Thursday, 11 January 2007

NFL Playoff Predictions: NFC


The 4 playoff matchups this weekend are just so very good that I need to split them up into 2 separate posts. The matchups are great, and should hopefully produce some well played, competitive games.

I'll do these previews similar to my National Championship preview... I'll give 2 reasons why each team will win, and then give my prediction. So yeah, feel free to give yours in the comments.

(4) Seattle Seahawaks @ (1) Chicago Bears
Why the Seahawks will win:
1) Rex Grossman. Let's be honest, for all of the Bears strengths (namely that they have the best defense and special teams in the NFL), Rex Grossman has been a little hit-and-miss this year.In 5 games this year his QB rating has been under 40, and three times the QB rating has been 10.2 or less (including 0 once). QB rating isn't perfect, but that's just a quick measure of how bad he has been in some games.
2) Rex Grossman. In truth, this is what needs to happen for the Seahawks to win. Rex Grossman needs to have an awful game. The offense is banged up, the defense isn't that good, and the game is in Chicago. They need Grossman to have a game like he did in the regular season finale.

Why the Bears will win:
1) The Defense. Simply put, they have the best defense in the NFL. They're fast, they're smart, they tackle well, they're talented, and they're well coached. Not much to dislike.
2) The Special Teams. Similar to the defense, they have the best Special Teams in the NFL. Robbie Gould has been reliable all year, and Devin Hester has 6 return TDs. A great all-around unit.

Who will win: I don't have a lot of faith in Rex Grossman to deliver a quality ballgame, but I have enough faith in the D. I think Grossman will be more conservative and let the defense win the game for the Bears. This year they'll be able to take care of their first playoff game at home. BEARS 20-10.

(3) Philadelphia Eagles @ (2) New Orleans Saints
Why the Eagles will win:
1) Momentum. As we saw with the Steelers, sometimes this can mean anything. The Eagles are the hottest team in the NFL, and if Jeff Garcia can keep playing mistake-free football, they might just be able to ride that momentum into the NFC Conference Championship.
2) Brian Westbrook. With all due respect to Reggie Bush, Brian Westbrook is the most multi-dimensional back that will be playing in this ballgame. He's a great receiver as he has shown throughout the year, he's a good return man, and now that he's getting carries we see he is an excellent runner. He's capable of carrying the Eagles offense.

Why the Saints will win:
1) Best offense in the NFC. They have balance and big-play ability. Drew Brees has been, in a word, awesome at the QB spot. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush have very different games, and that's what makes them effective and so dangerous. The receivers have been a solid group this year, led by rookie Marques Colston. And the Line, led by All-Pro Jamaal Brown is solid. This offense can score quickly in many different ways.
2) Home field advantage. The Superdome will be absolutely rocking for this game.

Who will win: The Eagles have been playing great football, but I think their time has run out. Drew Brees and the offense will be clicking, and the whole Saints team will be fired up by the raucous Superdome crowd. SAINTS 34-23.

Your thoughts?