Unlike last season's poor job of predicting the playoffs, I got off to a perfect start this time around, picking every game correctly. With all of my scenarios in tact going into the divisional round of the postseason, it'll be interesting to see if I can keep my hot streak going.
Although the Lions aren't a part of the playoffs and probably won't be for quite some time, I'm going to quickly recap each game from this past weekend. No matter how much it hurts to see other teams out there every January when the Lions are already packed up and at home, let's face it, the playoffs are the playoffs, and they are always entertaining.
After Seattle controlled this game for the most part, Washington came storming back quickly to erase a 13-0 deficit in the second half. After scoring two quick TDs, the Redskins had a chance to potentially put the game away after Seattle failed to recover the kickoff following Washington's second touchdown. It wasn't an onside or anything like that, but the wind shifted the ball so much that it landed away from some Seahawks players and took a bad bounce, giving Washington a chance to recover deep in Seattle territory.
This was the turning point of the game, as Washington ended up missing a field goal and got nothing from the big time Seattle miscue. With being able to breathe a sigh of relief, the Seahawks quickly went down the field and scored a TD and a 2-point conversion to take a 7-point lead. Todd Collins then threw two interceptions as Washington tried to make a comeback, and both were returned for touchdowns to put the game out of reach.
This was definitely the most entertaining game from the first round of the playoffs, and it was also the best game overall. After having an 18-point lead going into the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh stormed back to take a 29-28 lead with only a couple minutes to go. Jacksonville had one more shot to regain the lead they once held when it was 4th and 2 from around the Pittsburgh 40, and it was up to quarterback David Garrard to make something happen. Well, that is exactly what he did, as Garrard ran a QB draw. He picked up a big gain thanks to a couple of nice moves, and put the Jags in position to win the game.
After kicking a go-ahead field goal to take a 31-29 lead over the Steelers, Jacksonville needed to hold Pittsburgh for only 29 or so more seconds. It didn't even take that long for the Jaguars to come up with a stop as Ben Roethlisberger fumbled on Pittsburgh's first play of the drive, clinching the win for Jacksonville.
The Buccaneers came into this showdown with the Giants using the attitude that they would make Eli Manning be the key factor in this game. On defense, they tried to stop the run first with the idea that they would force Manning to make plays to win the game. Although the concept is a good one in theory, the plan sort of backfires when Manning plays well, and that is exactly what he did.
After the game kept going back and forth for a bit, the Giants pulled away and Tampa Bay simply ran out of time for a comeback attempt. The Giants win definitely has to feel good for Manning, who has taken a lot of heat from the media, other players, and everyone in general for being so inconsistent. Although he may have had some bad games this year, that certainly wasn't the case against Tampa Bay.
The only thing that really can be said about this game is how painful it was to watch for the most part. With so many injuries, Tennessee was at a disadvantage from the start, but managed to hold a 6-0 lead at the half. Once the game got into the second half, though, the Chargers were just too much for Vince Young and company. The playoff win is the first for the Chargers since 1994 when San Diego beat Pittsburgh to clinch a trip to the Super Bowl to get absolutely demolished by the 49ers.
The divisional round of the playoffs this coming weekend is shaping up to be very exciting. Seattle returns to Green Bay to face the Packers in the playoffs again. Jacksonville heads to New England looking to end the Pats' run at a perfect season. The Giants and Cowboys meet up in a divisional rivalry that will be continued in the playoffs. And finally, San Diego squares off against Indianapolis in what should be a game that goes down to the very last second. I'll have my picks for the divisional round up again on Friday, but if you want to know them ahead of time just go back and look at this past weekend's schedule, and I outlined my picks for this round already. Since all of my first round predictions came true, nothing will change for the second round.