North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Wild Card Weekend

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The resignation of Bill Cower is the end of an era for the Steelers, and it’s the end of an era for me. Bill was the one coach of the Steelers that I can remember, the guy who was there in 1995 during a thriller in Indy… The guy who was there for the Kordell Stewart Era, the guy who was there during heartbreaking losses in 2003 and 2004 – and he was the guy who was there when they finally won it all least year, too.

Sure, this season’s been a bust (I like to call it a transition period – Bettis and Randel El are gone and Big Ben had maybe the unluckiest season of any starting QB this decade), but it was still good. So, Bill, thanks for the memories and best luck with whatever comes next.

With that out of the way, the NFL playoffs are upon us once again – which means that it’s time to get out of New England’s way again (especially since they have home field this year) and that the countdown is on for Colts fans to start sulking. And with that, here’s my predictions for Wild Card Weekend!

NFC
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks
My pick: Seahawks

The Seahawks, despite more then enough injuries to it’s starters (Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck) has still managed not just to make the postseason, but to win their division (the admittedly weak NFC West), meaning they’ll be playing at home against a reeling Dallas squad. Tony Romo, Dallas’s QB, will be forced to play much better then he has in his last few games, and I don’t think that he’s up to the task. The Seahawks will take this one pretty easily.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
My pick: Eagles

The Giants have all but stumbled into the postseason this year, having peaked weeks ago – they’ve lost six of the last eight – and have a locker room that’s full of dispute. With all the destructions thats been happening – from Tiki’s retirement, Eli’s recent shortcomings to Plaxico calling out people in the locker room – the Giants are in a huge mess right now.

However, the Eagles are succeeding when they shouldn’t be – their QB, Jeff Garcia, has been a superb replacement for an injured Donovan McNabb, and their running game is looking pretty sharp. Look for them to win a close one over New York.

AFC
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
My pick: Patriots

Seriously – have the Pats ever lost at home in the playoffs? To a team that only made the playoffs thanks to a nice late-season run (and also to a few losses from some other teams)? No – and it’s going to continue. Last week, in a game that meant nothing to them, they decimated the Titans – a team, that for all intents and purposes is about the same as the Jets are.

The Jets don’t have much of a running game – maybe in a few years, when Leon Washington matures – and their passing game relies on Chad Pennington. Not something I’d want to have on my side when facing a great Pat’s defense. This is a game that the Pats will win easily.

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts
My pick: The Colts

Even though they’ve been less then stellar the last few weeks, the Colts are still a legitimate threat – Marvin Harrison has had several great games in a row now, netting six touchdowns in his last three games (including three against Cincinnati in week 15). And while their run defence hasn’t been great, Manning and Harrison should do the job nicely.

As for the Chiefs, while Larry Johnson has been good this year, he’s still not at the same level as he was last year. And while they can run the ball well, passing and defence aren’t their strong suits. The Colts will win a close one.

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Written by M.

January 6, 2007 at 6:01 am

Posted in football, NFL, playoffs

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