect. However, if I had to pick the team that could most likely break it open, it would not be Alex Smith and the Chiefs. One more game though, and I may be convinced.
Greg – Philadelphia Eagles. I really think this game is a toss up. Reid coming back into town creates an emotional aspect for both teams. The chiefs will most certainly be playing up for their coach, but I don’t think they’ll be able to slow down this offense enough to win for Andy.
Genesis – Kansas City Chiefs. TALK ABOUT RACIST NAMES, AMIRIGHT?! This one is actually pretty tough to choose. With a 2-0 start, the Chiefs seem to be doing everything right – but Vick has thrown like 600+ yards, so clearly something’s working there. The key to this win is to stop the Eagles rush offense. If they do that, then the Chiefs win – but just barely.
September 22nd – Early Sunday Games (1:00 PM ET)
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew – Green Bay Packers. Short(ish) week for the Bengals, coming off a tough division game on Monday. Should be close per home field advantage, might even give a slight advantage to the Bengals, but again, in a jam, I feel like Green Bay has more weapons offensively and is competent enough defensively to win this on the road.
Greg – Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers played out of his mind against the Redskins. He will not have that kind of game this week against a better defense, but it will still be enough to win. Throw in a Dalton turnover, and you have a Packers win.
Genesis – Green Bay Packers. They did WORK against the Skins last week. Rodgers won’t be putting up ridiculous yards like he did during that game because the Bengals have what people are calling “a defense.” He won’t throw for 800+ yards and I doubt their RB will get over 100 yards rushing again, but they’ll do enough on offensive work to get the win. But I see this as another close game.
Sunday, January 20th
San Francisco 49ers AT Atlanta Falcons – 3:00 PM
Andrew – San Francisco. Aaaahh yeah, I know, tough call with them on the road, also… I’m going by how Atlanta crumbled against the Seahawks in the second half, if the 49ers start faster than the general snail pace of the Seahawks, they have a chance to keep the Falcons off balance with their dynamic offense.
Greg – Atlanta. I am not confident with this pick at all, but something in my GUT tells me the Falcons are going to win this game. I have spent all week thinking about who will win this game. The 49ers dominated Green Bay’s defense, who primarily played man ALL GAME LONG for some reason. The Falcons are built to contain Kaepernick’s running ability in their zone schemes. I think the Falcons will be able to cause at least 2 turnovers by Kaepernick — this kid is still a first year starter folks! That being said, this game is still a toss up, and it all depends on which Matt Ryan comes out to play. I’m banking on the one who has played strong late in the season, and most importantly, not turning the ball over.
Baltimore Ravens AT New England Patriots – 6:30 PM
Andrew – New England. Ravens are coming off a long and emotional game on the road… to continue on the road is going to be extremely tough. Yes, some of Raven’s defensive inspirational stars are finally healthy, and they’ve been known to injure a Patriot or two… but like always, the success of the Ravens hinges entirely on how well Joe Flacco plays. Hard to say someone got lucky when they play in the divisional round of the playoffs… but that game tying touchdown pass…. was preeetttyy lucky…. I don’t see New England completely crapping out on defense, despite their history of bend but don’t break strategy.
Greg – New England. Not too happy about this matchup, the Ravens are not afraid of the Patriots (and actually might be boasting about that a bit too much this week). This will be a super close game — I expect the Patriots to come out with some different formations to confuse the Ravens early. Will be very interesting to watch Flacco’s play in the first half to see how he responds to being this close to the Super Bowl again.
Baltimore Ravens vs Denver Broncos 4:30 PM
Andrew – Denver. I was impressed with Baltimore’s performance over the Colts, but I should have known better than to pick against them at home, against an untested Indianapolis team (aka, one that hasn’t been to the playoffs before with Andrew Luck). I’m not going to make the same mistake twice, hostile environment, against an all time elite QB, does not bode well for the on again, off again, Ravens team.
Greg – Denver. I am not comfortable with this pick. I think Denver is highly overrated. Yes they have been manhandling teams for the past 10 weeks, but they have also been playing pretty awful teams. I think Baltimore is riding an emotional streak right now into Denver. However, due to Baltimore’s inconsistency (especially on the road), I cannot pick them to win this. Denver wins by 10 here.
Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers 8:00 PM
Andrew – San Francisco. Tough game to pick…. I am not very high on San Francisco… but I probably should be so I’m going to give it to them. They’re at home, they have a great defense, they should be rested, Green Bay has been banged up all year (statistically the team with the most injured started – side note, Redskins were second most), and Colin Kaepernick can cause some serious issues for opposing defenses. Plus, last week the Packers pretty much got a freebie with Joe Webb playing for the Vikings and they still struggled…ok, no really but you would have thought they would have really been able to put away that game.
Greg – San Francisco. I heard one of the dumb Mikes from ESPN say that Aaron Rodgers was the BEST quarterback left in the playoffs. What? MVP years from Peyton and Brady don’t cut it I guess guys! Anyways, this should be a pretty fun game. I am semi-confident that with 2 weeks, Harbaugh was able to gameplan something to utilize Kaepernick in fun new ways. Look for some trickery like we saw last year with Alex Smith (maybe some fake punts too?). But I think too much is on Aaron Rodgers to win this game, if he has 1 mistake, it could cost them the game.
Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM
Andrew – Atlanta. BURN IN HELL SEAHAWKS!!!! More importantly though, the first two Redskins drives resulted in back to back touchdowns and 14 unanswered points. They easily moved the ball on an otherwise stout defense. It was obvious after by the end of the first quarter RGIII was operating barely above a walk (as Greg called last week) and the Seahawks proceeded to capitalize on the Redskins squandered opportunities. I don’t think they’ll get the same chances this week against a rested Falcons team. Normally, I call one and done on the Falcons, but I think if they’re able to establish the run a bit, they shouldn’t have any trouble with the Seahawks.
Greg – Seattle. Going out on a limb here, I think this might just be Seattle’s year. They just do not care who they play. Last week they went down 14-0 early on the road, and then ended up winning the game with 24 unanswered. Not many teams can do that (helps when you play a 1 legged qb though too). I just feel like the Seahawks are making the right plays at the right time. I don’t like them at all, hate Pete Carroll (I do like Russell Wilson though). Anyways though — this should be an interesting first half to watch, I expect the Seahawks to come out guns blazing early to try and counteract any chance of being flat like last week in DC.
Houston Texans vs New England Patriots 4:30 PM
Andrew – New England. Despite the national media’s best attempts to provide endless bulletin board material for the Texans, I don’t see this one falling their way. First off, the Patriots spanked the Texans earlier this season. I mean absolutely effortlessly spanked them. Great you held Wes Welker to a season low three catches, that probably only helped the Patriots offense as he wasn’t dropping all those passes. New England should have no problem handling their business at home throughout this game.
Greg – New England. Agree with Andrew here — the media is giving Houston all the ammo it wants. Also, I hate him for linking to that video, DO NOT CLICK IT!!!! I predicted at the beginning of the season that one of these two teams was going to represent the AFC in the SuperBowl..that’s all, just humblebragging they’ve made it this far. I think this game will be a lot closer than everyone seems to expect, that being said, there is a x factor playing this week that did not the first time they met — the Gronk.