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Wild-card pickoff

Analyzing this weekend's four playoff matchups

Posted: Thursday January 3, 2008 11:32AM; Updated: Thursday January 3, 2008 1:35PM
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Wild Card Matchups
Washington (9-7) at Seattle (10-6)
Here's what I figure about Todd "House Money" Collins: He's had four occasions now where he could have folded and showed us he's a lifetime backup and that's it. He's 4-0 in those four games, an accurate (63.8 percent) and mistake-free (5-0 TD-to-interception differential) quarterback. Collins will be bedeviled by Seattle's Patrick Kerney and the league's best pass-rush west of the Meadowlands, but he'll survive and advance.
Washington 23, Seattle 20
Jacksonville (11-5) at Pittsburgh (10-6)
Since the middle of 2005, Jacksonville has met the Steelers three times and won each time -- 23-17, 9-0, and 29-22. The Steelers have 38 first downs and a composite 45-percent completion rate in those three games. What's more, the Jags have run roughshod on Pittsburgh, and while the Steelers are seriously banged up on the offensive line and in the backfield, Jacksonville has the healthiest offense in the playoffs. Final point: The Jags are built to play well in weather, unlike most Southern teams. Bad matchup for the Steelers. Vegas (Jags by 1.5) sees it too.
Jacksonville 19, Pittsburgh 10
New York (10-6) at Tampa Bay (9-7)
This is the question you have to ask yourself as a Giants fan: Was that the real Eli who torched the Patriots for four touchdowns last week? Or is it the real Eli the one who threw four TDs in the previous five weeks? If it's the former, the Giants will win this game by double-digits. I'm guessing he's somewhere in the middle, and Jeff Garcia's going to be the real clutch quarterback Sunday at RayJay.
Tampa Bay 27, New York Giants 17
Tennessee (10-6) at San Diego (11-5)
I'm not buying the Titans. Maybe I would be if I thought Albert Haynesworth was really Albert Haynesworth. He's been coming on and off the field with his bad hamstring regularly over the past month, and he's not the imposing threat he was the first half of the season. Maybe the most stunning stat of this season is that with a high-first-round quarterback (Vince Young) and a former Super Bowl quarterback (Kerry Collins) splitting the job down the stretch, the Titans have a grand total of nine touchdown passes this year. They can't score enough to keep up with the resurgent Chargers.
San Diego 36, Tennessee 10

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