2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: New York Jets Vs. Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens Vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Apparently non-NFC teams have a 2011 playoff bracket of their own. Well, good for them.

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Ravens Vs. Chiefs Picks And Predictions: The Experts Weigh In On the Baltimore-Kansas City Winner

I'm not sure I remember a season where the home playoff teams have been getting so little respect. The Chiefs are the latest victim as most of the experts are on board with a Ravens win. I agree with them, don't misunderstand, but I didn't think it would be quite the landslide it has been. The Chiefs do have a dominant running game, a 7-1 home record and a quarterback who plays mistake-free. Then again, it's playoff season and the Ravens have the pedigree.

Source Winner Notes
Miami Herald Ravens Greg Cote: The Ravens have enough run stoppage to limit K.C.'s big ground attack. That means pressure shifts to Matt Cassel, coming off a nightmare game last week and making his first playoff start. I will take Joe Flacco, who becomes the fifth quarterback to start a playoff game in each of his first three seasons, after Otto Graham (1950-52), Pat Haden (1976-78), Dan Marino (1983-85) and Bernie Kosar (1985-87). Experience matters. Ravens 21, Chiefs 17
CBS Sports Ravens The Chiefs get no love at home despite a 7-1 record there this season.
Fanhouse Ravens Chris Burke: Despite the road game, Baltimore figures to be favored in this one. And the Ravens' 33-14 romp at New England last postseason showed that this team can go into hostile environments and get the job done. This one doesn't figure to be as easy as that one, though -- Kansas City enters the playoffs under the radar, but it's a solid enough team to pull this one out. That doesn't mean the Chiefs will though. Baltimore 24, Kansas City 21
What If Sports Chiefs The Chiefs won 60.6 percent of the simulations. Chiefs 21, Ravens 18
Sports Illustrated Ravens Peter King: I love the Chiefs' run game, with Mr. Inside (Thomas Jones) and Mr. Outside (Jamaal Charles) being capable of winning it. But this game, I believe, is going to be a case of a young, hungry, deserving team getting very close, and nearly being rewarded for a division title with a playoff win, but the Ravens being a little bit more equipped to grind down a defense on the ground. Ravens 23, Chiefs 20
USA Today Ravens Eight for Eight for the now-lesser known Harbaugh's team.
Sporting News Ravens The Chiefs are getting less love than the Seahawks in this matchup.

 

Only the WhatIfSports computer showed the Chiefs any kind of love. One positive is most experts think it will be a close game and if the Chiefs can keep it close in the fourth quarter, all bets are off.

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Jets Vs. Colts Picks And Predictions: The Experts Weigh In On the New York-Indianapolis Winner

The Jets and Colts are getting together for a rematch of last season's AFC championship game only this time they are having it in the Wild Card round. The Colts are not as good as they were last year and, by all accounts, the Jets are better. That should equal a bevy of experts predicting a Jets' victory, right? Apparently not.

Source Winner Notes
Miami Herald Colts Greg Cote: This is the Colts' record-tying ninth consecutive playoff appearance, and although this isn't Indy's best team, the Colts have been very good the past month, finding their full gallop at just the right time. The combo of that momentum, Peyton Manning and the home field tilt this result. Colts 27, Jets 20
CBS Sports Colts One expert likes the Jets to win on the road but the other four are all on the Peyton Manning train.
Fanhouse Colts Chris Burke: As we've come to expect from Rex Ryan, the Jets head coach is talking a big game heading into the playoffs. It's not that the Jets can't run the table as the AFC's No. 6 seed and get to the Super Bowl, but is it wise to further motivate Manning, who's already got the memory of last year's Super Bowl loss in his mind? Sanchez could take a big step forward in his development by defeating Peyton at his place, but it's still hard to pick against Manning in this situation. Colts 31, Jets 24
What If Sports Jets This was the closest wild card game in their simulations with the Jets winning 54.7 percent of the simulations. Jets 20, Colts 19
Sports Illustrated Colts Peter King: Look for Manning, who is getting more and more comfy with his replacement tight end, to throw double-digit chain-moving passes to Jacob Tamme to try to out-possess the Jets. Whether it's Brad Smith or some anonymous defender, someone on the Jets you don't expect will have to come up big for the Jets to make enough plays to win. Colts 30, Jets 24
USA Today Colts Seven of the eight experts like Peyton Manning to beat the Jets.
Sporting News Colts It's a little closer at USA Today but still four of six experts like the Colts.

The Jets won more games, played a tougher schedule and are still not predicted to beat the Colts. I know it's the Peyton Manning effect and you never want to bet against him in the playoffs but the four best teams in the AFC all season have been the Patriots, Steelers, Jets and Ravens and I can't envision a scenario where they all don't play in the divisional playoffs next week. I like the Jets here.

