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Wild Card Playoff Picture

Does Peyton have what it takes to make a playoff run??

Does Peyton have what it takes to make a playoff run??

The NFL Playoffs start this weekend and I’m more excited to watch the postseason unfold than I was for my high school prom. Mainly because I love football, but also because my prom date looked like Marshawn Lynch.

Now, the StatDragon isn’t one for tooting his own horn, but he’s not one to let his genius be overlooked either. Last year I predicted correctly on 8 of the 11 postseason games, including a NY Giant Super Bowl birth (I was embarrassed to have wrongly predicted the Pats as Super Bowl Champs).

Lets take a look at the wild card match ups this weekend:

#5 Indianapolis Colts @ #4 San Diego Chargers (AFC)

 

I used to be scared of LaDainian Tomlinson. Now I’m scared of anyone coming out of that backfield. Darren Sproles has added a lot to the offense in attempts to relieve LT and keep fresh legs out on the field and the Colts run defense is (capitol W) WEAK. However, the Colts are riding a hot streak with 2 months of consecutive wins in their back pocket. I can’t think of any other quarterback that I’d least like to face in the post season than Peyton Manning (yes, over Tom Brady). And keep this in mind; although there are questions regarding the Colts defense, they rank 8 better than they did the season they won the Super Bowl. StatDragon takes the Colts in this matchup, and likes the potential of longevity for them in the postseason.

#6 Baltimore Ravens @ #3 Miami Dolphins (AFC)

 

Don’t let the rankings fool you here. These teams share the same regular season record and are relatively, closely matched. While Miami has the home field advantage and a tricky ‘wildcat formation’ to boot, they only rank 12th in the league in offense this year, and 15th in defense. The Ravens will come into Miami with a hard-nosed 2nd ranked defense and (mediocre) 18th ranked O. Because I found myself so baffled regarding the Dolphins improvement this year I did some research. In the NFL a win is a win. However, I noticed that 7 of the Dolphin’s 11 wins were over teams that posted a .500 record or less. They also lost 2 out of 3 games to teams currently in the post season. Meanwhile 3 of the 5 losses that the Ravens suffered were by a margin of 4 points or less to Goliath teams (Pittsburgh and Tennessee). StatDragon takes the Ravens in this matchup…just look at the facts.

#5 Atlanta Falcons @ #4 Arizona Cardinals (NFC)

 

I would have bet my life savings before the season started that Atlanta would not play in the post season. I’m glad I didn’t. StatDragon takes the Falcons in this match up for the same reasons that he likes the Ravens. The Falcons consistently played and beat better teams this season than the Cardinals have. Atlanta proves that their place in the playoffs is well deserved with wins over Carolina, Minnesota and San Diego. Although Arizona has an impressive ariel attack with threatening wide receivers, they were one loss away (to the 49ers) from not playing in this game.

#6 Philadelphia Eagles @ #3 Minnesota Vikings (NFC)

 

 Let’s just put it out there. There’s no way the StatDragon is going to predict ALL upsets this week, right? Well, let me tell you something. I don’t believe in ‘upsets’ in the Wild Card round of NFL playoffs. So yes, I’m predicting Philly to take this game. Although McNabb has had as rough of a time this year as Lindsay Lohan, the Eagles come into the postseason with experience and the fire off a recent winning streak. Although the Vikings support a highly touted rush defense, Philly is right behind them ranked at 4th in the league and have managed a better pass defense than the Minnesota Vikings this season. Undeniably, Adrian Peterson is a monster in the backfield, but I really love Brian Westbrook when it comes to the clutch. I have a feeling that this game is the closest to a blowout (if there is one) favoring the Eagles.

Stop by the SportsFly Blog next week, as StatDragon corrects his mistakes from this week and looks into the Divisional Playoff Matchups.

December 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment