Alex Keneiby is a student in the business school at the University of Miami and a guest contributor for the sports section of The Chaz. An NFL expert and a professional Fantasy Football consultant, his expansive football knowledge has yet to save him from the yearly heartbreak he experiences as a fan of the Buffalo Bills. Hailing from Long Island, NY, he likes long walks on the beach, green eyes and the music of Celine Dion.
Greetings loyal readers of The Chaz. As the designated sports contributor on this site, I have the unfortunate “pleasure” of being the college roommate of its creator and namesake. Living in such proximity to a creative genius such as myself has led our host to realize it would be foolish to not have me write for the site. So here I am, and I’ll make my debut by writing about the exciting weekend ahead of us in the NFL.
As it does every year, Wild Card weekend brought plenty of excitement and disappointment. We witnessed Andy Reid once again blow a chance at the super bowl in hilarious fashion after gaining a 28 point lead against the Indianapolis Colts led by the GEICO caveman. We saw Drew Brees and the Saints ride their new sweatsuits to the franchise’s first ever playoff road victory against Andy Reid’s former team, the Eagles, who still haven’t figured out the postseason. We saw Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton once again disappoint the entire city of Cincinnati and blow a game they were heavily favored to win against the San Diego Chargers. Seriously though, is anyone else wondering how Marv has managed to hold on to his job for this long? The man is now 0-5 in the playoffs for a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991, three years before yours truly was even born. The decision of Mike Brown to draft Andy Dalton, one pick ahead of Colin Kaepernick, under the influence of former offensive coordinator and new Redskins HC Jay Gruden is now downright laughable, after the 4 turnover performance last Sunday and his 0-3 playoff record. Finally, Wild Card weekend allowed us to see the 49ers beat the Packers in a game so cold that even rapper Ice Cube refused to attend.
The Divisional round typically offers just as much excitement as the Wild Card Weekend and is, after all, the last weekend with more than two games of football until next September. So without further ado, here is a preview and prediction for each of this weekend’s four games.
Game 1: New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks, Saturday 4:35 ET
The weekend kicks off with Drew Brees and the Saints going back to Seattle where they were crushed 34-7 a little over a month ago on Monday Night Football. This matchup won’t be quite as one-sided but the overall outcome will be the same. Marshawn Lynch will be enjoying all the skittles he pleases while Russel Wilson proves the doubters wrong and leads the Seahawks to their first championship game since the 2005 season.
Final Score: Seahawks 23, Saints 17
Game 2: Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots, Saturday 8:15 ET
The night game on Saturday presents viewers with their first opportunity to see the great Tom Brady go up against the youngster Andrew Luck in the playoffs. Both known for being shockingly clutch and effective in the 4th quarter, this one is shaping up to be a classic. Lets be honest, Tom Brady just has too much going for him between the supermodel Brazillian wife (who makes more money than him), his shockingly good looks, and his perception as a deity in the Boston area. It’s about time the smart, goofy looking guy in high school conquered his Zac Efron-esque rival. In this one, the Colts gain the first big upset of the weekend in a shootout as Adam Vinateri kicks a last-second game-winner against his old team.
Final Score: Colts 37, Patriots 35
Game 3: San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers, Sunday 1:05 ET
Sunday kicks off with the hardest game to call all weekend. At 1:00, two teams with exceptionally good defenses, a strong running game, and a quarterback who can do it all meet for the second time this season. The first game, which took place in San Francisco, led to a 10-9 victory for visiting Carolina Panthers. But since then, the 49ers have gotten back Michael Crabtree and their passing attack is at its peak for this season. This will call for a higher scoring game, but I still believe Superman Cam Newton will lead the Panthers back to the championship week for the first time since 2005, when ironically they lost to the Seattle Seahawks.
Final Score: Panthers 26, 49ers 24
Game 4: San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos, Sunday 4:40 ET
The slate of games this weekend comes to an end with these two divisional rivals meeting for the 3rd time this season. They split during the regular season, with the road team proving victorious each time. That would seem to bode well for the Chargers, but Peyton Manning is coming off of arguably the best season a quarterback has ever had, and is in line to win his 5th MVP award this year; no other player in league history has more than 3. At the same time, he has struggled in the playoffs throughout his career with a subpar 9-11 record. The Broncos probably won’t make the SuperBowl, but the Chargers aren’t the team to knock them out (seeing as if it wasn’t for a blown call by Bill Leavy, they wouldn’t even be in the playoffs). The Broncos should advance easily when its all said and done.
Final Score: Broncos 41, Chargers 24
Check in for more from the prolific Alex Keneiby for various sports related topics throughout the year.