AFC Championship: Jets vs. Colts
In the AFC Championship game you have the old school rushing attack vs. the new school passing attack. The Jets had the number one rushing attack in the NFL this year, and the Colts had the number two passing attack in the NFL. The game has certainly changed over the past few years. There were 10 quarterbacks who passed for over 4,000 yards this year, a. eight player improvement from the two who passed for that mark in 2003. One thing that has always been a constant in Super Bowl champions is defense. In the last seven years, six Super Bowl champions have finished the season in the top 10 in total defense. The Jets are number one this year in total defense, and in pass defense. A rookie quarterback has only made it this far in the playoffs one other time, and that was Joe Flacco who lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Steelers. Mark Sanchez hasn't had to do much in his first two playoff games because of the great rushing attack and defense of the Jets. For each team to win their strengths need to show up. The Colts need to find a way to pass on this defense, and get their young recievers involved in the game. The Jets need to be able to run the ball effectively. They cannot get in third and long situations.
Winner: Colts. I feel that Peyton will find a way to win. The inexperience of Mark Sanchez will also be a factor. Despite the great rushing attack, I feel the Colts will find a way to put Sanchez in passing situations, and that will be the difference.
NFC Championship: Vikings vs. Saints
In the NFC you have two teams that can hit a home run on any given play. This game features the top two scoring offenses in the league. Both these teams have explosive playmakers. While both these teams have high-powered offenses; I think the game will come down to defense. The Saints had to face the offense of the Cardinals, and they held them to only 14 points. The Vikings defense has always been good against the run, but they are facing an offense that likes to pass most of the time. This is not good for a Vikings pass defense that ranked 19th in the league.
Winner: Saints. I am a strong believer that a team's problems come out in the playoffs, and Adrian Peterson has had a problem with fumbling. Also, Brett Favre while he has made a career of throwing touchdowns, he has also thrown many interceptions. I feel that in a game that could come down to one or two defensive plays, I give the edge to the Saints.