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Old 01-08-2008, 10:41 PM   #1
Silver Dragon
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Default Silver Dragon's Divisional Playoff Picks

Last week was a bad week to be an even number. Whether you were AFC or NFC, it was the #4 and #6 seeds that were sent home. Two road teams won and two road teams lost. This week our well rested bye week teams will be receiving the challenge of the Wild Card survivors. Can any road teams prevail this week? Or will the NFLís top seeds play their top games? Last week I found myself finishing with a 3-1 record in the Wild Card round, Iím looking to improve that this week with a 4-0. Hereís how I see this weekend playing out.

ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

NFC Divisional Playoffs
#3 Seattle Seahawks(11-6) at #2 Green Bay Packers(13-3) 4:30PM (FOX)
Seattle played a good game at home last week as they hosted the Washington Redskins. The defense controlled Clinton Portis, dismantled the Skins passing game, and ran away with the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Congratulations to them. However, that was last week, and this is this week. Now the Seahawks will have to take their game onto the road where they have been a weak 3-5 this season. Not to mention Green Bayís defense is ranked just above Seattle. This is where the Shaun Alexanderís lack of a run game this season is going to bit the Seahawks. Without a viable run threat, Al Harris and Charles Woodson will be begging Matt Hasselbeck to throw the ball. Brett Favre on the other hand should keep this game moving right along in their favor by dumping the ball repeatedly into the hands of Donald Driver and Greg Jennings who have been perfectly capable of making a big play out of a short pass this season. The Packers will also be keeping the Seattle defense in check with several Ryan Grant carries; Heís continued to offer the Packers the run game they lacked early in the season.
Packers bring back the glory to Lambeau Field with a Playoff win

AFC Divisional Playoffs
#5 Jacksonville Jaguars(12-5) at #1 New England Patriots(16-0) 8:00PM (CBS)
The Jaguars could have what it takes to walk into Foxboro and topple the top ranked team in the NFL. The hard hitting, smash mouth defense that was all up in the face of Ben Roethlisberger last week are going to battle their way into the backfield in hopes of taking a few shots at Tom Brady while their offense will pound away on the Patriots defense with the legs of Maurice Jones-Drew. The key to the Jaguars win is going to be a defensive turnover or two and clock management. They need to allow Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor to breakdown the Patriots defense on the ground. This will open up a few passing lanes for David Garrard to strike while the defense is on their heels. While some of us have jumped aboard the Patriots bandwagon, others are fuming for this team to be overthrown. While I believe the Jaguars have the talent and capabilities to overthrow this NFL powerhouse, I believe there is one large, key factor in this game that is going to rise above it allÖexperience. Itís painfully obvious that the Patriots are stacked with talent themselves, sporting the likes of Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Mike Vrabel, add that to home field advantage and the fact that the Patriots have been in the playoffs time and time again and it makes it hard to visualize Jacksonville not making at least one more mistake that losses the game. Especially after letting the Steelers come within striking distance of victory last week.
Patriots remain on their quest for history

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

AFC Divisional Playoffs
#3 San Diego Chargers(12-5) at #2 Indianapolis Colts(13-3) 1:00PM (CBS)
Nobody seemed to think that Tennessee would have a chance going up against the Chargers in San Diego last week and yet they managed to control the entire first half with a shut out for the second time this season. Give credit to the Chargers, they did come back out in the second half to put the game away, but that first half goes to show that the Chargers simply arenít the team they were a year ago. LaDainian Tomlinson continues to play like a top running back, but seems to lack the invincibility he portrayed last year. Antonio Gates has been listed as questionable and might not be much of a factor if he does attempt to play. Then thereís Philip Rivers, who can have a flash of greatness from time to time, but tends to be more of a disappointment than a star. While Peyton Manning brings success to his team, the Chargers have brought more success to Rivers than he has given back. The Chargers shouldnít be a team to be overlooked, but with Marvin Harrison back in the line up opposite of Reggie Wayne, Manning should be at the top of his game. Add at least 85 yards on the ground and a few completions to Joseph Addai, one of the overall top ranked defenses in the NFL and I donít see the Chargers serving up any upsets in the RCA Dome this year. Sorry Charger fans, Norv Turner wasnít the key to get you into the Super Bowl, Marty Schottenheimer wonít have to worry about another coach taking the team he put together to the Big Game.
Colts advance to attempt a repeat of last years Conference Championship

NFC Divisional Playoffs
#5 New York Giants(11-6) at #1 Dallas Cowboys(13-3) 4:30PM (FOX)
This match up should be a game of offense as Iím sure everyone expects the highest scoring team in the NFC to rack up a few points. Just in case you arenít sure who Iím talking about, itís the Cowboys at 28.4 points per game. When players compared side by side, Iím not sure the Giants have any offensive advantage. Who would you rather have playing on your team this year, Tony Romo or Eli Manning? Marion Barber or Brandon Jacobs? Jason Witten or Kevin Boss? Terrell Owens or Plaxico Burress? Of course, at this point Owens is questionable and Burress is still nicked up, but he has been most of the season and still plays. It would seem most angles would lead to a Dallas victory, but of all the match ups going into the Divisional weekend I think this one has the most potential for an upset. The Giants have now gone 8-1 on the road this season after winning all of their last 5 road games. I think the question in this game is going to be, can the good Eli Manning make three game appearances in a row, or will the bad Manning rear his ugly head at the Giants this weekend? Part of me wants to pick the upset while the Giants are on a roll; the other part of me fears the schizophrenic play of Eli Manning. Itís decision time. Looks like Iím going to go withÖ
Cowboys take the big ďWĒ in the Big ďDĒ

Well, last week I was worried about picking three of the four road teams to win the Wild Card match ups, it looks like Iíve completely reversed my position this week by taking all four of the home teams. This could be a recipe for disaster, I canít recall if the home teams have swept a divisional weekend in recent history. If there are any upsets to be had this weekend, I think we will find them taking place in the NFC as I feel our dominant one and two seed in the AFC will remain steadfast. Of course, you know thereís only one way to find out. Time to pull up a spot on the sofa and crack open that ice cold beerÖ, itís time for some football.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:42 PM   #2
Silver Dragon
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Itís about that time of the week again to address the spread of our NFL playoff games and decide who will cover or who will beat that spread. In last weeks Wild Card Weekend I split my ATS picks by finishing 2-2. Even is better than losing, but winning is always better, so this week I am looking to improve those numbers to 4-0. Everybody ready? Here we go.
[hr]
Saturday, January 12, 2008
[hr]
Seattle Seahawks +7.5
Green Bay Packers
[hr]
Jacksonville Jaguars +13
New England Patriots
[hr]
Sunday, January 13, 2008
[hr]
San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts -9
[hr]
New York Giants +7.5
Dallas Cowboys
[hr]
There they are the ATS picks. Iíve got three out of four underdogs picked to beat the spread, but donít expect any of them to win this week. Both NFC match ups this week should be close games that I would expect to finish within a touchdown. As for Jacksonville, I believe they have the talent to win this match up, but lack the experience. I expect they will lose the game somewhere around 12-14 points making this spread a difficult one for me to pick. Then there is the Chargers / Colts game in which I expect nothing less than a dominate showing by Peyton Manning and the Colts.

Everyone enjoy the Divisional Playoffs, thereís nothing better than the thrill of the NFL playoffs.
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