Round one has ended, and the playoff brackets are set. Naturally, you Frappers are waiting to fill out your office’s playoff pick’em pool until the BiCoastal fills you in on his picks. Yes, maybe you were waiting so that you could make the opposite picks as me, but you’ve been waiting nonetheless.
Let’s start with the NFC, because I think it’s easier this year. I’ll take Seattle over Washington by two touchdowns – I think the Joe Gibbs “ancient coach can still win” story has reached its end. Sorry Joe, it’s a young man’s game, just ask Intrinsic. But that’ll be the end of Shaun Alexander’s egomaniacal run with Seattle, as the Bears are going to take Seattle in the NFC championship. Chicago is too tough for anyone else in the NFC bracket, their defense can handle Carolina or Seattle’s offense, and this team’s scoring squad has mastered conservative play better than Trent Dilfer’s Baltimore Ravens of 2000. As long as they play the field position game, the Bears should be able to find themselves in the Super Bowl.
The AFC is a much tougher bracket. First off, Colts vs. Steelers: I’ll take the Colts. Their bye week will probably be the difference maker in this one; Jerome Bettis would have done anything for a week off going into the playoffs. It’ll be a fight though, Peyton’s finesse against the Steelers ground game, but Peyton ought to rise above in the end. The real wild card in this year’s playoffs is the New England Patriots. Tom Brady is working on his eleventh straight playoff win, whereas Denver has been a perennial second round exit for the extent of my adult years. Denver’s regular season win over Brady & Co. doesn’t hold all that much merit with me now; they scored all their points in one quarter, and New England was definitely playing their worst ball right then. Give me New England over Denver, 24 – 21.
I’m hesitant to even pick the AFC title match. If the Patriots hadn’t gotten absolutely disgraced at home by the Colts earlier this season, I’d choose them hands down based on the history of these two teams. Before this season, the Pats were like a non-evil version of the New York Yankees, and Peyton’s Colts were the Red Sox. But then the Sox won the World Series and Peyton actually won a game against Brady, ruining that fun little analogy. So, in the end, I’ll begrudgingly take the Colts in one of those who-knows-what-will-happen, watch-it-on-NFL-films-for-the-next-decade games.
Be it the Colts or any other AFC team, they should be able to handle the Bears in the big game. Their offenses are good enough to make a dent in Urlacher’s façade; and after the next two rounds, their defenses will have enough film on Grossman’s playmaking style to capitalize on the few mistakes that the Bears’ shaky conservative offense is bound to make. Colts over Bears, 20-13.
So there it is, my arrogant attempt at predicting the future. If past seasons are any indication, I’m either really right or really wrong.