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1/11/2007 12:17:00 PM

A Case For The Underdogs

Urlacher
Peyton Manning threw three interceptions in the Colts' win over the Chiefs last week.
Bob Rosato/SI

With the exception of New England, most experts don't give the road teams much of a shot this weekend. While I'm not foolish enough to pick all four underdogs, I think they all have a chance and here are my reasons.

Colts-Ravens

  • The Colts stopped LJ last week: Considering run defense was supposed to be Indy's Achilles' heel, that's a very good sign.
  • The Colts have Adam Vinatieri: The ultimate playoff weapon in a close game.
  • Peyton Manning: I think he got some of his jitters out last week and will be a little more settled against Baltimore.

    Eagles-Saints

  • The Saints and Eagles have the same record: The media fawns over the Saints like they reinvented football in 2006, but they were just 10-6 in the lightweight NFC.
  • Jeff Garcia doesn't turn the ball over: The Philadelphia quarterback had just two interceptions during the regular season and none last week. In the age of caretaker QBs winning big games -- see Ben Roethlisberger -- Garcia might be able to get the job done.
  • Lito Sheppard's injury won't kill Philly: Sheppard is a Pro Bowler, but he couldn't cover the Saints' WRs one-on-one anyway. The key for the Eagles is pressuring Drew Brees. If they don't get to the QB, it wouldn't matter if they had Deion Sanders and Mel Blount on the corners.

    Seahawks-Bears

  • Rex Grossman is erratic: Erratic is a nice word for the Bears quarterback.
  • Mike Holmgren's playoff experience: Chicago's Lovie Smith is a great coach, but Holmgren has won a lot of games in January.
  • The Bears have ugly postseason history: The recent trend for Chicago is a great regular season followed by a home playoff loss.

    Patriots-Chargers

  • Tom Brady: If any quarterback can handle the Chargers' pressure, it's Brady, who is 11-1 in the postseason. He's going to screen-pass San Diego to death.
  • Bill Belichick: A third-year QB against the Pats coach? Doesn't seem fair.
  • LT can be slowed: See above reason. Belichick neutralizes stars.

    Let the argument begin. Am I the only one who thinks the underdogs can win?

    posted by sidotcom | View comments |  
  • Comments:

    Posted: 12:54 PM   by Anonymous
    If the underdogs can't win, why would we watch the games at all! Of course any of those teams could win.
    Posted: 12:54 PM   by Anonymous
    Patriots should be the biggest underdog, but they are also the only team that has been tested in the playoffs and has almost always won the big game.. it comes down to merriman vs brady and bellcheck vs LT... Ill take the pats straight up 28-21
    Posted: 12:55 PM   by Anonymous
    I agree, whole-heartedly. If the 2006 NFL taught us anything is that no one team is that much better than another and that if picking winners - pick underdogs! There is absolutely no reason all 4 dogs cannot win outright. I am willing to bet that at least 2 of them do and the other two are close enough to make the favorites uncomfortable into the 4th quarter.
    Posted: 12:57 PM   by Anonymous
    Man, I love the Patriots.
    Posted: 1:01 PM   by Anonymous
    I think any of these underdogs could win but I think the Eagles have the worst chances. They didn't look very good against a poor Giants team, and one of your keys is a long shot -- "The key for the Eagles is pressuring Drew Brees." Brees handles pressure very well and rarely is sacked - 18 all year.

    Rex Grossman is so bad that anything can happen there, epecially in the forecasted "freezing rain."
    Posted: 1:01 PM   by Anonymous
    While your reasons are all well and good; lets remember that they are all underdogs for a reason... because they didn't play as well in the regular season. Also, in the specific case of Bears vs Seahawks, they Bears trounced them at home in good weather; and the weather will be anything but fine on Sunday.
    Posted: 1:04 PM   by Anonymous
    AFC - I think Pats with their experience have a chance to beat the rested Chargers.

    Indy definitely has offense and now defense to beat Ravens.

    Depleted Seahawks Secondary will lose easily to Bears due to defense and Hassleback's inconsistency. Good Rex will show up.

    Saints will beat Philly with ease at home.
    Posted: 1:04 PM   by Alex M.
    I completely agree with you on every game. Normally the teams coming off byes have the rest advantage AND are the superior team. This year its up for grabs. We should have 4 pretty close games.

    Great point about the Saints - everyone has doused them in 'anointing oil' while they've played poorly the last month and their defense has been exposed a bit. They have the same record as the Eagles and a lot more pressure coming into the game.

    Go Eagles...and the underdogs. I'm sure the NFL is cheering for the dogs too outside of the Bears game.
    Posted: 1:08 PM   by Venkat
    I really have a sneaky suspicion that Mr. Schottenheimer would be back to his Martyball ways if Rivers throws a pick....
    Posted: 1:13 PM   by Anonymous
    Absolutely, every underdog has a chance. If this erratic season is any indication, anything can and will happen throughout the playoffs. However, I only like the Colts to win of all four road teams.
    Posted: 1:14 PM   by Stumpzzz
    My Take.

    Agree the most with Chicago & Seattle. Grossman is so erratic that if Seattle can get pressure and get its offense going then I think they will have a good chance.

    New Orleans is over-rated. Philly can win this game. Westbrook will have to have another huge day. Bush will watch from the sidelines and hopes that he can become the caliber player Westbrook is in that dynamic fashion.

    If McNair turns the ball over, Indy will prevail.

    Tom Brady & Co. will pull this one out. As said Rivers is going to get looks from the defense he never could imagine in his dreams. Rivers will be up the river without a paddle...
    Posted: 1:15 PM   by Mike K.
    The NFC has been called up for grabs, but once the Jets and Chiefs were eliminated, we might be looking at one of the most evenly matched AFC fields in years. Any team can win, there isn't one sure answer you can give.

    The Colts need Manning to play error free b/c their offense can move the ball if the defense gets a turnover. Otherwise, the Ravens will win a physical game dominated by suffocating defense.

    The Pats can win if they can nuetralize LT and confuse Rivers, but that's a big if, however, the Pats have experience on their side with their coaching staff and key players.

    The Saints will be upset this weekend. It will be close, but in the end we'll see Garcia and the eagles going back to Philly for the NFC championship game.

    The Bears will play a low scoring game but will be upset by the Seahawks who won't have any trouble moving the ball with their offense.
    Posted: 1:20 PM   by BALLLLLIIIINNNNN
    I wouldn't exactly call the Colts underdogs to the Ravens first of all. Second, you are foolish if you think the Colts D is all the sudden good because of their stellar performance against struggling Chiefs offense. I give them credit, but the Ravens D has been peaking at the right time and their big play ability will pull through in the end. All that said, the Ravens are a completely different team on offense than the last two times they've played (see: McNair, Steve).
    Posted: 1:21 PM   by jimfiz
    Of course the Pats are gonna win. San Diego's just happy to have a home playoff game.
    Posted: 1:25 PM   by elandadem
    Realistically, look at who the Chargers faced this year.

    I think I could sack the Oakland QB a dozen times. That's not to say that they aren't good on both sides of the ball - but they only played three teams with a winning record and lost to two of them (KC & Baltimore).

    If I were I Chargers' fan, I would be more comfortable if my team had faced more winning teams.

    AFC Championship Game

    Patriots 28
    Colts 3
    Posted: 1:29 PM   by Anonymous
    Half-agree with you, Andrew.

    The Bears will go home.

