Before I call it a night, I wanted to get my playoff predictions in for the first round at least. Feel free to post your predictions in comments section.
The four games this weekend are Washington at Seattle and Jacksonville at Pittsburgh on Saturday while New York Football Giants at Tampa Bay and Tennessee at San Diego are on Sunday.
I think the Redskins are a great feel good story after the death of Sean Taylor. They won their last 4 games to get into the playoffs and look for them to ride that at pull off an upset at Seattle. The Seahawks to me never really got things going on the ground with Shaun Alexander who only got 700 yards on the season while the Redskins have really come together. Look for Clinton Portis to get a pair of rushing touchdowns and I will take Washington in this one, 24-14.
Jaguars at Steelers is probably the marquee match up this weekend. The Jaguars pulled out a gutsy 7 point win in Pittsburgh about 3 weeks ago in the snowy and awful conditions. I think the Steelers will be better prepared for the Jaguars this time but the loss of Willie Parker has to hurt their chances. Big Ben has been a total monster this season with 30+ TD passes but I do not think that will be enough as the balanced Jaguars attack will once again tame the Steelers. Jaguars by 3, 27-24.
If Eli Manning plays anything close to the way he played last week against the Patriots, the Bucs have no shot this week. That being said, it is still Eli Manning we are talking about. He has led the Giants to 3 straight playoffs but he has yet to do anything once he has gotten there. I really think this is his breakout year in the post season. His confidence has been building, his teammates are supporting him, and we have not heard anything from Tiki Barber which is always a good sign for the state of affairs in the Giants locker room. I think Eli throws 3 TD passes and Jacobs runs in for another as Giants win in a rout, 31-10.
Finally, Titans at Chargers. Who would have thought after the 1-3 San Diego start that they would be hosting a playoff game? Give credit to Norv Turner for really turning that club around and going 10-2 to finish off the season. They have beaten the Titans already earlier on this season and do not overlook the squeaker they had past the Colts in the middle of the season. Certainly this could post an intriguing Pats/Bolts matchup but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Vince Young for the Titans is still banged up and will not be 100% even though he’ll start and Chargers ‘lightning’ offense should be more than enough to control this game from the start. 24-10 Chargers.
Let the playoff season begin…