The Colts have the hearts of Baltimore with stars like Johnny Unitas being the city’s idol. That was until a cold day in 1984 when in dead of night owner Robert Irsay snuck the team out of town in Mayflower trucks. The NFL would not return to Baltimore for 12 years as Unitas refused to associate himself with the Colts in Indianapolis. The Ravens have come in and been a success winning Super Bowl XXXV. Now with a trip to the AFC Championship the Colts are back in Baltimore, but this time it’s the Ravens the city holds its loyalty to. Look for the Colts to break the hearts of Baltimore again, as Peyton Manning and the Colts win a close game as the Ravens offense sputters against a Colts defense that may be finding itself at just the right time.
There is only one person who can stop the San Diego Chargers and that’s Coach Marty Schottenheimer who for all his success in the regular season has been a Greek Tragedy in the playoffs. Not even the Patriots can stop the Chargers as last year in Foxboro the Chargers handed these Patriots their first home loss in three years. The Chargers have the best player in football in MVP LaDainian Tomlinson who has run over the Patriots in the past. The Chargers also have the league’s leading sacker in Shawne Merriman who would have won top Defensive Player had he not been caught with steroids. QB Phillip Rivers may be inexperienced in the playoffs, but he was inexperienced at the start of the season and managed to go to 14-2. Look for Marty to keep his hands off as Cam Cameron calls the offensive plays and leads the Chargers to a statement win at home as Bill Bellechick has the song San Diego Chargers stuck in his head for the entire off-season.
The Saints are one of three teams in the Super Bowl era not to have played in Conference Championship Game. However, with a win Sunday that will all change as the surprise team of the NFL hosts the Eagles in the Divisional Playoffs. Earlier in the season as the Saints were in the midst of their surprising rise they stunned the Eagles with a last second field goal, and that’s when Donovan McNabb was still healthy and playing well. The Jeff Garcia surprise story has been good, but the story of the Saints who last year toiled without a home with a 3-13 as their home city lay in ruins. The heart of New Orleans is in the Saints and when they won their home opener in September it was one of the highlights of the season. Now those fans will get a chance to celebrate again as the Saints make it further then ever have before.
The Bears have been here twice before in recent years hosting a Divisional Round Game after a solid regular season. However, in both cases 2001 and last year it ended it heart ache as the Bears were stunned at home. This time the Bears even have home field throughout and the big question mark is going to be the play of Rex Grossman. The Bears defense is banged up and the so is the Seahawks offense with WR Darrell Jackson missing the game and RB Shaun Alexander is not 100% either. So it will come down to Grossman if he plays well the Bears will win easily, but if he makes mistakes the Bears will be going home disappointed again. In the end he will play good enough as the Bears win a close one.