My predictions for today’s championship games in the NFL

Who’s going to the Super Bowl? Check out my predictions below.

Can Andrew Luck handle the big game pressure?

INDIANAPOLIS (4) VS NEW ENGLAND (1)

I don’t want to take away the credit that the Colts deserve for making it this far, but I don’t know if they are good enough to beat the Patriots. They were fortunate enough to play against a Broncos team without a healthy Peyton Manning. That gave the Colts a great opportunity to beat the seemingly weaker team. Against the Patriots, I don’t think they can overtake that kind of experienced attack.

Tom Brady has been playing phenomenal and it appears that the Patriots are clicking on all cylinders right now. Rob Gronkowski is still playing very effectively and that might be the recipe the Pats dial up. On the defensive side, the secondary for New England might have their hands full with Luck and the passing game. However, their front seven should have no problem slowing down the Colts’ nearly non-existent running game. Even though the Patriots have Adam Vinatieri, they should not try to settle for field goals. They need all the touchdowns they can get.

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My predictions for Sunday’s Divisional round games

Here are my predictions for the second round of the playoffs.

Eddie Lacy will be a huge factor in the cold conditions.

DALLAS (3) VS GREEN BAY (2)

This game won’t necessarily be the Ice Bowl, but it will be cold. This makes me wonder whether or not the Packers, a team used to these elements, has the advantage. Let’s assume Aaron Rodgers’ calf is fine and he’s at his best. The Packers should have a strong chance of winning. But with the weather, it looks like it might come down to the defenses and how they stop the run. Eddie Lacy has turned it on as of late and is now the feature back the Packers know they have to rely heavily on.

The Cowboys can counter with DeMarco Murray. If the injured hand isn’t an issue with the weather, then the Cowboys offensive line will have a great day moving the ball up and down the field. It still will be on Tony Romo and how he can move the Cowboys up and down the field with this arm. Terrence Williams has been huge in helping out the passing attack and he might be a huge factor again if the Pack try to double on Jason Witten or Dez Bryant.

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My predictions for Sunday’s Wild Card round games

It’s time for the playoffs once again! Here are my quick predictions on today’s games.

Who will be smiling at the end of this game?

CINCINNATI (5) VS INDIANAPOLIS (4)

I may super biased still, but I don’t think much of the Bengals. I don’t think that Andy Dalton is the kind of quarterback that can take the team far. For so long I have felt that his game is so inconsistent. There are games where his passing is so atrocious that it hurts the team. Then there are times that he will have great games and I don’t know who he is. As for this game, I think he might put together a decent game but it won’t be enough.

First of all, we won’t see A.J. Green so that hurts the passing game tremendously. Secondly, the Colts offense is still pretty strong and even though their running game hasn’t been much, Andrew Luck’s arm will make this a high-scoring affair. The offense isn’t superb by any means, but these two match up really well and it could come down to who has the ball last.

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Colts appear to be emphasizing old logo in new merchandise

Since their inception as the Baltimore Colts in 1953, the Colts have used the above logo. It wasn’t until 1978 when the team decided to move forward with the horseshoe logo.

Last season, coach Chuck Pagano has been seen wearing that throwback logo. Now their training camp gear features that logo instead of the horseshoe. Does this mean the team is going to use that more often or is this just a design for coach?

Regardless, the team hasn’t mentioned their Baltimore roots as often as I thought they would since moving to Indianapolis. Their current set (gray facemasks, black cleats) does pay homage to that time so maybe this is another step towards it.

Either way, I like this logo a lot and am glad to see more of it.

My predictions for Saturday’s Divisional round games

Here are my predictions for the second round of the playoffs.

Can the Saints figure out the Seahawks?

NEW ORLEANS (6) VS SEATTLE (1)

The Saints got embarrassed earlier this year when they went to Seattle to take on the Seahawks? Are the Saints equipped to take down Seattle this time around?