    As for the Pats, enough has been said, but they won't make this time, LT is too much for everybody.

    Can someone explain to me why the Colts are underdogs ?!
    Posted: 1:33 PM   by Anonymous
    Of course underdogs can win. Just ask the Florida Gators. Everyone is already giving the Chargers the Super Bowl title the same way Ohio State was given the BCS title.

    Thats why they play the games
    Posted: 1:35 PM   by Anonymous
    The Bolts will walk on the Pats. The Pats struggled with the Jets' L Washington last week. Just wait and see what LT does to them.

    The Bears even with a crappy performance from Grossman will obliterate the 'Hawks.

    The Eagles/Saints tilt will be close but the feel good Saints will get by.

    And finally, the Colts light up the Ravens. Only if McNair can be the McNair circa 1999 will the Blackbirds have a shot.
    Posted: 1:38 PM   by Philly fan
    I don't know if the Eagles will beat the Saints, but the Eagles are the ONLY NFC team that stands a chance in the Super Bowl. Chicago and Seattle? Just not all that good. New Orleans? In the bright lights of the "big game," they'll come back to earth with a thud. Birds have been there and know what it takes to win it.
    Posted: 1:40 PM   by Anonymous
    Sure sign of trouble for my Saints, other than the fact that Philadelphia is a very good team, is that ALL the SI "experts" have picked them to win. Talk about an SI jinx!
    Posted: 1:41 PM   by Anonymous
    I agree. I think the Pats and Eagles pull off upsets. Ravens will shut down Peyton, who is not as good in playoffs, and the Bears will edge out the fleeting Hawks.
    Posted: 1:46 PM   by Anonymous
    Chargers are good, but Tom Brady is a money man who turns it on during the playoffs. Combined record of all teams the Chargers beat this year 117 wins-139 losses
    LT ran it up against some mediocre teams all year. They only had 4 games against teams that made the playoffs and went 2-2 in those. 12-0 against non playoff teams while the Pats played teams with a combined 127-129 and also went 2-2 against playoff teams. This is anyones game
    Posted: 1:48 PM   by Anonymous
    1. Chargers clearly the best. They will beat the Pats by two scores. The big question for SD is the QB. Is River’s foot injured? If not, can he play through the pressure of the Playoffs? The Chargers do have other guys that step-up when Rivers does not play well. In the end, the Chargers have too much talent on offense and they have a good defense.
    2. Balt? Everyone is picking Baltimore because of their great D. Look for Manning to have a big game, get some early scores, and then Balt has to play catch-up.
    3. The Bears will beat the Seahawks. If Seattle plays similar to last weekend, terrible on both sides of the Ball, then it will be a 20++ point win for the Bears. Both teams have weak QB.
    4. Tough game between the Eagles and the Saints. Garcia Vs Brees. I really like both QB. They are winners. The Eagles have won 6 in a row. The Saints win one then lose one. I know the Eagles will show-up to play, not sure which Saints team will be there. I think it will be a close game and Brees will do whatever is needed to win a close game. Whoever wins this will go to the Superbowl. New Orleans by a Field Goal because I like the way Brees plays in close games.
    Posted: 1:58 PM   by Anonymous
    Looks like the Chargers played 6 games Vs Teams with winning records.
    Balt only played 3 games Vs teams with winning records.
    Posted: 1:59 PM   by HerditHeer1st
    SD 24 Pats 21: Surprisingly low scoring in first half to give way to dramatic 2nd half with the game won on a last minute FG
    Balt 24 Ind 17: Another hard fought dramatic game with B-more getting the deciding score in the 4th on an Indy turnover
    NO 28 Philly 17: Some early TOs will do in the Eagles who won't be able to catch the emotional Saints
    CHI 10 SEAT 7: The ugliest of the games offensively, the deciding score will be either Special Teams or Defensively scored
    Posted: 2:05 PM   by Steve V
    I agree with the comments about the Colts - why should they be dogs? The Ravens Offence isn't likely to keep the Colts D on the field too long and, for all his detractors, Manning is still the best pure passer in the league and could put up a lot of points.

    Pats v Bolts is almost too close to call, what will San Diego do if LDT gets shut down? Will the Pats be able to muster enough offence to counter if Rivers isn't fazed and gets the Chargers on the board early?

    Grossmann only has to manage the game for the Bears, Seattle won't put up too many points on them.

    Eagles have battle hardened playoff tested players, Saints will have to REALLY believe they are more than a great story if they are going to pull out the win.
    Posted: 2:05 PM   by Anonymous
    Patriot's a 5 point underdog in a playoff game. Perfect! that's their element. Gostkowski kicks a field goal with 5 seconds left on the clock. Pat's win 24-21.

    Sorry San Diego
    Posted: 2:07 PM   by Anonymous
    Please stop picking the Saints to win!!! Someone should go back and look at how many times the Saints have done the opposite of what the experts pick. It seems to me like almost every game the Saints were suppose to lose they won and vice versa. I've been rooting for the Saints for 25 years. You experts need to start picking Philly so I can sleep easy.
    Posted: 2:08 PM   by Anonymous
    Of course any team can win - these are the final 8 teams and neither of the four matchups are completely lopsided. There were probably one or two big upsets every week during the regular season too. I mean, did anyone expect the Raiders to beat the Steelers in that horrible game?

    It's almost as if just because you didn't watch the bye round teams play, you've forgotten how good they are.

    Ok, the Colts D stepped it up for a game. Peyton will likely play better but against a much better defense. Ravens at home, McNair taking better care of the ball, I still take the Ravens.

    Has anyone had an answer for LT and the Chargers in the past, what 9 games? Maybe the old Patriot magic will resurface but they have not played consistent enough football to convince me they can beat this year's NFL best record team.

    Sure Rex Grossman may be distracted by Martin Luther King Day coming up but the Chicago defense is still top rated, enough so to keep Seattle out of the endzone no more than once or twice. Probably a 14-10 or 9-6 game either way.

    Yes the Eagles have been sparked by the running game as of late, but the Saints are an energy scoring team and now a fresh energy scoring team. If any of the four games is a blowout I would expect it to be the Saints over the Eagles.
    Posted: 2:13 PM   by Anonymous
    The Pats should win. Championships are won by defense, quarterbacks, and coaching. SD has better overall talent, but NE is better in all three of these key categories.
    Posted: 2:13 PM   by Anonymous
    No matter what the Saints might accomplish NO ONE gives them any respect Everyone is just dying for them to fall on their respective rears I believe in them GO SAINTS.!!!!!! I HOPE THEY MAKE EVERYONE EAT THIER WORDS. !!!!! A LOYAL SAINTS FAN.
    Posted: 2:14 PM   by Anonymous
    Hmmm, i don't see where the pats struggled with Washington..he had 2 runs over 10 yards after how many carries? and i believe they were draw plays. Any good running back is going break 1 once in awhile. SD should be careful of Laurence Maroney breaking one.
    Posted: 2:15 PM   by Anonymous
    Sorry but the pats didn't struggle with Washington, he had a couple runs on draw plays. Every good back is going to break one once in awhile. But keep underestimating the pats..they'll just keep winning.
    Posted: 2:15 PM   by Anonymous
    I'm from New England. However I do remember the AFL championship game in 1963. It was the Chargers 51, Patriots 10. I hope for a little payback but I'm not sure!
    Posted: 2:16 PM   by Anonymous
    Super Bowl... Super Bears
    Posted: 2:17 PM   by Anonymous
    Hmmm, i don't see where the pats struggled with Washington..he had 2 runs over 10 yards after how many carries? and i believe they were draw plays. Any good running back is going break 1 once in awhile. SD should be careful of Laurence Maroney breaking one.
    Posted: 2:24 PM   by Anonymous
    philly by 20 just watch the d step up
    Posted: 2:25 PM   by Anonymous
    The Saints are gonna steamroll the Eagles
    Posted: 2:27 PM   by Anonymous
    the pats under belichick are 7-2 against league mvps. whats that say? he can take away a part of any teams game and most teams without the mvp, like LT will loose.
    Posted: 2:30 PM   by Chris
    I do think the under dogs have a chance but i think only one road team will win and that is the Colts. I dont think the Ravens will score enough points to win. The best game will be the Pats and Bolts. It will be close but LT will be to much. The Seahawks have no chance angainst the Bears D and I give Philly little chance against the Saints. Brees will eat up the secondantry and Bush and Duece will have a field day running againt Pilly's D.
    Posted: 2:32 PM   by Daniel Levine
    Am I the only person who watched the games last weekend?
    -Its not that Indy stopped LJ. They didn't have to stop anyone else. Herm Edwards blew it by not making halftime adjustments. The way manning played that game was KC's for the taking. Baltimore should make it interesting. Their O isn't as explosive but their D is! My money is on Balt all the way.

