Our Big NFL Playoff Predictions

Of course I'll make some predictions, Patrick. But first I think you're overlooking the real team of destiny here—the New York Football Giants.

Sure, Tebow's great in a completely inexplicable way. But so, to some degree, is Gaga, or Four Loko. And while Denver has proven to be gangbusters at winning low- to medium-scoring, tightly played games, that won't fly in Foxboro against a loaded Pats squad that hung 41 on Denver earlier this year—in the mile-high air, no less. New England 38, Denver 24, Tebowings by Tebow 3, Brady touchdowns 4.

The Giants, meanwhile, shellacked a perfectly slightly-above-average Falcons team and have their troika of defensive line stars—Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and JASON PIERRE-PAUL—healthy for the first time all season. They lost to the best team in football 38-35 in the regular season and now get a rematch in the playoffs. They were written off as recently as Week 15. And they're headed to Lambeau Field for a postseason game. Any of that sound familiar? Sub in Michael Strahan for JPP and you've got a carbon copy of the 2007-08 team that shook up the world in Super Bowl XLII. Giants 23, Packers 20 (yes I'm aware that's the same score as the '08 NFC championship game—what of it?).

As for the other games, I agree that Saints-Niners is the most compelling matchup of the weekend. Drew Brees has indeed been unstoppable this year—his season is certainly in the top four QB campaigns in NFL history—but he'll be on the road, outside and on grass, a point no one seems to be making that could be the key to the game. And he'll go against the old-school 49ers, who look more and more like a poor man's '85 Bears. Niners 24, Saints 21.

Oh yeah, the Baltimore-Houston game. Whatever. Enjoy the elite running-back matchup of Ray Rice and Arian Foster and close your eyes and think of England for the rest. Ravens 16, Texans 10.

Where do you stand on this weekend, Hampton? And would you please take Patrick to task for wimping out on making predictions?

–Jake

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Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

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