Earlier this month, the NFL announced that six teams were being considered as the team that gives up a home game during the 2007 season with the site to be either Great Britain or Germany. The teams being considered were the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Miami Dolphins, the New Orleans Saints, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks. This angered me as a NFL fan, a Buffalo Bills fan, and most importantly as a Buffalo region resident. Each NFL team only gets 8 home games, and many locales, stadium ushers, parking lot attendants, concession vendors, security guards, and local businesses rely on the employment and business generated from their corresponding team’s home games.

The Dolphin’s have been choosen to be the team to lose their home game this year. Their opponent will be either the NY Giants or the Buffalo Bills. I would assume the NFL would choose the Giants as their opponent since it would be a non-conference game and not have as much importance for the final AFC East standings (not like either the Bills or the Dolphins will be much of a factor come next December/January). But then again it seems the NFL has no rhyme or reason behind most of the things it does.

Over the next 16 seasons, each of the league’s 32 teams will participate in a regular season game outside the United States. At least that is what the plan is. What are they going to do when a riot breaks out because the stadium is packed full and they realize that this game is American Football and not soccer which they were expecting (I’m joking here, no angry emails please)! We shall see what happens and see if the NFL can successfully market itself overseas.

After this weekend’s NFL Wild Card games, only 8 teams remain in the bid for a trip to Miami for Super Bowl XLI. My predictions for the opening playoff week were nearly perfect, flawed by a failed botched hold by Tony Romo on a 19-yard field goal attempt by Martin Gramatica which would have given the Dallas Cowboys a 23-21 lead over the Seattle Seahawks, the defending NFC champions with about a minute remaining.

Though Romo took full responsibility for the loss following the game, he was a big reason that the Cowboys even made it this far, having turned their season around by winning five of his first six starts after replacing Drew Bledsoe and blossoming into a Pro Bowl selection. Romo certainly wasn’t the only player to deserve a piece of the loss. The Dallas defense made an impressive stand in the shadow of their own end zone to hold onto a 20-13 lead with less than 7 minutes remaining in the game. On the subsequent series, the first play from scrimmage resulted in a safety and nearly a Seattle touchdown. A quick screen pass to wide receiver Terry Glenn was fumbled into the end zone after weak Kelly Jennings tackle. This play led to the Seahawks taking a 21-20 lead after a Jerramy Stevens touchdown reception and a failed 2-point conversion. The Seahawks will head to Chicago next week to take on the Bears.

Prediction: Bears roll … over, even Rex Grossman should be able to throw against the depleted Seattle secondary, right? Wrong, the only chance the Bears have is to replace Grossman with Brian Griese, which I think they will do by the second half. Too little, too late, the Bears fall 27-23.

The Indianapolis Colts, despite early struggles by quarterback Peyton Manning, defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, with a strong defensive effort led by defensive end Dwight Freeney who had two sacks on the game, after finishing with only 5.5 on the season. The Colts will play the Baltimore Ravens next week on the road.

Prediction: The highly physical Ravens will beat up on a soft Colts team. 31-17, Ravens.

Unfortunately I have put off the remainder of this post for two long and I have other much more important things to get too, like the BCS National Championship and the vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame. So here are my predictions for the remainder of this coming weekend’s Divisional Playoff Games.

Tom Brady, with an impressive 11-1 post-season record, and the New England Patriots travel to San Diego to play LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers.

Prediction: San Diego shows New England why they are the number one seed in the AFC as Tomlinson rushes for 170 yards. San Diego handles the Pats, 37-24.

Jeff Garcia and the hot Philadelphia Eagles go to the Big Easy to face Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, and company.

Prediction: No hurricanes this year, clearly the NFL would love to see the Saints win it all in a bounce back season after Hurricane Katrina took out their home stadium, the Lousiana Superdome. Seems like nothing should get in their way this postseason (more on that another time). Saints pull off a close one, 27-23.