NFL Playoffs

NFL Recap: The Super Bowl No One Saw Coming

This is why Kid Kap refused to put the ball anywhere near Richard Sherman all night...

And by no one, I obviously mean everyone, given that both teams were #1 seeds in their conferences. The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will meet at the Meadowlands in two weeks for Super Bowl XLVIII. Peyton Manning vs. Richard Sherman? Yes please!!!

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Championship Weekend Picks and Preview

Sunday is one of my top three, if not my top football day of the year. The quality of games is always impressive and it is all about the football. My plan is to smoke a turkey, have some brews, and enjoy two incredible games. These are the ones we all wanted to see.

Here are the picks for the NFC Championship game --- San Francisco @ Seattle

Jacqueline: San Francisco --- For weeks, even months, I thought Seattle was going to win. At the last minute I am shying away from that certainty. Maybe it is San Francisco's great play down the stretch. Perhaps it is the healthy receiving corps for San Francisco versus a concussed Percy Harvin. Even the experience and coaching arguments are pulling me in the 49er's direction. This just feels like SF is going to run away with it.

Makeda: Seattle ---  Reader poll: Last weekend, my friend turned to me during the Saints/Seahawks game and asked me who #12 was, because she saw so many Seattle fans wearing jerseys with a 12 on them. Is this something she should have known as a football fan or is it a relatively obscure fact for someone who only watches the Seahawks in prime time? In any event, as far as this weekend is concerned, I AM THE 12TH MAN!!!

Madeline: Seattle --- I absolutely hate living in San Francisco and having to hear about how the Niners are going to get their 6th ring. God, I hope not.These are the biggest fair-weather fans on the planet. They certainly do not deserve a 6th ring. Plus, I want all the news about them to stop here. There is nothing worse than living in a town when you hate their sports team. Besides, if I have to pick between Seattle and San Francisco, I pick Seattle.

Allen: San Francisco --- I say this partly to be a contrarian, but mostly because I'm just not sure Seattle is ready. Much as I love Russell Wilson, he's been shaky lately. I have complete faith in the 49ers D shutting down Marshawn Lynch. That leaves Wilson without a healthy Percy Harvin, and I think that leaves the Seahawks in trouble. It'll be close, but I'll take the 49ers.

New England @ Denver

Jacqueline: Denver --- I just can't pick the Patriots. I don't see the talent. Maybe if Aaron Hernandez breaks out of prison and treats Gronk with some illegal procedure from South America, then the Patriots would have a real shot at it. I think Denver wins and I am hoping for their victory as well.

Makeda: Denver --- I know the AFC was really weak this year, but I still can't believe the Patriots have made it to this point. This game is either going to be a Broncos blowout or a crazy nailbiter. I think it's going to be the latter and I'm not confident I'm picking the right team, but at some point, this Pats team has to choke, right? RIGHT?!

Madeline: Denver --- Passion pick. I love Peyton Manning. However, the Patriots do love keeping us on our toes and guessing. If the Patriots win, it will surprise no one.

Allen: New England --- The quarterbacks are a wash. Two of the ten greatest of all time. New England has absolutely been doing it with mirrors to get this far, but they are here, and somehow turned their running backs into Payton and Brown just in time for the playoff run. This could be the last great run for Brady and Belichick. The Broncos defense scares no one. And this most of all: can John Fox beat Belichick in a game like this? The quarterbacks are a wash. The coaching is a mismatch. Brady will be packing his Uggs, but also his cleats, for a trip to the Super Bowl.

NFL Recap: And We Soldier On

Bracket

Thanks again to Fansided for the great graphic.

Yay, four fun games where lots of things happened and all the teams I picked won! This week brought us one step closer to the Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl everyone and their mother has been predicting since the preseason, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to watch it all come together.

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Go For Two: 10 Random Thoughts - Quarterbacks Addition

1. Why does Phillip Rivers look like such a douchepod? He looks like a guy you would want to beat up in school.

2. Andrew Luck looks like a caveman. Good comeback though.

3. Colin Kaepernick sounds like he's trying to pass a kidney stone when he calls out his plays. It's distracting.

4. When it was suggested to Matt Stafford that maybe he go to a quarterback guru to help him with his footwork and improve his game -- he said he didn't need a guru. Really? Who wouldn't want to improve themselves? That's the second biggest problem the Lions have after Schwartz. Well, now first.