    NE was doing enough to get by and the Jets were hanging tight until that fumble/lateral. This game coulda gone to the wire. I look for SD to keep it interesting to the end. The have the explosive offense that might just blow up Bellichek's genius.

    Seattle won because Dallas lost. Dallas should be playing this week. Having said that, even Rex Grossman should do enough to manage the game. Seattle is the walking wounded.

    I refuse to bet against the saints. That stadium is going to be electric. Jeff Garcia could be the second coming of Roger Staubach & it won't matter. New Orleans is Americas new team... atleast until the Conf-finals.
    Posted: 2:38 PM   by Anonymous
    If the Colts can pulloff the victory this weekend they better become huge Pats fans because there is no way they can go into Charger land and hope to stop MVP LT. Go Colts and Pats

    AFC championship
    Colts 27 Pats 24
    Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
    elandadem is so very wrong about the chargers. they faced KC, Baltimore, Denver & Seattle. Beating KC once, Denver 2x & winning AT Seattle. Game, set, match.

    BTW, not a Chargers fan, just a fan of the truth. And both losses were EARLY in the season.
    Posted: 2:44 PM   by Anonymous
    Huge day for Faulk on screen passes to exploit Merriman's agressiveness and look for Maroney to break off a couple of big plays on runs and kickoffs. I think the Pats will key on Gates, which takes Rivers out of the game and rely on their front seven to keep LDT in check. Still I think it will decided by a FG or less. I'll go with Belichick and Brady to prevail 20-17.
    Posted: 2:45 PM   by Anonymous
    The Bears really only lost 2 games this year with their starters. 13-2 in real games. They should be the favorites in the NFC.
    Too bad the Eagles and Saints have to play each other. I really believe they would beat the Bears.
    The NFC Championship game will be lost by the play of Chicago’s Rex Grossman. The Bears D and their special teams will not be able to compensate for the poor play of Rex
    Posted: 2:48 PM   by Anonymous
    As has been typical for the Chargers this year, I expect that they will fall behind early against the Patriots and battle back. They will come up short this time. Pats 28, SD 23.
    Posted: 2:50 PM   by Phillyfan
    Of course the Eagles can win on Saturday night. No one could possibly have imagined that they would even get to the playoffs when they were 5-6, without McNabb, and playing so poorly. The last six games mark a turnaround of enormous magnitude, and if Garcia can continue to play samrt, error-free football, Westbrook can rush for 100-plus yards, and the defense can force a few turnovers, this game could be theirs. They also have more playoff experience than the Saints. The Saints may be the sentimental favorites, but this is football, after all. Go Birds!
    Posted: 2:53 PM   by Anonymous
    I don't usually give these out for free but here goes:

    Baltimore Ravens 33 - Indianapolis Colts 13: I see this game as a real one-sided affair. The Ravens hit the Colts in the mouth on the first couple series of the game and Peyton Manning is scrambling for his life all day long. McNair will pluck the eyes out of the dead Colt defense and send them back to Indy in a Mayflower truck.

    New Orleans Saints 28 - Philadelphia 16: I was going to make this a 1-point game but the more I think about it the more I think the Saint crowd will make it very tough on the Eagles, so if they are going to win they better get off to a fast start. If they get behind early Fox may need to call in Geraldo Rivera to start a body count. "Let them walk out of here dammit! Let them walk over that bridge!"

    Chicago Bears 20 - Seattle Seahawks 17: I don't feel entirely comfortable with this one but fortunately for the Bears the Seahawks are not what they were last year. If the Bears limit their turnovers and focus on stopping Alexander's ground attack they should be able to play 'not to lose' and still win -- at least this week.

    San Diego Chargers 34 - New England Patriots 21: The Patriots reputation is worse than their bite. I know everyone is supposed to be afraid of this team for what they've done in the past but Denver clobbered them last year and this Charger team is better than what Denver had last year. Plus there are too many injuries for the Pats to survive barring a major Schottenheimer playoff give-away.
    Posted: 2:54 PM   by Anonymous
    I'll take the upsets in the NFC but the favourites in the AFC.

    Seahawks/Bears: Seattle shouldn't have to worry too much about their injured secondary because Grossman is the QB and the also because bad weather is in the forecast. I don't see Chicago trying to stretch the field too much. If D-Jack is back for the Seahawks he could be the difference maker.

    Eagles/Saints: I'll admit that the homefield advantage should be huge for New Orleans as that place will be rocking. If Philly can stay in it early and perhaps take the crowd out of it a bit they should have a shot in the second half. Westbrook is the best back not named LDT in the league.

    Pats/Chargers: Coaching advantage NE. QB advantage NE. Advantage everywhere else on the field SD. Is having the better coach and QB enough to pull off the upset? We'll find out but I'm betting no.

    Colts/Ravens: It seems that Baltimore has been flying under the radar all season long. Everyone's been talking about the Chargers, Colts, Patriots, Saints and Bears as Super Bowl contenders but they seem to skip over the Ravens. There's a reason why Baltimore is the #2 seed. Their defense is the best in the league right now. And McNair will do a better job of capitalizing on the Colts mistakes than Green did.
    Posted: 3:02 PM   by Anonymous
    AFC

    LT is great, but even he can't overcome Schottenheimer's presence.

    Ravens win close as Colts choke again

    NFC

    Bears win again, but much close with Seattle stars healthy

    I think crowd noise and Brees tip this to the Saints by a TD
    Posted: 3:05 PM   by coxy
    How can you guys say that the Bears D will stop Seattle? For as much talk as the Bears D gets, they haven't really shown that much lately. I can definitely see Seattle pulling this one out.
    Posted: 3:08 PM   by Anonymous
    Just like Reggie Jackson, Peyton Manning is "Mr October". Ravens 23, Colts 19.

