Category Archives: NFL Playoffs

2011 San Francisco 49ers

What a great day of football.

Hats off to the San Francisco 49ers. The team definitely surprised me this year. When the season got under way I wasn’t expecting anything close to this. I thought that there was a good chance that the team would be in the mix for Andrew Luck next year. Jim Harbaugh deserves a lot of credit for the work he did with this team this year. It was great to see the 49ers back in the playoffs and hopefully next year will be another bright one.

How much money will David Tyree end up making in the next couple of weeks? He’ll be everywhere in the lead up to the Super Bowl. How many times do you think you’ll see a clip of his catch in the next two weeks?

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NFL Divisional Round Predictions

Lets try this again, shall we? I was brutal with my picks last week going just 1-3 against the spread and 2-2 overall. Last year I went 8-3 against the spread in the playoffs.

The 49ers and the Saints get us underway today. Being a 49ers fan I obviously hope the team can get me a nice birthday gift and deliver a win. I have to say I am more optimistic today of the 49ers chances then I was all season as everyone began to project the playoff matchups. Take a look at this screen grab from ESPN earlier today.

The Saints are a different team outside of the Superdome. The 49ers have almost no shot getting to 40 points but Alex Smith can get them to the mid 20s. Can the defense and the running game slow down Brees? The 49ers have done a great job protecting the ball all season. They had a +28 turnover ratio compared to a -3 for the Saints. If Gore and Smith can protect the ball I think we are headed for an upset here. The Saints have NEVER won a road playoff game. I am going to take the 49ers +4 to win outright. Nothing against Brees or the Saints, they’ve had an amazing year but this 49ers team will pull off one more surprise today.

I feel dirty rooting for a Patriots win but you have to believe Brady and Belichick got sick and tired of listening to Tebow talk this week. Give it to Tebow though, that throw in OT was impressive despite the terrible defensive play call from the Steelers. A couple of big Tebow plays and this weak Patriots defense does scare me somewhat but I don’t think this run has to end at some point so why not today? I have to give Bill Belichick enough credit as a defensive mind that he won’t let Tebow have his way. Heck, maybe they just got Josh McDaniels to tape a Broncos practice now that he is back on the payroll! The Broncos will cover the 14 point spread but the Patriots will host the AFC Championship game next week.

Hats off to the Texans. Big win for them last week and given all the injuries they’ve had this year it has been one very good season for them on the field. Do they have one more win in them? T. J Yates will try to become just the 3rd QB to win two playoff games as a rookie (Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco are the others). Speaking of Flacco, I didn’t like his media session on Wednesday. He came across as a guy who is far too concerned with what others think about him. I think the game will be close to I’ll take the Texans +9 but Ravens will win a field goal game.

A lot of people have been comparing this Giants team to the one that won a Super Bowl four years ago. A playoff game in Lambeau brought even more of that talk this week. I just don’t see things working out the same for the Giants though. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are just playing at a really high level and as good as the Giants defense has been I don’t think they will be able to slow down the Packers. I’ll take the Packers -9 to win by double digits.
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NFL Playoff Predictions

With the games getting underway shortly I wanted to take a moment to post my playoff predictions. Looking back at my preseason predictions I ended up getting 8 out of the 12 playoff teams. If it wasn’t for the disappointing years from the Chargers and Jets they would look a lot better. I’m a 49ers fan and I didn’t pick them for the playoffs so I’m glad I was wrong on that one as well.

I am going to take the Bengals +4 to win outright against the Texans. Hats off to Marvin Lewis for the great job he has done with this team. The whole Carson Palmer situation should have been a big distraction for the team but not only did they pull off a great trade with the Raiders they still got to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton. Once Peyton Manning went down this really should have been the year of the Texans in the AFC. They should have locked up a bye but ended up being caught up in injuries themselves. They’ve done well to get to this point but I think their season ends today.

The Lions finishing 10-6 and making it to the playoffs is a great sports story given where that franchise and more importantly where that city has been but in a way even with the Green Bay Packers being in that division they almost seems like an underachieving team given the way they started the year. If Ndamukong Suh can keep head on straight this should be a start of great things to come for the Detroit Lions in the coming years. I think the Lions will cover the 11 point spread but the Saints will pull out the win. What a year Drew Brees had. I think Aaron Rodgers slowing down late in the season will help Brees pull out the MVP. The Saints probably are the one team in the NFC who can stop the Packers from repeating.

