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AFC and NFC Championship Previews

New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts - Sunday, January 24, 3:00PM ESTnfl
Total Offense Regular Season Rankings
Jets - 20th
Colts - 9th

Total Defense Regular Season Rankings
Jets - 1st
Colts - 18th

My take: The irresistible force (the Colts Offense) against the immovable object (the Jets Defense). That's pretty much what everyone is talking about leading up to this game. What can the Jets D to stop Peyton Manning? Well, not stop but slow down perhaps. You're not going to stop him. 

Manning can and will pick apart a blitzing defense, he's done it before. However, since this is Rex Ryan we're talking about, I think we will see some unusual blitz packages thrown at #18 on Sunday. Look for the Jets to try and disguise the blitz as much as they can so Peyton cannot make his customary pre-snap reads and adjustments, which is where he really makes his money at...

All that being said, I don't think the Jets will be able to do enough on defense to keep Peyton at bay long enough for their own offrense to keep up the pace, if youmark sanchez know what I mean.

The Jets Offense, in case you forgot, is lead by a rookie QB and because of that, they rely heavily on the run and they are very good at it. But look for the Colts to bring more into the box and dare the young signal-caller to beat them with his arm.

Won't happen.

Colts 27
Jets 13

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints - Sunday, January 24, 6:40 PM EST
Total Offense Regular Season Rankings
Vikings - 5th
Saints - 1st

Total Defense Regular Season Rankings
Vikings - 6th
Saints - 25th

My take: This will end in a great story either way.trophy

Either the city of New Orleans, still reeling after all these years from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, will see its beloved Saints finally go to the Super Bowl

Or...

The Old Man and his Purple Reign will get more shot at the Lombardi Trophy. For the Vikings franchise it would make it their 5th try in the Big Dance and for Brett Favre, it would be his 3rd trip to the Super Bowl, having gone 1-1 as a member of the Packers. 

The subplots are rife with anticipation and excitement...

As for injuries...

Vikings rookie receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin missed practice Friday and his teammates, Kevin Williams and Ray Edwards, just came back to practice after missing time due to injury. If any or all of these 3 cannot go or be at full speed come Sunday, it could have a profound impact on the outcome.

On the Saints side, TE Jeremy Shockey missed practice Friday, but was able to go the previous two days.

All that aside, my gut is telling me the Saints will finally climb that mountain and get to their first Super Bowl and truly exorcise all of the demons they have collected over the years... remember the Aints? 

Saints 31
Vikings 20

Manning-Favre photo from espn.com