NFL Playoffs Round 1 Thread

Because, a-ha, I wanted to start one. A-ha.

I assume everyone's got their predictions ready already?

Patriots over Jaguars
Redskins over Buccaneers
Giants over Panthers
Steelers over Bengals

NE vs. JAX:

It looks like the Pats won't luck out with snow this year, so I like the Jags if Leftwich is back in full form.

WAS vs. TB:

This is a tough call between two inconsistent teams - whichever team decides to bring their A game should win. I'll have to go with TB since they're at home.

NYG vs. CAR:

I like the Panthers. NYG is another inconsistent club that doesn't play as well against solid defenses like CAR, and Shockey is a big part of their offense to lose.

PIT vs CIN:

Everyone seems to be taking the Steelers here, but I think that the Bengals will stop the run this game and knock the Steelers out by a fair margin.

Patriots over Jaguars

Tom Brady is going to dandle the Jacksonville D on his knee and burp them as they lose their first playoff of the new millennium.

Buccaneers over Redskins

Ronde Barber is going to shut Santana Moss down and the stacked defense will stuff Portis. Bucs win!

Panthers beat Giants

I don't think Tiki can win this for them, he's gotta be tired!

Bengals beat Steelers

I think if Cincy can score early they can take it. If the Steelers have a chance to settle in, they win. Gooooo Cincy!

Down with Mannings!!

I'm rooting for the underdog Pats... hell 3 SB's in a row would be an amazing achievement.

Pats over Jags - I'm just not sold on Jacksonville against a confident and largely healthy Pats.

Skins over Bucs - Enough offensive guns, even against the Bucs solid D, to outscore a rookie quarterback in a mediocre offense.

Panthers over Giants - I flipped a coin, and the coin says Panthers.

Steelers over Bengals - My heart says Cincy, but my brain says Pittsburg. The Bus is trying to sparkle the last days of his carrer, Ward is increasingly among the best receivers in the league, and Big Ben is just making plays happen.

Bengals over Steelers. Who cares about the other games?

Patriots
Redskins
Panthers

Bengals over the Steelers - Not sold on Pittsburgh being regarded as "better" than Cincy. Cincinnati can stop Pittsburgh's ground game, which would force Rothlesberger to throw the ball in order to move the offense, something that he hasn't been as good at lately as Carson Palmer.

Patriots over Jaguars - This is totally a no-brainer. Although New England isn't the same team that it was during the Super Bowl runs, they still are better than Jacksonville. Florida football team + cold as hell New England = Patriots victory.

Redskins over Bucs - I'm also not sold on Chris Simms as a quality NFL quarterback. He's too inconsistent to carry Tampa over a team that has picked the right time to peak. Joe Gibbs, FTW!

Panthers over Giants - Again, not sold on Eli Manning, someone with no big game experience and is as inconsistent if not moreso than Simms. Tiki Barber is arguably on par with NFL MVP Shaun Alexander, but I don't believe he can overcome his team's problems or Carolina's defense.

Bengals over Steelers - D still bad for Bengals but I think they can score more points then the Steelers.

Patriots over Jags - Until NE loses a playoff game....

Bucs over Skins - Come on! Simms is NOT inconsistant it's the O line that is so. The Skins Secondary is beat up so expect an air game then a bunch of Cadillac!

Giants over Panthers - This one is a toss up for me, but I like Barber. Carolina might come out flat after that win over Atlanta. Panthers O is not as good as it seemed last week.

I'm going to make the case for Jacksonville.

"Florida team" isn't a very good way of describing this team. They're not a warm-weather, Dan Marino offense style ballclub. They are the better defense in this game (#6 overall in the NFL) and Fred Taylor has thrived in cold weather games (see last year's 165 yard smackdown of Green Bay at Lambeau in December). Corey Dillon, meanwhile, has been easily stopped by good run defenses. If Dillon can't shake his slump, then they're not going to have the most effective ground game - and Kevin Faulk isn't going to give you a mudder.

Byron Leftwich's bad ankle is mercifully his left ankle, meaning that he doesn't have to push off of his bad ankle to throw. Also factor in the fact that Jacksonville has one of the league's top pass rushes (tied for 3rd in the NFL in sacks with Pittsburgh - 6 more sacks than the vaunted Giants with Strahan and Umenyiora), and the fact that New England is playing with backups on their offensive line (all-important starting LT Matt Light is out, with a rookie filling in that spot).

