Ultimate NFL Playoffs Prep

Burning answers to questions to make you sound smarter around the nacho bowl.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

You are a busy, busy person. You had presents to unwrap, resolutions to write and balls that needed to be watched while dropping. CraveOnline is an understanding group and we’re here to help. Memorize this list and you’ll be guaranteed to sound smarter than all of the usual times you’ve been faking.

“Green Bay will only go as far as their O-Line can protect them.”
The Pack’s porous pass protection is starting to look very un-Wisconsin cheese … holes like Swiss cheese. Every game they’ve lost this year has been to teams that got to Aaron Rogers. With a questionable running game, they live and die by giving him time to slice defenses apart.

“The Falcons have the weakest strength of schedule of any playoff team by far.”
An Atlanta friend of mine likes to boast that the Dirty Birds will win the NFC because they have swagger after winning so many games. Last I checked, facts win… swagger walks home.

“You can’t name me a one-dimensional team that won the Super Bowl.”
I’m looking at you.

“Inspiration is great for college and Disney movies, not Super Bowl teams.”
Sorry, Colts, but great stories like yours doesn’t work in the pros. Sooner or later, more talented, professional men will be too much for you.

“If the Ravens can remember who they are, then Ray Lewis can retire a champion.”
When the Ravens held opponents to 20 points or under, they are 8-4.
When they failed to hold to 20, the Ravens were 2-5.
It’s simple. Ray Rice runs. Falco throws to Torrey Smith just enough to keep teams honest. Bolden makes Falco look good. Ray Lewis leads a crazy strong defense. Any deviation is risking failure.

“Untested QB can’t win is an old man’s views.”
Once upon a time, conventional wisdom said a QB needed to get to the playoffs for a second time before success. It is a mortal lock that at least one rookie will win at least once. Sure, that’s cheating with Russell Wilson and RGIII facing off in the first round. However, with Andrew Luck and first-year starter Colin Kaepernick in the mix, this isn’t your granpappy’s crop of newbie QBs. Expect them to impress.

“The 49ers losing will not be Kaepernick’s fault.”
If the 49ers lose, there will be plenty to blame the decision to replace Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick. Unless his performance is colder than a summer day on the bay, it won’t be his fault. It will be the loss of wideout Mario Manningham. More importantly, if Aldon Smith isn’t available to rush some quality passers, their defense will be questionable.

“Denver just needed a month to gel.”
The Broncos only lost three games. All of them came before their bye week, AND they came to Atlanta, New England and Houston. Some wahoo will mention those losses but try not to roll your eyes too much. With any new QB, a period of adjustment is expected. Once Peyton Manning made the team his own, there was no looking back.

“Whoever gets the Bengals will go far. (looking at you Texans)”
Yes, they are entering the playoffs stumbling more than a fat man after an all you can eat brisket contest. No disputing that, partner. But, what has changed? After last year’s one-and-done appearance due to injuries, it is understandable they were cautious with their superstars. One taste of Bengal meat, and the Texans will be back to early season form.

“The Bengals are two points away from a perfect two months.”
The only loss was a nail-biting one-pointer to a desperate Dallas team. The Bengals bring experience and a strong defense. If they can get past the Texans, they will match up well against New England and Baltimore.

“A year after the Giants won the Super Bowl is no time to mention the Seahawks' road record.”
The Giants had to win twice on the road, and Seattle is a wild card team; where they've won all four years prior.
It isn’t that Seattle can’t win on the road, it is that they are perfect at home.

Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch and at www.facebookcom/craveonlinesports.com.

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