Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Predicting the NFL action before it happens isn't easy... unless you're a Predictificationist like me. Sit back, relax and know that you've come to the right place.
THIS REGULAR SEASON: 164-91*-1 (.643)
COLTS PREDICTIONS: 13-4
No matter how hard I try to eliminate my preseason Super Bowl pick the Baltimore Ravens just keep winning. What can I say? It's the power of the Predictificationist.
So, Manti Te'o didn't have a girlfriend.
I think we would all be lying to ourselves if we didn't admit to making up a girlfriend at some point in our lives, right? Mine was several years ago - I made up that this cute blonde was totally into me. She just added color and life into every room she went into. She changed my life.
Next thing I knew some Star Stealer had to come and steal the color in my life.
It was Rainbow Brite. Ok, Ok... laugh all you want. I appreciated her overall sunny demeanor and colorful wardrobe.
Plus... she was hot - and I was 5.
Just a few more weeks of Predictifying the 2012 NFL season (wipe those tears) and, if any of you were wondering, NO - I will not be using my Predictificationist powers on the Pro Bowl... that is a waste of the powers and I don't want to use them up on a meaningless game. (OK, now you're REALLY crying)
Let's recap last week:
Here's why I'm a genius:
1) Seahawks @ Falcons
What I said: People are so hard on the Falcons - and I don't understand why. Yes, I know that they've folded often in the playoffs - but people forget that the last three years they've lost the eventual Super Bowl team from the NFC. Give them a break! This is the year the Falcons get the elusive playoff win (no matter how hot the Seahawks are).
A lot of Predictifactionists will tell you to pick the Seahawks and call it the 'upset pick of the week' but don't buy in - the Falcons are deep, talented and playing at home. More than that - they are motivated to prove everyone wrong.
Take the Falcons.
It's the lock of the week.
FALCONS WIN 27-24
What happened: OK - so they didn't cover the spread. Who cares?! The fact is a lot of so-called 'experts' were predicting a Seahawks victory while your old friend, the Predictificationist, told you to have some faith in the Falcons. Hopefully you listened (of course you did).
2) Packers @ 49ers
What I said: If you are looking for the 'upset' this weekend, this may be it. The Packers are playing at a high level right now and I'm not completely sold on second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers defense should tell the story on this one. If the Packers turn the ball over a couple of times the 49ers will cruise - if not, the Packers will be poised for the upset.
I think this is a lower scoring game than most will anticipate. I like the 49ers defense a lot and for Kaepernick to get hot. The 49ers will get a lead and then hold off the Packers until time runs out. This one will be close.
49ERS WIN 24-20
What happened: The Packers did turn the ball over twice and the 49ers won by a couple of touchdowns. Colin Kaepernick put on quite a show - but I'm still not completely sold... but I don't want to spoil my picks.
3) Texans @ Patriots
What I said: The poor fans in Houston - their window looked WIDE open early in the year and now (thanks to the Colts improvement and the Texans stumbling) their chances look bleak.
I don't expect this game to be close and the Patriots should roll. Look for the Patriots to get a big early lead and coast the rest of the game. I'll predict this - Brady will be pulled late because the game won't be close.
Take the Pats.
PATRIOTS WIN 38-17
What happened: The Patriots got up 31-13 and coasted the rest of the way home. The Patriots could have pulled Tom Brady but I always seem to forget that Belichick doesn't do that. Oops.
Here's why I'm dumb:
1) Ravens @ Broncos
What I said: One thing that always seemed odd to me this season - everyone said how important home field advantage would be to the Broncos but ignored how ineffective Peyton Manning has been in cold weather (especially in the playoffs). Well, the Broncos have home field advantage and we will get to see Manning play in the cold again - I hope it goes well.
I think the Broncos will be too much for the Ravens to handle as the playoffs seem destined to give us Manning vs. Brady again - and I'm not complaining. Look for Manning and the Broncos to start slow (again) and needing a solid second half to pull out the win.
Manning moves another step closer to being the greatest of all time.
BRONCOS WIN 24-13
What happened: Well - put another one in the loss column for Manning in cold weather playoff games. I know, I know... the weather didn't have much to do with it. A lot of Manning apologists will say that this loss wasn't his fault, noting the poor defense and penalties against Denver... I'm not buying it. Fact is this - Manning got two touchdowns from his special teams and still lost. Turning the ball over three times (tipped balls are still inaccurate passes a lot of times), and one of them being a pick-6, won't get you the game ball or an excuse from me. Not good enough on this day - and that's OK.
- Something tells me that Bruce Arians is going to become the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Maybe he is lying to himself about the Cardinals quarterback situation the same was Manti Te'o lied to himself about his girlfriend... right?
- Peyton Manning is a playoff loser again and, maybe it's just me, but it didn't sting so bad this time when I heard people question his playoff fortitude. Fact is, I may be starting to question it myself.
- I don't know which bothers me more about Joe Flacco: Is it that his deep passes always look like baseball pop flies or that his receivers catch them. It's not pretty - everything looks like a Hail Mary - but it is working.
- As if Colts fans needed any more reassurance that Indianapolis made the right choice with Peyton Manning back in 1998 - Ryan Leaf is headed to prison... again. I can't confirm this, but I'm pretty sure that JaMarcus Russell, Jeff George, Vince Young, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Andre Ware, Rick Mirer and Ryan Leaf were caught breaking into NFL headquarters in an attempt to restart their careers. You know what - that's a good reality show idea... don't steal it.
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for the Divisional Round:
On to the picks!
Baltimore Ravens (12-6) at New England Patriots (13-4)
Line - Patriots by 9
Call me crazy (OK, not really - words are hurtful) but I think the Ravens can win this week in New England. I know, they are HUGE underdogs - but that didn't stop them last season when they nearly (and should have) pulled it off.
My gut tells me this is a close game, similar to last season, that the Ravens pull out at the end. The Baltimore defense will be the story as it frustrates and harasses Tom Brady all day long. Flacco throws a late touchdown to win it.
Take the Ravens.
RAVENS WIN 27-24
San Francisco 49ers (12-4-1) at Atlanta Falcons (14-3)
Line - 49ers by 4
I'm not on the Colin Kaepernick bandwagon - there, I said it. I, like everyone else, had a lot of fun watching him last week - it was VERY impressive. You are crazy (I know, words hurt) if you think the Falcons won't come up with a plan - and that Kaepernick can pull off a ONCE in a lifetime performance TWICE.
I think the Falcons will respond with confidence after their first playoff win of the Matt Ryan era. The game will be close but I think Atlanta overcomes some early struggles and wins this one at the end.
Take the Falcons - Matt Ryan has a great day and Colin Kaepernick comes back to earth.
FALCONS WIN 34-27
Questions, comments and complaints can be sent to my email, Predictification@gmail.com.
Agree? Disagree? As always, comments are welcome! I will track my picks during the season and brag when I'm right (and pretend I was right when I'm wrong). Pick against me if you dare - remember, I'm a Predictificationist.
Follow me on Twitter at @ColtsInsiders