Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots. This is one of the better matchups this weekend. I said on Facebook that the winner of last week’s Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers wild card game will make some serious noise in the AFC playoffs, and I’m sticking to that emotion this week.
The Ravens owned the Patriots in the playoffs, going 2-1 in the last three games between these teams – all in Foxborough. And there is a reason for that: Baltimore matches up well with New England. The Ravens have the front seven that will give Tom Brady fits. And even thought their secondary is suspect, the Ravens do a good job of stopping the run and do a great job of rushing the passer. And more importantly, they are not afraid of the Patriots.
I think this will be a close, tightly competitive game. While it’s hard to go against Brady and coach Bill Bellicheat at home, I think the Ravens will pull this one out. And I hope so, because as much as I despise the Ravens, I hate the Patriots THAT much more. Ravens 21, Patriots 19.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos. It’s Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning. New school vs. old school. There are two things that are going against the Colts. First of all, the Colts defense is suspect. Manning is going to pick the Colts’ asses apart and should have much success moving the ball against them. Second, the Colts’ offensive line and running game are just that – offensive. I think the Broncos’ D is going to disrupt Luck and will give him fits the entire game.
And one more thing: something tells me Manning is motivated to get back to the Super Bowl to avenge last years’ curb-stomping to the Seahawks. Broncos 30, Colts 17.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks. As excited as I am for Cam Newton winning his first playoff game last week vs. the Cardinals, there is not much to say about his Panthers’ chances in this game. In fact, I think this is going to be an epic curb-stomping in the Seahawks favor.
Let’s examine this for a minute. The Seahawks have the 12th man, a ferocious pass rush, the Legion of Boom, Marshawn Lynch aka Beast Mode, Russell Wilson, and coach Pete Carroll. What do the Panthers have? They have Newton, an okay defense, a pop-gun offense and coach Riverboat Ron. ‘Nuff said.
Prayers go up for Newton and the Panthers’ safety… Seahawks 37, Panthers 14.
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers. This is the game of the weekend. This is a game feature two of the marquee franchises in all sports. It also features a matchup of two extremes. The Cowboys are undefeated on the road and the Packers are undefeated at home.
One thing that both teams have in common is that they both have suspect defenses. As a result, this will be a high-scoring game. In a game that features two high-powered offenses (another thing both teams have in common), you have to go with the home team. Plus, it is pretty tough to win at Lambeau Field, especially in the playoffs. Packers 35, Cowboys 30.
Playoff record last week: 3-1 (I knew I shouldn’t have jinxed my Steelers. C’est la vie…)