Friday, January 05, 2007

NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview and Picks

Friday A.M. Quickie below.

Key Question: Generally, do any of these teams have a chance of "pulling a Pittsburgh" and going from Wild Card Weekend all the way to a Super Bowl win? (My take: The Pats are always in that conversation until you see their losing score with your own eyes, and the Eagles going all the way would be so hilarious and disruptive -- because of the Garcia-McNabb factor -- that I could easily imagine Philly finally winning the Super Bowl... when their fans least expect it.)

More questions:

Chiefs at Colts: Will the Colts fold this week or next? Can the Chiefs continue their unlikely, playing-with-house-money run? PICK: COLTS.

Cowboys at Seahawks: Which team has even LESS momentum than the other? Do the Cowboys fold? Do the defending NFC champs get bounced? PICK: SEAHAWKS.

Jets at Pats: Can protege beat mentor? Can we please stop hearing about the protege-mentor relationship? PICK: PATS

Giants at Eagles: Does any team deserve to win this game less than the Giants? Does any team deserve to win this game more than the Eagles? PICK: EAGLES

What do you think: Key questions? X-factors? Storylines to watch? I'm much more interested in your analysis than mine. -- D.S.


CMFost said...

My Pick:
Ok, time for the playoffs and there are some interesting match ups for this First Round of the NFL Playoffs. Let's start with the Saturday Games.

Game #1:
Kansas City at Indianapolis - If Kansas City and Larry Johnson can do a solid job of controlling the clock and running the ball on the Indy defense like just about every team has done on them, Then Peyton Manning is going to have to have the game of his life to win this game. And I just do not see that happening.

Prediction - Kansas City 27 Indianapolis 17

Game #2
Dallas at Seattle - Why this is the Saturday Night Game I have no idea. This game has the potential to be the worst of the 4 macthups. Dallas comes off a humbling defeat to the Detroit Lions when they needed a win for a shot at the division title. Seattle is continuing to get better as Alexander and Hasselbeck continue to get healthy. Seattle with it recent playoff success and home field should make sort work of the overrated Tony Romo, Terrell "Mr Drops" Owens and the Dallas Comboys.

Predictions - Seattle 28 Dallas 10

On to the Sunday Games that have some interesting Division Match ups.

Game #1
New York Jets at New England - The Mentor versus the Pupil. And this time the battle tested Patriots will get the best of Eric and the Jets. Mangini may have one the last time in Foxboro but this is the Playoffs and the Patriots just do not lose at home during the playoffs and the also have a history of not losing to teams twice in a Season.

Predictions - New England 24 New York 13

Game #2
New York Giants at Philadelphia - This game should be a slugfest. The red hot Eagles taking on the lucky to be there Giants. Manning versus the resurgant Jeff Garcia. And in this game I think the Veteran Leadership that Garcia provides as well as Andy Reids playoff experience leads the way.

Prediction - Philadelphia 17 New York 14

CMFost said...

actually just a quick correction to your quote

"NFC, I think Dallas wins that game this weekend. Scary stats showing parcels wins the SB in his 4th year as a coach, AND each time has been 10 years apart, which is where we are now I think."

He does not always win the Super Bowl but he does get there and his last Super Bowl was with that Patriots in 1996. Never made it to one with the Jets.

CMFost said...

What people forget about that Second Pats-Jets game is that this was the First Game after the Patriots Lost Rodney Harrison to injury and Ty Warren who has bee n the Pats best defense player was out for the game causing Seymour who was coming back from an Elbow Injury to play out of his normal position. It was also the last game before the patriots put in field turf and they have not lost a home game since.

chipp said...

IND: too much Manning (is that a good thing?) and the D will hold LJ just enough to get and keep a lead.

SEA: scary pick with the banged up secondary, but they have enough left in the tank to demolish the DAL O-Line.

NE: Jets don't have enough of a run game to slow down the NE offense (with T.O.P.).

PHI: the Iggle run D sucks, but one game doesn't mean the Gimps are back at it.

Speaking of the Gimps, didn't Kerry Collins lead them to a SB loss just 6 years ago? Since then he has already sucked in Oakland (pretty easy to do these days) and been replaced by a rookie. Ouch.

Mega said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Giants shock Philly.

