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Division Playoff Saturday Open Thread

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Even though we're still about 22 hours away from the kickoff of Cowboys/Vikings at the Metrodome, the playoffs are getting ready to gear up again here very shortly.

Today we get two match-ups that should be pretty good ones.  The earlier game is the one that we're the most concerned with, and will feature the Arizona Cardinals. . .fresh off of their 51-point performance against the Green Bay Packers last weekend. . .making a trip to the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints to determine one half of next weekend's NFC Championship Game.  The Cardinals aren't expecting wide receiver Anquan Boldin to be back for today's game, but they didn't have him last weekend, either, and played amazingly on offense against a formidable Packer defense.  The Saints came into the post-season stumbling, losers of three straight after starting the season 13-0.  Drew Brees and company are going to have to put up a lot of points in order to win what promises to be a shootout with the Cardinals.

This game will determine not only who moves on to the NFC Championship Game, but in part where it will be played.  If the Saints win, either Minnesota or Dallas will be on the road in New Orleans next weekend.  If the Cardinals can pull out a win, Arizona will travel to play the winner of tomorrow's contest.  So, yes, there's a chance that the NFC Championship Game could be played at the Metrodome.

The AFC match-up for today will see the Baltimore Ravens, coming off their decimation of the Patriots last week, going to Indianapolis to take on the #1 seed in the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts.  On paper, this looks like it should be a walkover for Indy. . .but Peyton Manning is 0-3 in his last three playoff games when his team is coming off of a bye.  I have a feeling that this game is going to be much more interesting than most folks are anticipating.

The NFC game will be on your local FOX affiliate, while the AFC game will be on CBS.  No more NBC games the rest of the year (thankfully, for the Vikings' sake).

So, if you're going to be watching the action, feel free to discuss it here.