Guaranteed between 0-100% accurate!
- Washington v. Seattle. The Seahawks are a little tough to evaluate because their schedule was so bad, but since they’ve won 3 playoff games in two years I’m not terribly worried about it. I know the Redskins are motivated by tragedy, but it’s hard to win in Seattle and I think Seattle’s pass rush will turn the 36 year-old Cinderella back into a pumpkin. Seattle (-3)
- Jacksonville v. Pittsburgh. I’m strongly disposed to take any points the Steelers are getting at Heinz, and generally reject “momentum” (cf. above.) In this case, however, the momentum has a good reason; the Steelers seem to be pulling fans out of the stands to play on their offensive line, which is going to be a serious problem against the Jags. And Gerrard has quietly turned in an outstanding season. Jacksonville (-2 1/2)
- Giants v. Tampa Bay. Giants fans seem really confident about this, for reasons that escape me. I don’t read much into the Giants’ small-sample road record this year, and still think it will be tough to win a playoff game on the road. And it’s not just that Jeff Garcia is a much better QB even at 37 than Eli “But I’m Related To Famous Quarterbacks! Really!” Manning, but that Tampa Bay’s secondary will largely take away Manning’s one NFL skill (his ability to throw a deep ball) and demands low-mistake, precision passing (which is a problem because Manning doesn’t have that game.) Tampa (-3)
- Tennessee v. San Diego. Straight up, I think the talent differential between the teams is beyond the reach of even Norv Turner to fuck up. But I think the Titan defense will make this a little closer than most people expect. Tennessee (+10)