Could you have asked for a better season than this? The emergence of Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson continuing to run well at 30, Carson Palmer healthy for the whole year, Russell Wilson balling out of his damn mind since December 1st and if Big Ben and Antonio Brown aren’t the best QB-WR combo in the league then who’s better? Now that the regular season is over we must move to the next phase which is the Playoffs…yes Jim Mora I said Playoffs. Now it’s the time when teams are physically and mentally fatigued, 12 teams must strap up their cleats for a few more weeks in order to be crowned Super Bowl Champions for the 2015-2016 season. Yea Dennis Green, I’m going to crown them because they were who we thought they were but I won’t let them off the hook. This offseason will be interested especially with the coaching carousel that’s about to start. So far 5 coaches and a GM have been fired but up to 11 coaches can be fired before it’s all said and done. A lot of free agents will be available that can change the scope of a franchise not to mention a solid draft class.
Before I go into my picks for the NFL playoffs, I must salute one of the greatest defensive backs and overall players in my generation…Mr. Charles Woodson. One of the top 4 picks in the 1998 NFL Draft, Charles Woodson retired Sunday after going to battle against Peyton Manning who was the number one pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Never was a troublemaker, he was always about bettering himself and the team , a leader in every locker room and an automatic pick for Hall of Fame.
With the playoffs starting this Saturday it doesn’t give teams a lot of time to rest unless you are the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos or New England Patriots. First things first who do you start if you’re the Broncos. Sure Brock Osweiler is young and inexperienced with respect to the playoffs but Peyton Manning isn’t the most stellar QB in the playoffs either. If I’m not mistaken he has a losing record in the playoffs so would do you gamble with. My personal opinion is a healthy Peyton Manning at home in a playoff game with his weapons getting healthier could be scary. Let’s face it Brock it will be your team soon enough so what’s a couple more games.
Saturday: Kansas City vs. Houston Texans
The first game of these NFL playoffs featuring the two hottest teams in the NFL. On October 31, both of these teams were 2-5 but since then they have gone 16-2. Even though Kansas City has won 10 straight games you can never rule out the Texans as long as JJ Watt is playing. I know Jadeveon Clowney was supposed to be the next Lawrence Taylor but look out for Whitney Marceilus who has become a force as well. In the last 9 games Houston has allowed 6, 6, 17, 6, 30, 27, 10, 6 and 6 points. If Houston doesn’t get any pressure on Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce may prove to be too much for Houston’s defense. Brian Hoyer must play as if his career is on the line. I think this will be a low scoring game but I give the edge to Kansas City
Score: 17-14 Kansas City
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
It’s always good when division opponents face each other in the playoffs. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will be facing each other for the third time this year but this game has more on the line especially with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Cincinnati has had turrrible (Charles Barkley voice) luck in the playoffs since Carson Palmer tore his ACL back in 2006 against who you might ask….the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since then, Marvin Lewis has gone 0-6 and could easily go 0-7 if Andy Dalton isn’t fully healed and ready to roll. It’s nothing against AJ McCarron but is he ready to battle against Big Ben and the receiving core from hell. Imagine if Leveon Bell was healthy my god. The one player who could make a big difference is Deangelo Williams. If he plays I see the Bengals going 0-7 since Marvin Lewis has been the head coach and could also be Marvin Lewis’ last game as coach.
Score: 34-28 Pittsburgh
Sunday: Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
Two black quarterbacks. Two great running backs. Two good defenses. For a second you thought I was going to re-create the Jay-Z classic Twenty two twos but nah. Minnesota has the pleasure of playing the hottest quarterback since December in Russell Wilson and with the possibility of Marshawn Lynch coming back, how will Minnesota responded. They were 1 second away last night of losing to the Packers now you’re facing a team that just beat the number two seed which are the Arizona Cardinals by 30. Adrian Peterson must go beast mode-see what I did there in order to make this game close. I’m talking at least 150 yards rushing because Minnesota must keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands so no fumbles Cordalle Patterson. Will the playoff atmosphere be too much for Teddy Bridgewater? Will Russell Wilson cool off after his hot start? I got Seattle’s experience and Russell Wilson propelling them into a matchup in the divisional round.
Score: 31-14 Seattle
Green Bay vs. Washington Redskins
“You like that”, Redskins fans as you not only made the playoffs but you have a home game. I can only imagine how lit DC will be Sunday afternoon. I wonder how crazy Stadium is going to be after the game. At one point the Packers were 6-0 but a 4-6 ending has put them in danger of an early exit. Shout out to Richard Rodgers because if it wasn’t for his Hail Mary catch I don’t think the Packers make the playoffs. For some odd reason, I think Aaron Rodgers will do a discount double check and have a chip on his shoulders as he goes into the house that Darrell Green built. It’s like the football gods pulled a Freaky Friday move on Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers. I’m waiting for Cousins to rip his face off and it’s really Aaron Rodgers and vice versa. I see coaching and special teams as the biggest variables in this matchup as we have an experienced playoff coach in McCarthy going up against a novice in Gruden. Will the hype get to the Redskins? Will Green Bay turn things around? Even though Washington is slightly favored, I have Aaron Rodgers re-emerging as the baaaaaaaaaaddd man that we are accustomed to seeing and DC will be in an uproar.
Score: 35-31 Green Bay