My other picks:
Seattle over Dallas
Indy over KC
Tom Brady over Jets

Anonymous said...

I would have to go with the home teams, but match up problems (CB injuries) could prove enough in the SEA vs. DAL, NYG might find the switch for that talent they keep touting in Philly, and Peyton may not be able to overcome the handicapped team the Colts have hung on him this year.

The only one I would bet on would be the NE/NYJ game. Does anybody really think Bellicheck is going to let his team lose at home twice in the same season to his assistant? If the Pats are trailing late, then don't be surprised to see the gatorade getting spiked on the Jets sideline. Bill will keep the devil on speed dial just in case he needs to make an addendum to his current deal.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really think any of these teams are going to make the SB?

NE (history) and Philly(NFC parity (read weak teams)) seem like the best candidates but I just dont seem them putting it together to win 3 straight against the top teams in their conference.

CMFost said...

Hey Daddy Rosee for that to happen Peyton manning would actually have to lead his team to a win in a big game and when did that ever happen. Sorry but there defense just is not good enough to beat San Diego or Baltimore.

chipp said...

I'm with you Ken. I don't see Phillip Rivers beating NE and BAL back-to-back either. BAL over NO in SB XLI.

CMFost said...

As said earlier this weeks games
KC over Indy
NE over NYJ
Seattle over Dallas
Philly over NYG

Next Week
SD over KC
NE over Balt
Chicago over Seattle
Philly over NO

Afc Championship
NE over SD

NFC Championship
Chicago over Philly

Super Bowl
NE over Chicago
Pats get revenge for 20 years ago.

jhawkjjm said...

AFC: NE and Indy
As much as I'd love to see KC beat Indy because 1)I hate Manning and 2) It means NE doesn't go to SD next weekend, it ain't happening. All the talk about LJ running over the Colts D might be true. But the Chefs have ZERO chance of stopping Manning unless his head implodes.

NFC Seattle and Philly
Even though Dallas and NY loses, all the bobbleheads do is talk about those teams for the next week. But at least it will shorten the torture by a week if they lose now rather than play again.

Anonymous said...

Just when you think you have everything figured out this year, it all changes. Giants over Eagles, for no reason other than that.

Dayne ran the ball and controlled the clock for Houston in their victory over Indy. Imagine what Larry Johnson can do? Chiefs by 3.

Seattle is getting healthy, on offense anyway, they're at home, and Dallas is coming apart at the seams. Dallas by 14. Using the same logic as the first pick.

Patriots by 10 in the most boring game ever televised. Except maybe the week 16 game involving Minn-GB. I am mainly picking the Patriots because I despise them, and know they are winning another SB just to make my life miserable.

Final note, so long Cowher. Thanks for the Super Bowl title, but there could have been a lot more if your teams would not have lost 4 AFC title games, 2 of which you were heavily favored in. Am I complaining about a winning coach? Yup.

Brian in Oxford said...

Colts, Seahawks, Patriots, Giants.

Too bad there'll be as much snow in the RCA Dome as in any of the other places...

Come to think of it, what *is* the forecast in Seattle?

Big D said...

OK, let me ask you all a favor. (And this does not fall under the shameless plug category, so please don't take it that way.)

Here is a post I put up on my page at about 8PM last night

Note two sentences from the Giants/Eagles preview:

"...c’mon people – are you really that confident in Jeff Garcia leading Philadelphia into the Promised Land? The man hasn’t had a productive season since the days when I could wake up at noon and consider it 'an early day'..."

"...the Giants could hold on and win this thing outright. But even if they don’t, seven points is too much to give up in any NFC game."

Now compare to Simmons' column posted today

"...And because Jeff Garcia is prominently involved. I mean, it's Jeff Garcia!!! ...I'm supposed to lay seven points in a 2007 playoff game with Jeff Garcia????

"...So why am I taking the G-men? Because no NFC playoff team should be laying more than three points to any other NFC playoff team..."

Do I have a gripe here? Or are we just both thinking along the same wavelengths?

OK, maybe it is just a shameless plug... Or maybe I just need a job writing for :)

Picks: Indy (and cover), Pats (Jets cover), Eagles (Giants cover), Seahawks (and cover)

Anonymous said...

