NFL playoff Saturday open thread

posted at 1:01 pm on January 11, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Jazz: Welcome to the beginning of the end of football for this season. We have four games on tap as the final hopefuls are pared down to the eventual showdown. I agreed to kick things off this weekend because Ed is still busy signing autographs and basking in the glow of setting some sort of record for wildcard playoff predictions last week. But it’s a fresh new day and we both get a chance to hit the magic number of going 4 for 4. (Er… I should be specific here and say four wins on the picks.)

 

Ed: Hey, I did go 4-4 … four losses. I don’t recall getting skunked like that ever, but like I told my wife later, I made the right picks — if NFL games lasted 55 minuted instead of 60. Jazz won the first weekend, so he gets honors on starting the posts, which means I have to follow behind. And bring the donuts.

 

Jazz: The early game today has the New Orleans Saints traveling to visit the Seahawks in Seattle. (4:35 p.m. FOX) Seattle is an 8 point favorite to win today, and even given my love for picking upsets, it’s hard to argue with this one. If they were on the road, I’d give the Saints more of a chance, but when Seattle is in front of their home crowd which tends to register on local seismographs they are darned hard to beat. They also have the best passing defense of the remaining contenders, and if you limit Drew Brees’ air game, the Saints look a lot less formidable. I’ll go with the favorite on this one and take Seattle for the win in a low scoring match, 27-17.

 

Ed: The match-up of the 2nd-best passing offense against the best passing defense will be fun to watch, but the bigger key will be the rushing game. Seattle is 4th best in rushing, and 7th defending it. The Saints are 25th in rushing, and only 19th in defending it.  Seattle is 26th in passing offense, but they may not need to test the league’s 2nd-best passing defense much under those conditions. If Seattle’s secondary remains on top of its game, their offense can put together long drives that limit Bree’s ability to do much at all. I’d guess that this will be a low-scoring game as a result, with the Seahawks winning 24-9.

 

Jazz: The second match is the one that will get my blood boiling this evening, when the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts. (8:15 p.m. CBS) The line has the Patriots up by 7, and traditionally this is where Bill Belichick would shine. But I have two reasons to doubt the line here. First of all, while the Patriots look good on paper, they are decimated with injuries and they just haven’t looked very good, even when they were winning. Second, the Patriots are the nemesis of the Jets, and I don’t want them to win. The Colts are the Cinderella story here with a huge chip on their shoulder and I’m going to let emotion get the best of my brain. I’ll take Indianapolis in a big upset, beating the Patriots like a red headed stepchild, 31-20.

 

Ed: A dome team is going to come to New England in January and whip the Patriots? A team which went undefeated in its eight home games in 2013? Rob Gronkowski is on IR, Aaron Dobson will have to sit, and a few players are questionable for the game, but the core of the 2013 team will still be on the field to face off against a team a decent-but-not-dominating road team. The weather won’t be too cold at game time at 53 degrees, but it will be wet and windy, and that’s three conditions that Andrew Luck doesn’t see much inside the dome in Indianapolis. Plus, he and the Colts will be up against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who won five of their last six games despite their injuries, including a road game in which they whipped the Baltimore Ravens and an OT win at home against the Denver Broncos. The Colts won 5 of their last seven, but three of those wins came against Jacksonville, Houston, and Tennessee, with road losses at Arizona and Cincinnati. Patriots will win big tonight, 35-17.

I think Jazz is just giving me a gracious way to catch up, really. Or leading me into a trap. Based on last weekend, it could …. go either way. Anyway, enjoy. And by the way, the NFL had better hope this string of epic close games continues, because they’re facing some real competition on Super Bowl Sunday.

 


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Seahawks, Colts.

KCB on January 11, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Jazz won the first weekend, so he gets honors on starting the posts, which means I have to follow behind. And bring the donuts.

Donuts? To a football party? Chicken wings dude, chicken wings. No wonder you pick football games like Stevie Wonder picking his own wardrobe. Go Colts – They’ll need all the Luck they can get.

tommyboy on January 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM

I pick the Seahawks or the Saints. I win.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Seahawks. Patriots. Broncos. Niners. Those will be the only teams left after this week I think.

Stoic Patriot on January 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

My prediction: Somehow the Steelers will get screwed.

Ronnie on January 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Colorado leagalized pot. The Broncos are going to be so HIIIIGH.

Mazz on January 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

New England
Seattle
Denver
San Francisco

Just hope it’s not to warm for the 49er’s in Carolina. ;-)

plutorocks on January 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Football ended last week.

faraway on January 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

seahawks …. colts ….. Panthers …. Broncos …

I am hoping on the colts ….

conservative tarheel on January 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I live in mass and am patriots fan. However for the last 5 years they have been overachievers.

they have a great coach and an excellent quarterback. Otherwise they have a lineup of basically 2nd string players that Bill Belechik has masterfully gotten to win games.

However in the playoffs you play to many good teams. this is where New England has faltered in the last 5 years..

Belechiks ability to get winning seasons and picking at bottom of drafts for so long has made them vulnerable.

even the year Brady was out they still won 11 games.

Sometimes a coach can be too good.

gerrym51 on January 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I went with all the road teams last week and nearly went 4 for 4 doing so. And I would have if the Chiefs hadn’t decided the game was over in the 3rd quarter. Anyway, I’m going with the Saints (I despise Pete Carroll) and the Patriots.

