One more week before the Show. Only two games this week.
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts
Colts are favored by 7, last I checked, which seems low to me. The Jets have a good defense, but Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning, and he’s at home. It would be fun to see the Jets keep the Cinderella thing going, but from a practical standpoint, it’s hard to pick against the Colts winning and covering.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Saints are favored by 3, I believe. This is a hard game to pick. Virtually no result would surprise me. I could see either team blowing out the other, or I could see a close shootout going down to the wire, or I could see either team winning decisively, but not in a route. About the only thing I don’t see would be a low scoring defensive affair. I don’t think this is going to be a field goal battle (though it could very likely be won by a field goal). I don’t think OT would be unlikely either.
I’m going to go with my purple heart and pick the Vikes in something pretty close to a shootout scenario. I think the Vikings defense and Favre’s experience can make the difference. The saints have also been a little soft in their run defense, and last I checked, the Vikings still have #28 in the backfield.
Turnovers are going to be huge in this game, though. Adrian needs to wrap that shit up tight.
I think the Jets have a legit shot at the upset. Kinda wonder if Namath has called Sanchez for a pep talk. Still, I’ll call the Colts to win, but the Jets to put up a good fight. Colts 24 Jets 21.
In the Main Event, obviously, I’m going with my Saints. Second ever NFC Championship appearance, this one is at home in the Dome. Hoping the crowd noise throws Jerod Allen off his game, as I really don’t want to think about what he could do to Brees with one big blindside hit. I figure Reggie Bush will do something spectacular. He’s had his ups and downs so far, but he really had his game face on last week, and I expect more of the same. Hoping the defense can get to Farve. Need a big game from Will Smith and Charles Grant. Saints 37, Vikings 31.
I’m astonished that so many people seem to be picking the Jets, who are essentially the same team the Colts just beat 20-3 last week.
I look for the Colts to beat the Jets by a very similar score, say 24-6.
IF I’m right, the Super Bowl promises to be fun, as Peyton Manning vs. Drew Brees OR Peyton Manning vs. Favre would be a cool matchup. But I can already imagine how sick I’d get of hearing “Favre vs. Manning, Favre vs. Manning, Favre vs. Manning” non-stop for 2 weeks, so I HAVE to root for local boy Drew Brees, who played at Austin’s Westlake High School.
I’m ROOTING for the Saints, and won’t be at all shocked if they win, but… I think the Vikings will win if they run Adrian Peterson down the Saints’ throats all day. Stopping the run has been the Saints’ weakness all year. Their offense has gotten so many big leads that opponents frequently had to abandon the running game. If the Saints don’t put up a big lead early, I’m afraid Adrian Peterson will run wild.
I’ll say the Vikings win 34-20… but I’d love to be wrong.
I’m somewhat torn on who I want to win between Colts and Jets. I normally root for the underdog, especially when that team has no Super Bowls. However, both of these teams have won the Lombardi. Also, I think if the Colts advance, the Super Bowl could be a wild shoot-out with fireworks. Also, the Jets coach is a son of a bitch … well the son of Buddy Fucking Ryan; that doesn’t help.
As far as the other game, I hope the Saints stomp the Vikes, leaving Favre’s pants on the ground. When the Saints beatdown of the Vikes is all wrapped up toward the end of the 4th, I hope the Saints keep throwing TD passes just for the hell of it. Seriously, though, it should be a wild game.
I want to see the NY sports media have a field day with Favre and the Jets over the next two weeks. Instead, I think it will be about the surprising Jets season, and what they did wrong in losing to the Colts. I think Peyton gets his second ring, regardless of the winner in the NFC (which is pretty much a coin flip).
I’m thinking it will be Minnesota v. Indy. I’ll watch the game with the sound off.
I am torn.
I don’t want the Jets to win, because it will be the first time a QB from USC has started in a Super Bowl and I hate the Trojans.
OTOH, I want the Jets to win as a karmic bitchslap to the Colts Coach for throwing the game that let the Jets get into the playoffs.
I want the Vikings to make it so they can become the first team in NFL history with 4 SuperBowl losses to make it back for a fifth time, and possibly become the first team in NFL history to lose 5 Super Bowls.
OTOH I want the Saints to make it because New Orleans has been through a lot, and it would lift the spirits of a lot pf people.
Can’t be horribly wrong if you don’t make any predictions, therefore I’ll take a crack at it.
