Friday, January 06, 2012

Wild Card preview

Before we take a look at what is going to happen this Wild Card round, lets take a quick review of how my predictions from August panned out:

I correctly forecast the Buffalo Bills at 6-10 (yes, I will pat myself on the back, especially after not wavering during their hot start).

Preseason predicted AFC Playoff teams:
1- San Diego (ok, I did drink the kool-aid on Norv Turner. Never again.)
2- New England
3- Baltimore
4- Indianapolis (this was pre- Manning surgery)
5- Pittsburgh
6- Houston

Preseason predicted NFC Playoff teams:
1- Green Bay
2- New Orleans
3- Dallas (I should have known Romo and a Ryan brother would fail me.)
4- St. Louis (This may have cost Steve Spagnuolo his job.)
5- Atlanta
6- Detroit

Baltimore 20, San Diego 17

Green Bay 35, New Orleans 31

Green Bay 24, Baltimore 20

I am sticking with my conference champions and Super Bowl teams. How they get there will be a different story.

Cincinnati @ Houston
For the first time in the Super Bowl era, two rookie QBs will be starting. Although Cincy’s Andy Dalton has been the starter since day one and Houston’s T. J. Yates is the third starter for the Texans this year, the Texans get the nod. Houston has a stronger defense and a better running game. The Bengals defense will struggle to keep Arian Foster in check. Houston 24, Cincinnati 14

Pittsburgh @ Denver
Pittsburgh took their regular spot in the playoffs, this time as a wild card while Denver limped into the playoffs despite winning the AFC West by default. It seems kind of silly for a 12 win team to have to go on the road to play an eight win team, but we did see a seven win Seattle team defeat a much better New Orleans team last season in the Northwest. History will not repeat itself. Pittsburgh’s defense is too disciplined and will force Tim Tebow to beat them with his arm which he is not able to do. Big Ben is hurting, but we have seen him be spectacular in the postseason so the Steelers are the pick. Pittsburgh 16, Denver 6

Atlanta @ New York
Atlanta had a very good season with a balanced offensive attack. New York struggled a bit late in the year, but started to gel at the right time. The last time they did that, they won the Super Bowl. QB Eli Manning has been playing like an elite signal caller and the Giants will ride his arm to the next round. New York 28, Atlanta 24

Detroit @ New Orleans
This will be the most exciting game of the weekend. Well, if you like defense, you may want to divert your eyes. Drew Brees and Matt Stafford combined to pass for more than 10,500 yards and 87 TD passes. Whichever defense makes the first stop (as in a punt, turnover or field goal) will win. I think I trust the Saints defense just a little more. New Orleans 45, Detroit 38

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