This weekend it is the Divisional round and four great games are on tap.
#6 Baltimore Ravens at #1 Tennessee Titans
Matt: This will be one ugly game. Both punters will get a lot of playing time in this one.
As both teams like to run the ball, I suggest a lot of alcohol to make things more interesting because "3 and out" will not only refer to your sexual duration on this day.
You're going to see Flacco and Collins combine for 7 sacks,(received)and 3 INT's. I like the Titans to score on a Bo Scaife TD catch with 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Why Bo? Why not?!
Rambler: Remember the Titans? It seems like everybody is forgetting the Titans and they shouldn’t be. I admit when I first heard the Titans were still undefeated earlier in the season, I was like “The Titans?” That’s only in the movie, but they’ve shocked me and I think they will continue to shock despite a tough Baltimore D.
I’m also admittedly playing the homer card here, with Kerry Collins, who played at Penn State.
The Titans might not be remembered after next week, but they get by the Ravens this week, 14-10.
Chris: The Titans seem like a paper tiger to me. Sure they have great defensive numbers and a good running game. But their passing isn't that good and their third down conversion rate sucks as well.
On the other side we have the vaunted Raven defense, and surprise an offense that led the league in time of possession. That is not a good combination to try and overcome, especially with that third down thing not favoring Tennessee's offense.
Baltimore wins 32-14, says buh-bye to the Titans, and the dumbest sports catch-phrase ever "who dat" to their opponent next week.
#4 Arizona Cardinals at #2 Carolina Panthers
Matt:This is the Yang to the Baltimore-Tennesee Yin. What is the over on this game?? 60??
The Cards have 3 receivers that can beat you all over the field. It will be up to the Carolina D-line to put some pressure on Kurt "Oh yeah, I ruined your fantasy season" Warner.
The difference in this game is that Carolina has a running game, and Arizona runs onto the field before the game. Look for Steve Smith to rack up 140 yards, and Williams to punch it in for 2 TD's.
Rambler: Speaking of “In America,”
"Only in America can that happen"said former Amsterdam Admiral coach Al Luginbill in this interview about former Admiral teammates Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme playing against each other in this weekend’s playoffs.
All the talk is about Anquan Boldin being questionable for Saturday night’s game. However, I think Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston can hold their own, plus Edgerrin James, whom I had earlier in the fantasy football season, is finally coming alive, thanks, Edge. Nice timing, you nappy-headed jerk. The last time these two teams played, the Panthers won 27-23.
This time I give the edge to the Cardinals, despite a valiant effort by Delhomme, Smith and the defense, 27-24.
Chris: Atlanta's defense blew last week's game. There was no pressure on Warner, and their secondary was making all the tackles. Is it any wonder the Cardinals averaged 6.0 points per play?
This week is a different story. Granted, the Panthers have not put up a ton of stats and in fact have an inferior passing game yet they almost beat the Giants for the #1 seed. There's a lot more determination and dare I say grit in the Carolina locker room.
Panthers win 31-20 and crack their knuckles hoping for a potential re-match with the New York football Giants.
#6 Philadelphia Eagles at #1 New York Giants
Matt: Tis a shame that this game is in the semi's of the NFC round. These are my 2 favorites in the NFC.
The Eagles offense gets the pub, but the real hero is the defense of Philly which is sound and stout. The Giants lost 3 of 4 heading into the post-season, and didn't put much on the scoreboard in those 3 losses.
Throw in the fact that this game is not on the road for the Giants, and that I still can't stand Eli for dissing the Bolts on draft day---and the Giants will take a tumble.
Rambler: As far as where I live, I’m split on this one: I live in Pennsylvania, but near the New York border. You actually find some Giants fans here as well as Yankees fans. But I’m going to be a homer again (I know, by now, you are completely shocked) and go with the Eagles. They are on a roll.
I think the Giants feel the loss of Plaxico Burress here and Donovan and Company win 27-21 keeping up their end of the bargain for a possible Pennsylvania-Pennsylvania matchup in the Super Bowl. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
Chris: Arguably the best rivalry in football but one team has a Cinderella feel...
Or at least my cohorts in these predictions believe. Phili? Really?
The Giants have not played well down the stretch but they have had issues and a season of every game being tough due to being the champs. When you win it all in the NFL everyone wants to beat you next year after all. Heck, that is true in any sport.
The problem is the Eagles are playing on house money but they have one chance to win: exploit Brandon Jacob's excitement. He's been fired up in practice all week and the coaches had to tell him to relax.
Then again Jacobs is like a brick wall running down the field. Giants win 30-17 and get ready for the rematch with the Panthers.
#4 San Diego Chargers at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers
Matt: This one is going to get ugly...and fast. I realize that Dennis "What you talking about Willis" Sproles went hog-wild last week for over 300 all-purpose yards.
Unfortunately, Pittsburgh will shut him down from the outset. Their defense is tough and hits hard. This will put pressure on Rivers to win the game himself....which will lead to 3 INT's and a beat-down in the cold of Pittsburgh.
Rambler: If you think I’m just going to go with Pittsburgh, just because I’m from Pennsylvania, then you’re wrong. Yes, that’s part of the reason, sure, plus I grew up a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. And you know what Charlie Daniels says about laying a hand on a Pittsburgh Steeler fan…if you don’t, then let Charlie break it down for you:
But the emotion and CD’s great guitar aside, the reason I’m going with the Steelers is their defense and their passing game. Like all four games this weekend, it won’t be an easy one…
…but the Steelers get ready to roll to the Super Bowl with a 21-14 victory over the Chargers at home.
Chris: The key for the Chargers is pressure on Big Ben, something they have not done well at all season. It also doesn't help that LT has a torn groin. I guess that saves on internet porn subscriptions so there's an upside.
I just don't see how San Diego wins unless Pittsburgh screws up big time. The Steelers win 28-20 and have a week to figure out how to score on Baltimore in the AFC Championship game.
Do you have a prediction for the Wild Card round of the 2009 NFL Playoffs? Post it in the comments and join in on the fun.