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Playoff Predictions

The NFL playoffs begin tomorrow and I’m already excited for it. When I have looked at other playoff prediction articles, everyone seems to have picked the favorites; but, I’m thinking that there may be an upset or two.

Photo by Jeff Rivers.

Photo by Jeff Rivers.

Atlanta at Arizona: I happened to see a couple of both Atlanta and Arizona’s final games of the season and that’s why I don’t think that the Cardinals will favor well against the Falcons. Atlanta has won five of their six games and they have one of the best running games in the league, led by Michael Turner, who is second only to Adrian Peterson in rushing yards. Arizona’s rushing defense isn’t very good, as it ranks 16th in the league and their game against Minnesota shows just how effectively they can stop a powerful running back. I expect Atlanta to run all over the slumping Cardinals.

Indianapolis at San Diego: This is one of the tougher games to pick; but, I’m going to go with my gut. There is something about this San Diego team that just reaks of inconsistency. They are currently on a 4-game win streak; but, when you see that three of those wins were against the Raiders, Cheifs, and Bucs, it doesn’t seem quite as impressive. Indy is a seasoned playoff team that is used to excelling in this type of pressure-packed situation. I think that Peyton Manning will lead his team to a victory.

Baltimore at Miami: I think that Sunday will be the day of upsets. Personally, I love watching Miami play. They are a very exciting team and are the masters of executing the Wildcat offense. I don’t expect Miami to be able to confuse the Raven’s defense, which is one of the best in the league. I, however, trust Chad Pennington much more than I trust standout rookie Joe Flacco. Flacco has been impressive; but, he just hasn’t been in this position before. This will be a close game; but, I think that Miami will get the upset in front of their home crowd.

Photo by Alex Thompson.

Photo by Alex Thompson.

Philadelphia at Minnesota: This is definitely my biggest upset pick of the day. Everyone is talking about the resurrection of the Eagles that we had become accustomed to seeing over the past few years after their very lopsided win against the Dallas Cowboys. But, for some reason, I’m not so impressed. I watched the game and their win was greatly due to Dallas’ mistakes more than their own play. The Cowboys played about as poorly as any NFL team has played all season. I think that even Detroit played most of their games better than how Dallas played against Philly. I certainly don’t expect a surging Minnesota team to play this poorly. The Vikes have the top running back in the league in Adrian Peterson and the best rushing defense in the league. Philly, therefore, will have to rely predominantly on their passing game if they want to win this one. This shouldn’t be a problem for seasoned veteran Donovan McNabb. But, for some reason, I just don’t see the Eagles fairy tale continuing. Minnesota has recently been aided by the good play of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and if he plays the way he has recently, which I expect him to do, the Vikes should be just fine. In my upset pick, I will take the Vikings over the Eagles.

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