NFL Picks: The league needs to change its playoff format
Published 9:11 am Friday, January 3, 2014
As we enter the NFL playoffs this weekend, one thing stands clear. Three is no way the Packers and Eagles should be hosting playoff games.
The Eagles, who are 10-6, will be hosting the 11-5 Saints and the Packers, who squeaked into the playoffs at 8-7-1 are hosting the 49ers, who are 12-4 and played in the Super Bowl last season. San Francisco shouldn’t be punished for playing in a tough division and it should actually be the No. 3 seed, no the No. 5 seed.
Of course neither of these teams have as big a complaint as the Arizona Cardinals, who are watching the playoffs, despite going 10-6. As bad as it is for the Cardinals, I agree with letting division champs get into the postseason. It makes things more exciting at the end of the year and it makes division rivalries grow.
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However, the NFL could easily fix the seeding problem by simply having the team with the better record host every playoff matchup. It would make things right.
Here are the picks:
Kansas City at Indianapolis
I don’t want to knock the Chiefs because they have played very well on both sides of the ball at times this season and Jamaal Charles carried my fantasy football team to a title; but I’m not sure KC has a postseason run in it. The Chiefs just don’t have that many wins that stand out on their schedule and I don’t have total confidence in them.
The Colts have a surprisingly good defense and Andrew Luck is the real of the deal. After just two years in the league he’s mastered the art of the comeback and he can make plays with his feet as well as throw a nice deep ball.
COLTS 27, CHIEFS 23
New Orleans at New Orleans
I want to say the Saints’ high-powered offense will come into Philly and expose the Eagles’ weak secondary, but Drew Brees is not the same quarterback outside of the dome. The Saints were 8-0 at home this season and just 3-5 on the road. That’s not good.
The Eagles have a ground game that can eat up a lot of clock and control the pace and Nick Foles proved he can win a big game last week when the Eagles topped the Cowboys in a must-win situation.
EAGLES 31, SAINTS 28
San Diego at Cincinnati
This game would’ve been a lot more interesting if the Steelers would’ve made the playoffs. I don’t see the Chargers putting up any fight. San Diego has won lately because it has established a running game, but the Bengals will shut the ground game down and Phillip Rivers will be running for his life.
BENGALS 24, CHARGERS 13
San Francisco at Green Bay
Last week’s Packer win over the Bears was one for the ages. When Aaron Rodgers hit Randall Cobb on 4th and 8 for a game-winning 47-yard TD after both players hadn’t played in at least 7 weeks, I couldn’t help but think the Packers a team of destiny. But the Packer defense has been a nightmare this season and San Francisco is really good.
Green Bay’s defense struggles against physical teams and the cold weather could actually help San Francisco pound the ball between the tackles.
I do believe in miracles, but I’m not sure the Packers can pull of their third one in the last four weeks.
49ERS 41, PACKERS 31
Last week: 13-3; overall: 152-97