Friday, January 05, 2007

AFC Playoff predictions !

My fearless forecast of the AFC Playoffs

Round 1
KC @ Indy ... Colts
Jets @ New England ... Patriots

- KC @ Indy. The Colts look like they drew the worst possible match up. The porous defense now has to face off against the Chiefs stud back Larry Johnson. I'll admit I looked at the Chiefs hard, but I am now on the side of the Colts. The public loves the match ups of LJ vs the bad run defense, and Surtain and Law defending Harrison and Wayne.

The Colts are 8-0 at home, and are actually a much better football team at home. The Run D gives up about 50 less yards at home, and the Colts outscore their opponents by more than 10 points on average at home.

I think people are caught in the hoopla of the match up to forget that the Chiefs are a 3-5 road team that has been prone to shitting the bed on the road. The Chiefs got blown out in Pittsburgh, barley beat the Cardinals, and lost to Miami and the Browns on the road. KC averages about 50 less yards rushing on the road and scores about 6 less points on the road. Let's also not forget that Trent Green is banged up.

The RCA dome will be loud, and the Colts will have to play some inspired D to stop the superstar LJ. Peyton will be efficient, and the Colts win

- Jets @ Pats. New England averages more passing yards than the Jets ( 212-197) more running yards than the Jets ( 122-108), and they also give up less passing yards (200-201) and less running ( 94-130). The Jets dream season is over, and the Patriots will avenge their home loss to the Mangeni and the Jets. The fact that odds makers have New England as 9 and a half point favorites ( and people are betting the Jets), tells me that the smart guys in Vegas see New England winning by double digits. The point spread looks too easy to take the Jets in this big " rivalry game" that they might win outright, but the smart guys in Vegas know if the spread looked fair that everybody would take Tom Brady. The Pats have been quietly been cruising along in late season form and they won't disappoint.

The Colts and Pats won the 3 and 4 seeds in the AFC and they deserved it. I honestly think both of the favorites will survive in round 1 of the AFC playoffs.

Round 2
New England @ San Diego... New England
Colts @ Ravens ... Ravens

Patriots @ San Diego - The Patriots seems like a forgotten team to me. They didn't start out the year undefeated ( like the colts or bears), and lost some players and coaches in free agency. San Diego is fun and exciting to watch, and ESPN is always hyping them up.

I think this is the game that people remember that Tom Brady has only lost 1 playoff game in his NFL career. New England is all business and 7-1 on the road this year. I think this will probably be the best game of the playoffs.

Phillip Rivers is still a playoff rookie and without the LT clutch to lean on, he will be forced to decipher Bellichecks defense ( yikes). The Chargers will lose the game, and people will cry that " Marty can't win the big one". I honestly feel bad for Marty because he is a good coach that has had a successful career.

Colts @ Ravens.
Those people that thought the Chiefs would pound the Colts, control the clock, keep Manning off the field, and win will be wrong in round 1, but right in round 2 of the post season. I think the bye week will have it's biggest effect in THIS game. Larry Johnson figures to have a lot of carries to punish the colts defense while the Ravens are resting. I think the Ravens will continue to hammer away and have long drives that keep Peyton off the field and the defense rested.

We will see a heavy dose of Jamal Lewis, and the Ravens D will play good enough to win the game. Baltimore has the leadership of Steve Mcnair to lead long drives that eat up clock and keep Peyton off the Field. Mcnair is good at hitting his tight ends on 3rd downs and keeping those chains moving.

I think Peyton will be blamed for being a choke artist, and nobody will question Dungy for losing yet another big game with a talented team. If you look at Peytons career, the only teams he has lost to in the playoffs won the superbowl. He got bounced by Brady and the Pats, and last year by the Steelers. After these playoffs are over, the media will continue to bash Marty and Peyton as not being able to win the big one. ( I will be shocked if the chargers or Colts hoist up the Lombardi Trohphy in Miami).

AFC Championship
Patriots @ Ravens... Patriots

As we go into the playoffs, I am pretty sure the Pats and Ravens meet in the AFC title game. It is hard for me to predict the winner, but I give the edge to the Patriots. A lot of people have the Chargers or Colts, but I give the definite edge to the Ravens and Pats. I also like that both teams flew under the radar for much of the year. In 06 we saw a lot of " will the colts go undefeated" and we also saw a lot of " The chargers are for real" talk, and the " LT for MVP" talk, while the Pats are " rebuilding" and the Ravens " don't have a good offense to match that D".

The Pats and Ravens fell under the Radar and will " surprise" some folks. I think the Pats/ San Diego game will be huge, and will give the Pats the momentum to go back to the Superbowl

I've comprised some percentages on who I think will win the AFC
NE 33%
Bal 33 %
SD 20%
Indy 12%
KC 1%
Jets 1%

Even though I predict the Pats go to the bowl as the #4 seed, I give the Pats and Ravens equal odds because the Pats would have to win 3 games, while Baltimore would only have to win 2 games. These are my own personal chances that I see.

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