    Schottenheimer and Super Bowl don't belong in the same sentence. I like SD, but Marty will be Marty. Would yuo rather have Rivers or Brady? Hmmm.
    Pats 24, Bolts 14

    The NFC favorites will win, but who cares?
    Posted: 3:12 PM   by smknc
    I don't have a lot of energy over most of the games, but I sure don't get why the Eagles, across the board, are considered a significant underdog. They lost some games in bad ways, but generally beat who they were supposed. The Saints lost to Washington, Pittsburgh and Carolina twice. Eagles losses to teams with losing records? Tampa Bay.

    I like the Saints, I really do. But for all their good stuff, they're not a clear cut favorite.
    Posted: 3:13 PM   by Anonymous
    How many playoff games are won by teams whose best player is the running back? Uhhhm...what, nobody remembers all those Barry Sanders-led championship teams? oh yeah...uhhhmmm... Running backs don't win football games. They just make them more fun to watch what happens when an offensive line does its job. QBs, coaches and defenses. Pats blow the game open early and it's never in doubt.
    Posted: 3:16 PM   by Anonymous
    wasn't it 2 years ago in New England that belichick was supposed to take away LT but still got beat 41-17. Unless belichick meets LT before the game and beats his knees with a lead pipe i don't see how he is going to stop him.
    Posted: 3:16 PM   by Anonymous
    The Superdome will be so loud, the Eagles wont be able to handle it. The Saints will be playing like they did on Monday night against the Falcons. Saints by 7
    Posted: 3:17 PM   by Anonymous
    The atmosphere in New Orleans will be insane. No team could go in there and win. the Eagles don't have a chance.
    Posted: 3:18 PM   by Anonymous
    Why are the Colts underdogs? Maybe because they're playing on the road, outdoors, and Manning's playoff record on the road and outdoors isn't so great? And that Ravens offense that someone said wouldn't be able to keep Manning & Co. off the field, only led the NFL in time of possession.
    Posted: 3:18 PM   by Anonymous
    Posted: 1:25 PM by elandadem
    "Realistically, look at who the Chargers faced this year... that's not to say that they aren't good on both sides of the ball - but they only played three teams with a winning record and lost to two of them (KC & Baltimore).
    If I were I Chargers' fan, I would be more comfortable if my team had faced more winning teams."
    Like the Patriots, who also only played three teams with a winning record and lost to all three of them?
    Posted: 3:24 PM   by Anonymous
    If you're putting money where your mouth is and you have no "emotional allegiance" to any team, then you have to say that every road-dog in this round of the playoffs has a "GOOD" chance of winning....Look at the experience, look at the recent trends in the last games of the regular season, and you can NOT state w/100% surety that every home team will win. Gee, is everyone forgetting The Steelers journey "ON THE ROAD" to the Super Bowl last year? Won every road game and they were definitely not favored every time....Ask Indy about that one, though it was close...!!! Look for the Pats to win outright, liking the Colts to shock/surprise the Ravens, too.
    Posted: 3:25 PM   by Anonymous
    Pats will win with Faulk being huge on the offensive side along with the TE's handling the chargers lineman and linebackers. Look for asante to have two interceptions and colvin a fumble recovery.
    Posted: 3:29 PM   by Anonymous
    Posted by Anonymous

    Like the Patriots, who also only played three teams with a winning record and lost to all three of them?
    (Check your facts before posting please)

    Patriots beat the Jets (once and lost once) and the Bears, both with winning records.
    Posted: 3:33 PM   by Anonymous
    i'm tired of hearing people saying that new england is going to make another superbowl run. they won't. first they have to get through san diego and LT. how many TDs did LT score this year? oh yeah 31. and even if new england wins they still have to face either Indy, who has already beaten them in foxboro this year, in the RCA dome or they travel to baltimore and have to face ray lewis and adalious thomas and the best defense in the game. you can say all you want about bill belicheck but he's not the one on the field making the plays. and tom brady may be a good quarterback but he is not the best, not by a longshot. you can say that he won three superbowls, but he didn't win them. each time the patriots won by three points because adam vinatieri is the best clutch kicker in the game and he won those games not tom brady.
    Posted: 3:36 PM   by Anonymous
    Obviously no one understands NFC East battles...Last weeks win by Eagles was typical of two teams that know each other very well...Eagles quite capable of taking on Saints...rest of underdogs same...playoffs are playoffs anything can happen.
    Posted: 3:40 PM   by Anonymous
    Anything can happen in the playoffs expecially the NFC since they are statistically the weaker conference.
    AFC
    I think Indy will win by ten or more points just cause they have an very effective offense and now a solid defense.

    I also think that Patriots will win but by only three or more points and have to play @ Indy next week

    NFC
    The Eagles will lose to an amazing football team. by more than two touchdowns.

    THe bears will get crushed by the seahawks even if they put in Griese in the second half.

    AFC championship INdy wins over Patriots

    Nfc Championship Saints win over Seattle

    Colts win Superbowl
    Posted: 3:41 PM   by Anonymous
    The Colts and Pats have the better chances to upset but it will be tough for obvious reasons. As in last years Pats debacle in Denver and last week's Colts play, they can't make all those crazy mistakes, and blow scoring and defensive stop opportunities. If these teams play their game and execute like we've seen them execute, this is the AFC Championship match-up next week.
    Posted: 3:44 PM   by Anonymous
    I like the Patriots to"upset" the Chargers. Who is everyone kidding,calling a Patriots win an upset. They will win it both in the air and on the ground. In Bellichek we trust.
    Posted: 3:48 PM   by Seatown
    Seattle isn't what it was last year. Hasselbeck even said so this week. They're injured, inconsistent. They have a loan officer as their third CB (and a safety as their starter). The 'hawks haven't put together a good game yet. Still, they're two wins from returning to the Superbowl.
    This is the week it all comes together for the 'Hawks, and they ride that wave back to the Superbowl.
    And I can't wait!
    Posted: 3:48 PM   by Anonymous
    ummm...It was Brady driving the offense down the field to give Vinatieri his chance. Yes Adam kicked it through the uprights but without Tom's terrific two minute drives Adam doesn't get a shot.

    A couple more playoff wins and T.B. owns the winningest playoff record in NFL history...
    Posted: 3:52 PM   by Anonymous
    Colts Vs Ravens- Hmmm Manning 20-13
    Patriots Vs Chargers - 7-21(I wish patriots win)
    Saints Vs Eagles - 24-13
    Bears Vs Seahawks - I am not really interested
    Posted: 3:56 PM   by Anonymous
    The Chargers will win by 7pts or less. Brady may have been the man, but past doesn't equal present. River and Co WILL put the Former champs on Vacation till August.

    Chargers 28
    Pats 21
    Posted: 3:58 PM   by WTE
    In addition to screen passes, you're going to see the Pats run the draw a few times to neutralize the fast outside rush and Brady will throw out of the shotgun quite a bit to give him more time.

