|Posted by williamscott11 on January 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM|
The NFL Divisional Rounds are finally here, with team’s Super Bowl hopes on the line. Could this be the last ride for Ray Lewis? Could the Seahawks stun the #1 seeded Falcons? Can the Texans redeem themselves after a humiliating loss against the Patriots back on December 10th? I will break down every game and tell you my predictions.
Ravens at Broncos, 4:30 ET Saturday on CBS
Bad news for the Ravens: Peyton Manning is back in the playoffs! The Broncos have the longest active win streak in the NFL, carrying an 11 game win streak into Mile High, but the Ravens also have a little bit of momentum. Ray Lewis had a breakout game last weekend against the Colts, leading his team with 13 tackles, and then doing his legit dance for the last time in Baltimore. The Ravens made a statement last week against the Colts, especially on defense, as they kept Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offense out of the end zone. But now the Ravens defense has to go up against Peyton Manning… that’s never a fun thing to do! Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas will bring nightmares to the Baltimore defense, and send Ray Lewis into his retirement. The Ravens will put up a fight, but the Broncos will win, and advance to the AFC Championship game.
Prediction: Broncos 27, Ravens 20
Packers at 49ers, 8:00 ET Saturday on FOX
Packers vs the 49ers… hard to beat. The Packer defense did a great job of shutting down Adrian Peterson last week, holding him to under 100 yards. Now they have to go up against Colin Kaepernick and the 49er offense, but they have to play them in San Francisco. If the 49ers want to win this game, they have to shut down Aaron Rodgers and DuJuan Harris. Aaron Rodgers will be Aaron Rodgers, and put up a lot of points for the Pack. I like the Packers in this game. Their defense got it together last week against Minnesota, and I think that they will do the same against San Francisco. The Packers win this game, in a thriller.
Prediction: Packers 34, 49ers 31
Seahawks at Falcons, 1:00 ET Sunday on FOX
This is a very interesting matchup. You have the Seattle Seahawks, who are on a 6 game win streak, arguably the most dangerous team in football, and then you have the #1 seeded Atlanta Falcon with Matt Ryan. In the 2010-11 season, the Falcons finished the regular season 13-3, and were the #1 seed in the NFC. This season, 13-3 and the #1 seed in the NFC. In the divisional rounds of the 2010-11 season, they got stomped by the eventual Super Bowl Champions, Green Bay Packers, 48-21. The Falcons had a fairly easy schedule this season, ranked 24th in strength of schedule by ESPN.com. The Seahawks are ranked 11th. I like the Seahawks in this game. The duo of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch has kept opposing coaches scratching their heads this season, and it will probably be leaving Mike Smith throwing his headset on the turf. I believe that if the Seahawks can keep their momentum going, they can be a big time threat for the Lombardi Trophy. If the Falcons want to win this game, they have to get past the electric Seahawk defense, and shut down the Seattle offense. That will not be easy. The Seahawks win this one.
Prediction: Seahawks 37, Falcons 24
Texans at Patriots, 4:30 ET, Sunday on CBS
On Monday, December 10th, 2012, the Texans suffered one of the embarrassing losses in franchise history. What was one of the most hyped Monday Night Football games ever; the Texans were blown out by the Patriots in Foxborough, 42-14. That’s when the criticism started for Houston. Since, many have called them flukes, undeserving, terrible, and jokes. Let me tell you something: they’re not. What many thought might be a Bengals win last Saturday; the Texans showed the critics that they were a playoff team, winning 19-13. The Texans carry that momentum into Foxborough, with the main theme in Houston being “Redemption.” The key for Houston is putting pressure on Tom Brady. Brady completely dismantled the Texans defense the last time these teams met, throwing for 296 yards and four touchdowns, without Gronk. If JJ Watt and the Texans d-line can get to Tom Brady, he won’t be able to have that success again. Matt Schaub will also have to step up, along with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. Looking at the excitement around Houston and how pumped the city is for this game, I believe that Houston will come into Foxborough, and stun the New England Patriots. The Texans cannot let up, and have to be clicking on both offense and defense. I think that the Texans win this game, and get the redemption that they will be playing for.
Prediction: Texans 30, Patriots 27
It should be a fun football weekend! We’ll see who gets a step closer to the Super Bowl.
William Scott, Public and Relations Manager, Sports With 3
Follow me on Twitter: @wscottsw3