It's playoff time again, and the Raiders are on the outside for the seventh straight year. The Colts are in, but so are the Chargers and Patriots. The defending Super Bowl Champs are out, as are the Super Bowl Champs from the previous year, but the defending NFC Champs are in. Lets get to the matchups and my predictions for the first round of games.
6 Philadelphia Eagles at 3 Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles only lost to very good teams this year (with the exception of the Raiders, all of them made the playoffs, although I stand by the fact that the Raiders are actually a much better team than their record shows). The Cowboys also lost to playoff caliber teams (except for the Broncos and Giants), but they beat the Raiders. For that reason alone, I'm giving this one to the Cowboys.
5 Green Bay Packers at 4 Arizona Cardinals
The Packers started the season pretty up and down, but finished strong with what would have been a string of 8 straight victories except for losing to the Steelers on the last play of the game. The Cardinals have one of the best receivers in the league and a future Hall of Fame QB. I'm picking the Packers, if only because I would love to see Packers vs Vikings one more time.
Byes: 1 New Orleans Saints and 2 Minnesota Vikings
5 New York Jets at 4 Cincinnati Bengals
Carson Palmer is a great QB. Chad Ochocinco is a great receiver. But the Bengals got beat by the Raiders. Mark Sanchez threw 20 picks this year as rookie, and his team is in the playoffs. The Jets also handed the Colts their first loss of the season. J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets win!
6 Baltimore Ravens at 3 New England Patriots
The Ravens are a tough team, even if they don't have the best record against playoff teams (only 1-6, although they beat the Raiders). As for the Patriots, any reader of this blog knows I can't stand them. Plus, they lost their number one receiver this week. Ravens win.
Byes: 1 Indianapolis Colts and 2 San Diego Chargers
Check back next week for results and more predictions.