NFL Divisional Playoff Picks

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Manning-off-and-running-in-Denver-9P28DSI5-x-large

Last week: 2-2
2012 season: 118-106-7

Baltimore Ravens (11-6) AT Denver Broncos (13-3)

The Scene: Saturday, January 12th. 4:30 PM on NBC.
The Spread: Denver by 8.5
The Pick: Denver
The Score: Denver, 38-13
The Rationale: There’s always one tremendous blowout on Divisional Playoff weekend. Last year it was New England-Denver, in 2010 it was Green Bay-Atlanta, and this year it will be Baltimore-Denver. It’s not that I think the Ravens are terribly overmatched by Denver’s offense. Instead, it’s the Baltimore offense that I’m concerned about. They succeeded at times against Indianapolis mainly because of the lack of physicality in the Colts’ secondary. You won’t find those same openings at Sports Authority Field. I truly believe that Peyton Manning is on a mission to prove every doubter wrong. Ending Ray Lewis’ career would be just the next step.

Green Bay Packers (12-5) AT San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)

The Scene: Saturday, January 12th. 8:00 PM on NBC.
The Spread: San Francisco by 3.5
The Pick: Green Bay
The Score: Green Bay, 21-19
The Rationale: The biggest weakness on both of these team is their kickers. Mason Crosby and David Akers are going through terrible seasons. To make matters worse, the 49ers signed Billy “Chokejob” Cundiff as insurance. This game will likely come down to a field goal here or there. Whichever kicker struggles less will help his team to within a win of Super Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks (12-5) AT Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

The Scene: Sunday, January 13th. 1:00 PM on Fox.
The Spread: Atlanta by 2.5
The Pick: Atlanta
The Score: Atlanta, 24-16
The Rationale: Russell Wilson has had a phenomenal season. But, I think people are getting a bit ahead of themselves this week. The Seahawks lost undoubtedly their best pass rusher for the season in Chris Clemons in last week’s victory over Washington. They’re now going up against one of the best pass offenses in football, especially at home in the Georgia Dome, where Matt Ryan tends to turn into a reincarnation of Dan Marino. The Seahawks’ will need to keep the ball out of Ryan’s hands if they have any hope of winning this game. That means a lot of Marshawn Lynch. I think for that reason alone, this will be within 10 points. But, the Falcons have too much at skate legacy wise to lose this one.

Houston Texans (13-4) AT New England Patriots (12-4)

The Scene: Sunday, January 13th. 4:30 PM on CBS.
The Spread:  New England by 9.5
The Pick: New England
The Score: New England, 28-14
The Rationale: Here’s the thing: The Patriots have the best passing offense in football. They’re facing a pass defense that struggled mightily down the stretch and the last time these teams played. Granted, Houston’s defense looked strong against Cincinnati last weekend. But, Andy Dalton is no Tom Brady (to say the least). Belichick will confuse Wade Phillips’ improved defense with no-huddle schemes en route to a double-digit victory for New England.

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