Friday, January 2, 2009

Playoff picks

Alex and Chris reveal their playoff brackets. Click for a larger view.

Chris' bracket

Chris' commentary
NFC: I put zero faith in the first-round home teams, Arizona and Minnesota. Both teams are average to begin with + both cities might face a blackout on the local TV stations. That's right, Arizona and Minnesota can't even sell out a playoff home game. At least Minnesota has some shred of playoff history; the Cardinals franchise has not hosted a playoff game since 1947. 1947!

I see Carolina ready to run all over Atlanta in the second round. The Falcons have exceeded expectations by simply making the playoffs; after winning their first-round game, they won't be able to contain themselves. Meanwhile, I think the Giants slip by the Eagles in a very hard, physical game. Let's be clear here: Philadelphia loves winning, but loves losing more. If they lose but also screw up a rivals' future, they'll be just as happy. I give the Panthers an edge over the physically-worn Giants in the NFC Championship game.

AFC: While the Falcons might be happy to be there, I won't say the same for Miami. I think the Dolphins are an intriguing team that has enough talent and coaching to get past Baltimore at home. I don't think the Ravens have enough on offense to do anything big in the playoffs. Maybe that's just me underrating their performance at Dallas. I think the streaking Colts are stronger, more experienced, and hungrier than the streaking Chargers, who may have used up their mojo just getting to the playoffs.

In the second round, I see the red-hot-Colts edging the Titans in another close, physical game. I also think the Dolphins hit the wall against the Steelers; back-to-back games against two fierce defenses (Bal, Pit) are too much for this Dolphins team to handle. Pittsburgh probably wins by 6 and looks less than beautiful in the win. By the AFC Championship game, I think the Steelers' confidence and strength, at home, power them past the Colts. The Colts' streak and experience brought them here, but by this point, they'll run out of gas.

Pittsburgh has too much on defense and just enough on offense. I think that mix is enough to contain Carolina and win an ugly, physical (again), and close Super Bowl.

Alex's bracket

Alex's commentary
As you can see, NFC wise, I have absolutely no faith in the Cards, (I think they remembered who they were in recent weeks) and the Panthers (for some reason, this whole season I've thought they were nobodies). Overall, this postseason is just totally outclassed by the NYG in the NFC. Pretty much the same can be said for the AFC, totally out Roethlis-'ed. The only team that really gives Pitt a run for its money is formerly lowly miami. SD will will its way to the championship game, but get blown out. This seems to be a very ho hum postseason this year. Maybe the Cowboys should be given a spot, just to make things more interesting.

Congratulations are in order for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Barbie Carpenter's unanimous Super Bowl champion.

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