Even with a four game losing streak (and two additional losses to the Washington Redskins) the Giants somehow managed to make the playoffs and save Tom Coughlin’s job. For whatever reason people like to knock Eli Manning but he took a big step forward this year. With the game on the line there are very few quarterbacks in the league who you’d want guiding that two minute drill. He is one of those quarterbacks. The Falcons should be a lot better at this point with Matt Ryan. I understand that being in the same division as the Saints doesn’t help but this team doesn’t excite me one bit. They do have a sour taste from last year’s playoffs but I believe they lose again this weekend. I’ll take the Giants -3.

“Tebow Time” is finished. I made a post earlier in the season saying Tebow would no longer be a starter by the middle of next season but a loss today could very well push that up to the start of next season. The Broncos offense continues to look awful. I think if they lose big today the Broncos will bring someone else at least compete with Tebow for the job next year. Given how banged up the Steelers are right now things are laid out pretty good with Broncos, the Steelers could very well lose this week……but I just don’t think the Broncos have it in them. I’ll take the Steelers -9.

For the heck of it here are my picks for the rest of the playoffs at this moment.

Divisional Round

Packers over Giants
Saints over 49ers
Patriots over Bengals
Ravens over Steelers

Conference Championship

Packers over Saints
Ravens over Patriots

Super Bowl XLVI
Packers over Ravens
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2010 NFL Divisional Round Predictions

Great week for me last going 4-0 as the Seahawks not only covered but they won outright. Had I stuck with my gut feeling I would have gone 4-0 in picking the winners too. Lesson learned for this week hopefully. Feel free to post your picks even if you didn’t take part last week.

Here is how everyone did last week.
Me: 4-0
natthedem: 3-1
spudsfan: 3-1
Faraz: 2-2
Swarheit: 2-2
rkref: 2-2
Rovitz: 2-2
Imran: 2-2

Sorry for putting these up so late. I will just rush through the picks this week.

Ravens (+3) over the Steelers
Packers (+3) over the Falcons
Seahawks (+10) over the Bears
Jets (+9) over the Patriots

I am taking the Ravens to beat the Steelers outright. This has been a really heated rivalry in recent years and Hines Ward’s hit on Ed Reed certainly didn’t help to calm things down. Speaking of Ed Reed, there is still no update on his missing brother.

It was great to see Aaron Rodgers get a playoff win under his belt  last week after yet another NFL season that was dominated by Brett Favre headlines. Two of the best young Quarterbacks in the league going head to head here and I am really looking forward to this one. I felt going into last week that their defense would do the job against the speedy Eagles. I am taking the Packers to win outright on the road for the 2nd straight week.

Bears/Seahawks is a tricky one for me. The Seahawks will definitely cover and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull off the win here. I just don’t think the Bears are that good. Whoever wins here loses next year to the winner of the Packers/Falcons game. Looks like I didn’t learn my lesson from last week because gut feeling says that Seattle wins.

I am really looking forward to the Jets/Patriots. Call me crazy but I think the Jets win this one. Yes, the Patriots did win their last meeting in a really lopsided game but this Jets team had one hell of a year. For whatever reason this team never gets any credit. Rex Ryan has called this the 2nd biggest game in franchise history. I’ll have to read into it a little bit more but this is an important game for the team. A win here would go a long way towards silencing critics here at home. Last time these two teams met in Foxboro, Tom Brady threw 2 interceptions in a 28-14 Jets win. A 9 point line is absolutely ridiculous here. I am taking the Jets to win outright and go to the Conference Championship game for the second straight yet.

Swarheit – Ravens, Falcons, Bears and Jets
rkref – Ravens, Falcons, Bears and Jets
spudsfan – Steelers, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots
Rovitz – Steelers, Falcons, Seahawks and Jets
Faraz – Ravens, Packers, Bears and Patriots
Imran – Ravens, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots
Natthedem – Ravens, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots

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2010 NFL Wildcard Round Predictions

Through the NFL Playoffs I will be picking the games against the spread. Just for continuity I will be using the lines from ESPN. I’m looking for some challengers. If you want to put your picks on the record just post them here or send it to me via Twitter or e-mail. When you submit your picks feel free to send me a link to your Twitter feed, blog, Tumblr, etc. and I’ll link to it here. I’ll keep standings for picks against the spread but feel free to post your picks for winners if the two are different.

Here are my picks, please use the same line to make your picks.

Seahawks +10.5 over Saints
Jets +3 over Colts
Ravens -3 over Chiefs
Packers +2.5 over Eagles

Yes, I am well aware of how bad the NFC West was this year but 11 is a really crazy number for a playoff line. Saints will pull off the win but the game will be a lot closer then people think.

