2008 NFL Preview - Playoffs From WhatIfSports.com image

2008 NFL Playoff Preview

Patriot day arrives again; Vikings and Browns surprise
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
June 20th 2008

After previewing an NFL division each day for the last eight days, we present final standings, leaders, award winners and playoff results. This analysis is part of a broader endeavor with FOXSports.com's Fantasy Football. For this analysis, each regular season and playoff game is simulated 1,000 times. Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of June 8th. A list of all NFL preview content is located here. On Monday, June 23rd, we will also post our fantasy football cheat sheets and first NFL power rankings of the season.

Today we preview the Playoffs*. First, we present playoff results with links to boxscores and play-by-play of each game. All games were simulated 1,000 times with the boxscores coming from example games with a similar result as the average outcome. Final standings, stats leaders and award winners are below.

AFC Wild Card Games
#6 Buffalo 17 @ #3 Indianapolis 30 - The Bills have a great season, but it ends here. The Colts are too powerful to allow this to stay close. Lucas Oil Field sees its first playoff victory.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.
#5 Jacksonville 24 @ #4 Cleveland 28 - Despite the seeding and home-field advantage, this game can still be considered a surprise. Jamal Lewis tops 100 yards and Derek Anderson goes off for 325 yards and three scores.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

NFC Wild Card Games
#6 Green Bay 31 @ #3 Carolina 19 - Both NFC Wild Card teams could win the divisions of the teams they are playing in the first round. In this game, Aaron Rodgers is very efficient with his 19 pass attempts and Ryan Grant controls tempo on the ground.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.
#5 New York 28 @ #4 Seattle 17 - The Giants are defending Super Bowl champs and the Seahawks are lucky to play in the NFC West. Mike Holmgren goes out with another division championship, but that's all.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

AFC Divisional Games
#4 Cleveland 24 @ #1 New England 31 - Romeo Crennel just does not have the man-power to overcome his former team. The Patriots roll in a game that looks closer than it actually is.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.
#3 Indianapolis 23 @ #2 San Diego 20 - The Colts avenge last season's home playoff loss to the Chargers by taking a close one in San Diego.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

NFC Divisional Games
#5 Green Bay 24 @ #1 Dallas 35 - Aaron Rodgers cannot find the magic of his 2007 showing in Texas. Young players James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Brandon Jackson score for the Packers, so the future is not so dim. They may be competing with Dallas for a while though, as Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Patrick Crayton and Felix Jones, who also have big games, are not exactly aging veterans.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.
#3 New York 28 @ #2 Minnesota 31 - Adrian Peterson makes his first playoff game a memorable one. Of his 178 total yards from scrimmage, Peterson gains 38 on the Vikings' game-winning overtime drive. On a neutral field, these teams are dead even. In Minnesota, the Giants' remarkable run of road playoff wins comes to an end.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

Conference Championship Games
#3 Indianapolis 24 @ #1 New England 27 - Again? In the regular season, this game was a coin flip with New England on top just 52% of the time. In New England in January, the game is still close, but the Patriots have a little more of the edge.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.
#2 Minnesota 21 @ #1 Dallas 28 - The Cowboys have to be glad that they do not have to see the Giants for the third time this season and sixth time in two years. Minnesota is putting together a good team, yet they are not on the same level as Dallas. Adrian Peterson tallies 352 total yards from scrimmage in two playoff games. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Tarvaris Jackson throws six interceptions in those games. Neither team is undefeated this year, but the top seeds from each conference (the last two years) will face each other in the Super Bowl in Tampa.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

Super Bowl
New England 33, Dallas 31 - Super Bowl XLIII is quite the exciting nail-biter. The Patriots prevail for the fourth time this decade. Tom Brady earns MVP honors with 209 yards passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Tony Romo matches Brady in TDs, but throws an early interception that leads to the Patriots' second score and swings all of the momentum in New England's favor.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

*For an update on how the playoffs with the New York Jets look with Brett Favre, please click here.


Regular Season Awards

NFL MVP: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings - 320 rushes, 1,620 rushing yards, 15 total TDs
Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady, New England Patriots - 354/531, 4,657 yards, 40 TDs, 13 INTs
Defensive Player of the Year: DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys - 90 tackles, 14 sacks
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers - 243 rushes, 1,178 rushing yards, 11 total TDs
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots - 98 tackles, 1 INT, 2 sacks
Coach of the Year: John Fox, Carolina Panthers - Leads team to 10-6 record


Final Standings (*division winner, + wild card)


AFC EastWinsLosses
New England Patriots* 13 3
Buffalo Bills+ 9 7
New York Jets 7 9
Miami Dolphins 5 11

AFC NorthWinsLosses
Cleveland Browns* 10 6
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 7
Baltimore Ravens 5 11
Cincinnati Bengals 5 11

AFC WestWinsLosses
San Diego Chargers* 11 5
Denver Broncos 7 9
Oakland Raiders 6 10
Kansas City 4 12

AFC SouthWinsLosses
Indianapolis Colts* 11 5
Jacksonville Jaguars+ 10 6
Tennessee Titans 7 9
Houston Texans 6 10

NFC EastWinsLosses
Dallas Cowboys* 12 4
New York Giants+ 11 5
Washington Redskins 9 7
Philadelphia Eagles 8 8

NFC NorthWinsLosses
Minnesota Vikings* 11 5
Green Bay Packers+ 9 7
Detroit Lions 6 10
Chicago Bears 6 10

NFC WestWinsLosses
Seattle Seahawks* 9 7
San Francisco 49ers 8 8
Arizona Cardinals 6 10
St. Louis Rams 5 11

NFC SouthWinsLosses
Carolina Panthers* 10 6
New Orleans Saints 8 8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 8
Atlanta Falcons 5 11

League Leaders


Passing (by yards)Comp%Yards TDsINTs
Tom Brady 66.7% 4657 40 13
Peyton Manning 64.9% 4260 32 12
Tony Romo 64.6% 4103 31 17
Carson Palmer 64.1% 4061 27 17
Drew Brees 61.1% 3944 26 15
Derek Anderson 60.0% 3853 27 15
Eli Manning 63.9% 3750 25 12
Matt Hasselbeck 60.6% 3720 22 13
Ben Roethlisberger 64.6% 3455 23 10
Marc Bulger 59.6% 3396 19 17

Rushing (by yards)YardsAVG TDs
LaDainian Tomlinson 1661 4.87 15
Adrian Peterson 1620 5.06 13
Brandon Jacobs 1447 4.81 12
Joseph Addai 1426 4.30 14
Willie Parker 1398 4.31 11
Larry Johnson 1393 3.77 9
Edgerrin James 1364 3.79 10
Ryan Grant 1362 4.95 11
Brian Westbrook 1359 4.84 12
Marshawn Lynch 1356 4.35 11

Receiving (by yards)RecsYards TDs
Randy Moss 93 1563 12
Braylon Edwards 95 1400 9
Terrell Owens 87 1335 9
Larry Fitzgerald 89 1310 7
Reggie Wayne 81 1307 9
Torry Holt 95 1236 6
T.J. Houshmandzadeh 114 1217 7
Andre Johnson 81 1192 8
Bernard Berrian 71 1160 8
Calvin Johnson 73 1154 7

Click here to view a schedule of 2008 NFL previews and see others that have been posted.

We hope that you enjoy our Beyond the Boxscore feature. As with all of our free features, games and content we are willing to listen to feedback and improve this page and content to make it as interesting and user-friendly as possible. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, please contact Customer Support. Thanks!

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