Playoff Power Rankings
I am way to nervous to go in-depth with picks for this weekends games and because of that I am just going to put out a playoff power ranking system with my picks at the end. Here is how I look at things…. On the outside it looks like easy money for 3 of the 4 games. TJ Yates or Jake Delhomme are starting so you automatically think Cincinnati. The Saints are at home so who they play is insignificant due to their dominant ways at the Superdome. You got the banged up Steelers facing the Broncos, a team which their fans want a quarterback change to a guy who has not played a snap all year going into the playoffs. Then you got the Falcons and Giants which is a tossup whatever way you look at it.
You dig deeper though and realize that the Texans and TJ Yates just beat the Bengals on the road. They can just as easily do it at home in the playoffs. (If for whatever reason Jake Delhomme enters this game all bets are off and check my twitter feed @jesanders11 for some Gus Johnson excitement like tweets) The insignificant team the Saints are playing is the Detroit Lions who are very similar to them and if they can play football and keep their heads on straight will keep it close enough to steal. The Broncos are at home and who knows what Tim Tebow will pull out against a VERY banged up Steelers team. My warning to everyone out there is to save your gambling money this week because ANYTHING can happen this week and nothing will surprise me.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
They can very easily win a first round game, but that is their limit in the playoffs this year. There is no way they can keep up with Tom Brady in round 2 if they pull off the Wildcard upset in round 1. Andy Dalton spent the other day in the hospital due to an illness so he may not even be 100% come Saturday afternoon. Marvin Lewis earns a huge congrats for the job he did to lead the Bengals into the playoffs this season.
11. Houston Texans
How good would they have been if they had Mario Williams, Matt Schaub, and Andre Johnson all season?? The Texans had to of been the unluckiest luckiest team in football this season. Lucky because they were in the weakest division in football and unlucky due to the injuries that will cost them any chance of a deep run in January.
10. Denver Broncos
I do not think I have ever seen a bandwagon fill up so quickly and break so quickly as I have the Tim Tebow bandwagon. Kurt Warner was on the Bickley and MJ radio show today and there was a question asked to Warner about if Cardinals quarterback John Skeleton could improve his accuracy and he gave an answer that relates to Tim Tebow. He said, “that he was a very firm believer that if you have gotten to this point as a not very accurate passer, then it is very difficult to make yourself an accurate passer.” Tebow is never going to throw the ball efficiently and that is just how it is. What Tebow does best is the intangibles and for those to come into play the game needs to be close in the 4th quarter. If it is close than Tebow will always give you chance. He will never be a good and efficient passer and most people need to realize that and accept him for what he does best not bash him for what he does not do best.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
Way too many injuries this season. They just lost their starting running back and Ben Roethilsberger is still only 80 percent. I would not be as confident as most Steelers fans are this week. You guy are without your leader on defense Ryan Clark for this week and on the road in Denver. The other X factor could be overconfidence. If the Bengals win on Saturday then the winner of Broncos/Steelers would face Baltimore. It is human nature for the Steelers to begin to overlook this game for another rematch against the hated Ravens. I am not bold enough to call the upset I am just putting the upset alert tag on.
8. Detroit Lions
Same deal here with the Lions. Stafford and the offense can definitely score enough to beat the Saints. The question is can they control their emotions to give them the chance to beat the Saints? Even if they do beat the Saints they would have to go back to Green Bay where they just lost to their second stringers. Odds are low for a Super Bowl run, but hey, your back in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years!!
7. San Francisco 49ers
This team has caught the most breaks of any team in football this season. They played almost every team on their schedule at the EXACT right time to play them. David Akers attempted 50 field goals this season. I do not think any other kicker even reached 40 attempts. Alex Smith will need to prove he can win a playoff game for me to believe it because odds are high he will be facing Drew Brees in 2 weeks and field goals will not beat the Saints.
6. Atlanta Falcons
The goal for them this year is to win A playoff game. They will be putting so much into beating the Giants this week that even if they do I do not think they will have enough to beat the Packers in round 2.
5. New York Giants
Does anyone have a good feel on this team?? Anyone?? Bueller….Bueller???? They lose to the Redskins at home in between beating the Cowboys twice and the Jets. They win at Arizona and lose at home to Seattle. They win at Philly and lose at home to Philly. How can you ever beat a New York Giants game? They have a Super Bowl winning quarterback and coach plus experience from a defense that beat Tom Brady 4 years ago. I would not doubt that they have another run still in them.
4. New England Patriots
The patriots do not have the defense to win a Super Bowl. Winning a Super Bowl means beating Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers inside a dome. They would study New England’s secondary and be overcome with excitement. The Patriots can very easily make another Super Bowl. The road to Indianapolis runs through New England in the AFC.
3.Green Bay Packers
If this helps Packers fans I actually think they are the second best team, but this is a top 12 of best chance to make the Super Bowl so I have to put an AFC team number 2.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Can Joe Flacco be a Super Bowl quarterback? My answer to that is if Jake Delhomme can do it then why can’t Joe Flacco!! The Ravens always play Tom Brady tough to begin with so they do not face any demons there unless they somehow face the Steelers which is very possible. If that is the case I would also like to switch this pick because it is almost IMPOSSIBLE in the NFL to beat a team 3 times in one season, especially your hated rivals and a team that has knocked you out of the playoffs 2 times in 3 years…just ask the Suns how long it took them to beat the SPurs.
1. New Orleans Saints
My hidden secret has come out. I have a love affair for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. I do not care that they will have to win in Frisco and in Green Bay. I do not see anything stopping the Saints other than themselves. I honestly believe they are the best team in football right now and will be the one’s celebrating in Indianapolis on February 5th.
Wild Card picks
Cincinnati Bengals 17 at Houston Texans 20
Detroit Lions 27 at New Orleans Saints 38
Atlanta Falcons 16 at New York Giants 26
Pittsburgh Steelers 17 at Denver Broncos 13