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AFC PLAYOFFS: The Good, Bad & Ugly

By Eric Tellez ***1/14/10*** sfreport15@gmail.com

Here's the second part to the playoff review I started earlier today. I didn't want to post until I knew for sure what the status was for Indy receiver Pierre Garcon who's family resides in Haiti.

GAME 1: Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
The Good: The Colts could be the best team in the playoffs and have the best quarterback in the NFL. What separates the Colts from other teams is that they know what they do well and stay with it. Baltimore isn't going to take the Colts "out of their system" no matter how hard they hit or how long they hold the ball.

The Bad: We've been here before, the Colts entering the playoffs looking unbeatable and playing a team high on talent and short on respect. The Colts have been weak against the run as long as I can remember and Ray Rice and Willis McGahee are hard runners that won't wear down. WRs Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie are good, but how will they perform in their first post season?

The Ugly: Baltimore put a huge beating on the Patriots, even WITH WR Wes Welker the Ravens would have been a superior team. The Ravens have been playing for keeps the last few weeks, the Colts are entering the playoffs cold.

Baltimore Ravens
The Good: Joseph Addai is a solid runner but a defense with Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reed can stop the run. The Colts can win games running the ball occasionally but what happens when the run is no longer a threat and Indy is passing because they have no choice?

The Bad: The Ravens are starting a back-up at cornerback, Chris Carr, and Manning will find him when he's making his pre-snap adjustments. If the Colts get ahead early can QB Joe Flacco score points in a hurry with this offense?

The Ugly: The Ravens are entering the game weakened in their secondary. The Colts have enough wide receivers to stock three teams. To make it worse, the game winner could be kicked by former Raven Matt Stover who had been with the Ravens since their days in Cleveland.
GAME 2: New York Jets at San Diego Chargers
New York Jets
The Good: The Jets win games by working the clock and running the ball. As long as rookie QB Mark Sanchez, who only threw 15 passes against Cincinnati, doesn't lose the game the Jets can win. The Chargers are weak on their defensive line without Jamal Williams.

The Bad: The Chargers can score in a hurry. If the Jets are taking 7-and-8 minutes off the clock and the Chargers are scoring in 2-and-3 minutes than the ball control offense will backfire against New York. If the Chargers are ahead in the 4th they can alternate handoffs to RBs LaDainian Tomlinson, Jacob Hester, and Darren Sproles.

The Ugly: The Chargers have a fantastic secondary. If the game comes down to Mark Sanchez throwing the season is over for the J-E-T-S.

San Diego Chargers
The Good: Cornerback Darelle Revis is great, but not great enough to cover more than one man. The Chargers have weapons at every ball handling position and QB Philip Rivers is not intimidated by the moment. The Jets can run the ball but the Chargers have speed at linebacker and Safety Eric Weddle can play in the box.

The Bad: LaDainian Tomlinson has shown his age this season more than ever before and the Bolts have struggled in the Red Zone as of late. QB Philip Rivers has been great but hasn't dealt with much pressure. If the Jets can penetrate on blitzes and force Rivers to move he'll complete passes all day...they'll just be for 2-and-3 yards.

The Ugly: The Jets will love running against the 3-4 defense, especially with NT Jamal Williams on the sidelines in street clothes. Reserve players Dwight Lowery and Brad Smith have raw talent and aren't the kind of players you can figure out with film study.


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