    I also see Maroney getting twice the carries as the slower Dillon.
    Posted: 3:59 PM   by Anonymous
    I think the Indy defence is getting tired of hearing that they stink. So they are coping a attitude at the right time (the playoffs). Peyton Manning had his off game last week against the Chiefs, I believe this is the year that the Colts will get the monkey off of their back.
    Posted: 4:06 PM   by Anonymous
    Colts win last week had more to do with KC's gameplan than anything else. Colts won 3 in a row against the Ravens, so bmore is due for a win against the colts and manning. Ravens win big, scoring off turnovers.
    Chargers over pats. I dont understand what all the hoopla is over the pats this year. They were only up by 7 on the jets in the 4th at home last week. the jets who only had one win against an opponnent with a winning record
    Posted: 4:09 PM   by Anonymous
    E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles. The saints are overestimated because of what the city has gone through, from a weak divison, and Joe Horn and Marques Colston are hurting. Brian Westbrook will expose the saint's defense. Eagles 34-28. 3 TD's from WEstbrook. Plus Stallworth will want to beat his former team, and was iinjured last time these teams met
    Posted: 4:17 PM   by Anonymous
    Philly has a much better chance than "experts" are giving them credit for. NO beat Philly by 3 in the regular season after a 8+ minute drive in the 4th quarter. The Eagles are streaking right now. Eagles will win by 7.
    Posted: 4:19 PM   by Anonymous
    I know this will probably be pretty obvious soon enough, but I like the Eagles. And I think they have a pretty decent chance because, if anybody remebers the game between these two from ealier this season, they were back and forth the whole game. I realize Philly had MMcNabb, but can anyone say that the Eagles have not gotten any better since losing him. And I don't think it matters how well Brees handles pressure, the Eagles won't cease bringing it. I say it'll be a close game, with whichever team wins pulling ahead on the last drive of the game.
    Posted: 4:21 PM   by Anonymous
    lets not get all caught up in this drew brees is joe montana nonsense. does anyone remember his last playoff outing? plus don't forget that this is the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. the crowd will be fired up but these players have never even sniffed an nfc championship game before. birds 21, saints 10
    Posted: 4:21 PM   by Anonymous
    To the person who wrote:
    "and tom brady may be a good quarterback but he is not the best, not by a longshot."

    Are you kidding me?? Not by a longshot? What facts do you bring to the table? None! Compare him to any other QB and his record is incredible. Maybe your a Peyton Manning fan. Well you can have him. Couldn't win the big one in college or the pros - the modern Dan Marino! Funny how Peyton always has that cry-baby look on his face after another season ending loss just Marino used to.

    Then you say "you can say that he won three superbowls, but he didn't win them. each time the patriots won by three points because adam vinatieri is the best clutch kicker in the game and he won those games not tom brady."

    Again, are you kidding me??? All Adam had to do was walk his candy-ass onto the field and make a kick. Big deal! It was Tom Brady who battled back in each SB and got the Pats into field goal range. That's why Belichik let him walk, because it's getting the team into position to make the field goal that's important.

    Pats may not beat a very talented SD team this week but Peyton will never, ever win it all!!!
    Posted: 4:29 PM   by Mike R.
    Im not going to say that Tom Brady is the best QB in the league either but in my opinion he is pretty close. I am by no means a Pats fan (GO STEELERS) but to say that Tom Brady didnt win those playoff games is insane. Yes, Viniteri is a very very clutch kicker but if it wasnt for Tom Brady and his skill, composure, whatever you want to call it they Patriots would never of been in the situation for Adam to even kick the field goals. Mr. Brady has gotten that team where they are and thats exactly why they will win this week. Ive liked the Pats all week and feel that they will shut down LT. Its the exact same situation that Indy was in last week with LJ....everyone said that Indy will get ran over and they stepped up....now this week its all about how good LT was in the regular season, well this is the playoffs and the Pats step up in the playoffs and they will keep LT in check.

    In other games....

    Indy @ Baltimore - I think there is a good chance that Manning can exploit this defense even as good as it is....if Baltimore has strugged ont he defense side at all this season it has been by the pass but still that was very very few times. I will go with the home team by a field goal.

    Philly @ NO - Obviously the Saints will be prepared to play and the crowd will be going nuts. I think of the games this will be the shootout and the highest scoring. I think it might go back and forth. Im going to say that Stallworth has a memorable return to NO with a big game and also that Westbrook whether it be by pass or run will be the major reason why the Eagles win this game.

    Seattle @ Chicago - Everyone has been dogging the Bears D lately and there is a good reason for that. But thats exactly why the Bears will step up and totally dominate the Hawks, not to mention the fact that Seattle will have to try and upset the Bears at home in some what I hear to be terrible weather conditions. Bears in a rout!
    Posted: 4:29 PM   by Anonymous
    Response to the idiot who said:
    but he didn't win them. each time the patriots won by three points because adam vinatieri is the best clutch kicker in the game and he won those games not tom brady.

    Adam is a great clutch kicker but he did not win those games, he finished them. Last time I checked it was Brady who drove the ball down into Vinatieri's range, I didn't know that Adam could kick FG's from his own 30 yard line....WOW!!!
    Posted: 4:32 PM   by Anonymous
    How can Peyton Manning be listed as one of the reasons a team can win in the playoffs? Just wondering if you have watched the playoffs over the past eight or so years.....
    Posted: 4:34 PM   by Anonymous
    Marty does not call the offense plays AT All Cam Cameron does and San Diego did spank New England last year at Foxboro.
    Posted: 4:37 PM   by Anonymous
    Geez, the Pats beat the Jets, not the '85 Bears... and they still don't have Harrison. Gates will dominate their safeties, and Merriman and Phillips will force Brady to throw 45 times in a big loss.
    The regular season is NOT meaningless, the Bolts are the far better team.
    Posted: 4:37 PM   by Anonymous
    Steve McNair and the Ravens offense don't have what it takes to win a game. If Manning throws 3 picks, the Ravens' D wins the game.
    You can't pick against the Saints at home this year. And they already played the Eagles, when they had McNabb and they shutdown Westy.
    Grossman is no better than he was in the preseason or last year. There is zero indication he will play well right now. The odds are he performs poorly and drags the Bears down with him.
    And Rivers doesn't need to win this game, it has a solid defense. And they are on a 10 game win streak! They won every game at home. The Pats beat two playoff teams, the Bears and the Jets.
    Posted: 4:41 PM   by Anonymous
    Indy is in for a rude awakening this week. You think they stopped LJ last week so this week they'll do it again? Puh-lease, if Herm Edwards had half a clue about strategy and counter-strategy it would've been a different story. That was the worst display of coaching I have ever seen! Defense wins championships and Indy has none.
    Posted: 4:42 PM   by Anonymous
    Just need to say something in response to the 3:33pm post by Anonymous.... Yes Adam kicked the winning feild goals but how did the ball get into his range? Magic maybe... And as far as handling multiple weapons, the Pats coaching does provide the means to take out 2 out of 3 weapons and the Pats have shown that against St. Louis,Philly and Carolina.I guess T.O., Westbrook and McNaab weren't hard to scheme against. Or even better, Faulk, Warner (in his prime) and Holt... Put San Diego in the AFC East and see how well they do for the year. Coaching is the key, regardless of how much talent is out there... 20-17 Pats.
    Posted: 4:44 PM   by Anonymous
    Tommy boy moves the chains and eats the clock. LT can't do much if not on the field. Pats D will take away LT and make Rivers beat 'em. I'll take my chances. Pats 31-21
    Posted: 4:46 PM   by Anonymous
    In addition to coaching the Pats to a win, the almighty Belichick is going to run for 125 yards and two scores, throw a touchdown on a fake punt, take down Shawne Merriman a half-dozen times, rip Philip Rivers' head off, and kick the game-winning field goal. He'll single-handedly take this less-talented team and beat the Chargers' nine pro-bowlers senseless. Then he'll eat Marty Schottenheimer in the post-game press conference, with a side of fava beans and a nice chianti.
    Posted: 4:47 PM   by Anonymous
    "i'm tired of hearing people saying that new england is going to make another superbowl run. they won't. first they have to get through san diego and LT. how many TDs did LT score this year? oh yeah 31. and even if new england wins they still have to face either Indy, who has already beaten them in foxboro this year, in the RCA dome or they travel to baltimore and have to face ray lewis and adalious thomas and the best defense in the game. you can say all you want about bill belicheck but he's not the one on the field making the plays. and tom brady may be a good quarterback but he is not the best, not by a longshot. you can say that he won three superbowls, but he didn't win them. each time the patriots won by three points because adam vinatieri is the best clutch kicker in the game and he won those games not tom brady."

