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NFL Playoff Picks: FanHouse’s ‘Experts’ Predict Wild Card Round Results
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 1:30PM by Tom Mantzouranis (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL Playoffs

It’s an interesting week to begin shaking the Magic 8 Ball here, as these games each have interesting storylines but no clear-cut favorite. Not only are, shockingly, all of the road teams favorites in Vegas, but none of the spreads venture past three points.

That indecision amongst oddsmakers and bettors is reflected in our picks; very rarely is the same four-team combination picked, there’s a nice variety in the selections. It’s hard not to imagine a myriad of possibilities in all of these contests, and that’s the way the playoffs should be — competitive and intriguing.

See who we all picked, and add your own predictions, after the jump.Continue Reading

FanHouse Preview: Ravens vs. Dolphins
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 2:00PM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, AFC East, AFC North, NFL Playoffs

When the Ravens faced the Dolphins in Week 7, both teams were 2-3 and coming off forgettable 2007 seasons. I’m pretty sure nobody had Baltimore finishing the year 9-2 or Miami winning the division. Yet 11 weeks later, here we are.

The Ravens won 27-13 back in October in what has now become a familiar formula: run, run, play-action; matriculate the ball down the field; control the clock; and let the defense take care of the rest.

Pretty much everybody likes the Ravens tomorrow, partly because of their suffocating defense, and also because the Dolphins haven’t beaten anybody outside the AFC East. Of their 10 non-divisional games, Miami was an impressive 7-3, but the teams they beat combined for a 36-76 record. So, yeah, there are some skeptics. The Ravens, on the other hand, smoked the Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys, and played the Steelers well enough to win. Twice.

Now the question becomes: can Miami concoct variations of the Wildcat that will work against Baltimore’s defense? And when running a conventional offense, will Chad Pennington be able to play up to his MVP candidate form against the Ray Lewis All-Stars?Continue Reading

NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Guide
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 3:45PM by Matt Snyder (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Vikings, AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, Fantasy Football, NFL PlayoffsThere are several different fantasy playoffs models, so it’s difficult to accommodate everyone when doing any set of fantasy advice for the real playoffs. Most common models require you to do a bit of prognosticating as far as the actual game winners. To that, I say good luck. This isn’t like last year, where we all knew the Patriots were going to the Super Bowl. This season the playoffs are wide open, and no, I don’t think the Giants are a sure thing to make the big game. They are the surest bet, but it’s still a bet.

Anyway, we’re going to analyze some of the players.

First, here are the regular-season defensive rankings for the teams playing this postseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1, 2, 1, 1)
Baltimore Ravens (2, 3, 2, 3)
Philadelphia Eagles (3, 4, 3, 4)
New York Giants (5, 9, 8, 5)
Minnesota Vikings (6, 1, 18, 13)
Tennessee Titans (7, 6, 9, 2)
Indianapolis Colts (11, 24, 6, 7)
Miami Dolphins (15, 10, 25, 9)
Carolina Panthers (18, 20, 16, 12)
Arizona Cardinals (19, 16, 21, 28)
Atlanta Falcons (24, 25, 22, 11)
San Diego Chargers (25, 11, 31, 15)Continue Reading

Behind Enemy Lines: Talking Wildcard With Dolphins and Ravens Bloggers
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 1st 2009 1:45PM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, AFC East, AFC North, NFL Playoffs I like the fact that no one is giving us any real credit for getting there. Jim Mora says on air that the best AFC East team is New England and there has been little “props” for winning the division as most of the kudos surrounds simply the turnaround. The Ravens are 3 point favorites in this game and the Phins are getting tired of feeling second rate.

The Ravens are really beginning to gel in Cam Cameron’s offense and now they are getting contributions from Mark Clayton and Willis McGahee. Joe Flacco has come on strong since the last meeting with the Dolphins and has the third highest road QB rating among NFL quarterbacks. And of course the team’s defense is always dependable. The Ravens could be a dangerous post season participant.

Continue Reading

Wild Card Week Preview
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 6:00PM by Shane Bacon (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL Playoffs

With the playoffs less than a week away, here is everything you need to know about Wild Card Weekend.

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals

— Saturday, Jan. 3, 4:30 PM EST
— University of Phoenix Stadium
— Atlanta, in a must-win against the Rams in Week 17 for a potential two seed, took care of business behind running back Michael Turner. The first-year Falcon had 208 yards and a touchdown in the 31-27 win over the Rams to secure a playoff bid. Arizona struggled down the stretch but won a lagging NFC West division that only had one team with a winning record.
— None
— Atlanta - 4-1. Arizona - 2-3.
— Atlanta taking down a hot Minnesota team in Week 16, 24-17. Arizona beat Dallas in Week 6, 30-24.
– For Atlanta, it is the rookie Matt Ryan. When the play-caller has a quarterback rating of 94 or higher, the Falcons are 8-1. For Arizona, it is the running game. With Edgerrin James being pushed out as the top back, Tim Hightower and J.J. Arrington have been asked to carry the load. Kurt Warner and his great receiving core will get theirs, so it is up to the running game to balance their offensive attack.
– In terms of least intimidating stadiums to play in, the one in Phoenix has to rack up. Living in the area, I know what Cardinals fans come to expect, and if the team falls behind 10-0 early, you can bet the Card hopefuls will be basically saying to one another, “No surprise here.” For Ryan, a playoff game is a different beast, but he has a pretty favorable match-up to get his feet wet. I think the Falcons go to Glendale and beat the Cardinals.
Continue Reading

Separating Playoff Contenders From Pretenders
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 30th 2008 8:30AM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsWe all know that NFL records are not always created equal, and life isn’t fair.

