Wednesday, January 5, 2011



1. New England Patriots
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Indianapolis Colts
6. New Orleans Saints
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. Chicago Bears
9. Green Bay Packers
10. New York Jets
11. Kansas City Chiefs
12. Seattle Seahawks


Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets

ANALYSIS: Some things are always bound to happen, one of those things is Peyton Manning playing in January for the playoffs. For the ninth straight year, the Colts are in the postseason, but this is the first year that they have not won 12 games since 2002. Through his team's struggles and injuries, Peyton Manning is having another good season with 4700 passing yards and 33 touchdowns for the league's fourth-best offense.

The Jets must once again try to stop this offense, a task that outspoken coach Rex Ryan relishes. New York's third-ranked defense might have faltered down the stretch, but it performs best in must-win games. In order the unit to be effective, Mark Sanchez must manage the game well and put a 58.6 quarterback rating in December behind him.

PREDICTION: Colts 28, Jets 21

KEY MATCHUP: Peyton Manning vs. Rex Ryan (One does things quietly, the other is loud. Quiet Peyton got the best of loud Rex and his defense last year. The question is though, will Peyton and has group of receivers challenge Revis Island?)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens

ANALYSIS: From Kickoff Weekend to now, The Kansas City Chiefs showed everyone that they are a tough team with a bright future. They draw comparisons to the New England Patriots from the early 2000s by forcing timely turnovers and a run-oriented offense to help the quarterback. Jamaal Charles became the first running back since 2007 to run for six yards a carry. Behind the best running game in the NFL, Matt Cassell returned to his 2008 form by throwing 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.

Playing on the road in January is nothing new to this Ravens squad. This will be the six straight road playoff game since John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco arrived in 2008, and they proved to be up for the challenge. Flacco is looking to be the first quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first three seasons. Finally the Ravens have a decent passing game to help the run. Do not forget the defense, however, it is still a top-10 squad.

PREDICTION: Ravens 21, Chiefs 10

KEY MATCHUP: Jamaal Charles vs. Baltimore's run defense (The Ravens defense was not as dominant this year, but it is still stingy. Jamaal Charles will need to use every bit of his speed to reach the 100-yard plateau.)


Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints

ANALYSIS: At 7-9, the Seattle Seahawks have made the playoffs. I repeat, at 7-9, the Seattle Seahawks have MADE the playoffs. If you thought all the naysayers had a field day with the 2008 Arizona Cardinals, then imagine what will be thrown at this year's Seahawks. Do not take the record for granted though, a team like Seattle is dangerous if taken lightly. Matt Hasselbeck passed for 3000 yards again, and if healthy, he is still as good as any quarterback in the league.

The New Orleans Saints defeated the Seahawks 34-19 on Nov. 21, but they have been known to play down to weaker opponents this season. Nevertheless, New Orleans still boasts a top-10 offense and a top-5 defense along with being the defending Super Bowl champions. Drew Bress has thrown an interception in 12 straight games, but he still finds ways to distribute the ball. Eight Saints caught at least 30 passes and Brees threw for 4620 yards and 33 touchdowns.

PREDICTION: Saints 31, Seahawks 27

KEY MATCHUP: Seattle's will vs. New Orleans' mentality (This is the ultimate trap game for New Orleans. The Seahawks have nothing to lose as the NFL's first 7-9 playoff team and a team like the Saints can overlook this for the next game. New Orleans must stay focused or they will be upset.)

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers

ANALYSIS: Out goes Donovan McNabb, in comes Michael Vick. The results stay the same for Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick's reincarnation as a better and smarter quarterback fueled the Eagles to a 10-6 record and allowed him to throw for 3000 yards for the first time in his career. Philadelphia has a lot of speed to fly around the field as DeSean Jackson only caught 47 passes but gained 1056 yards, an average of 22.5 yards a catch.

The Green Bay Packers' regular season began with a 27-20 win in Philadelphia and they will be looking to do the same in the playoffs. With Ryan Grant sidelined in the opener, the Packers depended on Aaron Rodgers' arm. Rodgers came within 78 yards from another 4000-yard season, but still managed to throw for 28 touchdowns.

PREDICTION: Eagles 28, Packers 24

KEY MATCHUP: Vick vs. the Green Bay defense (In Week 1, Vick passed for 175 yards and ran for 103 yards in a loss to the Packers. How Green Bay plans to contain him will go a long way to determine who wins this game.)

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