2009 NFL Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 NFL Playoff Predictions

Playoffs, League Leaders and Award Winners
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
June 19th, 2009

To finalize our 2009 NFL Preview, we present final standings, leaders, award winners and playoff results. As part of a broader endeavor with FOXSports.com's Fantasy Football, each regular season and playoff game is simulated 10,000 times. Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of June 9th. A schedule of the 2009 NFL preview content is located here. On Tuesday, June 23rd, we will also post our fantasy football cheat sheets and first NFL power rankings of the season.

Today we preview the Playoffs. We present playoff results with links to boxscores and play-by-play of each game. Boxscores are from example games with a similar result as the average outcome. Final standings, leaders and award winners follow the playoffs.

AFC Wild Card Games
#6 Houston 27 @ #3 Indianapolis 21 (OT) - The lone divisional matchup of the playoffs is also the only overtime game. A more experienced Houston Texans team goes into Lucas Oil Stadium and eliminates the Colts on a 34-yard touchdown run six minutes into OT.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

#5 New York Jets 21 @ #4 San Diego Chargers 24 - A 28-point fourth quarter culminating in a Chris Chambers game-winning touchdown reception with 14 seconds left in the game makes for a thrilling Wild Card Playoff game. LaDainian Tomlinson, who gains 163 total yards and scores a touchdown, is the key to the Chargers' success.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

NFC Wild Card Games
#6 New York Giants 20 @ #3 Minnesota 23 - Two of our top five teams in the league faceoff in the first round of the playoffs. A 45-yard Ryan Longwell field goal as time expires provides the difference in Minnesota.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

#5 Dallas 17 @ #4 New Orleans 30 - The Saints' prolific passing offense is too much for the Cowboys' secondary. Tony Romo continues his poor late-season play with three interceptions.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

AFC Divisional Games
#6 Houston 14 @ #1 Pittsburgh 15 - The Texans keep it close the whole game, but their dream season ultimately falls short against the defending Super Bowl champions when Jeff Reed connects from 27-yards in the final seconds. Reed makes five field goals in the win to put Pittsburgh back in the AFC Championship Game.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

#3 San Diego 27 @ #2 New England 30 - Far more points are scored in the second AFC Divisional Game, but the result is similar. The home team New England Patriots answer a last-minute game-tying Chargers' touchdown with a 49-yard, game-winning field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Tom Brady throws for 297 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

NFC Divisional Games
#4 New Orleans 20 @ #1 Philadelphia 27 - The Eagles erase a three-point halftime deficit by outscoring New Orleans 13-3 after the break. Philadelphia is guaranteed homefield advantage in the NFC Championship against Arizona or Minnesota.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

#3 Minnesota 21 @ #2 Arizona 28 - The Vikings fail to avenge their biggest loss (and only game in which they are the underdogs) from the season. Arizona's win sets up a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game. Kurt Warner lights up Minnesota for 284 yards and three touchdowns on 26-of-35 passing.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

Conference Championship Games
#2 New England 20 @ #1 Pittsburgh 17 - After an injury-plagued 2008, Tom Brady and the Patriots are back in the Super Bowl. New England goes into Pittsburgh to get a tough playoff road win. Brady is incredibly efficient against the vaunted Steelers defense, with no turnovers and only five incomplete passes on 23 attempts..
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

#2 Arizona 17 @ #1 Philadelphia 28 - The Eagles exact revenge from last season with a big home win in the NFC Championship Game. Philadelphia again comes back from a halftime deficit to win convincingly. In a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb will square off for the title. Both quarterbacks have better weapons so expect a shootout.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

Super Bowl XLIV
Philadelphia 34 vs. New England 31 - E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles! Andy Reid works his magic at halftime for the third straight playoff game, leading Philadelphia out of a hole to win the Super Bowl. Young weapons prove the difference in this example game as rookies LeSean McCoy and Cornelius Ingram both score touchdowns. Interestingly, Tom Brady's performance is enough to earn him the MVP award in the losing effort. Brady completes 25-of-40 passes for 279 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. It's not enough to win the game however. Brady gets a chance to lead the team to victory on the Patriots' final drive. Trailing 34-31 with 1:21 remaining and the ball on their own 34, Brady helps New England pick up 37 yards in less than a minute. Facing a fourth and four with 33 seconds to go, another Philadelphia rookie, defensive back Victor "Macho" Harris, blitzes from the blind side and gets to the frantic quarterback before he can release the ball. Brian Westbrook totals 93 yards and two touchdowns and Donovan McNabb throws for 297 yards and two touchdowns for the victorious Eagles.
Click to view boxscore with play-by-play.