That explains why the 11-5 Patriots are sitting at home while the 8-8 Chargers are preparing for the playoffs. But now that the playoff pairings have been set, it is pretty easy to get a quick and dirty look at which teams were tested during the regular season and which teams skated into the playoffs thanks to very forgiving schedules.

To get a better look at how the playoff teams matched up, I compiled each playoff team’s record against the other playoff teams. It’s a look that has some flaws–a win against the 8-8 Chargers counts while a win against the Patriots doesn’t, but it is a very good, and quick, way to see how many tough games each team played during the regular season.

So which teams earned their way and which ones snuck in? Well, the Dolphins shouldn’t be too proud, while the Eagles didn’t exactly back their way in, even if they had to win on Sunday to snag the NFC’s last wild card spot.Continue Reading

NFL Playoff Schedule: Times Set for Wild-Card Round of Playoffs
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 28th 2008 9:55PM by Tom Herrera (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsAbout an hour ago, we were still talking about the collapse of the Cowboys, Jets, et al. But life moves fast in the NFL and we’ve already got the schedule and times for next weekend’s wild-card round of the playoffs.

Check out the full slate of matchups below, and after the jump, make your predictions for which teams will bang out some big wins. I’m going with Falcons, Colts, Ravens and Vikings (though I was tempted pick all four road teams).

No. 5(11-5) at No. 4 (9-7, NFC West champs)
4:30 PM ET (NBC)

No. 5 (12-4) at No. 4 (8-8, AFC West champs)
8:00 PM ET (NBC)

No. 6 (11-5) at No. 3 (11-5, AFC East champs)
1:00 PM ET (CBS)

No. 6 (9-6-1) at No. 3 (10-6, NFC North champs)
4:30 PM ET (FOX)
Continue Reading

All Four Home Teams Are Underdogs For Wildcard Weekend
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 9:15AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsWinning an NFL division championship means a playoff spot, a home game and nothing else. All four teams that will be hosting the wildcard round of the playoffs are underdogs.

The lines for the four wildcard games has been set:

Eagles (-3) at Vikings
Falcons (-2.5) at Cardinals
Colts (-2.5) at Chargers
Ravens (-3) at Dolphins

The Falcons will have two more wins than the Cardinals. The Colts will have four more wins than the Chargers. The Ravens and Dolphins have the same record. The Eagles finished with just one less win than the Vikings but the same amount of losses.

Since the NFL has established the current playoff format in 2002, this has not been rare. In both the 2004 and 2005 playoffs, three of the four road teams won their wildcard matchups. This year, we have our first 8-8 division champion since 1985.

Derrick Mason Will Play on Sunday for the Ravens
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 27th 2008 1:31PM by Shane Bacon (author feed)
Filed under: Ravens, AFC NorthWith a playoff berth at stake, rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will be able to sleep a little better Saturday night. That’s because his top receiver will be in the lineup for the possible must-win against the Jaguars.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio is reporting that although Derrick Mason suffered three different separated shoulders in the win over Dallas last week, he will tough it out and play in the afternoon game on Sunday against Jacksonville.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh told Paolantonio that Mason’s shoulder is improving, but that he’s having some spasms in his neck. The plan is to give Mason some pre-game deep tissue massage and put him on the field.
Mason has pulled in 74 catches this year for 960 yards and five touchdowns. Since that is all you can really talk about, here is the video of last week when Mason had all those catches with basically one arm. If you don’t mind watching it with the annoying (and at times, NSFW) music, watch it. The guy is tougher than a Dodge truck.Continue Reading

Willis McGahee Talks Ravens Pep Talks, G’n'R, and Beating the ‘Boys With FanHouse
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 23rd 2008 2:00PM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Ravens, NFL Interviews

Willis, what’s up man? How you doing today?

I’m alright, how you doing?

Good man, good — thanks for taking the time to talk to FanHouse today. First off, how’d it feel to beat the Cowboys in the final regular season game in Texas Stadium?

Ah, it felt good, you know. I know their plan was to have a homecoming in the stadium, but our plan was just to go there and play Ravens football and that’s what we did — play Ravens football.

Right on, right on. Hey, I heard a rumor that Jerry Jones petitioned the league to play you guys in the last home game in that stadium. Did you guys hear about that beforehand?Continue Reading

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