5. Packer nation thanks the Chicago Bears organization for resigning Jay Cutler.

6. Peyton Manning is awesome. There is no way around it. Mentally = awesome. Physically = awesome. Perseverance = awesome. Skill level = awesome.

7. Eli Manning is not awesome. (Un)awesome. Awesome(less).

8. Will anyone give Tom Brady a high-five during the Patriot's divisional playoff game? Poor guy.

9. Kyle Orton should become backup quarterback in Denver. I'm just saying, with hair like that, he belongs in a place where weed is legal.

10. Alex Smith has the worst luck ever. Honestly, I wouldn't ride on an airplane with that guy.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Game of the Week - Packers versus Bears

Aaron photobombing again

I am so excited for this Sunday's game! Of course I would make this the game of the week!

Packers versus Bears! Sunday 4:25pm EST. Win and your in! It's the best way to end the season. This is exactly what the NFL was hoping for when they scheduled all division games at the end of the season.

The rivalry began in 1921. It is the most played in all of the league with 187 regular and post season games between them (the longest rivalry is Pack/Lions). When Lovie Smith first got the head coaching gig at the Bears, he stated his first goal was to beat the Packers.

That's exciting football if you ask me.

I know my team isn't the best right now. However, I adore my team. There doesn't seem to be an asshole in the bunch. Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, B.J. Raji -- I love them all.

Look at the Happy Holidays video posted on their website.

I hate the Bears.

Really? Jay Cutler? Honestly, I would hate it if he was my quarterback. He is such a douchepod. How can you a cheer a team on with him as your leader?

The Bears didn't have a Happy Holidays video for their fans. Hmm. Doesn't surprise me.

All their website had was a trailer for the upcoming game. I'm only sharing it here because I get to see Aaron Rodgers in the clip, and we all know we haven't seen much of him lately.

Ok, enough of my diatribe about why I hate the Bears -- but, truly ... a Packer's fan hating the Bears is kind of what makes the rivalry great.

The other win and your in game is the Cowboys versus Eagles. However, this game is not nearly as exciting with Romo on the bench due to a herniated disc.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Week 14 Games Of The Week

There are two outstanding games this week.

The first is the Seattle Seahawks at the San Francisco 49ers.

The second is the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints.

Wow. I haven't been this excited about two football games in awhile. This is the NFC at its best. These are the four teams that most people feel can really make a run at the Super Bowl.

The first game, the Hawks versus the Niners is such a great game. In regards to the Niners, they were such the hot topic as the season opened. They blew-up the Packers. What made that win even more impressive was everyone knew that the Pack focused their entire offseason on improving what went wrong in the playoff game the previous season. To spend all that time and still have the Niners trounce the Pack, it seemed like the Niners were going to the Super Bowl.

However, with hindsight, it has become obvious that the Niners beating the Pack wasn't some huge feat. The Packers defense is abysmal. Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers went from possible playoff contender to serious questions of whether or not they will have a winning season.

Then came the fact that Colin Kaepernick seemed to be going through the same sophomore slump that Cam Newton had gone through. Once opponents took away the read option, it became clear that Kaepernick had a hard time going through his progressions. Put some pressure on him? Not such a great quarterback.

However, the Niners seem to be making a resurgence. Their last game showed some real promise. Even Trent Dilfer had to come back after the Monday night game and admit the Colin had made some improvements. The Niners then went on to beat an improving Rams. One has to wonder if they have figured some stuff out. It could be that with the addition of Crabtree again, it masks Colin Kaeprnick's deficiencies. Either way, they are on a bit of a roll.

The Seahawks just proved how superb they are in front of a Monday night audience. The Saints have an explosive offense. Yet, against the Hawks, they just could not get it together. They looked downright awful.

 

This is a division game. The Hawks are an outstanding 11-1. All those wins weren't always pretty, but they got 'em. The Niners, momentarily, have a wildcard spot. That slot is not assured. You better believe the Niners are gong to be playing on all cylinders.

