11 Jan 2013

2013 NFL Divisional Round Picks and Predictions

The divisional round of the NFL playoffs is just upon us as the wild card winners will face each of the conference’s first and second seed this weekend. We have four exciting games between probably the best teams in the league this year, three of them being actually rematches from the regular season.

The stories might repeat or maybe the teams that lost in the past contests will get their revenge, who knows? We’ll try to make our own predictions right now..

Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos

When these two teams met in Baltimore just a couple of weeks ago, the Broncos dominated the game from start to finish. They’ve scored 17 points in the first half and held the Ravens to zero and then they’ve added 17 more points in the second half for an easy 34-17 victory. Now they’re at home, rested and healthy, and Peyton Manning is ready for another big playoff game.

Even though Joe Flacco and co. had a pretty big win over the Colts last week, there’s a huge difference between the Colts and the Broncos on both sides of the ball. The Ravens haven’t proven that they have a pass defense this season and.. if they can’t put pressure on Peyton I doubt they’ll be able to outperform him on offense. Also, I’m pretty sure Von Miller will make Joe Flacco’s life very though, that’s why I see a clear winner for this game: Denver Broncos.

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

This is another rematch where I see a clear winner. When these two teams met in December, the Patriots just shredded the Texans 42-14 and, even though I don’t think we’ll see a score close to that one on Sunday, I’m pretty sure the New England Patriots will win this game easily.

They are extremely hard to beat at home and the Texans offense almost disappeared lately. The entire Houston offense is based on the team’s ability to run the ball and New England stops that very well. I don’t think Matt Schaub is a quarterback who could be able to beat Tom Brady at home in a shootout, especially when his Patriots are healthy and rested.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons

Now this is an interesting matchup, the red-hot Seahawks versus the team with the best record in the NFL, Atlanta Falcons. These two teams haven’t met in the regular season and it’s going to be pretty damn hard to pick a winner for this game but let’s give it a try..

The Seahawks are playing great football right now, they are really dangerous on both offense and defense, and they seem to have all the tools needed to pressure Matt Ryan and slow down Julio Jones and Roddy White. It’s going to be tough to score more than 14-17 points against this team and I really think the Seahawks can score more than that if Russell Wilson plays like he did against the Redskins.

That’s why I’m going to say that the winless playoff streak of the Atlanta Falcons will continue for another season and the guys from Seattle will move on to the NFC championship.

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

This craziest game of the divisional round will be a rematch between the Packers and the 49ers. This is a real toss-up game, and it’s freaking hard to pick a winner, but I tend to think the Packers will go away with the victory. This isn’t the same Packers team that was defeated by the 49ers early in the season, with Aaron Rodgers playing extremely well and now having DuJuan Harris at running back.

It’s going to hard to beat a defense so good as the 49ers, especially when Rodgers was the most sacked quarterback this year and he’s going up against Aldon Smith and Justin Smith but.. I think he’s going to have just enough scoring drives to snatch a great victory on the road. And you know why I also think the Packs will win? Because I don’t think Colin Kaepernick could beat Aaron Rodgers.

Yeah, he’s good and all, but Alex Smith was a lot better and he’s the one who won against the Packers in week 1. Kaepernick is inconsistent and he has already made a couple of mistakes that made his team lose (vs St. Louis) and.. he might not be ready for this kind of challenge. We’ll see what happens, I’m picking the Packers on this one though.