Eric’s NFL Playoff Picks

Alright, it’s playoff time. Wild Card weekend kicks-off Saturday. Before I get to all that, here’s a look at my pre-season picks (I adjusted around week 12. But these are my actual pre-season ones.);

AFC Playoffs
Wild Card Playoff Games
COLTS over Titans
BENGALS over Ravens

AFC Division Playoff Games
CHARGERS over Bengals
PATRIOTS over Steelers

AFC Championship Game
CHARGERS over Patriots

NFC PLAYOFFS
Wild Card Playoff Games
EAGLES over Saints
CARDINALS over Packers

NFC Division Playoff Games
-VIKINGS over Eagles
-CARDINALS over Giants

NFC Championship Game
VIKINGS over Cardinals

SUPER BOWL XLIV
CHARGERS over Vikings

Not too bad. Anyway, here we go.

AFC Wild Card Games
Saturday, January 9th
(5) NY JETS (9-7) +3 @ (4) CINCINNATI (10-6) OVER/UNDER 34.5 pts
-Re-match of last weeks season finale that closed the books on Giants Stadium with the Jets shutting out the Bengals, 37-0. Bengals “took a knee” late in the first half. They say you need a strong defense, and a strong running game to win in the post-season. Both teams have that. The Jets have the league’s top defense and running game. So, what. This one’s in Cincy and the Bengals have the better, more seasoned former USC QB. At this stage, I’ll take Carson Palmer and his offensive weapons over Mark Sanchez. Actually, I don’t think it’ll be that close. How about something like 27-10, BENGALS

Sunday, January 10th
(6) BALTIMORE (9-7) +3.5 @ (3) NEW ENGLAND (10-6) O/U 43.5
-These teams played at “The Razor” early in the season. A healthy Patriots squad eecked out a 27-21 win when a Ravens receiver forgot he was supposed to catch the ball when he’s all alone in the end-zone. Now, the Patriots are banged-up big-time. WR Wes Welker is out after tearing an ACL and MCL in his right knee in New England’s 34-27 season-ending loss at Houston. QB Tom Brady’s playing with a broken ring-finger on his throwing hand (I’ll refrain from the super-model jokes) and the defense isn’t 100% either. Baltimore entered last season’s post-season as the six-seed and made it all the way to the AFC Championship. LB Ray Lewis and the Ravens always believe this is their time and that they can beat anyone. Especially a banged-up Patriots squad. 23-17, RAVENS

(1) INDIANAPOLIS (14-2) 1st round bye
(2) SAN DIEGO (13-3) 1st round bye

NFC Wild Card Games
Saturday, January 9th
(6) PHILADELPHIA (11-5) +4 @ (3) DALLAS (11-5) O/U 45
-Re-match of the season-finale at “The Jerry” with Cowboys shutting out the Eagles, 24-0. I gotta give it the most over-hyped and over-rated (that’s my opinion) QB in league history, Tony Romo. His December Deamons are gone. He’s been quite clutch in the Cowboys run to the NFC East Title. The running game’s re-surfaced to take some pressure off Romo. The defense is playing well at the right time. The Pokes are peaking. Meanwhile, the Eagles look really good if QB Donovan McNabb and WR DeShaun Jackson can connect on about three big plays a game. They’ll have two. This one won’t be a shut-out and it‘ll be closer. But the result will be the same. 30-21, COWBOYS.
Sunday, January 10th
(5) GREEN BAY (11-5) +2.5 @ (4) ARIZONA (10-6) O/U 47.5
-Another re-match of a season-finale. This one the Packers took, 33-7, in Glendale beating a Cardinals team that sat everyone except the cheerleaders. I’d say they got sacked. But, I’d get slapped. Anyways, this could be the game of the weekend. You’ve got the Packers peaking at the right time with Pro Bowl QB Aaron Rodgers playing just as well as….Brett Favre. The offensive line is protecting him much better. That defense is stopping almost everyone. The running game will have to do. Meanwhile, the defending NFC Champion Cardinals have looked so-so at times. That’s how they looked going into last year’s post-season and almost won the whole enchilada. Future Hall-of-Fame QB Kurt Warner will be ready with his assortment of WR’s and RB’s although Anquan Bouldin sprained an ankle in the season-ender. He’ll be fine. The Cardinals defense is much better than last year’s that made it to the Super Bowl. This one’s gonna be really close. But, I gotta go with the Cardinals and the veteran Warner. Although he has much experience and took good notes form his Obi-Wan Kanobi (Favre), Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played in this type of game yet. 35-23, CARDINALS.

(1) NEW ORLEANS (13-3) 1st round bye
(2) MINNESOTA (12-4) 1st round bye

MISSED PLAYOFFS: LOS ANGELES*
*15 years, 18 weeks and counting.

Remember, use my picks to wager $$$ at your own risk. If you lose, I had nothing to do with it. If you win beaucoup $$$, a 10% tip would be cool.  But, I’m realistic. This is just for your entertainment…or not, and for me to keep my sports “mojo” going until “I’m back in the saddle”. Remember the league’s unofficial motto…“ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, MONDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY OR SATURDAY“…………

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