Tag Archives: indianapolis colts

I Predict a Riot

The NFL playoffs are here.  I was thinking about what I should write for my final non-“what did I learn here?” post of the year, and I thought playoff predictions would be perfect.  I’ve done it throughout the year, and I have to make them anyway, so why not?

I’ll give my predictions for each round of the playoffs, along with a score for no good reason.  I’d like to tell you all that I usually do pretty well in my annual playoff pick ’em, but that would be a lie.

One thing I know will be true, though: these should be some really good games.


#6 San Diego Chargers at #3 Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals are a really good home team, while the Chargers got into the playoffs despite needing about 38 different things to happen.  Yet, for some reason, I sense a Chargers upset here.  Why?  Well, there is a quirky little thing involving the team that plays the Philadelphia Eagles in the Eagles’ home opener: in each of the last three seasons, that team has won the Super Bowl.  That team has also lost to Washington and defeated Dallas and the New York Giants.  Only one team meets that standard in 2013: San Diego.

Chargers 23, Bengals 21

#5 Kansas City Chiefs at #4 Indianapolis Colts – These two met a couple weeks ago, and the Colts cruised.  The Chiefs started the season 9-0, then lost four of the next six.  With their seed locked in before Week 17, they sent their reserves out onto the field and almost (maybe should have) beat the Chargers.  Of course, those guys won’t be playing in this game.

Colts 20, Chiefs 16


#6 New Orleans Saints at #3 Philadelphia Eagles – Yes, I’m a homer.  But Drew Brees and the Saints really struggle on the road, and this game will be played on a Saturday night with a raucous (read: probably drunk) crowd and temperatures in the 20s.  There may be snow on the ground from a storm earlier in the week.  Just saying.

Eagles 35, Saints 31

#5 San Francisco 49ers at #4 Green Bay Packers – The 49ers went 12-4 this year.  The Packers went 8-7-1.  However, because the Packers won their division, they get to host this game.  That seems unfair, but hey, the Saints won one more game than the Eagles and they have to go on the road as well.  Normally I would look at how good the 49ers are and say it doesn’t matter, but Aaron Rodgers returned from a broken collarbone in Week 17 and threw a game-winning touchdown pass to put Green Bay into the tournament, and if there’s anyone who can swing a game like this, it’s Rodgers.  But he won’t.

49ers 24, Packers 13


#6 San Diego Chargers at #1 Denver Broncos –  I just have one thing to say about this game: the Chargers beat the Broncos a few weeks back.  It won’t happen again.

Broncos 42, Chargers 20

#4 Indianapolis Colts at #2 New England Patriots – These two franchises used to meet in the playoffs all the time, but while Tom Brady still runs the show in New England, it’s Andrew Luck at the helm of the Colts offense.  I want to pick an upset here, but I don’t see it.  Not in what will surely be a night game in Foxboro.

Patriots 28, Colts 20


#5 San Francisco 49ers at #1 Seattle Seahawks – This could be the best game of the entire playoffs.  Divisional rivals that really don’t like each other, they split their two games this season, with each team team winning at home.  The Seahawks have the best home-field advantage in the league, maybe even all of sports, and that will be the difference here.  Make sure you watch this one.

Seahawks 17, 49ers 14

#3 Philadelphia Eagles at #2 Carolina Panthers – It’s strength against strength if these two get together, as the Eagles’ dynamic offense battles the Panthers’ stalwart defense.  On the other side of the ball, while Cam Newton is tough to handle, the Panthers have struggled on offense at times, and are hoping Steve Smith returns from a knee injury in time for the game.  If he doesn’t, I don’t think the Panthers will win.  If he does…I still don’t think they win.  Yes, I’m a homer.

Eagles 26, Panthers 17


#2 New England Patriots at #1 Denver Broncos – Ah, there it is.  Manning vs, Brady, Episode #3,907.  The Patriots seem to be missing all of their key guys, but keep winning.  You expect the shoe to drop at some point, and this is that point.

Broncos 34, Patriots 24


#3 Philadelphia Eagles at #1 Seattle Seahawks – I know the Seahawks don’t lose at home.  Except they did, just last Sunday, to the Arizona Cardinals.  And that’s with Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer throwing four interceptions.  How do you pick a guy off four times and lose?  Nick Foles won’t throw four interceptions.  And the Eagles also have LeSean McCoy, who led the league in rushing yards.  Add in that the Seahawks have a weakened offensive line, and don’t really have a healthy playmaking receiver to capitalize on the Eagles’ weak pass defense…it doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it?

Seahawks 23, Eagles 20 (OT)

(I’m a homer, but I also know how to hedge my bets.)


Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks – It’s going to be cold in New York, er, New Jersey, on Super Bowl Sunday.  That might be a factor.  It might not.  Look, I don’t know, and I don’t know why you’re still reading this after I tried to talk you into the Eagles winning in Seattle.

Broncos 27, Seahawks 13

Enjoy the playoffs!


Cleveland Rocks

Last week, the Cleveland Browns traded their “franchise” running back, Trent Richardson, to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round draft pick in 2014.  Trades are rare in the NFL, and trades involving a player who was drafted third overall just 17 months earlier are rarer still, so this made for big news.

Browns fans were understandably upset.  They have a new coach, new general manager, new team president, and new ownership, and the first major thing the new braintrust did was send out the one guy the fans were optimistic about.

However, you probably noticed that I put the word “franchise” in quotes in the first sentence.  I did that because, well, we just don’t know how good Trent Richardson is or isn’t.  Add in the fact that he’s already had injury concerns, and that running backs have notoriously shorter careers than players at other positions, which depresses their value, and it’s tough to say right now who “won” this trade.

I like it for Cleveland.  Even if Richardson goes on to a Hall of Fame career in Indianapolis, the Browns have too many problems, the biggest one being at quarterback.  Brandon Weeden isn’t the answer, but a guy they can draft next season might be.  Getting a first round pick for a running back is considered a huge haul, and now it’s up to Cleveland to make sure they cash it in correctly.

More than anything, it’s a philosophical switch.  In basketball, you can’t be mediocre; you either have to be an elite team to contend for the title, or an awful team that can get a high pick to bring in stud players through the draft.  In baseball, bad teams draft high every year; they stockpile and develop talent and hope it works out for them, a la the Washington Nationals last year (and, if I might, the Phillies of the late 2000s and early 2010s).  In the NHL…well, I don’t care about the NHL.  The NFL, however, is full of parity, and every year we see teams go from 4-12 to division champions, so everyone is loathe to blow things up and start from scratch.  Well, the Browns have done it.  Or, at the very least, signaled that they’re not afraid to.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Richardson had 13 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown.  Ahmad Bradshaw had 19 carries for 95 yards and a score as the Colts knocked off the San Francisco 49ers.  It’s just one game, and Richardson had less than a week of practice in the offense, but still.

And of course, in week 1 A.T.T. (After The Trade), the Browns lost by four touchdowns.  Wait, no, they beat the Vikings, 31-27.

Who knows?  The Browns may have shot themselves in the foot after all.