The Only NFL Playoff Preview You Need
There are a few different ways to do an NFL playoff preview, but I think the main focus should be what we do know and that is the first round of games. So, here is a list of the NFL Wild Card weekend games ranked in the order of possible entertainment.
If there’s one thing that listening to experts has taught me is that they are the ones that are going to be wrong the most. This game has the largest spread by a touchdown, but since it is in Seattle, it will be cloudy and chilly for a southern dome team. Add in the fact that New Orleans runs a passing offense (3rd in passing yards, 28th in rushing yards) and Seattle’s 12th man leads the league in false starts (as NBC kept telling us during the Rams/Seahawks game) Seattle has a much better chance at winning then people think even though they are crappy to watch. Having said that, now that I am on the record trying to sound like an expert, I expect the Seahawks to lose big. Unless they don’t.
Another home underdog and this time it is the top rushing attack (Kansas City at 164.2 yards per game) vs. the fourth best playoff rushing defense (Baltimore, behind the Jets, Steelers and Bears with 93.9 yards per game.) Reversed, it is the 14th rushing offense (114.4 yards per game) vs. the 14th rushing defense (110.3 yards per game.) With highs in Kansas City in the upper 20s, I imagine that the rushing game will be important and with the disparity between Kansas City’s offense and Baltimore’s defense rushing numbers that will be the key. I’m going on a limb and saying the doubts about the home team are overstated.
This is the one game where weather will not be a factor. (I assume since Seattle’s stadium was open last Sunday night, it will be open again.) Last year, Indianapolis won this game to go to the Super Bowl. Now that the Colts are healthy again and are playing at home, I would expect them to win again this year as the Indianapolis passing game has improved (282.2 yards per game in 2009 to 288.1 yards per game in 2010) and the Jets passing defense has gotten worse (153.7 yards per game in 2009 to 200.6 yards per game in 2010.)
Because this game has the smallest line, I’m expecting it will have the largest margin of victory. In addition, it is the last scheduled game; meaning that the NFL thinks this will be the best game, which means that it will be the worst. I have no reasons for either of those statements, but I will say that Green Bay has the fifth best overall defense and Philadelphia has the second best overall offense so whoever wins that match-up will end up winning big on that match-up.
Ok, with that out of the way, now we can look at the ideal Super Bowl match-ups by the quarterback position because when the most exciting RB in the playoffs is Matt Forte and a defensive Super Bowl would be boring, that’s what I’m going to give you.
Only four quarterbacks in the league this year had a QB rating over 100 with at least 14 attempts per game played by the team: Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rogers and Michael Vick. In the AFC, you have to root for the Patriots since the Chargers failed to make the playoffs and then in the NFC, you have to root for the winner of the Green Bay/Philadelphia match-up this weekend. Only twice have two teams met in the Super Bowl with quarterbacks having at least a 100-rating. Brady/Vick would be the second best match-up of all-time (after Super XIX with Montana and Marino and just ahead of Brees/Manning of last year) and Brady/Rodgers would be the best of all-time.
How interesting when you look at the similarities of Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan.
Both drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 draft.
Ryan has passed for 10,061 yards in his three-year career. Flacco has passed for 10,206.
Ryan was born in Exton, PA, Flacco in Audubon, NJ, less than 40 miles apart.
Ryan played high school football at William Penn Charter School, Flacco at Audubon High School, less than 16 miles apart.
Ryan has a secretary named Flacco and Flacco has a secretary named Ryan.
I think the people in the silent black helicopters want this match-up.
It’s just a coincidence that both teams reside in Pennsylvania in what should be a better rivalry than it is and that Ben Roethlisberger is just behind those 100 quarterback rating guys at fifth with a quarterback rating of 97. After I mention Vick’s “rape stand,” this one is self-explanatory. On that note, happy NFL Wild Card weekend!
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."