6 teams remain as we await the final two games of the Divisional Round.
With both wildcard teams coming out victorious last night the road team has now extended their successful record to 4-2 so far in this postseason. Will the road teams continue their success today? Lets Get To The Picks. 4-2 so far in the playoffs, after an awful prediction on the Arizona Carolina game. Lets get some winners today.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT NEW YORK GIANTS -4
PHILADELPHIA NEEDS TO: win the battle at the line. Plaxico has been known to do a number on the Eagles, but his absence gives Philly that extra bit of confidence and freedom with the safety to slow the Giants offense. The Eagles need to convert on 3rd and short. This weakness is well recognized nowadays, but Philly seems to be doing nothing to fix this problem. They need to pound Eckel more on short yardage or maybe hit the tight end with a short pass over the middle because teams key in on Westbrook on these vital plays. When in the redzone Philly needs to stop settling for field goals. This is the difference between winning and losing in the playoffs, and vs a team that’s just as good or even better then them, constant field goals can lead to elimination. Philly has done a great job preventing the Giants from getting to McNabb and if they do pressure him McNabb has done his normal escaping act out of the pocket. The O Line needs to continue this shutout they have over the Giants pass rush and when they do send the blitz, that’s where Philly can take advantage, by hitting Westbrook in space or launching deep for Desean Jackson. The defense needs to stop the Giants running game (especially on 1st down). If they can force 3rd and longs and force the Giants to be one dimensional they are bound to succeed as the Giants don’t have the players to succeed in the passing game in these situations.
NEW YORK NEEDS TO: get production from the passing game. Yes, this all does depend on the success of their running game; as that’s what makes this offense go, but I just cant see the Giants winning without a game from Toomer or Hixon. If the O Line plays as it did for 85% of the year a Super Bowl appearance is almost guaranteed. The Giants also have to do the obvious in containing the Giant killer Brian Westbrook. If they prevent his big plays, the Giants are sure to come out victorious.
PREDICTION: This game will be as tough and tight as most expect, as these NFC East matchups are classic. Both teams will do respectable jobs stopping the others running attack. But Eli will convert the big third and shorts in opposing territory, as the Eagles will continue to stumble in these situations. Look for the redzone performances and the home field advantage to be the difference here. New York 23-17.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS –6
SAN DIEGO NEEDS TO: get to Big Ben and force him to turn the ball over. The defense needs to keep up with the Pittsburgh defense and do an excellent job in the redzone like they did in the regular season matchup. On offense Rivers needs to be protected and the wide receivers need to make big plays. Vinny Jackson was a no show last week and with a banged up Gates this cant happen again. Chambers needs to take advantage of his size in the redzone.
PITTSBURGH NEEDS TO: stop Sproles and get Rivers on the move. The physical Pittsburgh defense will have that nasty field surface to their advantage when trying to track down Sproles, and their ability to get to Quarterbacks will throw this SD offense out of whack. They will win the turnover battle thanks to their defense. On offense Pitt needs to beat San Diego with their balance. Indy was one-dimensional; Pitt can’t be, as they have the weapons to succeed in both the run and the pass.
PREDICTION: This game is in the Steel City and with the weather and muck and overall environment in place it’s going to be extremely tough to beat Pittsburgh. I see the Pittsburgh defense being way to physical and disruptive for the San Diego offense today. Sproles wont have a good surface to maneuver his shiftiness to full effect, and Big Ben will protect the ball for the most part, and the defense will do the rest. Pittsburgh 23-13.