Saturday, December 17, 2005

NFL: AFC Playoff Predictions

The Oakland Raiders have failed to sell out their Sunday game, which means Bay area fans will not only be relieved of the burden of watching them on TV but also get to view some real football instead.

Here are my playoff predictions.

AFC Seeds:
1. Indy 2. Cincinnati 3. Denver 4. New England
WC1. Jacksonville WC2. Pittsburgh

Wild-card Game:

Denver over Pittsburgh: Tight game with Denver winning 23-20 despite a couple of early Jake Plummer interceptions. Ben Roethlisburger throws a game-altering interception in the final minutes and blames it on a broken appendage in the ensuing press conference.

New England over Jacksonville: New England lives to fight another day with a hard-fought 17-10 win in the snow. David Garrard's mobility is negated by the cold weather and playoff inexperience as Jacksonville succumbs despite a strong defensive performance.

First Round:

Indy over New England: Indy wins 34-20 as the New England defense gets shredded by Peyton Manning and company. Tom Brady attempts to author a single-handed comeback but is let down by his porous defence as Indy controls the clock after going up early.

Cincinnati over Denver: Cincinnati wins 31-27 behind a strong playoff debut by Carson Palmer. Denver gets down early, and mounts a furious comeback in the fourth quarter before running out of time.

AFC Championship Game:

Indy over Cincinnati: The shoot-out that everyone anticipates materializes, with Indy trotting out 38-31 winners, thanks to a crucial third-down sack by Dwight Freeney with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Given that the NFC is a nightmare of mediocrity, I'm waiting to see the results of tonight's games before committing to my playoff seeding.

UPDATE: Fixed typos in spelling Cincinnati! You live and learn.


Anonymous Michael Cork said...

Cincinnati. That's the spelling.

12/17/2005 9:32 PM  
Blogger madatadam said...

I suppose there is more doubt now than there was on Saturday as to these predictions. Indy is the best football team around but the Chargers have shown what pressuring Manning and stopping Edge can do to the Colts offence and of course the defence, though good, does give away the big play every now and then even if it is not to LT. And the Pats are back with a bang even if the Bucs never had an offence worth the name. I think the Colts-Patriots matchup will be much tougher at the Dome than it was at Foxboro on Monday night a few weeks past. Still it ought to be a Colts-Bengals shootout for the AFC crown and an Indy-Seattle Super Bowl with Manning winning or something is just not right with the world.

12/20/2005 3:41 AM  
Blogger NamelessNerd said...

Do not quite agree with NE and porus defense. I guess SD showed the way and Bill and guys are quick learners. Unless Manning can handle the pressure and James can run, it is going to be hard. Pats have beaten Colts too many times to rememeber and Indy beat a banged up Pats. Heart still says NE.

12/21/2005 4:36 AM  
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