So I finished the 2006 season five games under .500 and missed the last two weeks due to Christmas and whatnot. The playoffs are a mere hour away from starting so here are my clearly mediocre predictions.
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (-7)
People are going crazy over Larry Johnson vs. the Indy rush defense. “He’ll have 300 yards and 3 touchdowns!” Alright, so Indy can’t stop the run. KC can’t stop the anything. Peyton will have at least 2 touchdowns and they should put up 24+ points on the Chiefs. LJ will have to carry the ball 30-35 times for over 175 yards to keep Manning in check and that is a tall order. Even if LJ does hit that threshold KC could still lose. KC has also lost its last 6 playoff games and Herm Edwards is a notorious playoff choke artist. This is not the upset in the first round.
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks (-3)
Even with 3 starting defensive backs out the Seahawks still have Alexander and the best home field advantage in the NFC. The Cowboys have all the talent in the world but have been very inconsistent down the stretch. Romo-mania is over and having him in the Pro Bowl is almost a joke now. This should be a close game with a lot of points and turnovers but Seattle should win it.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-8-1/2)
This is the upset game everyone is talking about. The Jets out-hustled the Pats in their last regular season meeting in a tight contest. But the Patriots were the only team over .500 the Jets beat this season. They had one of the easiest schedules in the league this year and finished 25th in total yards offense and 20th in yards allowed. Those are not good numbers at all. Belichick and Brady will not lose to a division rival on their home field in the playoffs. Look for the Pats to be geared up for this one and come up big.
New York Giants (+7) at Philadelphia Eagles
I don’t buy into the whole “the Eagles are on a roll so now they can beat anybody” ethos that the media is. They still have Jeff Garcia at quarterback. The defense has been playing very well and has been carrying this team. In the NFC the Eagles can make a run against sub-par teams (like the Giants) but I really don’t think they can hang with the “elite” teams (Saints and Bears). All that said the Giants are bad. They have chemistry issues, most prominently rooted in the team’s hatred for their head coach. If it weren’t for the Tiki Barber farewell tour performance in week 17 the Giants would be watching from home. Philly wins a close one.