    Let's see...how many TD passes did Manning have two years ago? Was it 49? How did he do against the Pats in the playoffs? LDT is a great player, but running backs don't decide these games. Its QB's (Brady vs. Rivers), coaches (Belichick vs. Schottenheimer) and defense (probably a toss up). I'll go with the Pats. And, oh yeah, Brady had nothing to do with winning those Super Bowls. Just like Montana had nothing to do with the Niners winning.
    Posted: 4:54 PM   by Anonymous
    Yes the Underdogs can win but I only say that because I think San Diego is the Underdog in this matchup. Even if my beloved Chargers have the best regular season record at 14-2 in the NFL , the fact that anyone considers the Patriots the "underdog" is ridiculous...with the spectacular Brady and his 3 Superbowl wins. Of course, I understand it's all a big setup so if the Patriots win yet another Superbowl (yawn) all the reporters can fawn over them extensively with a new spin, "the underdogs who came back to win it all...again". Fight back San Diego because we're the real underdogs in this matchup and we've been waiting a long, long time to take it all the way!
    Posted: 4:57 PM   by Anonymous
    Week 2 of the playoffs is whole new ball game from week 2 of the regular season...any game this week is fair game. When it comes to underdogs, how many recall PIT being it last year?

    Go Hawks!
    Go Pats!
    Go Colts!
    and may the South upheed the Philly bombers...
    Posted: 5:06 PM   by Anonymous
    I am a fan of brady, but this year he has less then usual. His top receiver is a charger reject and I saw his TEs drop some easy passes against the jets. He might be the best of all time, but all the patriot fans are in a dream world. Chargers win big!
    Posted: 5:08 PM   by Anonymous
    Last time I checked, crowd noise didn't register on the scoreboard. If your team can't handle crowd noise, then perhaps they should just go home. The Eagles are used to playing before one of the loudest, most passionate crowds in the NFL. If the Saints (and their fans) are pinning their hopes on crowd noise, then they should bring their boxes in on Saturday so they can clean out their lockers after the game.

    Since the last time the Saints made the playoffs, the Eagles have been to 4 NFC Championship Games and a Superbowl. You take crowd noise, I'll take experience. The Eagles will take care of business.

    We'll see you in Miami...
    Posted: 5:15 PM   by Anonymous
    Go Pats! Tom brady is the best quarterback in the league...not rivers, not mcnair and not even manning ! thats right...
    Can you imagine making offensive plays with reche caldwell, ben watson and jabar gaffney!! have you ever heard of these guys?? I know the pats are gonna win their fourth in six years!!
    as for the nfc, couldnt care a rats @@@!!!
    Posted: 5:45 PM   by Anonymous
    The Bears D has been suspect lately, but they are returning some staters: Todd Johnson, Charles Tillman, and Nathan Vasher. Also, John Tait and Jason McKie on offense. This will be a healthy, rested team that should be able to get past Seattle. The best chance of an upset is Philadelphia over New Orleans in my opinion. Playoff experience is vital and New Orleans has none with their players or coaches.
    Posted: 5:48 PM   by Anonymous
    Did I read that "running backs don't decide these games".

    Good one.

    Yeah Emmitt Smith, Terrell Davis, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Ricky Watters, all non-factors.
    Posted: 5:51 PM   by Anonymous
    I'm not sure that it is fair to point out that the Eagles and the Saints have the same record since the saints rested their starters in game 16.
    Posted: 5:52 PM   by Anonymous
    To the person who said.......Tom Brady is a not so good a QB.........you better start taking up knitting because you don't football at all.Yes Adam kicks and the game is over.That's a small(yet important)area of the game but to see players like Brady and Manning and in the old days of Montana and Bradshaw take the hits and the frantic running away from blitzes while all the time looking for the 2nd and 3rd receivers.All QBs(except for Grossman)that are still playing deserve a high 5 for steering the rudder of the team they are playing for.
    Posted: 6:10 PM   by Anonymous
    All of the talk about the Saints choking because they've never been in a big game is stupid. Teams don't retain all of there players from season to season. Sure, some teams retain core players, but this is a team sport lead players and most importantly good coaching. What New Orleans has lacked mostly in its history is good coaching. Now, the Saints have both!

    Give the Saints credit for being where they are. They spanked Dallas and the Giants in a huge way. Both playoff teams!

    They lost the last game to Carolina because they played 2nd-3rd stringers. Most of the other games they lost we close games because of Saint turnovers, and most were very high scoring. Even the Ravens with that great defense almost buckled under the Saints attack.

    The Saints WILL be ready to play. I think they will win the Super Bowl! -- Saints fan forever
    Posted: 6:28 PM   by Anonymous
    To Anonymous at 5:51 PM... yeah, the Saints rested their starters in the final game. The Eagles did that too. Only difference is that the Eagles won their game playing the second string.

    The Eagles lost by 3 points in the first matchup between the two teams after they couldn't hold a lead (due to the fact that they had no running game at the time) and a terrible 12-men on the field penalty after a sack that was going to force New Orleans to punt.

    Not saying Philadelphia's going to win, but the blowout talk is silly.
    Posted: 10:26 PM   by Anonymous
    This weekends outcome:

    Although I hate the Pats, they will beat San Diego 34-24. If Brady gets hot, which he will, LT and the Charger offense will rarely see the field.

    The Saints, (with the help of the Zebras) will beat the Eagles hands down. The much quicker Saints defense will slow down the Eagles no-name receivers and the Saints two headed monster(Bush, McAllister) backs will out do the Eagles pair.

    The Seahawks will defeat the Bears 24-13 with the Seahawks offense in full swing. The Bears will score with a Hester Punt return and two field goals. The Big Bear "D" will give up 127 yards to Alexander and 245 passing Yards.

