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Predictions. Predictions. PredictionsPosted Monday, January 4, 2010, at 8:14 AM
We've just passed through Christmas and a New Year.
Now, the NFL Playoffs begin.
Who will still be standing to participate in Super Bowl XLIV?
There are 12 teams remaining. It's all down to a one-and-done scenario.
The first round of the playoffs begin Saturday.
I have never been good at predictions, but that has never stopped me at attempting them anyway.
So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the NFC.
First, Saturday will feature a match up of teams that played in Week 17. The Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys Saturday. Game time is 8 p.m.
Dallas won the NFC East Division Sunday after beating the Eagles. Both teams are 11-5.
Dallas has beaten the Eagles twice this year. I don't think a third victory will be as easy.
I expect Philadelphia to win Saturday.
Next up will be the wild card Green Bay Packers will travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals. Game time is 4:40 p.m., Sunday.
Green Bay is 11-5. The Cardinals are 10-6. The Packers stomped Arizona, 33-7, on the road Sunday.
Green Bay is one of the hottest teams in the NFC right now and I think the Packers knock off the Cardinals Sunday a second week in a row.
That would pit the Eagles against the New Orleans Saints and the Packers against the Minnesota Vikings.
Let's examine the Saints and Eagles.
The Saints have home field advantage in the NFC right now and are 13-3. But they have lost three straight heading into the playoffs.
The Eagles have what it takes to knock off the Saints. It will be close, but give Philly the edge.
The other second round NFC game pits the Packers at the Vikings.
Minnesota has been tough at home all season and I don't think that will change in the playoffs. Although close, the Vikings will edge the Packers to advance to the NFC Title game at home against the Eagles.
The Eagles knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs last season. However, Minnesota is undefeated at home this year.
The Vikings edge by the Eagles to advance to the Super Bowl.
Now, let's take a look at the AFC.
On Saturday, the wild card New York Jets will travel to Cincinnati to face the AFC North winner Bengals. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The Jets faced the Bengals at home Sunday, coming away with a much-needed win. New York had to win to get in the playoffs.
The Jets' defense is playing lights out right now and I don't think anything will be different Saturday on the road.
Although Cincinnati played well this year, finishing the regular season at 10-6, the Jets move on.
The other AFC playoff game will feature the Baltimore Ravens (9-7) at New England Patriots (10-6). Game time is 1 p.m., Sunday.
The Ravens faced the same scenario as the Jets. Win and you're in.
And they did, slipping by Oakland, 21-13.
New England heads into the playoffs banged up. The Patriots lost to Houston in the season finale, 34-27.
Wes Welker was lost for the season and Tom Brady is hurt. Welker's injury alone should remind Colts' fans why coaches set players late in the season to avoid injury heading into the postseason.
Baltimore scores an upset.
With both wild card teams getting victories, the Ravens would then travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Indianapolis Colts and the Jets would face the San Diego Chargers on the road.
I think both home teams win here, setting up a barn-burner AFC Championship game with the Colts hosting the Chargers.
At the risk of not finding my bed in the garage at home, I'm going to say the Colts win here, setting up an incredible scenario.
The Vikings and Colts in the Super Bowl.
Our family room split in half. Me on one side, cheering on the Vikings with Merry on the other side cheering on the Colts.
I'm going to leave it here. Truth be told, if the Vikings and Colts both reach the Super Bowl -- scheduled to be played in Miami Sunday, Feb. 7, that particular evening will be very interesting.