NFL - Divisional playoff predictions


Jan. 10, 2009, midnight | By Sean Howard, Anshul Sood, Kevin Teng | 10 years, 10 months ago

One rookie quarterback remains


The NFL playoffs kicked off last week with a great set of games. The Cardinals exerted their dominance over rookie Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The Chargers knocked the Colts out in overtime. The Ravens forced Miami into five turnovers even though the Dolphins entered the game with the fewest turnovers in the league. The Eagles spooked the league with a stellar defensive performance against the Vikings.

This week, the Giants, Steelers, Titans and Panthers return to action. The Titans and Ravens clash in a battle of top-notch defenses. The Eagles go on the road to take on the Giants in what should be a great NFC East match. Meanwhile, for our experts, Anshul sits just one game back of the leader Kevin. Could this finally be the week he takes the lead?

Standings:
Last week Season total
Anshul 2-2 153-88
Kevin 1-3 154-87
Sean 2-2 140-101

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009

Baltimore Ravens (11-5) at Tennessee Titans (13-3)
Anshul Kevin Sean
Baltimore Baltimore Tennessee

Anshul says:
I love the way the Ravens are playing right now, especially that defense and Ed Reed. Reed is racking up the interceptions (and touchdowns) and is making it hard for opposing quarterbacks to throw the ball deep. If he can force Kerry Collins to turn the ball over and their linebackers can stuff the run, then Baltimore has a legitimate shot to beat the Titans.

Kevin says:
As much as I'd like to see the dominant Titans win, the Ravens and the Titans are pretty evenly matched. They have the same point spread over the regular season, outscoring their opponents by a total of 141 points. I foresee a disappointing upset in Baltimore's favor, as the point totals for this game should be low.

Sean says:
Both of these teams have momentum. The Titans have amazing offensive capabilities and the Ravens have an nigh-unstoppable defense. This is almost a tossup. The fact that they're playing in Tennessee could be the tipping point in the Titans' favor.

Arizona Cardinals (9-7) at Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Anshul Kevin Sean
Carolina Carolina Carolina

Anshul says:
The Cardinals showed they deserve to be in the playoffs last week, but the Panthers look like possibly the strongest team in the NFC. Carolina has a dreaded dual-headed rushing attack and a passing game to go with it with Steve Smith.

Kevin says:
The Cardinals were slightly lucky in that Matt Ryan did not perform last week, only earning a 57.5 passer rating. The Panthers should crush the Cardinals for sure.

Sean says:
The Cardinals have gotten lucky all season, like when they beat the Cowboys. I doubt that they could win against a clearly more dominant team like the Panthers.

Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1) at New York Giants (12-4)
Anshul Kevin Sean
Philadelphia New York Philadelphia

Anshul says:
Last season the Giants picked up steam heading into the playoffs, propelling them to a Super Bowl victory. This season, they're weak heading into the playoffs and the Eagles are in that position. Philadelphia is dangerous right now with a great defense and Donovan McNabb playing well again. I like the upset here.

Kevin says:
A fun divisional game will occur. The Giants are seemingly declining, earning a measly 1-3 record in their past four games. I'm sure that the Giants have enjoyed their bye week to shape up for the postseason. Rest and the home crowd should lead this team to an easy victory.

Sean says:
I don't want either of these teams here. But I'd like an upset over the Giants over anything else.

San Diego Chargers (8-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Anshul Kevin Sean
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

Anshul says:
The Steel Curtain will stop the Chargers cold. They needed overtime to beat the Colts but Darren Sproles can't save them now.

Kevin says:
It's rather sickening that the Chargers even got a playoff spot, as clearly the Patriots are better with the 12-4 record and deserve a postseason run. Thanks to rules, the Chargers proceed because of their terrible division. This game will be lopsided and a late practice game for the Steelers.

Sean says:
L.T.! I CHOOSE YOU! STEELERS USED KILLER DEFENSE! IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE! THE CHARGERS FAINTED.




Sean Howard. There is a spy among us and his name is Sean Howard. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sean moved to Germantown prior to his current residence in Gaithersburg. Although he has now lived in Maryland for most of his life, he has retained his loyalty to ... More »

Anshul Sood. Anshul is a very laid-back person, a real take-it-easy kind of guy. He often burns time listening to music, playing music, watching some sports game, or playing some sport. Recently, he has entered into the world of running, though he is not very good. However, ... More »

Kevin Teng. There are some things in which people believe. Some people believe in other people. I believe in meatloaf. I believe that we all should have fun eating whatever meatloaf we want to eat. Sorry, that was "Harold and Kumar"-esque. Life is pretty good because I'm ... More »

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