There is a very real possibility that Jacksonville is the team that runs the ball better and is the dominant defensive team at the line of scrimmage - against the run and pass.

The real question is, how good is Byron Leftwich going to be after weeks of not playing? And that is what is going to decide Jacksonville's chances in the game. New England cannot beat Jacksonville personnel-wise. What they have to do is play a confusing defense that keeps a potentially rusty Leftwich from getting the passing game going, and they have to give Tom Brady enough time to attack Jacksonville's Cover 2.

Me being a Jaguars fan, you'll probably take all that with a big grain of salt. But the Jaguars are one team that I see a *lot* of, and though I'm not going to sit here and proclaim the Jaguars the definite winners (a young team playing a road playoff game is always an extremely difficult situation), but take it seriously when I tell you that New England has a struggle on their hands.

Patriots over Jaguars
I just really doubt history will show the Jaguars as popping Tom Brady's playoff loss cherry.

Redskins over Buccaneers
Redskins have won every game I thought they would lose. I don't see why it would stop now.

Giants over Panthers
I'm not sold on Eli either, but I am sold on the Giant's D. Plus Tiki is good enough to win a wildcard playoff game on his own.

Bengals over Steelers
Bengals are a well rounded team in my opinion, they should be able to beat the Steelers as long as they can score over 20 points.

These aren't the teams I'm expecting to win. I'm making no predictions here. I can see all of these games going either way, which is great because hey.. it's the playoffs. So I'm just going to pop in with who I want to win, and leave it at that.

Bengals over Steelers
They're the hometown guys. Don't you have to root for them when they're doing well? I don't think it matters, as I don't think they have it in them to win over the other teams they would potentially have to beat to get to the big game, but then with the Bengals I've been the pessimistic type for a long while. With good reason, I think.

Redskins over Buccaneers
I just like the Redskins more. *shrug*

Panthers over Giants
I think most people are expecting the Giants to take this one, but I'd love to see Carolina beat them.

Patriots over Jaguars
With all the trouble NE has had this year, I think if they can pull through and win, and maybe go to the Super Bowl, then they freaking deserve it. And it would be cool to see them win the big one a third time.

Redskins are still in the lead, 17 - 10 but Sean Taylor spitting in Pittman's face during a playoff game was so utterly retarded, you have to wonder if the guy is on something.

The Skins take the win, despite having only 122 yards on offense. Their defense isn't good enough to carry them past the next round, I think the Bucs would have been way more fun to watch. Bah!

One day someone will explain to me how a guy can catch the ball in the endzone..take 2 steps...fall down on both knees...have the ball come loose by the ground and it not be called a catch... YET somehow when Manning throws the ball to Shockey who has the ball for a split second and then gets hit and is removed from the ball thats a touchdown.

Ok.

Damn good question.

TheGameguru wrote:

One day someone will explain to me how a guy can catch the ball in the endzone..take 2 steps...fall down on both knees...have the ball come loose by the ground and it not be called a catch... YET somehow when Manning throws the ball to Shockey who has the ball for a split second and then gets hit and is removed from the ball thats a touchdown.

Ok.

I'm a bigtime Skins fan in a roomful of Skins fans and almost got flayed alive for insisting that that was a catch. I'll go with you guys and agree it was a game-changing bad call. Considering the epidemic of HORRIFIC calls that went for Tampa in their previous contest, however, I say they're even.

I thought it was a catch first, too. I was damned close to throwing a bottle of beer across the room at the TV. Then they showed the replay, and all was as it should be once again. Oh, and I love Taylor as a player, but the man needs his mouth stitched shut.

HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! HAIL VICTORY!

Bulls*it zebra calls.

*cries*

That fumble by Brunell in the endzone should have been a TB TD as well.

WAS defense held well to stop those 4th down calls but the Bucs should have won. No way Brunell throws for 42 yards and they should win...

I look forward to them getting clobbered in the next game.

Mmm burritos wrote:

I thought it was a catch first, too. I was damned close to throwing a bottle of beer across the room at the TV. Then they showed the replay, and all was as it should be once again. Oh, and I love Taylor as a player, but the man needs his mouth stitched shut.

HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! HAIL VICTORY!

Agreed. Taylor needs to be pimpslapped for being a moron.

I'm happy for LaVarr as well. Dude deserves a lot more respect than he got on that team. I hope he finds a place next year (in the AFC) where he can be appreciated.

Well Redskins won an ugly one. TB should have won.

Ha! Did anybody see Tom Brady drill the referee in the face with a pass. Already more exciting then the TB/WSH game.