Seattle: light wind, low 40s, no rain.

marcus t: I think you forgot about NYJ @ WAS in '93. Result: NYJ win 3-0. I'm sure the announcers claimed it was a "defensive struggle." The Jets scoring over the last 6 weeks: 6, 6, 3, 7, 14, 0.

Sheldiz said...

have they posted the schedule for next week yet? as in which games will be played at what times/days?

i didn't see it on espn, but all the flashy lights and sound effects may have distracted me.

Anonymous said...

Cowher to HOF?!? They better put a larger set of doors on the entrance as there will be a stampede of coaches coming in to Canton with that standard.

I know he means a lot to the Pittsburgh Nation with his longevity, but if he got in on what he has done to date, then every coach that has won a SB should be in line.

CMFost said...

Sheildz next week schedule will probably come out Sunday Night after we know who is playing who.

Brian in Oxford said...

I'm sure the league will set the schedule after the games are decided. Isn't the Saturday a 4:30-8 thing again? (I hate that, by the way.)

I'm sure the SD game won't be the Sunday early game, but that's about it.

CMFost said...

Stooncer - Brady is fine and has been playing well in the last couple of games, Dillon had a decent season (812 yds, 13tds)and should be strong for the playoffs especially with the way the Patriots use him and Maroney. The defense played pretty well in the games without Harrison they were 4-2 in the games w/o him and gave up just over 13 point per game in those games. which is actually one point less then there season average. And the patriots are getting healthy with Wilfork coming back this week.

Anonymous said...

ma4tt - I'll give you the 2004 argument, because I agree with that completely.

As for '94, I was 11 at the time and really do not recall anything about the game except for the 4th down play that sealed it. Afterwards I went up to my room and cried. I would say though, that being heavily favored, at home, and losing. is bad.

Let's add in '95 for fun here. Again, heavily favored, at home. Trailing by 3 with 2:40 or so left. It took an amazing tackle by Lake on a 3rd and 1, an amazing catch by Mills for 40 yards, and a Colt receiver dropping the hail mary he had in his chest/hands for us to win.

2001, once again, heavily favored, at home. For the love of god! We gave up a TD drive to Bledsoe when Brady got hurt! BLEDSOE!

To review, 3 times we were at home and heavily favored, lost 2, barely won the third. Add with that, it took us being not heavily favored to finally win the damn Super bowl. I would say Cowher coaches down to teams, the same problem Jacksonville had this year. Am I making it too simple? Maybe.

Lastly, the Kordell stuff. It really is hard to argue around that because he was terrible. But part of him being terrible is Cowher's fault as well. He did not coach him up as well as he could have. He hung onto him entirely too long. And he did not game plan properly around him like you would a Jake Plummer.

Mikepcfl said...

Those people saying Cowher should be in the HoF should remember that Billick has 1 SB title and has a decent shot at #2 this year. So be careful what you wish for if you push Cowher for the HoF.

Anonymous said...

I hesitate to say this, I personally would never bet against them, but I think the Patriots can't make it. They've had a real soft schedule this year. Any team with a decent D (and the Chargers and Ravens are superb) will take Brady and his non-receivers completely out of the game. Their defense just isn't good enough to make up for that.

My super bowl would be Chargers losing to Eagles with bad officiating being prominently involved.

I wish people wouldn't indict McNabb, he had a pretty good season and he lost to better defenses than Garcia.

Gregg the Obscure said...

KC over Indy as (1) KC has played well the past two weeks; (2) Indy has looked poor the past four weeks or so; (3) Herm Edwards has punked Dungy in the playoffs before; (4) Dungy's recent playoff performances are worse than even his earlier ones; (4) home teams don't have that good a record on wild card weekend; and (6) Peyton's ad frenzy is like Marino's "next year I'm buying" Super Bowl ad - karma, baby.

Jets over NE - (1) NE defense is dinged up and will miss Harrison; (2) Mangini can play some head games on Brady; (3) the Jets' O-Line has played extremely well lately; and (4) see #5 above.

Sea over Dal - (1) Romo's weaknesses have been seen on film lately; (2) TO appears to have worked his magic in the locker room; (3) Alexander is due for a huge game and Dal couldn't even stop Brian Westbrook two weeks ago; and (4) the Parcells post-defeat meltdown is irresistable, even to him.

