Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Time to Re-Claim My Blog; It's NFL Playoff Time!
So a few months ago, my friend Miggy came to me asking if he could start posting in my blog for a Volvo contest. I agreed thinking it would start some extra following because he is so good at passing things around. I even made the decision to back off a bit to let Miggy succeed in his contest, but I cannot stay as a silent owner of this blog any longer. Not when I hear and read people referring to this blog as Miggy's. He will continue with his weekly posts, but I am taking back of this blog with more frequent posts. This post is about Week 1 of the NFL playoffs. There are four games this week, and some of them show some interest, but in all honesty the playoffs don't really get interesting until the Numbers 1 and 2 seeds get involved and either get upset or destroy their teams. So with that being said, lets take a look at this weeks matchups ranked from most interesting to biggest snooze-fest.
1.) Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints
Saturday 8:00 PM
Now lets be honest here, in any other given year, with the seasons that these two teams had, this could be a #1 vs. #3 matchup. But with Green Bay having the great year they did, and San Fransisco coming out of no where to have a 13-3 season, this is a real treat for week 1 of the post season. With Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino's single season passing record for the Saints, and then the Lions having Stafford passing to the tall, fast, and super athletic Calvin Johnson, this game is going to be a shootout through the air. You also look at both teams not having a great passing D (Detroit is ranked 22 and New Orleans 30 in pass defense), and I'm looking for a very high scoring game here with both QBs having at least 350 yards and 3 TDs. In 2 or 3 years, my pick in this game would be Detroit, but I think their inexperience in the post season and their all around youth with be their undoing.
Official prediction: New Orleans wins 42-38
2.) Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants
Sunday 1:00 PM
This is another game of two high power offenses, but the difference is that their defenses aren't as horrible. New York has its flaws, while Atlanta's D is ranked in the top 15. I wont lie here, I also like this matchup because I used to love watching Atlanta's QB Matt Ryan when he played for Boston College. I also really like that he was able to take over in Atlanta and help people forget about a certain running QB who had to spend a couple of years in jail for animal cruelty. I will admit that early in the season, watching the Giants play, and seeing Eli having a great start, I would have picked the Giants to win this game. I really thought that with brother Peyton sidelined for the season, he could use this as a time to step out of big brother's shadow, but he will have to hope that Peyton has another neck surgery, because I don't see this Giants team winning against a team with a better offense and defense. Atlanta will control the time of possession, and with be able to throw into that New York secondary for big gains.
Official prediction: Atlanta wins 35-21
3.) Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans
Saturday 4:30 PM
The reason for this interest is because Houston lost Matt Schaub for the season and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton had a break rookie out season with fellow rookie WR A.J. Green. I can see a great future for this team with this duo working together. You could be seeing another Carson Palmer-Chad Johnson partnership (You know, before the ankle injury and the world of twitter became more important than football). In a few years, I will be looking for this team to make it to the Superbowl. But as far as this year goes, like I said, with a great rookie QB up against a decent back up QB in T.J. Yates, I see a low scoring, but close game. This may be a game which the defense decides, because I don't see either QB walking out of this game without at least 2 interceptions. So the defenses will decide this game. And this is a matchup of 2 top-10 defenses. So in a low scoring game, I just see the inexperience of Cincinnati's biggest stars being their undoing. Like I said, look for them to be at least AFC- if not Super Bowl Champs in future years. But not this year.
Official prediction: Houston wins 17-7
4.) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos
Sunday 4:30 PM
Let's face the facts here, the fact that Pittsburgh is the away team here is a joke. Denver may have had a 6-1 stretch when Tim Tebow started, but since playing the New England Patriots, Denver is 0-3 and only got into the playoffs because Oakland couldn't win when they needed to. Pittsburgh's only undoing is their defensive mentality. The way they always play is showing run defense, and then dropping back into pass defense. But anyone who has watched any games of the Denver Broncos this season knows they throw the ball %15 of the time. However, I see that only being one quarter before the defense adjusts, so I see the defense stepping up and holding the Broncos to a very small number on the scoreboard. The other issue for the Steelers is injuries. The lost their star running back Rasherd Mendenhall for the game and Ben Roethlisberger has been nursing a sore ankle for the last couple of weeks. I see that slowing down the Steelers, but not stopping them. The Broncos need to develop Tebow's arm more and allow him to step up as a leader. Right now, he's a side show attraction, someone that more people joke about than respect. Maybe in a few years Denver could be okay, but I don't see the Broncos going farther than week 2 of the post season until Tebow can learn to throw the ball.
Official prediction: Pittsburgh wins 24-10
So that's going to do it for week 1 of the NFL playoffs, check back next Wednesday for Week 2 analysis and predictions. And keep watching for more posts as the week goes on.
And for my one and only Pats fan statement: Go Cincinnati! I would love to play them in the Divisional round next week!