I'm excited.

The second game of the week is the Carolina Panthers versus the New Orleans Saints.

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Go For Two: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Games Of The Week

Game of the Week:

Broncos v Patriots: Two AFC powerhouses are playing Sunday night. Denver looks fantastic. The Patriots have some weak spots. Two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. That's reason enough to watch. Denver will be hoping to get Welker back, but I think it is highly unlikely. Another big area of concern is that Peyton sat out practice. Maybe those injuries are catching up with him. I'm very much looking forward to this game. It will tell us a lot more about the AFC. Plus, this should flat out be some really good football.

Good, almost The Game of the Week:

Colts v Cardinals: This game could actually be some really good football. The Colts are 7-3 and the Cards are 6-4. The Cardinals seemingly get lost in their division with the Niners, and Hawks, but they have a good record. They are one slot away from a wildcard spot. You better believe that San Francisco is keeping and eye on this game. This game intrigues me. I will be curious to see how this one plays out.

Good games of the week:

Steelers v Browns: Although both teams are 4-6, this should be a good game. Steelers are coming off of a win against the Lions and are looking to gain some momentum. This is a division rivalry. This also, sadly, could have playoff implications. 6 teams are 4-6 in the conference. One of the wildcard teams (if the playoffs started today) are 5-5. Really? FIVE and FIVE.

Cowboys v Giants: I hate the fact this division creates, even with their mediocrity, so much hype. However, the Eagles suddenly find themselves in first. The Cowboys are on shaky ground. The Giants have one four straight. If the Giants beat the Cowboys, they are tied in the division. Oh, lord.

Bad games of the week:

Bad, yes. But do they have some merit to keep your eye on the score .... debatable.

Bucs v Detroit: Only reason to watch this game is to see the magic that is Megatron. Secondly, with the Packers nearly lost to the playoffs due to their awful defense (yes, I'm absolutely giving a pass to Tolzien) this could be, gasp, the Lions year. Albeit, their year due to default. Look for the Lions to win so they can pull away from Chicago.

Ugly games of the week:

Uh, oh. I think I might get fired

These games are so ugly. I mean, really.

Saints v Falcons: Saints 8-2 are so far and above better than the 2-8 Falcons.

Chargers v Chiefs: The 9-1 Chiefs with Alex Smith against division rival Chargers is gonna be such a bore fest. However, see the Chargers really try and win this one. Here's why. The AFC has clear division winners save for this division. The Wildcard spots at this point are anyone's chance.

Jaguars v Houston: No comment. Actually, I lied. Why play this game? Couldn't they just flip a coin to see who wins and save everyone the hassle?

Titans v Raiders: Both are 4-6 and the Raiders have no hope in their division. Zero. Nadda. Again, I say flip a coin.

Vikings v Packers. Yes. I am putting my own team here. The Packers lost to the Giants. THE GIANTS. We have no defense. Honestly. I say let Rodgers fully heal up. Don't rush him back. If you look at the teams that are heading into the playoffs, namely, the Saints, Seattle, and Niners ... we can't beat those teams. Not with our defense. I say scratch this year, fire Dom Capers, and start again. Yes. I said fire Dom Capers. I defense has been horrible for years. We tried drafting new defensive players. That hasn't worked. We need to start looking up the food chain. We lost in 2011 in the playoffs because when our offense was slightly, slightly sluggish, our defense couldn't help us out. It's been like that for a few years now. You can be a good team without a great defense, but you can't win Super Bowls. Now, this is football, and anything can happen, but at this point in the season, it looks lost. Unless we can somehow make it into the playoffs, Rodgers comes back, Cobb comes back, and our defense improves -- we need to just regroup. I love my Packers and I love Rodgers. I say protect our franchise quarterback and fix things for next year.

Oh, back to my original point (did I have one?). This is an ugly game, because it's too painful for Packers' fans to watch us struggle to beat the  freaking Vikings. Although, I do think we can win this one, it ain't gonna be pretty and fans will probably turn off their televisions with a bad taste in their mouth.

