Our Big NFL Playoff Predictions

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Nah. But I will take him to task for slipping his all-purpose rant about college football into a post about the NFL.

First, let's relax about the Giants. The rush for that bandwagon this week looked like a Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart. News flash: Pierre-Paul is not Michael Strahan. Newsier flash: Aaron Rodgers isn't Brett Favre. Rodgers definitely isn't the "chuck it because I'm going to the Vikings" Favre of 2008, who went 19-of-35 with two (horrible) picks in Ice Bowl 2.0. Figure the Pack to pull away in the third quarter. Call it, oh, 28-17.

As someone who predicted that Houston would miss the playoffs, I shouldn't talk about the Texans game in Baltimore. That won't stop me, though.

If this was really a battle of Rice against Foster, Texas would have a shot. But it's Rice against the Texans' run defense, and Ray ran for 161 yards when the two teams played earlier this season. Baltimore rolls, 17-9.  Free watches for everybody!

Before we get to the main course, a note about the NFC West. Jake, if you think the playing surface in San Francisco will slow the Saints' pass-happy juggernaut, you're the one who's on grass. (Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I'll be here all week.)  N'Orluns scores early and often for a 35-17 snooze-fest.

Tebow is a joy unto the league for a lot of reasons.  First, the hype is just plain fun. Like the mind-blowing incongruity of Playboy Playmates "Tebowing". Or the big smoke ring over Mile High that people called a "halo." Come on. That's good stuff. We could be talking about Michael Vick.

One of the things that makes Tebow so entertaining is that people love bashing him. For me, his success despite his famously ugly mechanics proves that the know-it-alls in NFL front offices don't know it all. His frantic, dramatic style is a wildly refreshing change from the surgical sterility of the "pure" pocket passer. I've a friend here in K.C. , though, who squirms every time Tebow makes a play. He swears Tyler Thigpen has a better arm.

Maybe.

But people don't believe Tyler Thigpen is going to win on a last-minute play. For whatever reason, Tebow inspires hope. He inspires his teammates to focus, fight fatigue, be less selfish, and believe that good things will happen. "Positive visualization," to be New Age-y about it. In a league where a few tenths of a second separate the best from the worst, that can be enough. Even without divine intervention.

Still, does anyone (outside of Colorado) really think Denver will play David to Boston's Goliath? Surely, no sane human would pick Denver over mighty Boston? How should I know? And don't call me "Shirley." My prediction is for Denver to lose by a score of, say 66-6. My hope, however, is that I'm wrong. My hope is that Tebow wins, and we get to have this whole conversation again next week.

–Hampton

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Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

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