Friday, January 11, 2013

NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Picks

NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Picks

Richard Sherman - San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks

Baltimore Ravens (11-6) at Denver Broncos (13-3)
Denver 28, Baltimore 20.

As much as I would love to see Ray Lewis and his Ravens win another game and get one more shot at a Super Bowl title, I just don't see it happening. The Ravens offensive line, although they did a good job against Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, will have a tough time on keeping tabs on both Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. I haven't even mentioned Peyton Manning. Manning has a set of receivers that are young, skilled and athletic as well as sure handed Brandon Stokley in the slot, I don't think this Baltimore secondary, especially the nickels and dimes, will be able to keep them under wraps. Ray Rice and Torrey Smith will hit a couple of big plays but Manning wins 28-20 and advances to the AFC Conference Game.

Green Bay Packers (12-5) at San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)
Green Bay 24, San Francisco 17

I think this is Colin Kaepernick's first real test. Yes, he's been good and even really good at times but this is the playoffs, it's a totally different ball game. Green Bay is getting healthy, especially on defense, and expect a guy like Charles Woodson to lock down his side of the field and if Sam Shields can go back to playing the way he was playing two playoffs ago, this secondary will allow Clay Matthews to just pull his ears back (and his hair) and just come after Kaepernick. As good as the Niners defense is, they will be with a limited Justin Smith, their most valuable player. Aaron Rodgers will find enough holes in that defense to make plays and come away with a win.

Houston Texans (13-4) at New England Patriots (12-4)
New England 35, Houston 21

It's hard to get that 42-14 rout of the Texans at the hands of New England out of mind but I believe Houston will be more competitive this time but it won't be enough. They'll try to pound the ball with Foster but as they've done in the past couple of weeks, they'll get away from that and try to air the ball out with Matt Schaub which will only lead to more turnovers and give Brady more opportunities to score. The only way the Texans avoid this 35-21 loss is if they give Arian Foster about 35-40 touches.

Seattle Seahawks (12-5) at Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
Seattle 21, Atlanta 17

Atlanta's defense will have a tough time being able to slow down Marshawn Lynch, especially with John Abraham being limited with an ankle injury. While Seattle will be without Chris Clemons, I believe their secondary is good enough to keep Julio Jones and Roddy White in check. The big wild card is Tony Gonzalez and Atlanta's running game. If Michael Turner and Jacquiz Rodgers can get it going on the ground game and open up the play action game, Tony Gonzalez could have a big game but at the end of the day, I believe that Seattle walks away with a 21-17 win and the rowdy Georgia Dome will go home dissapointed.