 

NFL Preview: Playoff & Super Bowl Predictions

having two people photoshopped onto horses would just be silly

Our NFL experts are going to shed some light on their picks for division & wild card winners, as well as the esteemed Super Bowl champions this year. Check back in a few months to see how wrong we were how accurate our extremely intelligent and well thought out picks are. Most importantly, I've been inspired to do some pretty awesome photoshopping for this post so enjoy that insanity.

Jacqueline 

so excited about the gold rush!!!

so excited about the gold rush!!!

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC West:
San Francisco 49ers
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons

NFC Wildcard teams: New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
AFC West:
Denver Broncos
AFC South: Houston Texans

AFC Wildcard teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens

NFC Champion: San Francisco 49ers v. Seattle Seahawks, winner: San Francisco 49ers

AFC Champion: Denver Broncos v. Houston Texans, winner: Houston Texans

Super Bowl XLVIII Winner: San Francisco 49ers

Lauren

 because if you're putting your face on a bronco's body, you might as well use the picture where you're also wearing a mustache

because if you're putting your face on a bronco's body, you might as well use the picture where you're also wearing a mustache

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys. Homer pick, I know. But THIS IS OUR YEAR. And no, I don’t say that every year.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC West:
Seattle Seahawks. I’m still mad at them for beating us last year, but I think the Russell Wilson + Pete Carroll combo is too good to overlook.
NFC South: New Orleans Saints. I’m going to get real wild here and keep the Falcons completely out of the playoffs.

NFC Wildcard teams: Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals

AFC East: New England Patriots. Give them some real competition already.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers. My dad is going to be so happy with me for this pick.
AFC West:
Denver Broncos
AFC South: Houston Texans

AFC Wildcard teams: Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts. It was a real toss-up for me between the Colts & the Ravens, but I think Baltimore is going to have quite the tumble this year.

NFC Champion: Dallas Cowboys

AFC Champion: Denver Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII Winner: Broncos. I’d like to give it to the Boys, but there’s no way I’ll live past the NFC Championship game and without me there to support them, there’s no way they can win.

 

Madeline

Clay Matthews beats a photoshopped picture of Madeline any day. No offense, Madeline.

Clay Matthews beats a photoshopped picture of Madeline any day. No offense, Madeline.

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC West:
San Francisco 49ers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints

NFC Wildcard teams: Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
AFC West:
Denver Broncos
AFC South: Houston Texans

AFC Wildcard teams: Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens

NFC Champion: San Francisco 49ers v. Green Bay Packers, winner: Green Bay Packers

AFC Champion: Baltimore Ravens v. Denver Broncos, winner: Denver Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII Winner: Denver Broncos v. Green Bay Packers, winner: Green Bay Packers

This is, of course, seeing that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t get hurt by the third game. Then I choose Lions to win division and Broncos/Seattle to be Super Bowl with Seattle as the winner.

 

Makeda

having two people photoshopped onto horses would just be silly

having two people photoshopped onto horses would just be silly

 NFC East: New York Giants
NFC North:
Green Bay Packers
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC Wildcard teams: Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks
AFC East: New York Jets**
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
AFC West: Denver Broncos
AFC South: Houston Texans
AFC Wildcard teams: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts

NFC Champion: Seattle Seahawks

AFC Champion: Denver Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII Winner: Broncos

**HAHA yeah right. Pats.

 

Allen

 Allen's riding those Falcons to the top (see what I did there?)

Allen's riding those Falcons to the top (see what I did there?)

NFC East: Washington Redskins (editor's note: Apparently we're not as alike as I thought, Allen. Geeeeez.)
NFC North: Detroit Lions (I fear no warnings!
NFC West:
Seattle Seahawks
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons

NFC Wildcard teams: New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
AFC West:
Denver Broncos
AFC South: Houston Texans

AFC Wildcard teams: (wow, there are a lot of terrible teams in the AFC) Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts

NFC Champion:Atlanta Falcons

AFC Champion: Denver Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII Winner: And this is the year: Falcons over Broncos in the Super Bowl. We couldn't knock off aging Elway, but aging Peyton doesn't have Terrell Davis.

 WHAT ARE YOUR PICKS?