Dec 30, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) takes the field before the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
There may be not better weekend in professional sports than divisional weekend for the NFL. There are 8 quality teams going at it for two days straight, how much more could a sports fan want. This weekend we get maybe as good as of games as we can hope for, kicking off the weekend with a rematch of the Broncos and Ravens, and then another rematch with the ‘Niners and Packers. These two games alone are going to be very good games, then on Sunday the red hot Seahawks take on the number one seed Falcons, followed by of course the Texans and Pats rematch, all are going to be awesome games.
Baltimore vs. Denver 4:30 pm (CBS)
When these two teams met in week 15 in Baltimore Denver beat them down, it was 31-3 at one point and the Broncos rolled to a 34-17 victory. Even with Ray Lewis’ return I still do not think that Baltimore’s defense can slow down Peyton’s offensive attack, they have too many weapons and Baltimore’s defense is not what it used to be. Offensively Baltimore has some weapons that they may be able to exploit Denver’s secondary but I really do not trust Joe Flacco in these big game situations, combine that with Denver’s ability to shut down the run I just do not see Baltimore going into Denver and outscoring Peyton Manning
Denver 34 Baltimore 20
Green Bay vs. San Fransisco 8:00 pm (FOX)
These two teams squared off in week one of the season and the Niners won that game pretty easily, right now however these are two very different teams from where they were in week one. The obvious one is the Niners QB change, they now have Colin Kaepernick in place of Alex Smith, this brings a whole new dimension to the Niners offense. They now can stretch the field vertically and get Kaepernick out in space where he can make some plays with his legs. The Packers are not that much different from where they were in week one but seeing the way their defense played against the Vikings in the first round of the playoff’s certainly is a great thing to see for Packers fans. When I watch the Niners this year they play a ton of man coverage on defense and Aaron Rodgers and his receivers absolutely eat man coverage up, that is the main reason why I am going to go with Green Bay in this game. They are also a very hot team and are looking similar to what they looked like during their recent Super Bowl run.
Green Bay 28 San Fransisco 24
Seattle vs. Atlanta 1:00 pm (FOX)
I have gone back and forth with this pick all week long, seeing the way Seattle came back to beat the ‘Skins in the first round was incredibly impressive, and their defense is an extremely elite defense. But, on the other hand Atlanta’s offense at times is impossible to stop because of their great outside receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White. The thing that finally swung me to Atlanta was the fact that the Seahhawks will be without their top pass rusher Chris Clemons for the remainder of the postseason. If you can not get to Matt Ryan you will have a tough time stopping the Falcons offense, the fact that they are playing in Atlanta also helps the Falcons case.
Atlanta 24 Seattle 20
Houston vs. New England 4:30 pm (CBS)
When these teams met on ‘Monday Night Football’ on Dec. 10th America was expecting a great game between two elite teams, well the Pats eliminated that when they murdered the Texans 42-14. When looking at the rematch you can’t help but look back at 2010 when the Pats crushed the Jets 45-3 during the regular season and then lost 28-21 in the playoffs. This team seems different however, that ’10 team was younger, less experienced, and less talented than this current team. This Pats team also can run the football which will really help when facing such a physical defense like the Texans have. The key for Houston is to pressure Brady and get Foster going, if they don’ t do that they have no shot. I like the Pats because they have a big advantage at QB, and they can run the football to take some pressure off of that QB. I don’t see Matt Schaub outscoring Brady at Gillette in December.
New England 34 Houston 21