    As with all of the Colts previous playoff experience, this one will end with a only two field goals and its smaller defense getting stomped by the Ravens. Ravens 34-6
    Posted: 9:47 AM   by Anonymous
    Brian Westbrook is playing on two horrible knees. He is a decent runner with some speed, but he is not the second to best back in the league. The only way he'll have a great game is if the Saints second-to-worst run defense shows up.
    Posted: 11:17 AM   by tonyd527
    Guys I can Totally see the Pats pulling off the upset. My Dad and I were scheming up some ways that Brady could neutralize the pressure of the San Diego defense. We were working on the button hook and fly against some of the neighborhood guys with great success and to a lesser degree the hook and ladder ala Boise State. We e-mailed Belichick in hopes that he would install some of the formations we cooked up so let's wait and keep our fingers crossed. Final score Pats 31-23
    Posted: 11:35 AM   by Anonymous
    all you Saint's bashers need to get a life. we are more than a feel good story. we could have easily been 11 and 5 and beaten the panthers if the greatest coach in the world had not rested all of outr starters by the end of the first quarter. the eagles dont stand a chance saturday night. out.
    Posted: 11:52 AM   by Anonymous
    If no one likes chicago to win,then why isn't chicago the underdog. Lets's give credit where credit is due, chicago has played NFL TEAMS. Everybody knows that anybody can win on any given sunday and for them to be 13-3 with Rex having his ups and downs, we should be praising the talent on this team for cleaning up his mess.
    Posted: 12:02 PM   by Anonymous
    Considering that the last time the two #1 seeds from each conference played each other in the Super Bowl was 1993, I would say the chances of upsets this weekend or next are very likely. Of course, maybe it's due to happen.
    Posted: 12:28 PM   by Anonymous
    I am a diehard Saints fan with stars in his eyes, but the Eagles are very hot at the moment and have every bit of the momentum coming into this game. I think Payton will go for the juggular early. Three things combine for a close Philly loss: Short week (6 days prep), the absense of Lito Sheppard, and Brees ability to spread the ball out to nearly everyone on the team it seems like. Anyhow, much respect to Philly (I've been a Garcia fan for years - remember that rally in the 49ers/Giants playoff game in '02? Classic.), but I see the Saints edging by. Good luck!
    Posted: 12:38 PM   by Anonymous
    "I'm not sure that it is fair to point out that the Eagles and the Saints have the same record since the saints rested their starters in game 16."

    Umm...once Dallas choked in Detroit...So did Philly's...and we still won.

    We're a different team now...much more chemistry...

    One team,
    One city,
    One dream,
    E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!
    Posted: 12:43 PM   by Anonymous
    To the guy that said it's not fair to say the Eagles & Saints had the same record because the Saints rested their starters the last game and lost. Well news flash, the Eagles also rested their starters the last game and still won.

    Would you rather be coming off of a 6 game winning streak or three weeks off. I'll take the momentum, and the Eagles love the underdog role. By the way, during the 6 game win streak the Eagles have scored at least 21 points in every game and the most points they've allowed during those games is 24.

    Saints at home in the Superdome were only 4-4 this year and 5-5 in their last 10 overall. Also, an untested playoff team will feel a lot of pressure as a home favorite. I think Garcia and Westbrook will both be cool and confident in their roles and the D will make a few big plays that will decide the game.

    Eagles 31 Saints 27

    Go Birds!
    Posted: 12:48 PM   by Anonymous
    Seattle backed their way into the playoffs, losing 3 out of 4 of their final regular season games and trying valiantly to help Dallas win the wildcard. I don't see Seattle going anywhere but home.
    Saints Eagles will be the best NFC matchup, and the Saints have come to far to let that placeholder of a quarterback beat them.
    The Ravens are not a good matchup for the Colts and after watchintg Peyton revert to playoff form, I don't see the Colts moving on.
    I pray the Chargers use zone coverage. 'Cause if they do, Brady will have a hay-day. And everyone seems to worry about Merriman, except Belichick. The man has a plan and while the Chargers are as solid as the 2001 Steelers, we all know what happened to them
    Posted: 1:01 PM   by Anonymous
    To the person who said the Jets were in the game until the fourth quarter:

    You might be right. The score was close until then. However, the Patriots had started laying the groundwork for the game in the first quarter. The Pats had three long drives in the first half while the Jets scored on a turnover and one long play from scrimmage. The Patriots beat teams by beating them up. By the time the fourth quarter arrives the opposition is spent and the Pats begin to exert control. Expect to see the front seven maintain their assignments and limit (not stop) LT. The Chargers QB is going to be ineffective at best, and destructive to his own team at worst.

    Patriots: 40
    Chargers: 24
    Honestly, who wants to watch Seahawks v. Saints for the NFC Championship? If you need me, I'll be watching whatever movie is on Comedy Central at the time. Yawn.

    Seahawks shouldn't even be in the playoffs. Nothing personal Seattle, you still make great coffee.

    No predictions, just honest assessment.
    Posted: 1:33 PM   by Anonymous
    Bears vs. Seahawks:

    I am the only one on the board that thinks the Seahawks will win....if they keep the hester out of the endzone.

    Seattle is underrated, and if their special teams came to play and stopped the td, and the offense doesn't blow it on the one yard line, they dominate the Cowboys. It shouldn't have come down to the final play.

    It is the Bears 1st team against Seattle's M.A.S.H. unit, but Seahawks win 24-20.

    Chargers vs. Patriots:

    Patriots get the nod, if you eliminated LT. LT scores 2 in the 4th quarter to be the difference, 35-28. He can't be stopped, not even by Billy B.

    Saints vs. Eagles:

    This is the closest matchup. It will come down to a field goal on either side, whoever has the better fortune. It will be a 3 point margin in either direction.

    Ravens vs. Colts:

    The Colta haven't done well, but they bring their A game and stun the solid Ravens by 14. Manning is going to make the Ravens secondary look pedestrian, and will set up a great AFC Championship Game....
    Posted: 2:07 PM   by Kim- Scottsdale, AZ
    I'm so ready to get these games started! Anything can happen with all of these great teams, however, I think Seattle is going to walk all over the Bears this weekend. Colts will be great to watch, as always - Go Manning!
    Posted: 2:39 PM   by Anonymous
    The Pats will win simply because they have more experience in these types of big time games. LT won't rush for squat and Brady will throw at least 2 touchdonws, and Dillon will run for 2 more.

    go pats
    Posted: 2:39 PM   by Anonymous
    Hey Folks, the Eagles have won their last 6 games, which 3 were on the road against tough division foes in December. Don't overlook this team! If you can go into Dallas on National TV on Christmas and blow them out, than NO is just a road bump. Philly 27 - NO 20
    Posted: 2:46 PM   by Anonymous
    Saints will fold under pressure.

    Bears will fold under pressure and exit early just like they do whenever they have a good regular-season.

    Merriman is over-rated. Chargers are over-rated.

    Pats Experience. The Brady Bunch boy will get it done.
    Posted: 2:58 PM   by Anonymous
    Chargers will beat the Pats hands-down. i think mccardell will be the suprise. pats will focus so much on LT and Gates that Rivers will go to mccardell with lots of success. rivers is too good of a quarterback to not find the open guy. in college it seemed like he knew what guy would be open before the snap. plus he's smart. he knows how to manage a game and keep them in it.
    Posted: 3:19 PM   by Anonymous
    A couple things I've read on here that can't be unaddressed: Colts "D" is not suddenly good.

    Saints will out-emote the Eagles, who did struggle against the Giants, half of whom were probably already thinking of the offeseason.

    The Seahawks have no chance. The weather and defense will kill any chances they get...Alexander is running like he's on eggshells and Hasselbeck will not be able to deal well with the conditions or Bears "D." Oh, and I am not a Bears fan.

    I don't know what to think of NE/SD other than it will be a one or 3 point game. The Pats can hang with the tempo of this game but I think Harrison (a former Charger) being out will loom large and LT/Rivers/Gates will be just enough to put SD over the top.
    Posted: 3:47 PM   by Anonymous
    The regular season means nothing now. It is win or go home time for all eight teams left. Simply put it comes down to experience and execution. Pats have the most WINNING experience in the playoffs recently, Philly is a close second, but who out of the eight can execute most often?

