Indianapolis (+4) at Baltimore
This is a Saturday game at 4:30 p.m. EST.
The Colts are 9:2 to win the AFC championship and 13:2 to win the Super Bowl. The Ravens are 2:1 to win the AFC championship and 15:4 to win the Super Bowl.
Indianapolis (13-4) handled Kansas City pretty easily last week, and it was on the heels of a great defensive effort as quarterback Peyton Manning struggled in another playoff game. Now, Manning heads on the road against a ferocious defense, and we all want to see how he handles the pressure, both physically and mentally.
Baltimore (13-3) was supposed to be the third best team in their division this year, but they outclassed both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Having quarterback Steve McNair is great during the regular season, but his calming influence is even more important come playoff time. Throw in a great defense and they are ready to make a Super Bowl run.
Philadelphia (+5) at New Orleans
This is the Saturday night game at 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Eagles are 9:2 to win the NFC championship and 12:1 to win the Super Bowl. The Saints are 12:5 to win the NFC championship and 17:2 to win the Super Bowl.
The Indy and Baltimore game would have been the better night game, but this one still has a lot of subplots. Philadelphia (11-6) has won six games in a row after Sunday's playoff win over the Giants. The Eagles are riding the coattails of quarterback Jeff Garcia, who while not flashy, is a pure winner.
New Orleans finished the season at 10-6 after sitting their starters the last game. That record was good enough for a first round bye in the NFC. Drew Brees leads a potent passing attack, and this could be a team of destiny after Hurricane Katrina, as they have brought hope to the whole State of Louisiana.
Seattle (+8.5) at Chicago
This is a Sunday game at 1:00 p.m. EST.
The Seahawks are 15:2 to win the NFC championship and 28:1 to win the Super Bowl. The Bears are 1:1 to win the NFC championship and 9:2 to win the Super Bowl.
All the Seattle players are writing thank you notes to Dallas' Tony Romo, whose botched hold on a field goal gave the Seahawks a second life. Now, Seattle (10-7) has to make the most of their opportunity, but it will not be easy for a team that is not exactly "road warriors".
Chicago (13-3) was the NFC's best team this year by a wide margin. One reason was the Bears' great defense, and the other was mediocre competition in the conference. One caution note: Quarterback, Rex Grossman and San Diego's Philip Rivers are the two most inexperienced signal callers left in the playoffs.
New England (+5) at San Diego
This is a Sunday game at 4:30 p.m. EST.
The Patriots are 5:1 to win the AFC championship and 8:1 to win the Super Bowl. The Chargers are 7:5 to win the AFC championship and 12:5 to win the Super Bowl.
This is the most anticipated game of the weekend by most accounts. San Diego (14-2) was the best team in the NFL during the regular season, but they will only be remembered if they win the Super Bowl. Having LaDainian Tomlinson on your side is a great start, and the defense is also top notch. But will it be enough?
The Patriots (13-4) are not as good as their teams that won the Super Bowl in 2003 and 2004, but they are better than the 2001 Super Bowl version. There is a lot to be said for that kind of successful playoff experience, and the Patriots are never a team you want to see coming to town.
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