I am taking the Jets to win outright over the Colts. The Jets are better then people give them credit for. This team did 11 games this year but if you looked around people almost act as though they were 8-8. I love Rex Ryan. People used to rip into Eric Mangini in New York because he had no personality but a lot of those same people are now opposed to Rex Ryan because he is the exact opposite of Mangini. How does that work? I try to stay away from picking against Peyton Manning but his defense will let him down here. The Jets have a very good running game and I think Mark Sanchez will flourish in the Dome too. Plus there is that little business of payback for last year.

I’ll take the Ravens to win easily. They are giving 3 points here but honestly I don’t think this game will be close. I give a lot of credit to Todd Haley. He has done a very good in Kansas City but he’s just running into a better team here. I think Ray Rice (286 all purpose yards in 2 career playoff starts) will have a big playoff run and take that step into the top tier of HBs.

The biggest win of Michael Vick’s career came at Lambeau Field as a member of the Falcons. He’s had a fantastic year and I for one am glad to see him come back strong. Heck, he even has Barack Obama in his corner. There are a lot of people who are are still vocal opponents of Vick being back in the NFL but it is hard to argue that NFL fans want him there when he had the 5th best selling jersey in the NFL this year. Vick really is the wildcard here. He could just put on one great show in front of a national audience and win the game by himself and no one really would be surprised. I think it is not that big of a stretch to say that he is the best player in the league right now. That being said, I am taking the Packers to win here. I think Clay Matthews and the Packers defense will contain him. Lets not forget that they have a pretty good quarterback themselves and with all of the Brett Favre drama this year it will be great to see Rodgers have a good game here in the playoffs.

Other Picks

Swarheit – Saints (-11), Colts (-3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5)
rkref – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens (-3), Eagles (-2.5)
spudsfan – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5)
Rovitz – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens  (-3), Eagles  (-2.5)
Faraz – Saints (-11)Colts (-3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5) 
Imran – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens  (-3), Eagles  (-2.5)
natthedem – Seahawks (+11), Colts (-3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5) 
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Super Bowl XLIV (Super Bowl 44) Predictions

Super Bowl Sunday! Can not believe that it is here already. What a great year we’ve had. We’re left with the two teams who for the most of the season were picked to be here. The two teams that started this season a combined 27-0. For the first time since Super Bowl XXXV when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants (incidentally Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was the offensive coordinator on that Giants team) I find myself with a Super Bowl where I don’t have a team that I really would like to see win over the other. I know it is cliché but I’m just hoping for a great game.

If the Saints win, the party might never end in New Orleans. Everyone knows that this is a city that loves to party . City officials have already announced that there will be a parade whether the Saints win or lose. Is there another city in America (Detroit?) that just needs something to celebrate at this point? How can you root against this team? How can you root against Drew Brees? He went to New Orleans and has done great charitable work in the city through his “The Brees Dream Foundation”. When he signed with them, a lot of people questioned what exactly he was thinking. This was a franchise that had never won anything. There were plenty of talks of moving the franchise out of New Orleans altogether in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was great to see the NFL and Saints ownership stick by this city and be a symbol of what needs to be done to rebuild the city.

What more can you say about Peyton Manning? When all is said and done he’ll probably go down as the greatest to ever play the position. It is a shame that the Colts chose to lay down in the final two regular season games because this team should be playing for a perfect season right now and what would have been one more major notch on Peyton Manning’s legacy. Another championship for Peyton Manning means that we can stop the ridiculous group of people who try to argue that that Brady’s been half as good as Peyton Manning. Had Manning played with the defense that Brady had earlier in his career he might have had 5 rings already. The injury to Freeney is a big setback for the Colts.

This is a big day for the Manning family who are widely recognized as the “First Family” of New Orleans. The patriarch Archie Manning played 11 good years on a really bad Saints team. He never did win a Super Bowl. He was an analyst for Saints radio broadcasts but gave up that job once Peyton Manning came into the league. The Saints were playing the Colts that year and Archie didn’t feel like he could keep things he found out from meeting Saints coaches and players from his son. We all know what a career Peyton’s had. He won his ring in Super Bowl XLI. Eli Manning won his ring the following in Super Bowl XLII. There are those in New Orleans who think a Saints win today would be in part be dedicated to Saints legends of the past like Archie. Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has his own indirect ties to the Manning family. He was the Chargers Quarterback who get let go after the Eli/Phillip Rivers/Big Ben NFL Draft.

