Thursday, January 10, 2008

Divisional Playoffs: The Difference Makers

So this is a quick post looking at the playoff matchups this weekend while highlighting the "difference-maker" for each team. I believe that if the "difference-maker" has a big game then more than likely that team will win the game. That is no guarantee of course.

Seattle vs. Green Bay
I think Green Bay will win this game but here are the difference makers.
Green Bay-Ryan Grant
Simply put if Grant has a good game that should allow Favre to take command of the game and do what he does best.
Seattle-Patrick Kearney
If he gets into Brett Favre's face and puts on severe pressure then Green Bay could be challenged in this game.

New York vs. Dallas
I'm going with Dallas on this one, but don't count out Miracle Eli.
Dallas-Marion Barber/Julius Jones
Both of the RBs of Dallas will need to establish the run and force the Giants to account for the run so that pressure is light on Romo and he can go through his progressions.
New York-Eli Manning
This game could go New York's way if Eli the stud shows up, but if Eli the dud comes to the game well you can count New York out. Perhaps no team is so dependent upon the performance of their QB or lack of performance like the Giants of New York.

San Diego vs. Indianapolis
I really think Indy should walk away with this game, but well I can never count out San Diego.
Indianapolis-Dallas Clark
I really think Dallas Clark is going to have to win the battle over the linebackers and secondary guys he faces. But they have Peyton Manning so it might not matter.
San Diego-Philip Rivers
Last time these two teams met, Peyton Manning self-destructed and Indy still should have won the game. This time in order for San Diego to win, Rivers is going to have to bring his A game and connect with his WRs and LT.

Jacksonville vs. New England
This game is the one I am looking forward to the most this weekend. I am hoping it is a true battle.
New England-Wes Welker
We all know New England is going to pass, and we all know there are going to be bombs to Moss. However, the key to this matchup will be how well Welker is able to attack the middle of that defense and move the chains.
Jacksonville-Maurice Jones-Drew
We all know Fred Taylor has had a spectacular season, but MJD is the key to this weeks matchup. Not so much for his role in the running offense, but rather in his role as kick returner and receiving back. If MJD gives Jacksonville consistent good field position and then gets 1-3 good pass receptions of 10+yards then Jacksonville very well could give the Patriots their first "L" of the season.

So there you have it. Those are my highlights of this weekend's games. What do you think? Other ideas about who the difference makers are? Shout them out.


  1. Anonymous10:28 AM

    For the Packer game I actually think Greg Jennings and Branch/Engram are big for both teams. Packers need Jennings to have a big game in order for Brett to have a big game--Donald Driver has never had a good play off game so they need other players to step up. This year Jennings has been a clutch/big play player and he needs to raise his game even more. Defensively Packers success depends alot on how well Harris and Woodson are able to defend Branch and Engram. Both Branch and Engram strike me was very solid players who make big plays in big games. Branch is the biggest key--he's a very good and underrated player. His time in New England showed he elevates his play in big contests.

    I have no real interest in the other games.

  2. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Holy Hitter, I would add Hasselbeck of Seattle and Vinateri of Indiannapolis, haunted by past poor games against this weekend's opponents. How vengeful are these two Christians? ha-ha. (I think Hasselbeck is, and I'm pretty sure Vinateri is). That will decide those games.

  3. Anonymous12:26 PM

    i should also get it out there that i don't see the pats winning by less than 15 and the cowboys have no chance of losing. just thought i'd get the predictions out there since i see a lot of upset picks.

    in those games it is clearly the star power of dallas and ne that make them almost unbeatable this week. eli and jacksonville are overrated.