Upset alert!

Eagles over New Orleans Tucker Miller The Cinderella story that has been the New Orleans Saints is about to come to a disappointing end. Although the Saints were a huge surprise coming out and winning the NFC South, they will not be able to overcome a surging Eagles team that has won their last six games.

Eagles over New OrleansTucker Miller

The Cinderella story that has been the New Orleans Saints is about to come to a disappointing end. Although the Saints were a huge surprise coming out and winning the NFC South, they will not be able to overcome a surging Eagles team that has won their last six games.

During the regular season, the Saints hit a last-second field goal to end the game after a thrilling comeback led by now injured quarterback Donovan McNabb. With McNabb out for the postseason, Jeff Garcia has taken the reins and directed a completely different yet effective Eagle attack. Garcia is 6-1 as a starter in his last seven games.

Garcia is a very successful West Coast-style quarterback and Philly has altered their offense to fit his skill set. Running lots of play-action fakes and short-step drop pass plays, the Eagles will tear apart the Saints. Sure, the Saints have a great tandem of running backs in Deuce McAlister and Reggie Bush. And yeah, Drew Brees is playing like a man on fire. But the Saints’ defense won’t be able to stop the speedy Brian Westbrook who is a constant homerun threat whenever he touches the ball or Garcia when he gets into a rhythm.

The real denominator will be the Eagle defense. They have a really tough group up front that will keep constant pressure on the quarterback. Free safety Brian Dawkins will roam the secondary ready to be a highlight on the next NFL Primetime’s Jacked Up segment. The Eagles will be sending the bayou Saints back home to do some serious defensive upgrading in the off-season.

Tuck’s picks:Baltimore 24 over Indianapolis 17

San Diego 30 over New England 21

Chicago 26 over Seattle 15

New Orleans 34 over Philadelphia 20

Patriots over ChargersJoe Kotsovos

While Vegas has the Patriots as five point underdogs to the Chargers this weekend, it will come as no surprise when New England makes San Diego’s Super Bowl dreams disappear on Sunday night.

Why will the Patriots win this game? For the answer, we must look to history. Quarterback Tom Brady’s career playoff record is an incredible 11-1. That says it all right there. The playoffs are Brady and the Patriots’ time of year. Not to mention head coach Bill Belichick always seems to have an ace up his sleeve in those crucial situations.

Recent success has given the Patriots the edge when it comes to playoff experience, which is invaluable this time of year. The Chargers, conversely, are sending out first year starting QB Philip Rivers to take the snaps. If the Patriots can limit tailback LaDainian Tomlinson it will put added pressure on Rivers and his passing game. If New England can force the young quarterback into some mistakes, Rivers and the Chargers will fold like a napkin on a warm day.

An 8-0 home record is a big part of the reason why the Chargers are favored in this game. They have been tremendous at home. On the other hand, the Patriots posted a sensational 7-1 road record this year, which shows that being the visitors are hardly a handicap to them.

Joe’s picksIndianapolis 27 over Baltimore 17

New England 30 over San Diego 24

Chicago 14 over Seattle 10

New Orleans 23 over Philadelphia 20

Colts over BaltimoreNathan Hellman

By no means is picking NFL games easy, especially with the added wackiness of the playoffs-remember Tony Romo’s butter fingers in Seattle. But, if there is one game on this week’s Divisional Playoff schedule that screams “sure thing,” it’s Indianapolis versus Baltimore.

Baltimore coasted to 13 wins, is the number two seed in a brutal AFC and has the number one defense in the NFL. On the other hand, the Colts posted only 12 victories, are the third seed and couldn’t replicate the Ravens’ storming defensive attack with twice as many players. Looks like a mismatch on paper, but remember, looks can be so deceiving sometimes.

It’s obvious Indianapolis can’t match the Ravens’ “playoff-proven” defense, but their offense more than compensates. Peyton Manning and his catch-anything receivers, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, will prove that what really matters is how explosive the offense can be.

At every position, the Colts’ offense reigns supreme. Quarterback is no contest. The Colts’ talented receiving corps is dangerous. Their offensive line allowed a league-low 15 sacks. The running game is good enough to take pressure off of the quarterback.

Indy’s defense might be really bad, but the key is Baltimore’s offense is much worse. It will be the Ravens’ inability to put points on the board that leads to their demise. If Indy’s up-and-down defense led by the resurgent Dwight Freeney can stop Steve McNair and company at least once or twice, the Colts have this one on lockdown.

Nate’s picks:Indianapolis 24 over Baltimore 21

San Diego 37 over New England 17

Chicago 34 over Seattle 10

Philadelphia 27 over New Orleans 21

Seahawks over BearsAndrew R. Tonry

It seems like every writer and bookie out there has got Chicago knocking off Seattle this weekend. Not me though. And in choosing the Seahawks, let’s just make one thing clear – I’m no fan of the team or the city they call home.

So do I think the Seahawks are good? Not so much. Did they deserve the gift Tony Romo gave them in the wildcard game after lamely limping into the playoffs? No way in hell.

But since when has Rex Grossman ever inspired an ounce of confidence in anyone including his own team? The jittery idiot drops games like loose change. Even when the Bears’ awesome defense does more than their share, Rex finds ways to invalidate their efforts. And now, under the immense pressure and bright playoff lights, he’s supposed to take them to the next level? Not a chance. If Grossman can’t win a tune-up game at home against the lowly Packers, why now, against the more rounded Seahawks?

Aside from Grossman, two other factors line up in front of the Bears. One, Seattle has been there. They’ll handle the playoff atmosphere with a steady hand while Grossman’s crooked fingers shake. Two, the Seahawks are playing on borrowed time and they know it. They’re lucky to be here and their urgency should reflect that.

In a tight game Seattle will show veteran offensive poise on a late-game drive that sends the Bears packing. 20-17, Seattle.

Andrew’s picks:Baltimore 27 over Indianapolis 24

San Diego 27 over New England 21

Seattle 17 over Chicago 14

Philadelphia 21 over New Orleans 20