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2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: Baltimore Ravens Vs. Kansas City Chiefs Game Preview

The Baltimore Ravens will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs for the first time ever. They've met five times in the regular season with the Chiefs winning the first three between 1999 and 2004 and the Ravens winning the last two. The Ravens are the third-best team in my Unbiased Power Rankings with a 475.8 rating. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are only 12th with a 362.5 rating. The Chiefs are one of only two playoff teams (Seahawks) to be ranked lower in my rankings than non-playoff teams. Not a good sign.

The last meeting between these two teams was the 2009 opener when the Ravens blew open a close game with a 21-point fourth quarter. Of course, the Chiefs had to start Brodie Croyle in that game due to Matt Cassel's sprained knee suffered in the preseason so that game has little bearing on this meeting.

What will be the result this time around? Let's dive in.

Ravens Analysis

Only the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons have been more impressive - according to the Unbiased Rankings - this season than the Ravens. They've beaten four teams with winning records, tied for third-best among playoff teams and are on a four-game winning streak. They have only one bad loss, in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and posted a 5-3 road record this season.

Chiefs Analysis

The Chiefs have beaten one team with a winning record this season and that was a seven-point win in Week 1 against the San Diego Chargers. They've spent most of the season beating up on average teams and lost the only other games they played against winning opponents (Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 and Chargers in Week 14). They are 7-1 at home and would have been undefeated but a 31-10 loss to the Oakland Raiders in Week 17 changed that.

The Pick

I like both road teams in the AFC and think the Ravens have enough offense to leave Arrowhead with a win.

Ravens 26, Chiefs 20

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2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: New York Jets Vs. Indianapolis Colts Game Preview

In a rematch of last season's AFC title game, the 10-6 Indianapolis Colts host the 11-5 New York Jets. The Jets are ninth in my rankings with a 425.8 rating while the Indianapolis Colts are 10th with a 398.8 rating. I have the Jets as the last team in the second tier and put the Colts as the top team in the third tier. Needless to say, I think this game will be very close.

The Jets and Colts have met in the playoffs three times in their franchise history, twice since 2003. Their first meeting, you may recall, was Super Bowl III and Joe Namath guaranteed his way to a victory over the then-Baltimore Colts. Thirty-four years later in 2003, Peyton Manning threw two picks and Chad Pennington led the Jets to a 41-0 rout, giving Manning the worst loss of his career. In the AFC Championship game last season, the Colts trailed 17-6 in the second quarter before three Manning touchdown passes put the game out of reach and put the Colts in the Super Bowl with a 30-17 win.

What will be the result this time around? Let's dive in.

Jets Analysis

The Jets biggest wins this season came against the New England Patriots (Week 2) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 15) but those were their only wins against teams with a winning record all season, tied for second-fewest among playoff teams. However, of their five losses, only one could be considered a bad loss. In Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins, the Jets were beaten 10-6 at home. After starting 9-2, the Jets are only 2-3 in their last five games but are 6-2 in road games this season which is good, since that's where they'll be playing.

Colts Analysis

The Colts beat the Giants and Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of the year but then spent the rest of it playing only three teams with winning records, going 0-3 in those contests. A streaky team lately, the Colts lost three in a row before winning their last four and getting into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. The Colts are 6-2 at home with their only losses coming during the three-game Manning meltdown in leate November and early December.  The one bad loss on the Colts resume is an overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13.

The Pick

The Jets have been the stronger team all season - despite their end of year lull - and I like them to beat the Colts in a close game.

Jets 23, Colts 21

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2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: New York Jets Vs. Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens Vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Your 2011 AFC wild card round playoff schedule. All times ET. For NFC games, click here.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts, 8 pm Jan. 8, NBC: The two NFL teams most overly discussed by the media? I think so. The 10-6 Colts have been football's most boring team for years now, while the 11-5 Jets are at least fun to watch and a zoo of a carnival off the field, so go Jets.

This is a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game, when Peyton Manning waited a quarter and a half to get around to splintering New York's supposedly impenetrable secondary. But this time the Jets will ... well, Manning will throw some touchdowns or something and we'll all miss Rex Ryan.

For more on this game join Gang Green Nation or Stampede Blue.

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 pm Jan. 9, CBS: A far more interesting matchup, but one that will get less attention. Who doesn't want to watch the league's No. 1 rushing offense take on the No. 5 rushing defense in one of the nation's best pro football venues?

Whether you've heard of him or not Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles is the NFL's best running back, and you have no reason not to watch him play this weekend. Also Ray Lewis blahhh blahhh blahhh.

For more on this game join Baltimore Beatdown or Arrowhead Pride.

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