New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts
Last week I didn’t think the Jets had a prayer of beating San Diego in San Diego. The Chargers were the hottest team going into the playoffs but fell as flat as doughy pancake run over by steamroller. The Colts, on the other hand, didn’t exactly look like world beaters against the Ravens. They did play great defense, and Baltimore just could not get anything done.
The Jets are a team that is built to beat the Colts. They have a good running game, a very good offensive line, and can run the ball on the Colts. And they have the number one defense in the league. Cornerback Darrelle Revis has already proven he can take the Colts best receiver, Reggie Wayne, out of the game. And I said the same thing when they beat the Colts earlier in the season, albeit they did it with most of the Colts starters sitting on the bench in the second half.
And that’s the rub. The Jets were losing before backup quarterback Curtis Painter, the rookie from Purdue, stepped in and looked lost, giving the game away to the Jets. And the Jets biggest weakness is, despite their great defense and good running game, at some point against an offense as potent as the Colts, they are going to have to get the ball down the field occasionally. And frankly, they have not shown the ability to do that this year.
With that weakness and Peyton Manning in the lineup the entire game, I think the Colts are on their way to the Super Bowl. Indianapolis Colts.
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
This game should be wildly entertaining. I hope it is as entertaining as the game they played last year in the regular season that the Vikings barely won.
The Vikings and the Saints have great, great offenses. I think they are almost equal in offensive potency. Drew Brees probably has more weapons in the passing game, and they have the X factor in Reggie Bush, who turned it on last week. And Favre will either throw six interceptions or six touchdown passes. He has a tendency to melt down in the playoffs. But I am leaning toward a great game by Favre. He has played very controlled and less reckless than in the past. And he has a two good running backs behind him.
And both defenses have been very solid this year (although the Saints had down period because of injuries).
I have a very hard time choosing who is going to win this game. The Saints are at home with what will definitely be a loud, raucous crowd. But guess what? I think the Vikings defense is the key to the game. They simply are better than the Saints defense and their defensive ends, Ray Edwards and Jared Allen, could really exploit the Saints tackles, who frankly are not that great.
My gut tells me the Vikings are going to pull this one out in a wild one. And that is who I am going with. Minnesota Vikings.