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Muscle Sport Magazine

MSM’s NFL Playoff Picks – All the Way to SB XLIII

How It Will End Up Manning vs. Manning in Tampa

It all kicks off Saturday afternoon in the desert. The NFL playoffs are always a must-see (even if my Jets did the unthinkable and blow a two-game division lead). Here we go with our picks that will bring you into February (winners in CAPS):

WILD CARD ROUND
SATURDAY JANUARY 3

Atlanta at Arizona
Indianapolis at San Diego

SUNDAY JANUARY 4
Baltimore at Miami
Philadelphia at Minnesota

DIVISIONAL ROUND
SATURDAY JANUARY 10
Indianapolis at Tennessee
Arizona at Carolina

SUNDAY JANUARY 11
Philadelphia at NY Giants
Miami at Pittsburgh

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
SUNDAY JANUARY 18
Carolina at NY Giants
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

SUPER BOWL XLIII – TAMPA
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 1
Indianapolis (at) NY Giants

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Some may say I’m out of my mind to be picking the Colts to make the big game, but I’ll explain round-by-round why I went this way.

In the wild card games, the Falcons’ ride will come to an end, although it will be a dogfight. The savvy veteran (Kurt Warner) will come through in the end over the rookie (Matt Ryan), who has had a tremendous season.

The Chargers may have spent a lot of energy by coming all the way back to win the weak AFC West and have some important players banged up. The Colts, with 2008 NFL MVP Peyton Manning, have been hot since a slow start and their postseason experience will make a difference here.

Another game with a veteran QB in Chad Pennington and a rookie (Joe Flacco) will possibly come down to the last drive. Put your money on the guy who has been there before.

Although they are at home, it’s hard for me to take the Vikes serious with Tavaris Jackson behind center. The Birds have played well down the stretch and surprised everyone, including themselves, to make the dance. Another close one with the Eagles surviving.

Indy comes into Tennessee and I think will play extremely well. Will the glass slipper finally fall off Kerry Collins? A high scoring affair with Manning pulling it out, possibly easier than some expect.

Carolina sends Arizona home in a laugher. I’ll eat my shoe if the Cards even make a game of this.

Philly may give the Giants a good game (and the last team the G-Men probably want to see), but when it’s said and done, Big Blue will clip their wings. By the fourth quarter, it will be all Giants.

The Steelers and their vaunted defense will shut down the Wildcat, and Pennington will be running for his life. Not a close game.

A rematch of the best game during the regular season will take place at Giants Stadium in the NFC Championship Game. The Panthers blew a lead and lost in overtime in Week 16, but will not see either this time around. The Giants will take and hold the lead and not require a Brandon Jacobs TD in the extra period to pack their bags for Florida.

What may be an instant classic, it will be the Steelers’ defense versus the Colts’ offense and the possible bad weather will make it even more picturesque. Going out on a limb, I have to go with the Colts and feel that the Steelers will not score nearly enough points, even at home with a big crowd behind them. Manning follows up his little brother and packs some suntan lotion for the next game.

How insane will the two weekd leading up to this game be with all the sub-plots? Brother versus brother; last two SB MVPs; who is better? Unfortunately, this game will not come down to the shoot-out that everyone picking the over hopes for. The Giants defense and rushing attack will shine and Brandon Jacobs will take home the game MVP trophy in a 24-13 Giants victory.

One Comment

  1. Joe Pietaro

    January 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    OK – so I went 2-2. I was right on the money with Arizona and Philly. Warner played well and Tavaris Jackson looked awful.

    Losing in OT, the Colts didn’t exactly play badly, but needed a big stop twice and their defense couldn’t do it. The Chargers are on a high right now and are dangerous.

    I was way off on the Balt-Mia game. Chad played like the scared rookie and Flacco was unflappable. That Raven defense – especially Reed – was lights out as usual.

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