Phi over Giants - this almost reaches moral certainty. (1) Coughlin has lost all his players; (2) Lil' Bro has lost his confidence; (3) Tiki left it all on the field last week; (4) the Giants' pass defense is hideous; (5) Garcia's already punked the Giants in a post-season matchup and is ready to do it again; and (5) Reid can outcoach many coaches and many coaches can outcoach Coughlin.

Anonymous said...


I think its a slippery slope. I have to believe Madden's election was as much on his 'statesman of the game' status and the presence he continued to maintain after his retirement. Although he did get elected for his coaching tenure.

I would compare Cowher's coaching tenure favorable if not better than Madden's. But if that is the new bar for the HOF, how many other current coaches make it?

Brian Billick, Bill Bellicheck, Mike Holmgreen, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs, Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan, and Marty Shottenheimer have to be considered. Tony Dungy and Andy Reid (and practically any other coach) are a SB title away from this list.

This doesnt even count the guys that are not currently coaching and have not made the ballot.

According to wikipedia there are currently 15 coaches in the HOF.

Depending on where the bar is set, the number of coaches could be increased by a third just from those in the league this year.

chitown italian said...

Chicago loses in first game of their playoffs. No way they make XLI.

Unknown said...

With coaches, perception is a big thing.
Winning a SB is necessary, but not the only factor that gets a coach into the HOF.
Belichick, if he stays at NE for a few more years, will be an HOF coach.
Parcells has the reputation of a coach that will get your team into the SB. That's perception.
Billick's reputation is of an offensive mind who has not had a good offense in any year that he's been a head coach. That's why, despite an SB, he wouldn't be an HOF coach.
Cowher has the right reputation to merit HOF status.

Anonymous said...

Especially since they'd have to travel back in time to make it to Superbowl XL

Anonymous said...

ignore my last comment.

CMFost said...

@gregg - in reponse to you comments on the pats jets/

1) NE defense is dinged up and will miss Harrison;

The defense has actually played better without harrison see my post above and they are getting healthier getting Wilfork back this week.
(2) Mangini can play some head games on Brady;

I think you are overrating the last game these 2 teams played,see one of my other posts above

(3) the Jets' O-Line has played extremely well lately;

But they will be facing one of the best D-lines in the leagues that will be completely healthy for the game.

and (4) see #5 above. -

The Patriots are 5-0 at home in the playoffs under Brady and Belichick unclduing there win last year. They are also 3-0 at home since installing the new turf.

Brian in Oxford said...

Only a pure genius that is Belichick has a head large enough to fit Mangini.

In his head? how so? because his team won a game earlier this year? So is Nick Saban in Belichick's head? Tony Dungy? Heck, Dungy's won two in a row from the Pats....

How did the Jets go from a team that would be lucky to win 4 or 5 games this year to suddenly being good enough to beat a 12-win, three-time champ on the road? Did I miss something? Do the Jets scare ANYONE? As long as the Pats respect them and prepare properly, this won't be close. Yes, the Jets are a team that can sneak up on you, but they already "used that up" back in November.

Gregg the Obscure said...

If I'm wrong about the Jets game, I'll readily admit it (without excuses). Will you make the same sort of admission if I'm right about that game?

CMFost said...

Gregg, I will be waiting on monday for your retraction. Since I know I will not have to right anything about the Patriots monday morning other then talking about there win.

nep1293 said...

Indianapolis will destroy the Chiefs, The game will be over by halftime. Colts are 8-0 at home, Chiefs are 3-5 on the road. LJ won't be much of a factor at all, he'll get his yards, but they'll mostly be meaningless.

Colts 45-17

Dallas beats Seattle cause both teams suck and 3 point underdogs on the road are 22-6 ATS and 20-10 overall. I'll take those odds

Cowboys 24 Seattle 14

Patriots beat the Jets in a boring game 20-3

Giants and Eagles will be the best game of the bunch. Garcia has been flirting with disaster during this whole run and will finally have a bad week. Tiki runs wild and Plaxico gets a long TD. Giants 20 Eagles 17

Anonymous said...