Regular Season Awards

NFL MVP: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings - 328 rushes, 1,644 rushing yards, 15 total TDs; 2) Tom Brady; 3) Drew Brees; 4) Larry Fitzgerald; 5) Peyton Manning

Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints - 335/544, 4,183 yards, 30 TDs, 14 INTs; 2) Adrian Peterson; 3) Tom Brady; 4) Andre Johnson; 5) Larry Fitzgerald

Defensive Player of the Year: DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys - 67 tackles, 15 sacks; 2) Mario Williams; 3) Troy Polamalu; 4) Jon Beason; 5) Trent Cole

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers - 69 receptions, 888 receiving yards, 6 total TDs; 2) Percy Harvin; 3) Donald Brown; 4) Mark Sanchez; 5) Andre Smith

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Curry, Seattle Seahawks, 63 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions; 2) Louis Delmas; 3) James Laurinaitis; 4) Brian Orakpo; 5) Brian Cushing

Coach of the Year: Rex Ryan, New York Jets - In first season, Ryan leads Jets into the the playoffs with a rookie quarterback; 2) Bill Belichick; 3) Andy Reid; 4) Gary Kubiak; 5) Mike Singletary

Final Standings (*division winner, + wild card)

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

AFC NorthWinsLosses
Pittsburgh Steelers* 11 5
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8
Baltimore Ravens 8 8
Cleveland Browns 3 13

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

AFC SouthWinsLosses
Indianapolis Colts* 10 6
Houston Texans+ 9 7
Tennessee Titans 8 8
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 11

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

NFC NorthWinsLosses
Minnesota Vikings* 11 5
Chicago Bears 8 8
Green Bay Packers 7 9
Detroit Lions 5 11

NFC WestWinsLosses
Arizona Cardinals* 11 5
San Francisco 49ers 8 8
Seattle Seahawks 7 9
St. Louis Rams 3 13

NFC SouthWinsLosses
New Orleans Saints* 9 7
Atlanta Falcons 8 8
Carolina Panthers 8 8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 11

League Leaders

Passing (by yards)Yards TDsINTs
Drew Brees 4183 30 14
Philip Rivers 3965 26 14
Tom Brady 3901 27 13
Peyton Manning 3885 26 13
Tony Romo 3664 22 17
Kurt Warner 3522 25 12
Aaron Rodgers 3459 20 14
Donovan McNabb 3449 21 11
Trent Edwards 3282 21 17
Ben Roethlisberger 3070 18 14

Rushing (by yards)YardsAVG TDs
Adrian Peterson 1644 5.01 15
Michael Turner 1570 4.65 12
Clinton Portis 1466 4.44 11
Matt Forte 1335 3.88 11
Willie Parker 1308 4.68 13
DeAngelo Williams 1275 4.93 10
Ronnie Brown 1257 4.44 10
Frank Gore 1255 4.32 12
Ryan Grant 1208 4.03 10
Brandon Jacobs 1194 5.02 9

Receiving (by yards)RecsYards TDs
Andre Johnson 108 1465 9
Larry Fitzgerald 92 1389 10
Calvin Johnson 81 1381 8
Greg Jennings 83 1288 6
Randy Moss 83 1283 9
Reggie Wayne 78 1283 8
Vincent Jackson 71 1164 8
Steve Smith (CAR) 69 1154 7
Wes Welker 111 1139 7
Dwayne Bowe 84 1125 6

Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of June 9, 2009. A schedule of upcoming NFL preview content including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

Paul Bessire is the Product Manager of Content and Quantitative Analysis for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in fantasy football simulation analysis and football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!

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