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
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that the first predictions post was a bit…. incomplete, obviously, but it’s our first week too (or some other lame unacceptable excuse). Also, while I’m blabbering, those Thursday games really mess me up when I’m trying to write this.
Anyway, I got an early start and there’s not a Thursday game, so no excuses this week. Onward and upwards… on……wards…
(Psst… more after the jump!)
Greg’s Playoff Record: (5-3)
Sunday, 3pm, FOX:
Green Bay Packers AT Chicago Bears
Greg’s Pick: Chicago Bears. Everything is telling me to pick the Packers, but I just can’t for some reason. Even if I picked the winner of the Eagles/Packers game to go to the Superbowl way back when. I think this game is going to be great to watch and I am really looking forward to it. I just feel like the Bears are being disrespected, coming in at home, against a #6 seed, and not being favored? Look for the Bears to play with a similar chip on their shoulder as the Jets did last week (jerks).
Sunday, 6:30pm, CBS:
New York Jets AT Pittsburgh Steelers
Greg’s Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers. I really don’t want either team in the Superbowl, but there will be. The last time these two teams faced each other, the Steelers were pretty banged up — aka Polamalu was out. Now he’s back and the Steelers seem to have figured out some form of an offense. As a Patriots fan, do I want to see Big Ben go to a third Superbowl to start the Brady comparisons? No. But do I want to see a AFC East rival go, validating their trash talk? No, although Shaughnessy does bring up some good points. Both of these teams don’t really know how to score a lot of points. Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this game will not be close, the Steelers will roll over the over-confident Jets, call me crazy…
Saturday January 8, 4:30p EST – NBC
New Orleans Saints AT Seattle Seahawks
Greg’s Pick: New Orleans Saints. You know part of me wants to pick the Seahawks, they’re at home (12th man), nothing is expected of them, and they’ll be playing on high emotion. But I just cannot do it. Last time these two teams met, the Saints destroyed them – since then, the Saints have gotten healthier and better, the Seahawks are just about the same.
New York Jets AT Indianapolis Colts
Greg’s Pick: Indianapolis Colts. Can we just end this Jets to the Superbowl talk already? The Colts had to win 4 straight games just to get here, while the Jets are limping in, literally. I expect this to be a close game, but the Jets offense will once again doom their season.
Sunday January 9, 1:00pm EST, CBS:
Baltimore Ravens AT Kansas City Chiefs
Greg’s Pick: Baltimore Ravens. As much as I really want the Chiefs to win – the Ravens do this every year, go on the road and win the first game, they thrive off of this environment. I think the game will be tight and will come down to the final drive though, in which the Ravens defense will hold up.
4:30pm EST, FOX:
Green Bay Packers AT Philadelphia Eagles
Greg’s Pick: Green Bay Packers. This is the toughest game I had to pick this weekend. Both teams are very good and I think the winner of this game will go to the Superbowl. I am picking the Packers strictly because I think they have a better defense and allow far fewer points than the Eagles do.
Last Week: Greg 11-5 (86-50) Genesis 9-7 (80-56) Andrew 10-6 (46-32)
1pm Games Sunday:
Kansas City Chiefs AT St Louis Rams
Greg’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs. As well as the Rams play at home, with Cassel back, I have to go with the Chiefs, especially in a must win situation to keep the Chargers back.
Gen’s pick: Kansas City Chiefs. As much as I want to give the Rams the advantage, since they have a much more experienced RB, the Chiefs pretty much have perfected their running game. I don’t know if the Rams will be able to contain them.
Buffalo Bills AT Miami Dolphins
Greg’s Pick: Miami Dolphins. I really don’t know who could win this game, but the Buffalo run defense is horrendous, maybe Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams can finally show up?
Gen’s pick: Miami Dolphins. It’s a game nobody cares about so why should I?
Cleveland Browns AT Cincinnati Bengals
Greg’s Pick: Cleveland Browns. The Bengals are on a mission to lose out the entire season it seems.
Gen’s pick: Cleveland Browns. What Greg said.
The rest of the picks after the jump!