The NFL playoff schedule begins today, and while Los Angeles may not have a football team, that doesn't mean today's games are without local interest. Both Saturday games feature several ex-USC Trojans, including quarterback Mark Sanchez looking to replicate last season's playoff success tonight in prime time. Here is a look at today's full playoff schedule:
The Saints are the first double-digit road favorite in NFL playoff history, and with good reason against the 7-9 Seahawks. Former USC coach Pete Carroll will face running back Reggie Bush, the source of the current sanctions against the Trojans. Carroll insists the timing of his leaving USC had nothing to do with impending sanctions, but that doesn't pass the sniff test. The Saints have three former Trojans (Bush, Sedrick Ellis, and Charles Brown), compared to four for the Seahawks (Carroll, Mike Williams, Lofa Tatupu, and Josh Pinkard). Verdict: take Seattle and the 10 points.
This is the marquee matchup of the weekend, with Peyton Manning and the 10-win, division-winning Colts hosting Mark Sanchez and the 11-win Jets. The Jets have two former Trojans (Sanchez and Joe McKnight), compared to just one for the Colts (Fili Moala). Verdict: take the Jets and the 2.5 points.