NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks
The NFL Wildcard round of the playoffs are over and I think we’re all glad because we saw three lackluster games and another game that was fun but also ugly. In game one we saw Houston and Cincinnati in a defensive battle that saw the Texans escape with a 19-13 win and advance to New England this week. In game two we saw Minnesota starting QB Christian Ponder be inactive as he had an elbow injury that wouldn’t allow him to throw well. So Minnesota backup QB Joe Webb would start and get pounded by the Packers defense as Green Bay would smash the Vikings at Lambeau Field 24-10 and advance to San Francisco this week. In game three we saw either the possible beginning of the Andrew Luck playoff run or the end of Ray Lewis’ career as the Colts and Ravens would do battle in Baltimore. Well what was seen as a special game that could be a classic, we saw a Ravens beat-down of the Colts, 24-9 to advance to Denver and keep Ray Lewis’ career alive. And finally in game four, we actually saw an exciting game as the Seattle Seahawks went into Fedex Field and controlled the Redskins after allowing two quick touchdowns in the first quarter, en route to a 24-14 win and a date with the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday. During that Washington-Seattle game, we saw Redskins rookie of the year candidate and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III re-injure his knee and end up tearing his LCL and ACL and undergoing reconstructive knee surgery and not being able to play football for 6-8 months. It was an ugly game in the sense that RG3 was limping all game, being apart of ugly QB scrambles, and seeing RG3 take one last blow as he twisted his knee in a really awkward and ugly way, fumbled the ball, and would lay motionless on the field for a moment. It was an exciting game in the sense that we saw Seattle come back from down 14-0 and put up 24 unanswered points to pull off a HUGE win and play some smash-mouth power running and defense. And boy, I cannot wait for that Seahawks-Falcons game in Atlanta on Sunday.
As for this weeks games, I can guarantee that we will get a better four games than last week. In game one we will see Ray Lewis in his last game possibly and Peyton Manning in his first playoff game since his fourth neck surgery. The Ravens go to Denver for a second meeting this season as the Broncos went to Baltimore in week 15 and beat down the Ravens 34-17. In game two we see another rematch as the Green Bay Packers go into San Francisco to take on arguably the best defense in the NFL in the 49ers. These two teams met in week one at Lambeau Field as the 49ers embarrassed the Packers 30-22. The score doesn’t indicate how great the Niners took care of the Packers, so don’t let it fool you. In game three we happen to have the only non-rematch from the regular season on divisional weekend as the Seattle Seahawks fly back east to take on the Falcons in the Georgia Dome in what many people are saying is a bad match up for the Falcons as they are under lots of pressure to get their first playoff win in the Mike Smith-Matt Ryan era as they lost to Arizona 30-24 in the 2008-2009 playoffs, lost to Green Bay 48-21 in the 2010-2011 playoffs, and lost to the New York Giants 24-2 last year. All three games were Atlanta’s first games in the playoffs, so Smith and Ryan have started their head coaching/quarterback careers with three one and done playoff spurts. So the pressure is really on Ryan and Smith to stop the Seahawks and advance to the NFC Title game. And finally in game four we have another rematch as the Houston Texans go back to Foxborough, Massacusetts to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch from their week 14 total mismatch as we saw the Pats destroy the Texans 42-14 on Monday night football. I do think that this game will be a lot tighter though. Anyway, let’s get to my divisional round picks.
In the Wildcard round I went 3-1 on my picks, with my only loss coming when the Colts couldn’t knock off the Ravens on the road. I went 1-3 on my four picks against the spread as the only game I hit was the Seahawks -3 against the Redskins. Lets hope I can do better this time around.
Denver Broncos 31 Baltimore Ravens 23
San Francisco 49ers 27 Green Bay Packers 24
Seattle Seahawks 28 Atlanta Falcons 27
New England Patriots 24 Houston Texans 20
Picks Against The Spread:
Baltimore Ravens (+9) @ Denver Broncos – OVER 46.
Green Bay Packers (+3) @ San Francisco 49ers – OVER 45.
Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) @ Atlanta Falcons – OVER 46.
Houston Texans (+9.5) @ New England Patriots – UNDER 48.5.