Friday, January 05, 2007

Wild Weekend

For football fans, this is always the best weekend of the year...


Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) @ Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
1:30pm NBC
The story: Thanks to a 49ers upset in Denver, the Chiefs snuck into the playoffs. If Trent Green struggles early, look for Herman Edwards to pull the trigger and put Damon Huard back in.
The hype: The hyped matchup here is Larry Johnson versus the soft Colts run defense.
The prediction: The Chiefs only won three road games all season, two of those being at lowly Oakland and Arizona. Look for Peyton Manning to score early and often at home in the comfort of his dome.

Dallas Cowboys (9-7) @ Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
5:00pm NBC
The story: Each team entered the season as favorites to win the NFC, largely because head coaches Mike Holmgren and Bill Parcells are two living legends. Fast forward through several big injuries, a quarterback change, and a whole mess of T.O. stories, and you have each team backing into the playoffs losing three of their final four.
The hype: The story line here is THREE injured Seahawk cornerbacks, including both starters. Most expect Owens and Terry Glenn to burn the makeshift Seattle secondary, but the Cowboys may be better off running Julius Jones and Marion Barber on the road.
The prediction: Look for the 12th Man and homefield advantage to play a huge roll in another Seahawk victory at Quest Field.


New York Jets (10-6) at New England Patriots (12-4)
10:00am CBS
The story: No one saw the Jets coming close to making the playoffs, but comeback player of the year Chad Pennington and a solid defense have managed to take advantage of a soft schedule. Each team enters the playoffs on a roll winning three in a row.
The hype: Eric Mangini comes off of Bill Bilichick's New England staff, and has shown it in two close games this year, including one win at Foxboro. The media has had a ball tracking the rocky relationship between the two.
The prediction: Even though Mangini has spent years coaching defensive practices against him, it is hard to go against Tom Brady against the playoffs.

New York Giants (8-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
1:30 FOX
The story: Anyone could have come out from the NFC East in any fashion and it would not have been a surprise. But no one saw Jeff Garcia rallying the Eagles to the division title. The Giants started off 6-2 but tallied off, largely because of Eli Manning's supposed regression.
The hype: Tom Coughlin's job is on the line in this game while Donovon McNabb and his mother wonder how he will be treated come next season.
The prediction: No one is giving the Giants a chance in this one, and that makes them dangerous. Garcia is more consistent than Manning though, so Philly gets the edge.


BCS Championship: Florida (2) versus Ohio State (1)
5:15pm FOX
The story: UCLA knocked USC out of the title picture while Florida barely edged Michigan in the BCS calculations.
The hype: Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith, perhaps the next Vince Young, is up against the tough Florida defense.
The prediction: Troy Smith makes a case for the NFL and runs all over Florida.