Ha! Did anybody see Tom Brady drill the referee in the face with a pass. Already more exciting then the TB/WSH game.

That was awesome.

TheGameguru wrote:

One day someone will explain to me how a guy can catch the ball in the endzone..take 2 steps...fall down on both knees...have the ball come loose by the ground and it not be called a catch... YET somehow when Manning throws the ball to Shockey who has the ball for a split second and then gets hit and is removed from the ball thats a touchdown.

Ok.

Manning magic. I thought we already covered it. Just like all the losses by the Giants and the Colts are counted in NFL stats as wins because the Mannings play for them. You know they change the rules for ever game, and the refs are intentially told to give the Manning team every break possible during a game.

Or, the refs screwed up a call.

Your pick.

and the refs are intentially told to give the Manning team every break possible during a game.

QFTMFT!

If I was the Colts.. I'd be worried.

Well, looks like the NE game is well in hand at this point. I think the Jags are a good team a couple skill players away from being a great one. Worth noting that Ben Watson's TD came after breaking the tackle from that Jags player with the cast on his hand, he just couldn't grab him and finish him off. The defensive NE pick for a TD also looked like Leftwich was the only guy with a chance to catch him and he just couldn't run. Tough break for a promising team.

But hey, 11 minutes left in the 4th and they're driving. Who knows!

Legion, What happened man?

I still feel the same way I did in week 10. I am not willing to bet against Bellichick and Brady until they lose.

I still feel the same way I did in week 10. I am not willing to bet against Bellichick and Brady until they lose.

After watching a Jaguar team that played a fine game get absolutely destroyed by the Patriots, I think it's back to me watching every playoff game with me constantly thinking "Oh hey that team is really good, but not good enough to beat the Patriots".

Here's the only hope for a Superbowl without the Patriots:
Bengals lose to Steelers.
Patriots face Denver, Patriots win of course but Denver always takes a toll on their opponents.
Colts beat Steelers due to an offense far greater then the Steeler's defense but with a Colt's defense that can contain the Steeler's offense.
Colts are fresh facing a tired Patriots at Indy.............

Okay who am I kidding. I for one welcome our new Patriot overlords.

LOL... everyone in Colts land is now praying for a Steelers win today... though if it was me and I was a fan of the Colts I'd much rather face the Pats in the next round that an even more pressure filled AFC championship game..

Just a small snipet from the Post that I thought was interesting on the Bucs and instant replay.

Mike Alstott's two-point conversion at the end of the Bucs' 36-35 win over the Redskins on Nov. 13 was reviewed by the game's replay officials.

A touchdown by Detroit's Marcus Pollard that would have beaten Tampa Bay in Week 4 was overruled when replays showed Pollard to be out of bounds. And on Dec. 24, Atlanta's Roddy White appeared to catch a touchdown pass, only to have the ball pop out of his hands, just like it did with Shepherd. The officials ruled it incomplete. Replays concluded they were right.

"I thought, 'Here we go again,' " Bucs tackle Kenyatta Walker said when asked what went through his mind as the officials headed off to look at Shepherd's play. He smiled. "It's kind of been falling our way this year, but it didn't fall our way tonight."

Or as Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber said more succinctly, "We can't expect to live by the replay and not expect to die by it."

I am a Skins fan and I thought at first it was a TD but hey after reading an article or two I see that I guess I was wrong.

Notice the Bucs had the opposite happen to them against the Lions to overturn a lions TD.

I of course felt vindicated over the whole 2 point conversion call and especially after I saw Chucky smugly saying in an interview that they scored and instant replay was there for a reason.

Well guess the reverse is true too.

Skins are not going to beat Seattle (as I predicted) and as much as I liked my beloved Skins they are lucky to get a win in one ugly game.

All I have to say Maladan is 120 total yards in the game for the Redskins.

But, scoreboard.

Typically total offensive yardage is a great gauge of how a game played out, but in a game that was dominated by two excellent defenses, it's not always all that accurate. A turnover oriented defense like the Skins have is a tremendous factor in low scoring defensive battles like the TBB/Was game.

Sure, the Skins only did what they absolutely had to on the offense, but the D showed up and did created the momentum that propelled them through the game. I can't figure out why people think the Skins should have lost due to their lack of offensive yardage, when their D showed up and turned TBB's plays into scores. Who cares if you can get 400 yards of O yards if you're just going to give the other team 14 or 17 points by losing the ball?