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My picks, explained

And now, for the next-to-last time this year, here are my NFL playoff picks (explained!):

* Colts vs. Jets, AFC championship: I have tried to be as objective as I can be about this. I have run the numbers, crunched the numbers, scratched my head over the numbers. And everything keeps coming up the same: Colts, Colts, Colts.

I just don't see any way the Jets beat them. Their running game got shut down in week 16 by a Colts defense that was missing three starters. Peyton Manning was handling their blitz until he took a seat. And, let's face it, the Jets are here only because San Diego yakked all over itself last week.

So: Colts 24, Jets 10.

* Saints vs. Vikings, NFC championship: I've gone back and forth on this one all week. But in the end, I like the Saints because, No.1 , they're at home, and No. 2, I don't really know how healthy Ray Edwards, Kevin Williams and Percy Harvin are for the Vikes.

So: Saints 27, Vikings 24.

Ben Smith's blog.

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