View Full Version : Profootballtalk nails the playoff games..

01-09-2006, 08:24 AM


On Saturday, we were convinced that the 'Skins and Patriots would prevail in their respective first-round playoff games. We're not quire sure why we didn't say so in this here space, and we don't really expect anyone to believe us now.

So let's look at the other two wild card games, even though we're less certain about the Sunday games than we were about the Saturday duo.

First, we think the Giants will knock off the Panthers in the early contest. Carolina will focus on Tiki Barber, opening up the passing game for Eli Manning, who'll find plenty of open guys. And despite a banged-up linebacking corps, the Giants defense is strong enough to hold the Panthers offense in check. New York wins, 21-16.

In the second game, we were convinced a couple of weeks ago that the Steelers would win the looming rubber match in Cincy. But too many other people think that way too, and we believe that the resulting jolt of disrespect is all that coach Marvin Lewis will need to get his guys ready to knock off the Steelers.

Three point underdog at home to the team they beat a month ago on the road? Even we could get the 53 guys in the Bengals locker room lathered up with that one.

Then again, the Bengals have only themselves to blame for contributing to the perception that they are vulnerable. In the wake of beating the Steelers at Heinz Field, the Bengals acted as if they'd secured the division title not for 2005, but for each year of the next decade. To make matters worse, receiver Chad Johnson boldly predicted a Super Bowl appearance, and 40 points per game the rest of the way.

Since then, the Bengals are 2-2, with a narrow win over the Browns, a 41-point showing against the Lions, and then two straight losses in which they gave up 37 points in each game.

So it's no surprise that the Steelers, who have manhandled the Bears, Vikings, Browns, and Lions since losing to Cincy, is perceived as the favorite.

Still, we now think that it's just enough of a slap to wake up the Bengals and lead them to their first playoff win in 15 years. Cincinnati wins, 27-20.


Dave Lane
01-09-2006, 10:16 AM
I believe them on these predictions...


01-09-2006, 10:19 AM