Stitch will never leave!
I still love and support my team, and that includes Peyton Manning. This season was so much better than almost anyone expected it to be, and there is a lot to be proud of. I have to quote my brother here, “If anyone wants to talk shit about the Broncos, make sure your team is still in the playoffs before you open your mouth.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
I’m back. Going 3-1 (thanks in parts to Cincy for not showing up on offense) last week gave me some motivation to do some more picks this week. So, here are my divisional picks.
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
Ravens defense held the Colts to 9 points last week, but you have to be concerned about how many yards they gave up. I think my memory is saying somewhere in the low to mid 400’s. The Colts did everything right, but couldn’t finish off drives when they mattered. Credit to Baltimore for being able to stop them when it mattered, but it’ll be hard to keep a high powered Broncos team out of the end zone. In fact, Denver has scored at least 2 touchdowns in every game they played this year.
This game is going to come down to what version of Joe Flacco shows up. Will it be the Flacco from the Colts game or Mr. Hyde Flacco. I’m not a fan of inconsistent quarterbacks, plus he’s going against a Denver defense that finished 2nd in YPG (290.8) this year. Peyton Manning is such a great story after coming back from several neck surgeries. While the stats don’t lie about Manning’s 0-3 record in 40 degree playoff games or colder, he has won the last 9 games against Baltimore. As for Baltimore, a short week and playing in that thin Mile High air in January? Don’t see it happening.
Denver 31 Baltimore 20
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay looks “decent” in their win against Minnesota. Would the game been different if Ponder had played? No one knows. Having won the Super Bowl two years ago, Green Bay looks poised for another run. The offense is good and Rodgers is an elite quarterback. But can he win in California against a tough defense?
Kaepernick has been a good quarterback since taking over for Alex Smith. Frank Gore is a solid running back and with the defense Collin has behind him, it tends to be interesting. This game has the potential to be an upset. It should be interesting. But I think the 49ers pull it off at home.
San Francisco 27 Green Bay 24
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons
This one by far is the game I’m looking forward to. High powered offense vs a stout defense. Seattle has been a story, having won 6 in a row. They haven’t lost since November 25th against Miami, and teams who play their best football in this stage of the season are normally poised for greatness. Russell Wilson has been great and the defense has the tools to win. The only thing I am concerned with was the fact they lost Chris Clemons, a great pass rusher.
We know the story of Atlanta as the playoff choke artists. Funny thing is that they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champions (Green Bay and New York Giants) but this is Atlanta’s time to shine. The offense, led by Matt Ryan (Matty Ice) is a great group and the duo receivers of Jones and White will make things interesting. They have the advantage at home, will it be enough is the question. It will be interesting and it will be close. However, I’ll leave with this… Defense Wins Championships.
Seattle 21 Atlanta 17
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
Not sure how Houston won that game, but I guess the defense bailed them out of that one, as well as the offense making enough plays against the Bengals. But now they travel to Foxboro to play Tom Brady and the Patriots. Remember the 42-14 beating earlier? I sure do.
Houston will make it interesting though. At least I believe so. Matt Schaub won his first playoff game as a quarterback. The key will be Foster running the football. Patriots have a questionable secondary though. Offense usually bails them out, but when you are playing good teams, that may not always work out.
With “The Gronk” back in action, who will cover him? And the Texans secondary is skeptical itself. Had Dalton connected on that throw in the end zone, it would be Baltimore playing New England instead. Tom Brady doesn’t miss those throws and he has a solid core of receivers. If the Texans defense doesn’t step up, it’ll be over quickly.
I can see Houston making enough plays to hang in there and make it close. But beating Brady and the Patriots, in Foxboro, in January? When pigs fly.
New England 34 Houston 23
I want to do this before I graduate.
It’s been a while since I did something like this. I usually leave that to another blog, but here we go.
Cincinnati Bengals v. Houston Texans
Tough one to pick. Houston has struggled while Cincy has been a good team lately. It is really hard to pick against Houston since I feel like the Bengals don’t usually fare well against elite teams. But to be honest, Houston has lost the elite status it once had. And stumbling into the playoffs is something you don’t want to do. I think this game comes down to the final possession. However, it will fare the same result that the Bengals used to knock out Pittsburgh out of playoff contention.
Bengals 27 Texans 24
Minnesota Vikings v. Green Bay Packers
AD has been quite the story, falling just 9 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s record. But Minnesota is a one dimension team and playing the Packers in Lambeau Field just doesn’t fare well. Adrian will do well enough to keep Minnesota in the game (155 yds. 2 TD’s)… up until the last 5 minutes of the game. Aaron Rodgers will having some of his top receiving threats back. Look for Aaron to throw for about 350 and 3 touchdowns give or take.
Packers 31 Vikings 23
Indianapolis Colts v. Baltimore Ravens
You have to love the story of Chuck Pagano. If you weren’t touched at all, there’s something wrong with you. I believe the Colts will continue fighting hard. With Ray Lewis announcing retirement earlier this week, I think the Ravens do the exact same thing. Both teams are fighting hard for individuals on the team that motivate them to bring out the best! I think this game comes down to which quarterback steps up during playoff time. Andrew Luck is one rookie that has the will to win. If he limits the turnovers, especially against a solid Ravens defense, they should be in the game for a while. Flacco plays well at home (minus two games against Pittsburgh and Denver) so it’s hard to find out what Flacco we will see. The last thing it will come down to is, Who has the will to keep the playoff dreams alive. This was a tough one to call, but I give the edge to the home team.
Ravens 24 Colts 20
Seattle Seahawks v. Washington Redskins
Russell Wilson v. Robert Griffin III. This is the matchup that I look forward to seeing. Seattle isn’t at home (where they posted a 8-0 record) and RG III might still be shaken up with the knee. But you have to give respect to the rookies that made it this far in their first season. However, one rookie has to go home.
This game will be decided by who’s defense shows up. I’m not sure how the Seahawks do on the road, but they survived a scare by the Rams last week. The Redskins are a hot team, having won every game since the bye after starting the season 3-6. When teams are hot going into the playoffs, it gives them that extra momentum. But Seattle is also riding on a winning streak, having won 5 in a row. Another tough pick, but I go with the saying “Defense Wins Championships”
Seahawks 28 Redskins 21