Saturday, January 14, 2012
NFL Playoffs: Divisional Match-Ups and Predictions
(3) New Orleans Saints @ (2) San Francisco 49ers
Kick Off Time: Saturday 4:30pm
New Orleans is coming off a great win against Detroit last week 45-28 in the wild card playoff game. The Saints are now on the road in San Francisco playing in grass to take on the most consistent defense all year. The 49ers are 7-1 at home and will rely on their great defense to stop Drew Brees and company. 49ers QB Alex Smith will have to manage the game with WR Michael Crabtree and TE Vernon Davis as his main targets. RB Frank Gore will have to get going to keep New Orleans' offense off the field. The Saints are now on a 9 game winning streak and their last loss was against the St. Louis Rams back in October.
I think this will be the the best game of the divisional playoffs with the best defense against the best offense but it it be up to the 49ers offense if they want to win the game.
Prediction: Saints win 28-20
(4) Denver Broncos @ (1) New England Patriots
Kick Off Time: Saturday 8:00pm
Tim Tebow did it again last Sunday against the top ranked Steelers defense. The Steelers defense was begging for Tebow to throw the ball and he did, right over them in route to 316 passing yards despite only completing 10 passes. The Patriots are led by one of the best in QB Tom Brady where they have lost 2 straight playoff games at home. Pats TE Gronk and the rest of the Patriots recieving core will have to get open as the Broncos rush defense is stout. The Broncos will have to force mistakes and get the running game going if they have any chance of keeping up with Brady.
This game should be close until the very end but might not be.
Prediction: Patriots win 27-14.
(3) Houston Texans @ (2) Baltimore Ravens
Kick Off Time: Sunday 1:00pm
Houston is coming off their 1st playoff win in franchise history under 3rd string QB T.J. Yates. Texans star WR Andre Johnson should be about 100% now with his hamstring injury. Their running game is the best in the NFL and their defense is also one of the best in the NFL. This is a game where the two teams mirror eachother. The only difference is the QB's. Joe Flacco needs to have a big game to prove to people that he can lead this good Ravens team to the Super Bowl. The Ravens are 8-0 at home so that bodes well with them along with Ray Lewis who is more hungry for a championship than anyone in the NFL I think.
T.J. Yates will have to make downfield throws to WR's against the Ravens on the road but it may be too much to handle for him despite a great running game.
Prediction: Ravens win 27-13
(4) New York Giants @ (1) Green Bay Packers
Kick Off Time: Sunday 4:30pm
These two teams met earlier in the season with Green Bay barely sqeaking out a win 38-35 with a last second FG. The Giants just gave Aaron Rodgers too much time at the end of regulation and Jordy Nelson made an incredible catch on that drive. This time though, the Giants will be at Lambeau Field where they beat the Packers in the 2007 NFC Championship game. The Packers are looking for revenge as Packers WR Greg Jennings said they had a good chance also of beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Giants' front four must apply pressure on Aaron Rodgers which they can do as the Packers offensive line is shaky. The Giants are on a roll where the Packers defense will become a liability sooner than later.
Eli Manning will thrive in the cold weather in Green Bay and the Giants will likely run over the Packers defense in a high scoring game.
Prediction: Giants win 42-38