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And then there were 12

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The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, and three of the four Wild Card games this weekend are rematches from Week 17. Talk about instant turnarounds! Let's look at the seedings in each conference first:

AFC:

1. Indianapolis
2. San Diego
3. New England
4. Cincinnati
5. New York Jets
6. Baltimore

NFC:

1. New Orleans
2. Minnesota
3. Dallas
4. Arizona
5. Green Bay
6. Philadelphia

One big question come Saturday is whether or not any momentum gained the previous week can be sustained. I don't really think that's the case.

AFC: Cincinnati over Jets
Baltimore over New England

Yes, there will be an upset in the 1st round. The Patriots lost Wes Welker for the season with a knee injury vs. Houston, and that means the Ravens defense will double-team Randy Moss, because after Moss & Welker, who do the Pats have as a go-to receiver? Jabar Gaffney, who was clutch 2 years ago, is not there now. The Bengals, like the Colts a week earlier, conceded to the Jets by resting their starters, and got 0 out of Chad Ochocinco. That won't be the case when they return to Ohio.

NFC: Dallas over Philadelphia
Green Bay over Arizona

They say familiarity breeds contempt. The familiarity of playing two games in a row on the same field won't change the results. The Eagles saw their 6 game win streak snapped in Arlington vs. the resurgent Cowboys, and their luck isn't going to change in 6 days. Arizona has been hot & cold the last few weeks, and, knowing they were locked into the 4 slot, played like they were a lower seed in getting thumped. They're not going to sneak up on anyone this time. One and done.

Divisional round:

AFC: Indianapolis over Baltimore
San Diego over Cincinnati
NFC: Green Bay over New Orleans
Minnesota over Dallas

Conference Championships:

AFC: Indianapolis over San Diego
NFC: Minnesota over Green Bay

Super Bowl: Minnesota over Indianapolis. Brett Favre gets one more ring, then starts the whole drama about retiring/not retiring. Again.

We'll see if I'm right about a month from now.
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