Well, the season is over for most and now it's time for the real teams (well, the Seahawks did make the playoffs) to duke it out to see who will win the Superbowl. Let's see what's on tap.
New Orleans @ Seattle - The charade can now stop since we know that Hasselbeck would start this game. The Seahawks boast a pretty good running attack with Lynch and Forsett. While neither of them is great by themselves, the number of touches that each will have (and a consistent running game) could spell doom for the Saints. Look for at least 30 carries between Lynch and Forsett. Of course you start your more veteran QB and if he falters bring in Whitehurst. Matt has looked more like Tim as of late and he seems to be very fragile, so the fewer drop backs the better. Mike Williams has resurrected his career and he's the Seahawks #1 guy, but in this game I think you have to watch Obomanu. The defense has given up over 368 total yards so they will definitely have to step it up if they are looking to play next weekend.
The Saints come into this game looking for people off the streets that can run the ball. They have lost both Ivory and Thomas for the year which leaves them with Reggie Bush and a host of other people. Maybe Bush can do what he did last year in the playoffs and show up and play big for the Saints. They'll probably need him to do something because you can't risk Brees dropping back and throwing 50 times in this game. The Saints defense is opportunistic and I think they'll be able to make either of the Seahawks QBs play badly.
In the end, this may be a closer game than some think and anything can happen in a one and done situation. Winner - Saints.
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts - The Colts come into this game with a good feeling that they finally have their quarterback back. Manning had hit a stretch of games where he was turning the ball over like he was flipping pancakes. Now, he's gotten back into the swing of things and surprise surprise, the Colts have figured out how to R-U-N the ball. Look for Addai to have another big game as the Colts will do their best to mix it up against the Jets. Manning normally plays well against Rex Ryan led defenses, so I'll expect more of the same. Reggie Wayne will have a tough time going against either corner, but he'll show up.
The Jets will have a healthy Mark Sanchez, which is something they haven't had for a few weeks. Sanchez went through his own bad stretch of games where it looked like he had regressed a little. The Jets have some pieces on offense, and I think we'll finally see a lot of LT (isn't this why they got him?) and Dustin Keller making some plays. On the defensive side of the ball the Jets have been more talk than anything this year. They have to step it up and play some defense which will mean getting hits on Manning and shutting down Wayne and or Tamme.
Who wins this one? Should be a good game and maybe the Jet's bravado actually shows in their play on Saturday. Winner - Colts.
Baltimore @ Kansas City - The Chiefs come into this game clicking. Matt Cassel and Bowe have some chemistry going on and then you add to that the running of Charles and Jones and a sometimes stingy defense, and you have a pretty solid team. The Chiefs even have a home game for the playoffs. That may not be a good thing, because of the history of old Chiefs' teams that have played well and been at home for the playoffs have lost all of those games (I think 0-8).
The Ravens come into this game still wondering why they are paying Anquan Boldin the money they are paying him and him not being able to put up any numbers this season. I don't fault Boldin for some of this, but he's gotta show up in this Ravens offense for them to roll. The Ravens have Flacco and Ray Rice, and they may have to run the ball a little more to keep that Ravens defense off the field. I say that to say that the Ravens defense isn't as good as it was in the past, and they are propping people up to play corner (Dwayne Bowe should be licking his chops to go after this secondary), so they can't allow the Chiefs to have long drives for scores.
In the end, I like the Chiefs in this game, but I can't pick against the Ravens. I'm sorry. Winner - Ravens.
Green Bay @ Philadelphia - The Eagles took last week off while starting Kevin Kolb. This will be the varsity game against the Packers. The Eagles have to get it back together, specifically Vick because this is his contract game. The better he does, the bigger his check is in the off season. They haven't looked good on offense or defense as of late. Vick is taking too many hits and to me the play calling has changed significantly over the past two weeks. The Eagles have to get McCoy going and get Vick going at the same time. Maybe the big downfield strike to Jackson within the first 10 plays needs to be taken out? All in all I think the offense will be able to right it self, but the defense is the big question. Is Samuel playing? He's GOT to have a big game with Jennings (GB) running around out there catching passes from Rodgers.
The Packers probably would have been hosting this game or maybe even have had this week off had it not been for an injury to Ryan Grant early in the season. Rodgers has played very well all year long and even without a running game he's still performing (3922 yards passing this season). The Packers defense has two good corners and they are fast enough to keep up or get to Vick at any moment.
This is going to be a great game. Vick still has some magic left in him and the Packers have a pretty darn good QB themselves. Why didn't the Packers get the Seahawks or someone? Hard to pick because I want the Eagles to win, but I think that the Packers have a great chance to get the 'W'. Winner - Eagles.
Who you got?!?!