Friday, January 13, 2012

AC'S Spotlight-The NFL's Divisional Round

It kinda sucks that we only have 3 weeks of football left, and the last doubleheader weekend of the season. That also means we're getting close to deciding a winner of the Lombardi Trophy as well, and we have interesting matchups across the board, so let's get to it!

Saints vs. 49ers

For a lot of reasons this is the most interesting matchup due to the contrast of styles. The Saints and Drew Brees with that high powered offense vs. The Niners and their top ranked overall defense. The question here is does homefield advantage help the niners that much? How will the Saints play away from their Superdome? I expect Brees and the Saints to get at the very least 24 points in this game. The bigger question in this game is whether San Fran can score enough to hang with them. This is all about running the football with Frank Gore and keeping QB Alex Smith in enough good situations that are conducive to success. I think the Niners will play hard and play well, but I think Brees and the Saints have momentum. I like New Orleans.

THE PICK: Saints 28 Niners 24

Broncos vs. Patriots

This game has the potential to be either a disaster or a classic. Nothing in between in my opinion. We've all one way or another got caught up in the theatrics and dramatic efforts of one Tim Tebow. I think the Broncos off the victory against the Steelers have a little momentum on their side. You also have to remember that the last 3 consecutive years, the Pats have lost their 1st playoff game. I really do think that Tom Brady will be ready for this, there's no better QB for this game than him, and the Patriot offense in a lot of ways is better equipped for the playoffs. They'll get enough running from Ellis, Ridley, and Woodhead, and their TE's Gronkowski and Hernandez will be deadly. Tebowtime goes belly up in Foxborough.

THE PICK: Patriots 37 Broncos 20

Texans vs. Ravens

T.J. Yates after a little bit of a slow start played very well at home last week in the throttling of the Bengals. This game will be a completely different animal. I expect this to be the most physical game of the 4, and one that will more likely be decided on will and who turns over the ball the least will be the winner. For Houston to win they'll need a very good to dominant performance from Arian Foster and their offensive line. Simply for Baltimore, play good D and Flacco must be sound and give Ray Rice the appropriate amount of touches. I wouldn't be surprised if it's Baltimore comfortably or anyones game in the 4th qtr. I like the Ravens.

THE PICK: Ravens 24 Texans 14

Giants vs. Packers

The Giants are coming into this game not only with a ton of momentum, but also a lot of bravado and confidence. As echoed by JPP, they really believe that they can win the title again. Eli Manning is playing great, the running game has finally started to bear fruit, and the defensive line has played like a beast with Tuck, Osi, and JPP handling business. The Packers are coming off of a bye and a great 15-1 season led by the likely MVP QB Aaron Rodgers. I really believe that this game will be similar to the one in Week 13, which the Packers won 38-35. Both teams will score early and often, and it'll be the 1st mistake made by Rodgers or Manning that will decide it. The Giants have a legit shot at the upset here, I just think Green Bay is destined to play New Orleans in a rematch of that Week 1 classic. Green Bay in a nailbiter.

THE PICK: Packers 34 Giants 31
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