Divisional Round Breakdown

Impulses of inferior hearts will come to attest this weekend in the NFL?s division round. With four teams left in each conference, each team is taking this ride as their chance. Two of those teams in each conference will concede a loss, and take it as a tough lesson learned. No one realizes the true ride that each team is living right now. A successful adventure will link their team and teammates together forever. No matter if they?re a rookie, a transition athlete, or on the brink of retiring, their enchanted run will mystify NFL Films highlights for years to come. From way back in mini-camp each team?s goal is to reach the Super Bowl. Piece by piece, these eight teams have almost completed their puzzle. The question is will a team?s puzzle be two or three pieces short?


NY Jets vs. Pittsburgh
All of the excitement of the wild card weekend?s high scoring affair will come down from the top floor for a moment. The Jets and Steelers are at their best when they control the clock, and let their defense win games. It wouldn?t be a shocker to see both teams have 35 or more carries on the ground, and only 15-20 passes throwing. You?re probably thinking twenty passes is a legitimate standard for a quarterback. Well, take a look at Daunte Culpepper, Marc Bulger, Peyton Manning, etc. that are throwing the ball 35-40 times a game. The Jets proved that their veteran experience will help their profile, but a one-week extension doesn?t mean anything. Chad Pennington will need to continue with his precision accuracy and utilize his speedsters down the sideline. It?ll open up for him, but will he be able to make the throws? On Pittsburgh?s side, Bill Cowher has the upper hand of almost any coach when it comes to playoff preparation. His team should be ready, and the fans know how to represent their team to the fullest. It?ll be a war, but in the end the Steelers will prove why they are 15-1.

Indianapolis vs. New England
Manning has been able to do everything in his brief career besides defeat New England and win a Super Bowl. He has his eyes on adding both to his resume in the next month. It?s a feat that should happen, because no team has the arsenal to stop Indianapolis. Manning is in such an ozone atmosphere with three great receivers. He can throw darts all over the field with bull?s eye accuracy, without having to concentrate on that red spot. Come on, does New England honestly think Troy Brown can fill in the secondary against this team? He may have had three interceptions in the season, but two of them were from being in the right spot at the right time. With Ty Law and Ty Poole out this is one of those overthrowing the king games in the making. Tom Brady will need to display how great he really is, because he?ll need to stay neck and neck with this Colts team. Is Brady going to end up the same route Kurt Warner did, or will he keep it going?


Minnesota vs. Philadelphia
Forget about Moss?s spotlight stage acts. Daunte Culpepper is benefiting from Moss?s acts by pulling off a compelling quiet starring role. Every other NFL playoff team has the attention and pressure all on the quarterback except Minnesota. Culpepper is able to be at ease, with the media trying to make Moss a Dennis Rodman type spokesman. Just weigh the scale of pressure for both Culpepper and McNabb, and it?d be at least 80 percent on McNabb?s side. McNabb and the Eagles have been hearing about how the NFC is anybody?s game, and guess what happened in the wild card round? Both road teams went in and upset the home team. Minnesota even did it with ease, and now the Eagles have to center their focus on how to score points. It?s rather easy to depict this game. The only way Philadelphia can win this game is if Culpepper has a horrendous day. He has had a great season all year long, and envisioning that stopping this week is only a probability if Moss?s ankle limits his big play potential.

St. Louis vs. Atlanta
Many would have expected both of these teams to meet in the playoffs in a reversal of seedings. Instead the Rams played below expectations, and the Falcons overachieved. Either way both are talented teams with x-factors on their sides. If Dick Vitale were able to do a ranking of his special players, they?d be filled with a few from both sides. The bad thing with that, is when your impact players aren?t performing their best it results in a bad loss. St. Louis has more big play stars, and in the end I think that?ll be too much for just Michael Vick. He does have a 100 million dollar contract though, which proves he should be able to matchup multiple athletes.


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