Cracking the Coad

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

REGULAR SEASON RECORD

STRAIGHT UP

Last week: 10-6; overall: 150-106

SPREAD

Last week: 11-5; overall: 120-135

Let the games begin. It's wild-card weekend, the first playoff step on the road to the Super Bowl between the champions of the AFC and NFC Feb. 4 in Miami.

Kansas City (9-7) at Indianapolis (12-4)

The line: Colts by 6 1/2

The skinny: Tomorrow, 4:30 p.m. (NBC). If you think Indy has an easy first hurdle in the AFC wild-card game, it doesn't. The Colts' run defence is porous to put it mildly, vulnerable to a running back like the Chiefs' Larry Johnson, who can both punish and dance around defenders. Johnson had more carries than any other back in the NFL this season (416) and averaged 4.3 yards a pop. There's no question the Colts can pile up the points, but they have to get the ball first. That could be their downfall.

Cody's call: Colts 31-27

Dallas (9-7) at Seattle (9-7)

The line: Seahawks by 3

The skinny: Tomorrow, 8 p.m. (NBC). Don't put the Cowboys out to pasture just yet. True, they ended the regular season with a horrific loss to -- egad! -- the Detroit Lions, meaning they've lost two straight and three of their last four. Don't know about you, but to me the defending NFC champion Seahawks don't exactly inspire confidence. Their 4-4 second half included losses to division lightweights Arizona and improving San Francisco.

Cody's call: Seahawks 23-21

New York Jets (10-6) at New England (12-4)

The line: Patriots by 9

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. This is the week Cinderella's glass slipper gets shattered. The Jets have far surpassed everyone's expectations for this season, improving on 2005 by six wins and reaching the postseason. This team has a bright future under head coach Eric Mangini. But the Patriots have a real shot to win it all this year and they know how to do it (witness titles in 2004, 2003 and 2001). I believe in Brady and Belichick, although the Jets' 6-2 road record is impressive.

Cody's call: Patriots 24-17

New York Giants (8-8) at Philadelphia (10-6)

The line: Eagles by 7

The skinny: Sunday, 4:30 p.m. Ya gotta be pullin' for Jeff Garcia, the quarterback Eagle fans booed relentlessly when he had the temerity to try to fill the big cleats of Donovan McNabb after he was KO'd for the campaign by a Week 11 knee injury. Boo right back at you, foolish Philly followers. All Garcia did during the last six weeks was lead the Eagles to a 5-1 record and their fifth NFC East title in six years. In that span, the ex-Calgary Stamp tossed 10 TD passes and just two interceptions. Not surprising, those jeers are now cheers. The Giants? They'll go as Tiki Barber goes.

Cody's calls: Eagles 23-22


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