My picks:

Indy over KC. The Chiefs are terrible away from home and didn't even expect to be in the playoffs. LJ can run all he wants, but the Colts are on a mission this year, and don't think they've forgotten last year's miserable loss to Pittsburgh.

Seattle over Dallas. Dallas couldn't stop Jon Kitna at home; how are they going to stop Hasselbeck on the road? The Seahawks aren't playing great, but the home crowd will tip the balance.

Patriots over Jets. But closer than people think.

Eagles over Giants. This one makes me nervous because it has all the hallmarks of a "letdown game" for the Eagles, who had a huge push to win the division. Then I remember that if not for a 62-yard field goal, a flukey 4th quarter/overtime, and a flukey injury, they would be 12-4. The Giants will be up for this game, but the Eagles will complete the home sweep--the most unlikely outcome in this unpredictable season.

Anonymous said...

This has got to be the least exciting wild card round I can remember. I think only the Patriots and Eagles in this group can even be considered SB contenders, and they are both tenative.

Indy vs. Kc- When in doubt stick with the home team.. Indy

Sea vs. Dallas- No doubt here, Dallas just isn't that good. (Isn't Parcells supposed to be a genius coach. This team has more talent than any team in the NFC and they are a wild card team?)

Jets vs. Pats- Two teams that has the advantage of the easiest schedules. jets played 8 games against bottom 10 teams (going 6-2) and NE played 6. It's even worse for that than the Jest as they got to play TN before Vince Young. Well the Jets were 1-4 against playoff teams and NE is 2-2, so I'll take NE.

Eagles vs. Giants: Garcia vs. Manning v1.5? I'll take the Eagles because of far superior coaching. (and a coach who doesn't call out his QB when he loses unlike Coghlin who wants his players to talk to him when they rip him, and rips Eli every chance he gets in the press).

Anonymous said...

I can't see how Cowher has done enough to warrant HoF consideration. He's still really young, so if he un-retires and makes another SB run, it's possible.

Madden totally got in on his videogame and announcing credentials. And I have no problem with that. He pretty much defined the 90's to 0's generation of football, with it's fawning over celebrities, it's constant hyping, it's videogame, fantasy gaming explosion and it's commercial tie-ins. The fact he coached the Raiders once is an add-in.

He's our Frank Cosell.

Madden IS football. He should get the HoF named after him, because this was football's golden era and I don't think it gets better.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean Howard Cosell?

Kevin said...

At least one road team ALWAYS wins, Dan...


Pats over Jets - the Pats are just the better team. That easy.

Indy over KC - So what if Indy can't stop the run? They haven't stopped the run all season and they're 13-3. They're perfect at home so far, and how is KC gonna stop Manning, Harrison and Wayne? Once KC falls behind, they'll have to go to the pass game, which sucks.


My rule on the NFC is: Always take the points. Every NFC team is so inconsistant, it's just a matter of which team shows up. When picking winners...then you look at the matchups.

Cowboys over Seahawks - A lot has been made of the Cowboys' recent struggles. But what hasn't been mentioned as often is that the Seahawks suck. They were 8-8 this year! They didn't beat a single team with a winning record! I know that's a tough place to play, but the Seahawks have an awful secondary that can make even Tony Romo look good.

Giants over Eagles - Why are the Eagles such heavy favorites in this game? They played just three weeks ago, and the game went down to the wire. What has changed since then? And did you ever think at the beginning of the season that people would be wagering heavily on Jeff Garcia over Eli Manning? Plus, the Eagles can't stop the run.

Anonymous said...


What makes you think Coughlin can outcoach Reid?

Steve said...

How are the Chiefs going to stop Addai? hehehe

Ftrain said...

HAHA! You suck Romo!

Paul L Carter said...

how long till TO takes a cheap shot saying "i wouldn't have fumbled that snap?"

Not a chance. Not while leading the league in dropped passes.

Imagine this: TO letting the ball go past him and a Seahawk defender running it back for a touchdown.


Gregg the Obscure said...

I was flat wrong on both AFC games.

Biggest downside: lots of Pats fans are also Redsox fans and the world is a much better place when Redsox fans experience as much misery as they constantly inflict on the rest of the world.

Brian in Oxford said...

How about TO lobbying for an interference call on the hail mary? was he serious?!