NFL PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Divisional Round
Tony Tix Playoff record: 1-3
SATURDAY, JAN. 16
Louisiana Superdome, 3:30 p.m. CST, FOX
Last weekend’s shootout in the desert made history for most points scored in a NFL postseason game. That record may stand only one week with Arizona heading to New Orleans to battle the Saints. The high-powered Saints offense averaged over 400 yards per game in route to a 13-3 record and #1 seed in the NFC. QB Drew Brees will have no problem moving the ball up and down the field while utilizing his playmakers WR Marques Colston, WR Robert Meachem, & TE Jeremy Shockey. Arizona will counter with QB Kurt Warner looking to hook up with his fleet of WRs, led by Larry Fitzgerald. Whoever wins the turnover battle will win the game.
Tony Tix Pick: Saints 41 Cardinals 35
Lucas Oil Stadium, 7:15 p.m. CST, CBS
MVP Peyton Manning and the Colts are 0-3 in the divisional round of the playoffs when they have had a first-round bye. Each of those years the Colts rested their starters at the end of the regular season and are doing the same this year resting Manning, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark & co. since week 16. The Colts are up against a stout opponent in the Baltimore Ravens who just went into New England and knocked off Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Ravens are fully equipped for a long playoff run with a top notch running game and defense. With John Harbaugh seeming to have the right playoff formula to get the Ravens motivated and peaking at the right time look for the Ravens to squeak one out in Indy on Saturday night.
Tony Tix Pick: Ravens 28 Colts 27
SUNDAY, JAN. 17
Metrodome, 12 p.m. CST, FOX
The Cowboys’ rout of the Eagles on Saturday night sends them to Minnesota for a showdown with NFC North Champion Vikings this Sunday. Tony Romo and the vaunted Dallas D have played dominant football since they marched into the Superdome in December and beat the then undefeated Saints, 24-17. Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the Vikings offense need to have a big time performance against the Cowboys defense to advance to the NFC Championship.
Tony Tix Pick: Cowboys 27 Vikings 23
Qualcomm Stadium, 3:30 p.m. CST, CBS
Rookie Marc Sanchez proved all his doubters wrong, including me, when the NY Jets went into Cincinnati and beat the Bengals. With the improved play of Sanchez to go along with their reliable running attack and No.1 ranked stellar defense the Jets will put up a fight against the explosive San Diego Chargers. The Bolts and QB Phillip Rivers have not been intimidated going against the top ranked defenses in the league. In three games this season vs. the Ravens (No. 3), Bengals (No. 4) and Steelers (No. 5), Rivers averaged 333 passing yards, with eight touchdowns tosses. Look for San Diego to add onto their 11 game winning streak and play for the Lamar Hunt Trophy next weekend.