I went 0-2 vs the spread last week which dropped me to 5-5 in the playoffs.. We’re coming off of two straight all-time great Super Bowls. I just get the feeling that we’re due for a bad one. There are projecting a high scoring game. Steve Young on ESPN earlier today picked the Saints 45-42! This has the potential for a shootout with these two offenses but Super Bowls usually don’t end up that way. As someone mentioned on TV yesterday, offenses are usually a little jumpy in the first 7-8 minutes so the defenses get a nice head start. With that being said and done I am going to take the Colts -6 to come out on top. You’ve had a nice little run New Orleans and America owes you a debt of gratitude for eliminating Brett Favre last week but this one is about Peyton Manning’s legacy. Colts win 38-20.

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Conference Championship Predictions

How are up to the Conference Championship games already? Didn’t the NFL season just start? I went 3-1 last week. I’m 5-3 in the playoffs.  

Really looking forward to this Colts/Jets game. The storylines are all over the place. All week we’ve heard stories about Super Bowl III and the impact that game had on speeding up the merger. We all know that the Jets wouldn’t even be here if Colts didn’t spit on the face of history and benched their guys in Week 16 allowing the Jets to come back and win the game. We’ve got two rookie head coaches here and one of them is going to the Super Bowl. Mark Sanchez has been solid for the Jets during this run. His job is to NOT LOSE and he’s done a solid job of managing the game. I am expecting a big day for the Jets running game. I am expecting Jets rookie RB Shonn Greene to have a career day. You really can’t say enough about Peyton Manning and the Colts. They win every year. With good defenses and bad. With the old core or the new one. With the old coach or the new one. I am a huge Manning fan and want Peyton to get a couple of more rings just so people will shut up about Tom Brady (Manning’s better!). When all is said and done though I am going with the Jets +7.5 to pull off the big upset here

Brett Favre is back in the Conference Championship game. He’s had a big year but I believe he’s due for one of those 3 interception games. As great as he’s been through his career we all know one of those games isn’t far off. The home field advantage will prove to be really important in this one. One of the best fan bases in all of sports will be loud throughout this one. Will Reggie Bush come up big again? I expect the Vikings offense to have a lot of trouble. I am thinking of a score along the lines of 35-17. Saints -4.5 will be going to the Super Bowl. 

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NFL Divisional Round Predictions

The Divisional Round of the playoffs are here. So I went 2-2 overall last week. That is versus the spread and straight up picking winners too. Hopefully a better week is in store. I picked the Ravens and Jets correctly last week while the Eagles and the Packers let me down.

I am going to take the Saints -7 vs Cardinals. I think the Birthday Boy (ok…so what if Brees’ Birthday was actually yesterday) will outshine Kurt Warner and send him into retirement. Saints will not only win but cover the spread comfortably taking this one 35-20.

I jumped all over the Colts for their decision to spit on history. I am a big Colts supporter and a big Peyton Manning supporter but that decision will come back to haunt the Colts today. The only way their decision gets justified is with a Super Bowl win and as much as I would like that today will be Ray Rice’s day. Sure the Colts shut him down (relatively speaking) the last time they played but this is a man on a mission. This man can very well be the #1 pick overall in a lot of Fantasy Football leagues next year. I am going to take the Ravens (+6.5) outright in this one. 

So the Cowboys finally win a playoff game and the trash talking Cowboys fans have all returned (not that they ever really left). Relax folks. This team has still only won one playoff game since I was in 7th grade! Coming off the high of last week I believe they’ll fall flat this week. I expect to see a big game from Adrian Peterson to carry the Viking (-3) over the Cowboys and into the NFC Championship game. 

The Jets/Chargers game is actually quiet interesting to me. Next to the Ravens/Colts this is the game I am most looking forward too. On paper you would think the Chargers should win this one big and the line at 9 points definitely reflects that but I don’t think it is that simple. The Jets have a rookie QB and a rookie head coach. There is just no way they can win two playoff games this year….is it? Can they really be in a position to host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday? We have seen this Chargers team lose a lot of big games over the years. Revis got robbed this week, he definitely should have been the “Defensive Player of the Year” and I think he proves it on Sunday. I am expecting big games from Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. I think the Jets (+9) pull off a huge upset here.

Who are you picking? Post your picks or send them to me.

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NFL Wildcard Round Predictions.

Just wanted to throw some predictions out really quick as the NFL Playoffs get underway.

I will take the Jets outright. I’ll take the Eagles. I think this game comes down to a late FG. For tomorrow I am taking the Ravens with them winning outright. To wrap it up I will take the Packers.  Yes, I really do think all 4 road teams win.

I’ll throw out my predictions for the rest of the playoffs too. Lets see how that works out.

Divisional Round

Ravens over Colts
Chargers over the Jets
Saints over Eagles
Packers over Vikings

Conference Championship
Chargers over Ravens
Saints over Packers

Super Bowl
Chargers over Saints.

Anyone else want to put their predictions on the record? As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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