With the Wild Card weekend firmly behind us, and lets face it, it wasn't’t that wild, what does the Divisional Round hold in store for us?
First up on the schedule is the Baltimore Ravens visit to Denver to face the Broncos. Last week the Ravens fairly dominated the Indianapolis Colts in team leader Ray Lewis’ last home game. He was his usual self in his return from injury being at the heart of the play, even when directly not involved taking down the opposition. Will his talismanic presence be enough to stop the steam rolling Broncos? Theres no doubt that a team on an eleven game win streak will take some stopping, especially one that is driven by future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. For Lewis and the Ravens the party is over when the lights go out Saturday evening. Given how the Broncos are taking apart teams in their run, they should see off the Ravens by at least two scores.
Next up on the list is the late night trip of the Green Bay Packers to the west coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers. This is probably the closest match to call this weekend. Last weeks dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings will give the Packers a lot of confidence heading into this weekends showdown. Aaron Rodgers played his playoff standard ball, when it comes to this time of year he seems more assured than most. Teams need a natural leader as they go into a deep playoff run, so on the other side of this coin is Colin Kaepernick up to the task for the Niners? No doubting his talent and willingness to take the franchise forward, but there’s a nagging feeling that when the big games come he may not have what it takes. This is why the Packers will just edge out their rivals by a field goal.
Moving into Sundays play we have a battle of the birds. Atlanta Falcons managed to stay on top of the NFC all year, when people started doubting them they came up big and now host at team that is probably the dark horse to win it all amongst the teams left in the running. The Seattle Seahawks are on the sort of roll that have taken teams to Super Bowl glory. Led by the dynamic play of potential rookie of the year Russell Wilson the ‘Hawks came out of last week’s visit to the Washington Redskins with even more people believing they could be the real deal. This game could come down to who protects the ball better. Both had a takeaway ratio of +13, which tied both for fourth in the league. Whoever wins this battle will win the game. Unfortunately for the Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan will make more mistakes, and Seattle will convert errors into points and win by ten points.
Lastly the Houston Texans go to New England to take on the Patriots. Its playoff time in Foxboro and that means a Tom Brady win doesn’t it? Well its hard not to see anything other than a home win in this one. The Patriots have had an incredible scoring year, and after last week’s poor offensive outing by the Texans in seeing off the Cincinnati Bengals, its hard seeing Matt Schaub driving his team down the field often enough to outscore Brady’s Bunch. After a few years of coming so close to winning it all again, Head Coach Bill Belichick will want to hoist the Lombardi trophy once more and will have enough up his sleeve to get past the Texans. Look for the biggest win of the weekend in this one, it could get ugly early as the Patriots win by over twenty.981392