One thing that makes this matchup difficult for the Saints is the defense of the Seahawks. The secondary is still very strong and the passing attack from Drew Brees needs to be very precice to give the Saints any kind of chance.

One thing that they must do is execute the screen game to perfection. However, this game also may come to the hands of the Seahawks’ offense. Their rushing attack remains very strong and could be the difference in setting the tone early. The Saints have a strong defense but can it handle the dynamic play of Russell Wilson?

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My predictions for Saturday’s Wild Card round games

It’s time for the playoffs once again! Here are my quick predictions on today’s games.

A rematch of two former No. 1 picks

KANSAS CITY (5) VS INDIANAPOLIS (4)

This is going to be a fun matchup to watch because both teams are coming back after miserable seasons. Two years ago, the Colts suffered through a horrific season and came back as a playoff team under the guidance of a new quarterback. Last year, the Chiefs retooled after a disastrous season, got their new quarterback and a new coach to lead the way.

I am looking forward to see how Jamaal Charles will be used in this game. He is coming off a strong finish this year and could be the x-factor in this game. But on the Colts’ side on offense, I am really impressed at how their running game is starting to show some signs of life. I don’t expect them to have to run really well, but maybe just well enough to keep a strong balance.

This game might come down to field position. Both quarterbacks are smart generals and won’t try to take big risks to jeopardize the team. And I believe that might be the difference, allowing the defenses to set the tone for the game.

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The reason why Robert Mathis is not allowed to wear his new face mask

Robert Mathis (right) will not be allowed to wear this face mask for the season.

Robert Mathis (right) will not be allowed to wear this face mask for the season.

Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis has been told by the league that his new face mask will not be allowed by the NFL. Only a medical clearance will allow any player to wear a mask like the one that Mathis wants.

In the NFL, masks that exceed four horizontal bars and three vertical bars will not be allowed.

Justin Tuck from the Giants and Chris Canty of the Ravens have received medical clearance for their face masks. Mathis has no medical condition that warrants the big mask.

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My predictions for Sunday’s Wild Card round games

It’s time for the playoffs! With that said, here are my quick predictions on today’s games.

Is this Ray Lewis’ last game?

INDIANAPOLIS (5) VS BALTIMORE (4)

The storylines are limitless here. Is this Ray Lewis’ final game in the NFL? What about the great comeback by Chuck Pagano as he returns to Baltimore? Is Joe Flacco elite? Is Andrew Luck the real deal?

I would like to think that the Lewis storyline would inspire the Ravens. After all, their emotional leader is back and that might be a huge difference. But I am not sure how effective he would be. The bigger concern for me is the offensive side of the ball.

Can Flacco lead this team to the Super Bowl? He was close last year and this year’s squad has shown signs of being good enough to make it happen again. But I am not sure if the offense can out-duel Luck’s run of success. What the Colts offense has done this year has provided a solid balance of timely running and passing plays. This team is playing at a level that I think can turn some heads in the playoffs.

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It’s going to be weird seeing Peyton Manning not in a Colts uniform

I can't imagine Peyton Manning wearing any other uniform.

On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to hold a press conference to announce that they are cutting ties with Peyton Manning. This will end Manning’s fantastic stint with the Colts and lead us to wonder what’s next for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

For the Colts, this was the right move to make. With the first overall pick in the draft, they will draft Manning’s replacement in Andrew Luck. The team couldn’t financially hold on to Manning and hope to develop Luck. Manning’s health was just too much of a risk to take.

It’s going to be a sad moment for NFL fans all over the world, but it’s a moment that we’re familiar with.

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With news of more surgeries, I wouldn’t get near Peyton Manning

With news of new surgeries surfacing, Peyton Manning’s football future doesn’t seem too bright. In fact, it’s time for him to walk away.

One of the toughest things that athletes contemplate towards the end of their careers is whether not they should step away or go for it for one more year.

Brett Favre stuck around too long. Steve Young walked away when he knew he had to stop.

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