Bitter Clinger on January 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Don’t see the Sea Hags blowing out New Orleans like they did a few weeks ago. Sean Payton is too good of a coach for that. In fact, IMHO he wins today’s coaching matchup. I love Pete Carroll, but he’s not as good of a “game-in-progress” coach as Sean is. But that doesn’t mean the Saints will win today-at game time there will be a 20 MPH wind out of the south and it will be raining. Hey, they made it to the NFC Final Four so win or lose I can’t complain!

The Patriots should win tonight, as the weather conditions will be almost identical to what they were a couple of weeks ago in the final home game. And the winner of the coaching matchup will not be the Colts head dude.

Del Dolemonte on January 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM

For tomorrow I’m going with the Chargers (Peyton Manning whiffs again, hee hee) and the 49ers (I despise Cam Newton).

Bitter Clinger on January 11, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Andrew has Luck on his side.

John the Libertarian on January 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM

And who ate all the donuts?

John the Libertarian on January 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Geaux Saints and Horseshoes!

fortcoins on January 11, 2014 at 2:27 PM

The Eagles are out,life as we know it is over.

celtic warrior on January 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM

My prediction: Somehow the Steelers will get screwed.

Ronnie on January 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

I know what you mean, but as an avid Seahawks fan I hope you’re right. Now and forever.

HiJack on January 11, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Saints, Colts.

2Tru2Tru on January 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

And by the way, the NFL had better hope this string of epic close games continues, because they’re facing some real competition on Super Bowl Sunday.

There’s a pro-bowl joke somewhere in that story.

I want the Saints to win so Carolina doesn’t have to beat Seattle, but all the numbers go the other way. As for NE/Indianapolis, gotta hand it to the Colts.

nobar on January 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I want the Saints to win so Carolina doesn’t have to beat Seattle

LOL!! Stop, you’re killing me! Too funny. The Panthers don’t even belong in the same league.

HiJack on January 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

and that’s three conditions that Andrew Luck doesn’t see much inside the dome in Indianapolis.

Ed,

And what weather did Luck play in at Stanford, nice and dry and inside?

No.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

My favorite T-shirt in San Diego this week…”Just One Before I Die”…

GO BOLTS!!!!!

repvoter on January 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Pats

Saints

49ers

Broncos

dogsoldier on January 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Wow. I guess the Colts and Saints are about to pull off huge upsets.

El_Terrible on January 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM

As a 49er Faithful……..Go Saints!

Rovin on January 11, 2014 at 4:07 PM

My predictions for the weekend: Seahawks, Colts, Panthers, Broncos

TarheelBen on January 11, 2014 at 4:10 PM

We Saints fans thank you for picking Seattle.

Kermit on January 11, 2014 at 4:59 PM

‘Fish Bowl’ to air opposite Super Bowl

Del Dolemonte on January 11, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Turnover results in 7 more points for Seattle!

rbj on January 11, 2014 at 5:13 PM

…go Lions!

KOOLAID2 on January 11, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Saints decision to go for it on 4th and 5 instead of attempting a 45 yard FG with the wind at their back was a major mistake in a low scoring game like this.

tommyboy on January 11, 2014 at 6:05 PM

WHAT DOES THE HAWK SAY?

dont taze me bro on January 11, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Ouch, Percy Harvin out for the Seahawks

rbj on January 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Who the eff is dat team ?

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 11, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Brees is stinking up the place today.

tommyboy on January 11, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Well, Brees has suddenly come alive in the fourth. He better hope it’s not too little too late. But at least it’s a game now.

tommyboy on January 11, 2014 at 7:07 PM

…go Lions!

KOOLAID2 on January 11, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Don’t make an old man cry =(

Ugly on January 11, 2014 at 7:21 PM

And that’s the ball game.

rbj on January 11, 2014 at 7:28 PM

BEAST MODE FTW

dont taze me bro on January 11, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Mr. Colston…what exactly was that?

GOPRanknFile on January 11, 2014 at 7:46 PM

GO HAWKS!

dont taze me bro on January 11, 2014 at 7:47 PM

The road to the Super Bowl goes through Seattle.

TarheelBen on January 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

This being an open thread… Ed, when can we expect a review of Lone Survivor?

Ugly on January 11, 2014 at 8:03 PM

TarheelBen on January 11, 2014 7:48 PM

That’s funny. I thought the New Jersey Turnpike is the road to the Super Bowl.

Bitter Clinger on January 11, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Josh McDaniels is calling a great game so far.

GOPRanknFile on January 11, 2014 at 9:03 PM

That’s funny. I thought the New Jersey Turnpike is the road to the Super Bowl.

Bitter Clinger on January 11, 2014 at 8:13 PM

I heard Chris Christie might shut that down.

TarheelBen on January 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

I’m still going with the Saints, Colts their website is going to be fixed any day now.

2Tru2Tru on January 12, 2014 at 12:15 AM

The road to the Super Bowl goes through Seattle.

TarheelBen on January 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I’m pretty sure you have to win one before you can say that.

Ronnie on January 12, 2014 at 12:38 AM

I’m pretty sure you have to win one before you can say that.

Ronnie on January 12, 2014 at 12:38 AM

I’m saying that the winner of SF-Carolina must go through Seattle, in Seattle, to reach the Super Bowl. It’s just a statement of fact.

TarheelBen on January 12, 2014 at 1:06 AM

I’m saying that the winner of SF-Carolina must go through Seattle, in Seattle, to reach the Super Bowl. It’s just a statement of fact.

TarheelBen on January 12, 2014 at 1:06 AM

I can think of three teams that can get to the Super Bowl without going through Seattle.

Ronnie on January 12, 2014 at 4:08 AM