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Article:These Playoffs are chock full of storylines

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Well, my Armchair alums it's a new year and with a new year comes the exciting allure of NFL playoff football. Not that it dosen't occur every year, but this playoff year more than ever has a seemingly endless amount of storylines and twists for almost every team. Of course, the quest for perfection and 19-0 for the New England Patriots will be the ultimate storyline. But as you'll soon see, that's just the tip of iceberg for storylines in these playoffs.

The Washington Redskins were seemingly down for the 10 count after their crushing loss to the Buffalo Bills on the eve of Sean Taylor's funeral. The team was seemingly emotionally spent and Joe Gibbs awful timeout call had critics waving the white flag on his coaching career. It would have even been understandable in a way for the Redskins to pack it in at 5-7 and call it a season.

And then came Todd Collins.

Jason Campbell's injury summoned Todd Collins to the starting QB spot for the first time in ten years. And after wins against the Giants, Vikings, and Cowboys, he's turning into the feelgood story of the NFL season {although it won't top Kevin Everett's} Clinton Portis caught fire. And the Washington Defense played for #21. And all of a sudden the calls for Joe Gibbs head on a silver platter disappeared like the Knicks do during the entire span of a game. Now they go against a playoff-experienced team in the Seahawks. It seems attractive to give the game to Seattle because of the home field, but there is something special brewing in Washington.

It's PUT UP OR SHUT UP time for both the New York Giants and the San Diego Chargers. A playoff loss for both would be devastating to their respective futures. The Giants are out of excuses. They came out like gang busters against the New England Patriots, leaving me to question what their record would be if they brought this intensity every game. They're taking on Tampa Bay, a team with excellent defense but a vulnerable offense, namely a vulnerable offensive line. The Front 4 for the Giants should have a big day. It's time for Eli Manning to deliver a playoff victory. It's been 7 years since their last playoff victory and two of the most recent losses were in the hands of... Jeff Garcia. Another one and done for the Giants and Tom Coughlin's seat will start to burn and the axe may come down as well.


As for the San Diego Chargers, a playoff loss in the first round at home to the Tenneesee Titans will have earth-shattering effects that'll rival last year's defeat. In a strong AFC, the Titans are the weak link. San Diego's season really changed after their comeback victory against the Titans in Tennessee. But if the Titans offense couldn't perform consistently against the backup Colts D, then its begs the question what they'll do against San Diego's D. Vince Young may have his hands full. The Titans D will keep it close {they need Albert Haynesworth badly} San Diego should beat the Titans in my view, but if they don't, God help them.

Brett Favre is back in the second season after a long hiatus. The early concern for the Packers during the latter part of their season was to bolster their running game so that Favre dosen't have to launch 40-45 passes. With Ryan Grant manning the backfield and thriving with every week, that concern is gone. The Packers receivers are greatly underrated. And I thought it was an excellent move by Mike Mccarthy to play the starters a great deal of time against the Lions and get some momentum into the playoffs with a sizable win. With the Cowboys D showing signs of clear vulnearability towards the end of the year, can Brett Favre dial up his magic one more time?

The Jacksonville Jaguars have arguably the best team that they've had since their inception in the mid-90's. This team is built to handle the climate in the North with their physical two-headed monster at RB, a physical defense and a QB who dosen't make the big mistakes. Pittsburgh looks very vulnerable right now with the absence of Parker and a D that has become suspect. Jacksonville is smarting for a playoff win and the time is now.

Of course, I wouldn't dare finish this article without elaborating on the NE Patriots quest. 3 more wins and this team to me... will be the greatest team in the history of this league. To think that this could be achieved with the salary cap era and the advancement made in terms of scouting and preparation for games is truly remarkable. Imagine that we could headed for an AFC championship game which features a team on it's quest for perfection versus their rival and defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.

How's that for a storyline?


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