Oh how we LOVE the NFL! So, Wild Card Weekend is behind us and quite frankly I’m glad. I was very excited leading into the weekend but the games were mediocre at best. The only game that lived up to the hype that is the NFL PLAYOFFS was the weekend’s finale – the Seattle Seahawks @ the Washington Redskins. But enough on the past…let’s look to the future…THE DIVISIONAL ROUND!
- Baltimore at Denver – 4:30pm on CBS
This should be a great matchup, a rematch of the week 15 matchup that the Broncos won by 17 points. Although the game wasn’t close in the 2
nd half, keep in mind that the Ravens were driving and 10 yards away from tying this game up right before half…but then Flacco threw a pick-6. The game turned from a potential 10-10 tie at half to a 17-3 Broncos lead.
I give the Ravens a bit more of a chance than the rest of the country is giving them right now, however, ultimately it comes down to the quarterback…and it doesn’t get any better than Peyton Manning. I think Peyton totally controls this game and the aging Baltimore Defense doesn’t get the job done. Broncos win: 27-20
- Green Bay at San Francisco – 8:00pm on FOX
Oh man…this could be the most anticipated game of the weekend. You have the high powered Green Bay offense led by the Bay Area kid, Arron Rodgers. Taking on the 49ers who have one of the top defenses in the league coupled with the drama of the ‘new quarterback’ getting his 1
st playoff start. These two squared off in week 1 in a game that was easily handled by the 49ers…but this time there will be a different result.
I believe in QBs. My personal opinion is that
Colin Kaepernick is not ready to lead his team to a Playoff Victory vs. a team the caliber of the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers stumbled a bit down the stretch and their Defense is a bit nicked up in an area that is vital to stopping the Packers, the Defensive Line. Green Bay has too many weapons and if the 49ers can’t get pressure on Rodgers they are in trouble. For the 49ers to win this game I feel they will need to be able to score in the mid-30s and I don’t see that happening… Packers win: 31-24
- Seattle at Atlanta – 1:00pm on FOX
This game will feature the hottest team in the NFL (SEATTLE) traveling across the country to face the team that has without a doubt the most pressure on them to win (ATLANTA). Five years ago the Falcons brought in a new GM, Head Coach and drafted Matt Ryan. Since then, Atlanta is 56-24 in the last 5 seasons but have zero playoff wins to show for it in 3 appearances. Looking at Seattle, 3 years ago Pete Carroll took over as head coach and he and their GM have done a masterful job of building this team into a powerhouse. Seattle has a great defense – they are big on the outside with 2 of the biggest and arguably best corner back tandems in the league and they are big up front. At their offense’s core is “the beast” – their star Running Back #24, Lynch. What has turned this team into a real contender is the play of their Rookie Quarterback Russell Wilson, who is playing better than any QB in the NFL in the 2
nd half of the season.
Saying all that…Atlanta wins this game. Over the past five years the Falcons are 36-6 when playing at home. Atlanta has been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL this year and Seattle has not seen an offense is powerful and balanced as what the Falcons will throw at them all year. Matt Ryan is playing his best football and he has some weapons at his disposal! Atlanta has two of the top WR’s in the NFL and these aren’t ‘soft’ receivers…both Roddy White and Julio Jones are big, strong and physical WR’s who will be able to win against Seattle’s corners. But the impact player of the game will be Mr. Tony Gonzalez. The ageless wonder will be a nightmare for SEA to matchup against and with all the attention that ATL’s Receivers command Tony G will have a big day. Additionally, I anticipate Atlanta’s DEF to confuse the Rookie QB – in three games vs. Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Drew Brees the ATL Defense forced 11 INT’s – they will dial up a great game plan to stall the surging ‘Hawks offense Falcons win: 24-20
- Houston at New England – 4:30 on CBS
Houston once was the consensus best team in the NFL and they were well on their way to locking up the #1 seed in the AFC..and when I say “once” I mean like 5 weeks ago! Since then, they have more than lost their way…and that turning point for me was their week 14 loss at the Patriots when they were destroyed 42-14. On the flip side, the Patriots are once again, as they are every year,
The Hoody’s” team has won 9 of 10 and over this stretch they are averaging nearly 38 points per game…
scary! The Texans had a nice win last week to advance to the Divisional Round of the Playoffs, but they certainly didn’t look spectacular against an inferior opponent in the Bengals. Houston’s QB looked vulnerable (to say the least) and without a monster game from him, the Texans don’t have a shot in this game.
Unfortunately for Houston and their fans their 2012-13 season ends on Sunday evening. It feels like the Patriots have been in this position for 10 straight years – and in reality they probably have been! Giving the Pats 2 weeks to gameplan against any opponent doesn’t seem like a fair match. Tom Brady and the offense are going to be too much for the Texans in what I feel will be the most lopsided game of the weekend. Patriots win: 31-17 I hope you enjoy the above predictions…as a reminder, I know absolutely nothing about the NFL and it is highly likely that all (4) of my predictions will go the absolute opposite way, but it was fun pretending like I was an NFL Analyst for a few minutes! #TeamTRAINlete “
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