NFL playoff preview

Here's one idiot's predictions for this weekend in the NFL playoffs

1/5/13 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Dec 16, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) on the field after the game at Gillette Stadium. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the New England Patriots 41-34. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY SportsThe NFL playoffs start today, and there's one thing that really makes this year different from most other years.

These all look like they're going to be pretty good games.

Also, there's really no definitive favorite this year. Every team has shown signs that they could go down at any point.

In the AFC, the Patriots and Broncos are the top seeds, and the Texans were the #1 team until the final week.

The Broncos are on an 11-game winning streak, but only 2 of those wins came against playoff teams. They actually lost the other 3 games they played against playoff teams, including the Patriots, who they could meet in the AFC Championship.

Speaking of the Patriots, they looked pretty awful in the first half a few weeks ago against the 49ers, and again the following week against the lowly Jaguars.

The aforementioned Texans had the #1 seed all but locked up, but ended up losing 3 of their last 4 games to fall down to #3. That's not exactly how you want to enter the playoffs.

Dec 30, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to pass against the St. Louis Rams during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsIn the NFC, the top two seeds are the Falcons and 49ers.
The Falcons still haven't won a playoff game in the Matt Ryan era.

The 49ers, even in a win against the Patriots, allowed them to come back and tie the game from a 28-point deficit. With Justin Smith out the past few weeks, their pass rush has been a shell of what it was before. He'll be back on the field in time for their game next week, but who know if he'll be as effective as he was before.

The Seahawks and Redskins have actually looked the most impressive as of late, but they're playing each other this week in a marquee matchup of talented rookie QBs, and one will be done immediately.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for now. Here are my predictions for what will happen this weekend:

Texans 31, Bengals 23
In today's first game, the Texans will finally remember that they're a pretty good team, and they'll actually play like it. The Bengals are a good up-and-coming team, but they might be a bit out of their league in this one.

Packers 27, Vikings 13
Adrian Peterson has been carrying the Vikings on his back all year, particularly in the second half of the season. That, combined with the Packers committing fully to stopping the run, will finally result in slowing him down, and Christian Ponder will be forced to win the game for them. Sorry, Vikings, but that just doesn't work.

Colts 17, Ravens 16
It won't be pretty, but Andrew Luck will lead the Colts to victory in his first playoff game, setting up a faceoff between him and Peyton Manning in Denver next week. The Ravens would love to win at least one game for Ray Lewis before he retires, but it's not in the cards this time.

Seahawks 24, Redskins 20
This is the game that everyone wants to see. Unfortunately for the Redskins, their defense just isn't quite on par with their opponents, and the Seahawks will steal this one on the road.

Stay tuned today and tomorrow to see how wrong I am. Either way, this should be a great batch of games.
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1/5/13   |   huskerdoug2009   |   2795 respect

Pat, I agree with the Texans and Packers picks, I would not be suprised who wins the other 2 games because all 4 teams are capable of winning even on the road in hostile environments.