Tim Davoll
The Diary of a Fantasy Virgin - Divisional Review/Conference Predictions

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The playoffs went down and I took a 1-3 record. Boy my prognostication is a little off this year. I can only gain comfort from watching the games because playoff football is that good. The television numbers should be off the chart this weekend. How can the Patriots win without a Tom Brady TD pass? How can the Seahawks win with only 103 yards passing? This was how it went down.

Playoff Results

It is very easy to go against the grain. For example, you could have taken all four home teams and you would have been 3-1 this weekend. In fact that is how it played out for most of the soothsayers in this world of prognostication.  So, let’s look at the games this week.

The weekend began with the Seahawks of Seattle hosting the Saints of New Orleans. Right off the bat it was a chippy game with big hits on both sides. Heck, both sides got into it before and during the game. I believed that Russell Wilson would struggle and he did. But this was overcome by Marshawn Lynch going for 140 yards and two touchdowns for Seattle. For New Orleans it took until the 4th quarter to score and yet they always appeared to be close to competing, yet they were not.  Seattle’s defense is the second star of the game as they made TE Jimmy Graham ineffective and this seemed to throw off the whole game plan of the Saints. Despite a torrid 4th quarter it was too little, too late. The Seattle Seahawks come out on top 23-15. The home game was the key to Seattle’s success.

Next up was the Indianapolis Colts visiting Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots. I thought that Tom Brady would struggle throwing TDs. I was right but the Patriots found another way to score. They scored on the ground. It was old time football and New England RB LeGarrette Blount went for 166 yards and four TDs. Andrew Luck and the Colts went by air and the Patriots went by ground. The ground won and The New England Patriots advanced to their 8th AFC Championship game on the back of their defense and the ground game. Who would of predicted this? The Patriots rebuilt themselves and Indianapolis had too many turnovers to overcome.  New England smokes the Colts 43–22. Advantage goes to New England for reinventing an offense that Indianapolis could not counter.

The first game on Sunday in Carolina was a combination of Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco defense at their finest. QB Colin ran well. QB Colin threw well. Then when it mattered the most the San Francisco defense rose to the occasion with four second half sacks. This frustrated QB Cam Newton and the only home team to lose over the weekend shows that experience sometimes trumps home field advantage. Even if that experience is only 1 1/2 seasons old.  San Francisco wins 23-10. Advantage went to San Francisco for making the necessary adjustments and winning as a complete team.  

The last game saw the Denver Broncos hosting the San Diego Chargers.  Denver amassed a 17-0 lead through three quarters and it appeared all was well. Well, San Diego scored 17 points in the 4th quarter and Mile High Fans were quaking in their shoes. This game must have reminded the locals about the monumental collapse last year to the Baltimore Ravens. But this time Manning got the last laugh and the Denver Broncos are in the AFC title game for the first time in eight seasons.  Denver wins 24–10.

Old vs. Young

The stories behind the games this weekend are rich with drama and dialogue. But one theme is too obvious for me to not talk about.  

The AFC sees two very savvy QBs in Tom Brady and Peyton Manning facing off against each other in a battle of wits. The NFC sees two modern day read-option QBs that seek to confuse the opponent with deception.  

It is like something strange happened and there are two Super Bowls. A Super Bowl to determine the best conventional pocket passer in the AFC and a Super Bowl to determine the best read-option quarterback in the NFC. What gives?

But can it be this simple? It can because there were just four.

Sunday’s Games

First up on Sunday are the Tom Brady-led run happy Patriots playing the Manning-led Denver Broncos. I believe that you can only go off script once and when the Patriots try it again Denver is there to make Tom Brady throw. Look for a Denver win, 30-17.

The second game features the San Francisco 49ers looking to get back to their second straight Super Bowl.  San Francisco is the definition of team and will prevail.  San Francisco 17–3.

Master D.

Tim can now be reached at tdavoll@fantasysharks.com and welcomes your opinions on the Diary of a Fantasy Virgin Articles.