Dr. J's NFL Divisional Playoffs Outlook

<b>Regular Season Totals: 153-87</b><br> <i>Last Week: 4-0 </i><br><br> The number of teams playing golf has gone up, as has my win total. After a hard fought win last week, can the Tennessee Titans handle the New England Patriots? Can the Carolina Panthers defense contend with the St. Louis Rams? Will the Kansas City Chiefs play defense? And how long will Brett Favre's season last against a Philadelphia Eagles team?

Saturday, Jan. 10
Carolina at St. Louis
With the Panthers defense getting all the publicity, it was their offense that racked up 380 yards of offense on the #1 ranked Dallas Cowboys defense. But now, it won't be the Cowboys and shaky Quincy Carter in the cold, it will be Marc Bulger, Marshall Faulk, and Torry Holt on the fast turf under the dome in St. Louis. The Rams probably should have been the #1 seed in the NFL, but inexplicably lost to Detroit on the final game of the regular season. The Rams haven't lost at home all season and although I think the Panthers will give them all they can handle, I think the Rams will win the game 30-21.

Tennessee at New England

Tennessee had better not have any sort of a letdown after their emotional win last week because they are facing a New England team that has just been dominant down the stretch. Steve McNair is coming off one of his worst games this season, but managed to put it together on the final drive down the field against a tough Baltimore defense. The Patriots started their current winning streak against the Titans, but McNair carved up their defense for 391 yards and 30 points. Since then, the Patriots have given up just 22 points at home. I'm looking for McNair to comeback big and carry the load for the Titans' offense, but the Patriots will win the game 24-20.

Sunday, Jan. 11
Indianapolis at Kansas City
If I were Dick Vermeil and I was watching the Colts offense run up and down the Denver defense like cars on the German Autobahn, I'd be pretty worried. The Chiefs gave up an astonishing 356.7 yards per game on defense this season ranking them 28th in the league. The Colts scored 41 points on 7 straight possessions against the Broncos and totaled 479 yards of offense. When he left the game in the 4th quarter, Peyton Manning had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for the second time this season. Of all the high ranking teams in the playoffs, I always thought that Kansas City was the biggest candidate for an early playoff exit. It looks like the worst fears of Chiefs fans has come true. Their porous defense will be facing an offense that is even more potent than theirs. I'm picking the Colts to win a high scoring affair 40-28.

Green Bay at Philadelphia

Everyone in the country is rooting for Brett Favre. I've always been a Favre supporter and I've been nothing but amazed at how he's been able to play under the circumstances that he's faced recently and how well he's played. And sure, words like destiny and fate get thrown around, but as much as I'd like to pick the Packers to win in Philadelphia, I can't. I'm picking the Eagles to end the Packers' miracle run 27-17. The Eagles are clicking defensively, Donovan McNabb is moving the offense very well, and the Packers defense has been beset with questions all season long. It's been a hell of a run for Brett Favre and the Packers, but it ends in Philly.


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