Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 NFL Playoff first round predictions

By Rick Morris

Four road dogs win! Vegas is right!

^ Atlanta 31, Arizona 20: This seems like the toughest game to forecast because the Cardinals have been great at home although horrible on the road. But the momentum belongs completely to the road team with the rookie QB. Atlanta can be exploited on the ground, but the Cards don't have the player(s) to do that right now. A decent building program, albeit one that won its pathetic division by default, ends its season here.

^ Indianapolis 38, San Diego 20: Indy continues what could be a very, very deep playoff run by busting up a hot bunch of pretenders. The Chargers will have no running game without a healthy LT (Darren Sproles is explosive, but not meant to run between the tackles) and Bob Sanders, one of the true game-changers in the league, will be lighting up San Diego the entire night.

^ Baltimore 17, Miami 13: Miami's defense is good, but Baltimore's is better. Rookie mistakes from QB Joe Flacco provide the 'Fins' best chance of victory, but he's been too steady for that to be a big possibility.

^ Philadelphia 24, Minnesota 16: The great Jim Johnson will take the one-dimensional Minnesota offense apart with his schemes.

Tentative predictions for subsequent rounds:

AFC Semifinals
Indianapolis 23, Pittsburgh 13
Tennessee 16, Baltimore 13

NFC Semifinals
New York Giants 27, Philadelphia 16
Carolina 24, Atlanta 19

AFC Championship
Indianapolis 26, Tennessee 20

NFC Championship
New York Giants 24, Carolina 17

Super Bowl
New York Giants 27, Indianapolis 24

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