Crunch time in NFL playoffs
What the Shuk?
We’re only two weeks away from the Super Bowl, so
let’s get the last picks in before the pre-game show starts.
The unstoppable force (the Colts’ offense) meets the immovable
object (the Patriots’ defense). The Patriots got a fairly
easy win over the Colts two months ago, but this is a different
Indy team. They’ve scored 79 points in their two playoff
games, and quarterback Peyton Manning is 44 for 56 in passing,
with 681 yards and eight touchdowns. To quote Jim Ross, “mah
The Patriots, however, will not be intimidated. New England has
won 11 of their last 13 games against their old divisional rivals,
showing that coach Bill Belichick knows a thing or two about keeping
Manning and company off the scoreboard.
Another factor to consider will be the bone-chillingly cold in
Foxboro. The dome-based Colts weren’t affected last week
outdoors in Kansas City, but 51F degrees Fahrenheit is a lot warmer
than the sub-zero New England winter. Look for the Pats (unbeaten
since September) to cool off the Colts offense and make their second
Super Bowl in three years.
Call me a biased and bitter Green Bay fan, but the Eagles didn’t
win that playoff game last week; the Packers lost it by blowing
numerous chances to put Philly away.
If anything, last week’s game revealed Philly as a tentative
team that looks more afraid to lose than they are eager to win.
Losses in the last two NFC Championship games has made this a win-or-else
situation for the Eagles, lest they face a massive roster overhaul.
Compare this to the attitude of the Carolina Panthers, who are
just two years removed from a 1-15 season and, while they’re
certainly a hard-nosed team, they still have that aura of “happy
to be here.” This lack of pressure has helped the Panthers
thrive, as shown by their upset of St. Louis last week.
Speaking of pressure, the Carolina defense will no doubt be looking
to duplicate Green Bay’s eight-sack performance against the
weak Philly offensive line. The Eagles’ greatest strength
and weakness is their quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who despite
his running ability, has a Bledsoe-esque bad habit of staying in
the pocket too long trying to make a pass instead of just taking
This week, McNabb will have nowhere to go. It’ll be the
Cats and the Pats going to the Super Bowl.