First off here are the AFC and NFC seedings, just in case you don't feel like scrolling down to my previous post:
1. Patriots 14-2
2. Steelers 12-4
3. Chiefs 11-5
4. Colts 10-6
5. Ravens 12-4
6. Jets 11-5
1. Falcons 13-3
2. Bears 12-4
3. Eagles 11-5
4. Rams 8-8
5. Saints 12-4
6. Giants 10-6
...And the match-ups/outcomes of each round. Enjoy!
Wild Card Round
Chiefs 16, Jets 14...no touchdowns, two interceptions and only 133 yards passing for K.C.'s Matt Cassel, but Jamaal Charles' 101 yards rushing, including a 54-yard touchdown run just before the half were enough for Kansas City to sneak in to the next round. Another win at Arrowhead, 9-0 on the season now, and there's a slight chance they could get another home game down the road.
Colts 31, Ravens 13...this is now two years in a row that the Colts have knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs. Let's just face it, Manning's had an off year (no touchdowns, 1 INT, 208 yards in this simulation), but believe it or not Indy's run game bailed him out in this one. Donald Brown ran for 73 yards and a touchdown while the fresh Joseph Addai ran for 40 yards and, yes, three touchdowns. Flacco's two interceptions didn't help the cause too much either.
Giants 24, Eagles 7...my, oh my have the tables turned on Vick and the Eagles. Just a couple of weeks ago Philly scored 28 points in the final five minutes of play to shock Eli Manning and the G-Men. Eli has seemed to get it together and led his Giants to victory, though it was truly the ground game that took control as all four of the game's touchdowns came on the ground. Osi Umenyiora's four sacks allowed the Giants to keep Vick under control and forced a couple of Vick mistakes.
Saints 20, Rams 17...it doesn't seem right that the Rams (8-8) are hosting the Saints (12-4) in a playoff game, but that didn't seem to bother Drew Brees any as he threw for 230-plus yards and a touchdown in the three-point victory, which was a closer call than it should have been. Pierre Thomas' 113 yards on the ground allowed the Saints to get off to a 13-0 start, but New Orleans' defense allowed 17 second half points and nearly gave up the lead late in the game. Luckily, St. Louis just flat out ran out of time in the end.
Patriots 34, Colts 10...Tom Brady just seems to have Peyton Manning's number. New England has been on fire for a good part of the season, and this 24-point blowout doesn't much surprise me, nor anyone else for that matter. The Patriots are most certainly the best all-around team in the league right now and this simulation surely displays that. I'd hate to face Brady in Foxboro, especially in January.
Steelers 16, Chiefs 10...it really is tough to beat playoff football at Heinz Field, especially when two teams of (KC and PIT's) caliber are facing off. Hard-nosed defenses and tough running games. Matt Cassel could have been named a Pro Bowler this season if it wasn't for names such as Manning and Rivers, but he didn't seem like a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in this game, going an ugly 4 for 16 for 66 yards against Pittsburgh's defense. On the other side of the field, Ben Roethlisberger went 21 of 29 for 200 yards. The running game of Pittsburgh allowed them to control the t.o.p. and eventually run out the clock on the Chiefs and their Super Bowl hopes.
Giants 26, Falcons 14...this is starting to look a lot like the 2007 season in which Eli led New York to three consecutive road playoff victories as the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs, and then went on to defeat the "Giant," undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. One of the single greatest upsets in professional sports history. In this game, Eli threw for 315 yards and a touchdown after trailing early. Once again New York's run game allowed the G-Men to absolutely dominate the time of possession (held the ball for nearly 40 minutes of the game). Umenyiora added another sack, making that five in two playoff games.
Saints 19, Bears 13...a rematch of the 2006 NFC Championship, only this time the Saints contained Devin Hester and knocked the fiesty Bears out of the playoffs before their Super Bowl hunt really got going. Another close game for Brees, but kicker Garrett Hartley's 28 yard field goal halfway through the fourth quarter sent the game in to overtime. In OT, the electric playmaker Reggie Bush ran the game-winner in from 29 yards out with just over five minutes to play. Two road playoff victories but six or less points for the Saints. Believe it or not, according to WIS both of the NFC's Wild Card teams made it to the NFC Championship game. Interesting.
Patriots 19, Steelers 7...once again, for the fifth time in the 2000s, the Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl. Brady and Roethlisberger both made costly errors (one INT each, both led to scores), but Brady's 208 passing yards and Danny Woodhead's 66 rushing yards and 23-yard touchdown run late in the game were enough to squeeze past the No. 2 seeded Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxboro. They will face either the Saints or Giants, both NFC Wild Card teams, in Super Bowl XLV.
Saints 17, Giants 10...finally, a home playoff game for the Saints', and they surely took advantage of it. The defending Super Bowl champs have captured the NFC championship for the second straight season. It was Chris Ivory's 31-yard touchdown catch from Brees late in the game which gave them the lead for good as New Orleans' defense solidified the victory with a Darren Sharper INT. New York's attempt at another cinderella story has failed, meaning it will be a Brady/Brees Super Bowl. Should be interesting.
Super Bowl XLV
Patriots 30, Saints 0
Wow, certainly not what I was expecting. I mean, yeah, we all knew that this may happen (Patriots winning Super Bowl) with the way they've been playing. But shutting out Drew Brees and his Saints' offense (just 161 passing yards and one INT with no touchdowns)? No way would I have predicted this. Brady threw for 223 yards and a touchdown as he captured his fourth Lombardi Trophy for the Pats. Sure first-ballot Hall of Famer after this performance if he wasn't already.
MVP: Tom Brady (third of his career)
Reggie Bush: Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL
Mike Wallace: AP Photo/Gene Puskar
Danny Woodhead: AP Photo/David Duprey