2010 NFL Playoffs Wild Card Games 1/8/2011
#5 New Orleans Saints (11-5) (-10, o/u 45.5) at #4 Seattle Seahawks (7-9); 16:30 NBC. New Orleans is the defending Super Bowl champion while the Seattle became the first division winner with a losing record. Because of the NFL's playoff format, division winnners get home field advantage over wild card teams, which is why this game is being played in Seattle rather than in New Orleans. The Saints are obviously the better team, and have beaten the Seahawks already this season in Week 11 34-19. That game was played in New Orleans. Playing outdoors for a dome team is tough and Q-West Field is one of the loudest outdoor venues in the league. The Saints are hurting at RB but QB Drew Brees and the Saints have superior WRs. Seattle has QB Matt Hasselbeck back after missing the Week 17 playoff clinching victory over the St. Louis Rams. Hasselbeck has great career numbers vs. New Orleans. The winner of this game will play either at Atlanta or at Chicago, depending on the result of the Packers @ Eagles game tomorrow. Seattle, playing at home, will make it a close game for three quarters but the Saints will pull away in the 4th Quarter.
MY PREDICTION: New Orleans Saints 30, @ Seattle Seahawks 17
ACTUAL RESULT: @ Seattle Seahawks 41, New Orleans Saints 36
#6 New York Jets (11-5) at #3 Indianapolis Colts (10-6) (-2.5 o/u 44.5); 20:00 NBC. These two teams did not play each other in the regular season. The Colts defeated the Jets in last season's AFC Championship game. Jets coach Rex Ryan is 1-5 vs. Peyton Manning's teams and has said that this week is personal. The one win Ryan has came late last season, when the Colts were resting most of their starters. That won't be the case tonight. Ryan is bold and outspoken and, while the media loves him for his mouth, he needs to shut-up. Jets QB Mark Sanchez played sparingly in the Week 17 win over Buffalo, not throwing a pass and resting his sore shoulder. The defending AFC Champion Colts have been decimated by injuries to key players on offense and defense and needed a four game winning streak at the end of the season to qualify for the playoffs for an NFL record tying ninth straight season. The Colts have been running the ball better of late and the Jets running game has struggled late in the season. If the Jets win, they play at New England next Sunday. If the Colts win, they will play at Pittsburgh next Saturday. I'd be crazy not to pick Peyton Manning at home in the playoffs.
MY PREDICTION: @ Indianapolis 24, New York Jets 16
ACTUAL RESULT: New York Jets 17, @ Indianapolis Colts 16