    I'll take the Pats because Belichick's work ethic and what he expects from his players. Marty is too laid back. They are talented, but Rivers needs a couple more years under center.
    Posted: 3:57 PM   by Anonymous
    The Saints are a strong team, the Eagles are an experienced team. The Saints barely know what the playoffs feel like, let alone with Drew Brees throwing passes. The Eagles defense needs to step it up and Westbrook needs to come ready to play. Lets not forget, the eagles are on a streaak. New Orleans belives they deserve this game but playoffs don't factor in natural disaster sympathy. I like the Eagles, but its going to be close.
    Posted: 4:02 PM   by Anonymous
    The only underdog with no chance would be the San Diego Chargers. They are the real underdogs. The Patriots should be favored by 7 to 10 points in this game and shoould cover and win by 21 points. Patriots 21, Chargers absolutely nothing.
    Posted: 4:13 PM   by Anonymous
    "I'm not sure that it is fair to point out that the Eagles and the Saints have the same record since the saints rested their starters in game 16."

    The Eagles played their starters in Game 16 for about two minutes. As soon as Dallas lost the Eagles put in all their scrubs...AND still they mopped up the Falcons...Eagles will win this one...and not by a mere field goal like the Saints did last time....
    Posted: 4:15 PM   by Anonymous
    Parity is a wonderful thing, anyone of these teams can win-I am betting 2 home teams Raven and Saints win, Grossman gives its away and Pats beat themselves with turnovers.
    Posted: 4:17 PM   by Anonymous
    Two words: Josh Brown.

    Grossman will post a pathetic 20 or so QB rating, Hasselbeck and Alexander will break out just enough against a depleted Bears D-line to advance close enough for the best underrated kicker in the league to split the uprights. Bears will attempt to abuse Hawks secondary but simply don't have the offensive weapons.

    Seahawks 13
    Bears 10
    Posted: 4:24 PM   by Anonymous
    Although everyone wants to give the SD/Pats game to SD, the Pats will win without much trouble.

    I am a huge Peyton fan, however after seeing last weeks game, Bmore will pick it up and cause some real problems for Indy. If Indy can avoid turnovers they can win this game, otherwise it will be a long and embarrasing game for Indy in which the Steve McNair of old will be revitalized.

    Hawks will win in a close game due to Grossman throwing 2 int and another 2 int are going to be credited to Griese once Grossman is pulled.

    Philly, although my least favorite team in all of football, will embarrass the Saints and be named the worst disaster to hit New Orleans since Katrina.
    Posted: 4:31 PM   by Anonymous
    And to the person who wrote:
    "To the person who wrote:
    'and tom brady may be a good quarterback but he is not the best, not by a longshot.'

    Are you kidding me?? Not by a longshot? What facts do you bring to the table? None! Compare him to any other QB and his record is incredible. Maybe your a Peyton Manning fan. Well you can have him. Couldn't win the big one in college or the pros - the modern Dan Marino! Funny how Peyton always has that cry-baby look on his face after another season ending loss just Marino used to.

    Pats may not beat a very talented SD team this week but Peyton will never, ever win it all!!!"

    Nobody mentioned Peyton buddy, relax a little. Pats fans seem stuck on Peyton Manning for some reason. You're not even playing the Colts, you're playing the Chargers. One game at a time. I'm worried you're going to pop an artery or something.
    Posted: 4:43 PM   by Anonymous
    AFC East vs. AFC west.......please any team in the East could beat the Chargers...Tom Brady vs. Phil Rivers not a difficult call here! Wait till the Chargers get a dose of Dillon and Maroney....LT will be thankful he doesnt play in the East division......
    Posted: 4:52 PM   by Anonymous
    Patroits are unstoppable in the postseason. They are intimidating because they have Tom Brady as qb and bill bilichek as the coach. watch the pats win.
    Posted: 5:00 PM   by Anonymous
    Tom Brady & Bellcheck, say no more experience matters and to you people out there that keep stating that SD has so many players playing in the Pro Bowl, well that's like saying you won the People's choice award for outstanding actor but not the Oscar. When SD did play the Pats, how many of there players were hurt 4, and to add to this you talk like they ending there season poorly, they have the stats to back them up. They are a great all around team. I feel confident that they will win.. Brady is to football what Larry Bird was to basketball the best all around player and a great leader's.. and Bellcheck is like Red Auberbach genius... PATS 31 SD 21 See ya at the Bowl, SuperBowl that is!!!
    Posted: 5:41 PM   by Anonymous
    The Pats-Chargers game will be a laugher. The Bolts'll come out of the tunnel, see Bill and Tom, pee their pants, and run screaming into the hills with the knowledge that they would all die if they played the Patriots this day.
    Posted: 5:43 PM   by Anonymous
    I love the comments about how the Saints are a feel good story but are overrated and play in a weak division. Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't Carolina picked by alot of "experts" to rep the NFC in the Super Bowl and at the beginning of the year Atlanta was supposively unstoppable. Oh yeah by the way the overrated Saints beat this same Eagles team with McNabb earlier in the year. Good luck in the N.O Mr. Garcia, after the game you can go on Bourbon and relieve all your problems for finishing two games shy of a Super Bowl and that Donovan will be back next year and you will be on another team.
    Posted: 5:48 PM   by Anonymous
    Chargers will take the Pats. They lost 2 games in the regular season and in both games they beat themselves. Pats have the experience in playoffs but SD is more hungry.
    Posted: 5:50 PM   by Anonymous
    Colts win - because it's Peyton's time;
    Saints win - because if Garcia could win playoff games, he would still be in SF.
    Bolts win - because they are a far better team playing at home and Merriman going to put Brady's head on a post;
    Hawks 'n Bears - who cares in 48 states. Two teams going in the wrong direction and the winner a door mat to the Super Bowl - coin toss.
    Posted: 5:53 PM   by Anonymous
    Does anyone realize just how close the Chargers came to perfection this season? Their two losses were each by a field goal to eventual playoff teams, one of whom beat them as the clock expired. Since that second loss, they've been unstoppable. Why should this change just because it's the playoffs? Because the Patriots supposedly have more experience in the big games? How many players on the Pats' roster were on it when they last won the Super Bowl? Last year, the Pats lost to Denver with Jake Plummer at the helm. How much success had Plummer had in the playoffs before that? Zero. He'd been embarrassed two years in a row. The Patriots were better last year. The Bolts are better this year than the Broncos were last year. Do the math.
    Posted: 5:56 PM   by Anonymous
    Bill Belichick is not a genius. Albert Einstein was a genius. Teams win games (and Super Bowls), not individuals. Tom Brady is overrated. Good? Yes. Great? I doubt it. Dan Marino won a lot of games on a team with no running game and a bad defense, when the other team knew he was going to pass. Could Tom Brady have done the same? I say no. He's won 3 Super Bowls, you say. No, TEAMS he has quarterbacked have. Mark Rypien won a Super Bowl, keep that in mind. Chargers have the better team, and should win. Just because New England is experienced in the playoffs doesn't mean they will win, otherwise every year last year's winner would win, wouldn't they? Chargers, Ravens, Eagles, and Bears this week.
    Posted: 6:03 PM   by Anonymous
    Marty will choke. Peyton will choke. Ravens and Pats. New Orleans? The NFL has written a beautiful script. What a sweet story. Katrina to SB. Who cares. Bring on Brady to win it all.
    Posted: 6:05 PM   by nickbridges
    SD vs NE: Probowl means nothing, regular season means nothing, but breaking season rushing for TD record mean something. LT knows how to score. Doesn't take a seasoned QB to hand off the ball. And I'm sure Rivers can land a pass or two to Gates to mix things up. What better plan to keep Brady off the field than LT with a playoff rush for TD record?
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