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Article:NFL Playoff Predictions: Divisional Round

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Okay, I really flopped last week, finishing with a dismal 1-3 record. Not only that, but I nearly missed the only game I got right. On the bright side, there's virtually nowhere to go but up.

Green Bay Packers 22, Seattle Seahawks 17. Brett Favre has been mostly brilliant this year, and that, combined with the Packers quick defense, should be enough to beat the Seahawks. In addition, the Packers developed a credible running game as the season progressed.

New England Patriots 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 17. The Jaguars pose a formidable challenge to the Patriots with their powerful rushing attack, mobile quarterback, and strong defense. The Jaguars are much like the 2005 Denver Broncos, in fact, who used their defense and formidable running game to beat the Patriots 27-13 in Denver. This Patriots team is much better than that one, though, and the game is in New England this time. The Patriots are a veteran team that performs extraordinarily well under pressure. I don't see any good reason not to pick the Patriots in this one.

Indianapolis Colts 24, San Diego Chargers 17. The Colts have quietly had a remarkable regular season in the shadow of New England's perfect regular season. I think the Chargers' defense will keep enough pressure on Peyton Manning to keep the Colts' offense under control. The Colts will have their hands full trying to stop LaDainian Tomlinson, but they should be able to pressure Philip Rivers into making enough mistakes to doom the Chargers.

Dallas Cowboys 26, New York Giants 17. I'm tempted to pick the Giants here, since it's very difficult to beat a team three times in one season as the Cowboys will have to do. Still, Tony Romo of the Cowboys has had a remarkable season, and I think that will continue in this game. Further, the Cowboys defense completely shut down Brett Favre earlier this season, so they should be able to do the same to Eli Manning.

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