Thursday, January 13, 2011

NFL Playoff Picture

It was upset weekend in the NFL during the wild card round of the playoffs last weekend, as all lower seated teams pulled out the victory, none more impressive than the Seahawks dismantling of last years Champion New Orleans Saints.

Peyton Manning and the Colts were upset by the Jets, and fading Packers took care of Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend as well, but I think we're in for a different story this weekend. The number 1 and 2 teams from each league will get into the action (Atlanta and Chicago in the NFC; Pittsburgh and New England in the AFC) this weekend, and I'd be surprised if more than 1 of them didn't find their way to their respective League Championship game. The one upset I could see in the works could be #6 seated Green Bay taking down the NFC's top seated Atlanta Falcons. Now is the time for Aaron Rogers to really make Green Bay fans forget about Brett Favre, and since I picked them as my super Bowl favorite coming into the season, there's no way I can back out now. I was a little worried about their running game, but after seeing James Starks run wild last weekend (123 rush yards), and knowing Brandon Jackson will at least give you something each week, either in the receiving game or rushing department, I think they'll be just fine. And I just don't see Atlanta prevailing in this one, even with home field advantage and the rock solid Matt Ryan at the helm for them. I still think it's Green Bay's year.

As far as the other games this weekend, I like Chicago over Seattle, New England over the Jets and Pittsburgh over Baltimore. I like the way both Seattle and Baltimore played last weekend, but I don't see them getting the same breaks two weeks in a row vs. superior football teams. Baltimore is a little bit unpredictable, just because of all those offensive weapons they possess, and the fact that their defense can knuckle up at any give time and become a brick wall. So, if the Ravens can get out in front of Pittsburgh early on Sunday, I think they could have a legit shot at pulling the upset in Steeler country. As far as the other NFC game, neither the Bears or Seahawks impress me too much, which is why I figure the winner of the Packers/Falcons game will likely represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Matt Hasselbeck turned back the clock last week and played like it was 2005 again vs. New Orleans, but Chicago will have a more complex defensive scheme coming at him, and are much healthier and rested than the Saints were....With the teams remaining, my Super Bowl pick is Green Bay vs. New England!

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