After making the seeds, it’s only right to see how it will all play out. Let’s get into it:
– Baltimore Ravens (5) @ Denver Broncos (4) – Even though the Ravens are a much better team than the Broncos, because of the type of game it will be, I wouldn’t count Denver out. Similar to when the Broncos faced the Jets earlier in week eleven, this will be a very low scoring game as the Ravens will look to run the ball in the playoffs. Any time you give Tebow the ball and the game is within reach, anything can happen. In this case, however, I don’t think he’ll pull off another miracle. The Ravens will win this one.
– Cincinnati Bengals (6) @ Houston Texans (3) – On paper, this will be one of the lowest scoring games all year as both teams have a highly-ranked defense. Since joining the NFL in 2002, the Texans have not made a playoff appearance. When they go this year, they will not waste it. Even with Matt Leinart under center, I see Arian Foster and the defense winning this game.
– Detroit Lions (6) @ New Orleans Saints (3) – This will be my favorite game to watch this round. Both teams have explosive offenses with deceptively good defenses full of play-makers. This will be a high scoring and exciting game. I give the edge in this one to the Saints. While both teams can air the ball out, the Saints have made a noticeable effort to balance out their passing attack with a solid run game. Because of this, the Saints take this game.
– Chicago Bears (5) @ Dallas Cowboys (4) – The Cowboys scare me. They are, and have been one of the most talented teams for quite some time. The only problem is that they never figure out how to put it all together. That seems to have changed. Rob Ryan has done a great job with this defense. The passing attack will have it figured out by then with a healthy Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, who is having a solid year. But now that DeMarco Murray has emerged, I can’t imagine this Bears team stopping them or putting up enough points to match them.
– Baltimore Ravens (5) @ New England Patriots (1) – This is one of the two hardest games to predict throughout the entire playoffs. We have the Ravens, my preseason AFC champions, against the Patriots who seem to be unstoppable right about now. I’ve always been told to go with my gut which is what I’m going to do. Right now my gut is telling me that my initial gut feeling was wrong, which is why I predict New England to win.
– Houston Texans (3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2) – This one feels very simple. With the Texans offense now forced to be completely one-dimensional, the Steelers defense will shut them down.
– Dallas Cowboys (4) @ Green Bay Packers (1) – I almost feel bad for the Cowboys. This won’t be pretty for them. Rob Ryan’s defense specializes in disguising blitzes and confusing quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers specializes in confusing defensive coordinators. Let the chess-match begin. Oh yeah, except Aaron Rogers starts the game with fifteen queens. The Cowboys won’t hang.
– New Orleans Saints (3) @ San Francisco 49ers (2) – As stated in an earlier article, I still am not a believer in the 49ers. Sure, they’re off to a great start. But many of their wins are against poor teams. I don’t see a blowout happening, but I certainly don’t see the Saints having any problem getting the win.
– Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots – There’s one way to stop the Patriots when they’re offense is clicking. You have to put pressure on Brady. Woodley and Harrison are two of the best in the game at that. Not to mention that other guy they have in the secondary. You kno…with the hair. He’ pretty good, isn’t he? … Isn’t he? (Watch the commercials). Everything is telling me to pick the Steelers. Everything but my gut. Tom Brady returns to the Super Bowl.
– New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers – Earlier I mentioned the two hardest games to predict. This is the other one. To this point, both teams have near-unstoppable offenses and blitz-happy defenses. The main factor that will determine the outcome of this game is the weather. This game will take place in Wisconsin at the end of January. I haven’t looked at the forecast, but I’d sure imagine it predicts snow. With snow, quarterbacks have a hard time passing, essentially eliminating the deep threat that both teams heavily rely on. This game comes down to the run game and tight ends. In my humble opinion, Jimmy Graham is the best receiving tight end in the game today. Jermichael Finley is a top ten tight end with incredible hype that he has never really lived up to (sort of like Kevin Kolb). The focus point of this game will be the run game. To this point, the Packers average 3.9 yards per attempt while the Saints are averaging 4.6. The three-headed monster of Sproles, Thomas and Ingram is the deepest and most versatile group of running backs in the league. Because of that, the Saints will win this game. If the game were to be played inside or in a warm climate, the Packers would win. It has probably never happened that playing at Lambeau Field was a disadvantage for the Packers…until now.
New Orleans Saints VS. New England Patriots:
The last time the Saints saw Indianapolis in the Super Bowl, they won. This time won’t be any different. While they may not be the best team in the league, they are the most balanced. When they won two years ago, it was because they had the best pass offense, a solid running attack and the defense that forced the most turnovers. Once Vilma returns, their defense will strengthen dramatically. The offensive battle will be a thing of beauty. The Saints have the second highest scoring offense, more yards than any other team and are second in passing yards. The Patriots are third, second and first respectively. The defenses are very similar in terms of points scored. The main difference is the Patriots pass defense is ranked dead last. Drew Brees will take advantage of that and lead New Orleans to their second championship in three years.