Personally, I don’t much care who wins Colts/Jets, though I’m going for New York if only to make San Diego’s loss look less embarrassing. Given that last week was less a Jet victory and more a Jet failure-to-actively-attempt-to-lose, though, I have to say I’ll take Indy by 10+ points. Say what you will about the Colts, they don’t often melt down like the Chargers did last week. (Lying down is another matter, but I’m thinking Manning’s as fired up about that as anybody.)
Colts 17, Jets 7.
Then, there’s Vikings/Saints. The Bolt fan in me feels like I should be pulling for Brees, but for reasons even I don’t fully understand, I really do want to see a victory for Minnesota. This year’s Vikes are about as likeable a team as you’re likely to find in the NFL, and I want to see Favre win one with the purple, if only to spite those Packer fans who felt it necessary to boo and berate their former hero earlier this year. (Yes, I know the backstory, and he wouldn’t be #1 on my Christmas list for his behavior during the '07-'08 offseason, but the man’s name was synonymous with your team for well over a decade. You don’t have to shower him with love and kisses, but show a little class.) That said, with their hit-or-miss record and Edwards, Williams and Harvin all “questionable”, I think the line on this one is just about accurate.
Saints 24, Vikings 21.
GO TEAMS I DON’T THINK WILL WIN!
I have a gut feeling the Vikes/Saints game is going to come down to quirky plays where one teams takes advantage of the others missteps. Fumbles, interceptions, breakaway runs by Peterson or Bush, missed coverage down field, missed tackles. Sound conventional football by both teams will be played and the difference in the winner and loser will be who screws up less.
I’m looking to the Vikes D to be much more present than Arizona was and frazzle Brees like they did to Romo. While I’m hopeful Peterson has some success due to the weak running defense of the Saints I’m not hanging my hat on it. I’ve been waiting for a breakout game from him for months and it has yet to surface.
Vikes 31, Saints 14
Jets/Colts I’m not as excited to watch. Colts know how to be methodical enough to get the assured win even when the score makes the game look a lot closer.
Jets will lose this game doing everything right and end up asking “What just happened? We just lost by 10 points?” Colts never seem to dominate. They just make sure they play a little bit better than you.
Colts 24, Jets 14
In the playoff prediction thread, I went with Colts and Viking in the Super Bowl, so I’m sticking with that, although I’d be happier if it were the Saints.
A kiss, more than likely.
The Vikings will lose in a similar fashion to the way they won last week. Favre will throw 2-4 interceptions.
Saints 40 Vikings 13
Manning will experience another 2005 playoffs scenario (vs. the Steelers). The Jets will chase him like Tiger chases 20-year old blondes. I wonder if Manning will throw his O-line under the bus again.
Jets 24 Colts 19
Well, his O-line was like a sieve that game. Douchy, yes, but not inaccurate.
Well, first things first – a bet is a bet, and a eating crow is a fine workaround to me. So let me state for the record:
** SKOAL VIKINGS!! **
Now then, on to how I really feel.
I love this weekend – these should both be good games, and there isn’t a Super Bowl matchup that I won’t be happy with. Any combo should make for a good title game.
Now, how I root depends on how certain things go on the betting front. In the SDMB prediction contest, I said Colts over Saints, so I’m fine with those two winning. I picked both of them in a pool I’m in, and while I’m quietly comfortable with those choices, it’s the total score of MIN@NO that I’m a little concerned about – I went with 65, and now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that Jared Allen is held in check.
But really, as long as it doesn’t cost me in my pool, I’ll be just as happy with Jets/Vikings. In fact, if that happens, then I’ll be making that “Skoal Vikings” post for real…
To sum up, I think it’ll go down thusly:
Saints 34, Vikings 31
Colts 24, Jets 13
Saints v Jets is a bit bland for my taste. Other combos should be really interesting.
The game I care about most so far this playoffs is hoping the Jets smash the Colts. There’s no better way for them to be punished for their cowardly bullshit than for the team they let into the playoffs to knock them out.
If the Colts had beaten the Jets, who would be in? Houston?
I think the Saints and the Vikings will come down to D’s. Both have high flying Offences with ground games that can make big plays. When it comes down to it, I think the Viking O will be a little better then a Saints D that can get shaky at times, but it will be a high scoring game.
Vikings 35, Saints 31
The Colts are good, Manning is one of the greats, but the Jets are on a roll. This is also a team that beat the Colts in week 16. Right now though, the focus is on the wrong Rookie. Sanchez is doing good, but this game will come down to putting the ball in Shonn Greene’s arms and letting him roll for another 120 - 150 yard playoff game.
Jets 28, Colts 21
The Broncos lost 4 Superbowls before getting back for a fith (and sixth) time to get their first two wins.