Sunday Playoff Preview...Ravens/Chiefs & Packers/Eagles

By Joshua Casey

Yesterday, this Chicago Bears blogger went two-for-two in his playoff predictions. Ironically it was the two Super Bowl participants from last season that were eliminated from the playoffs.

Today’s opening game features the surprising Chiefs being visited by the Ravens (never more). Like the Chicago Bears, many experts didn’t think the Chiefs would continue their early season success. The Chargers were always the favorites to win the AFC West but in typical Chargers fashion…didn’t. Meanwhile, the Ravens were projected to be a Super Bowl contender and that could start today.

Ed Reed of the Ravens is dealing with his brother’s disappearance after being involved with a high-speed chase. Reed almost didn’t make the trip to Kansas City. But he did.

I had to turn to my in-house expert (my wife) who likes the Ravens because “their uniforms are cooler”. I’m thinking she’s right on the prediction and I’m indifferent to the uniforms. The Chiefs’ good run ends today.

In the most meaningful match-up of the day from the Chicago Bears standpoint the hated Packers visit the dog killing Eagles (or at least one member of that squad Mr. Mexico oops Vick). The Packers are still being projected by some to win the NFC while no one quite knows what to expect from the Eagles.

Despite the big comeback against the Giants a few weeks earlier, the Eagles haven’t played very well down the stretch cultivated by a Tuesday night loss to the Vikings two weeks earlier. This cost the Eagles any shot at a playoff bye.

Meanwhile, the Packers were in a dog fight (yeah I went there) with the Chicago Bears for the NFC North until the Packers decided to lose at Detroit. The Packers didn’t even know if they were making the playoffs until they beat the Chicago Bears last Sunday. While the game meant nothing to the Bears, Lovie Smith played his starters the whole game. It was a lot closer than the Packers would have liked.

My lovely wife thinks the Eagles will win today because of the home-field advantage, and I’m once again not going to argue. The Packers lack of a consistent running attack and the speed of the Eagles is a lot to handle.

Both teams squared off in week one with the Packers defeating the Eagles at home. This was before Vick was inserted as the starter (he entered because of an injury to Kevin Kolb). The Eagles mounted a comeback in the second half but it wasn’t quite enough. These are different looking teams since that game.

I think the Eagles will be in Chicago next week. Seattle scares me more because they’ve got nothing to lose. That’s a dangerous team. I presented incorrect information in yesterday’s blog when I said Seattle would be in Chicago when they won. They will be here if Green Bay wins which won’t happen. The Jets will travel to the Patriots and the Steelers get the winner of today’s AFC match-up.

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