>Tuesday Lunch: Round Two!

Posted: January 11, 2011 in nfl
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By Will Robinson

photos

Well uh, THAT happened. This past weekend was one of the better Wild Car weekends I can remember (last year had one good game, Arizona vs. Green Bay, where this weekend had one bad game, Baltimore vs. Kansas City). I got two of my picks correct, while I totally whiffed on my Seattle one. Here are the upcoming Divisional Playoff Round match ups:

SATURDAY

AFC

#5 Baltimore Ravens (13-4) at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), 1:30 p.m. PST, CBS

Man oh man am I excited for this game. This is one of the best rivalries in the NFL right now and the highest margin of victory in the last seven games is nine points. These games are always fast and hard hitting and go down right to the wire. The Ravens won the first game with Charlie Batch under center for the Steelers in the fourth game without Ben, and they only pulled out a three-point win. The Steelers offense had been sputtering to end the year, but they enter the playoffs dropping 41 on Cleveland. Crucially important 3-4 lineman Aaron Smith could make it back to this game, but he will probably be doubtful. The Ravens rolled in to Baltimore and dominated the Chiefs in Arrowhead: one of the best home field advantages in the league. This should be another classic.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 20-14

 

NFC

#6 Green Bay Packers (11-6) vs. #1 Atlanta Falcons (13-3), 5:00 p.m. PST, FOX

The Packers are the hottest team in the NFC, finally discovered a running game that did not exist throughout the entire season. Aaron Rodgers got his first playoff win in his second start with an impressive three touchdown outing in Philadelphia. The defense shut down Michael Vick en route to a 21-16 win. Cornerback Tramon Williams made a great play on Vick’s last pass of the game to seal the win, with a leaping interception covering receiver Riley Cooper. The Falcons secured the home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs, where they have lost twice with quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan with receiver Roddy White and running back Michael Turner lead a strong Atlanta offense that beat Green Bay earlier this year, 20-17. The defense may have its hands full with the discovery of a Packer run game that Atlanta allowed 26 yards to in their previous match.

Prediction: Green Bay 28-24

 

SUNDAY

NFC

#4 Seattle Seahawks (8-9) vs. #2 Chicago Bears (11-5), 10:00 a.m. PST, FOX

The Seahawks shocked the league with their win against the reigning Super Bowl champion Saints. Matt Hasselbeck, in which people thought was his last game for Seattle, had a terrific game with four touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch had a run for the AGES, with a storming 67-yard touchdown run, including about six broken tackles and a SICK stiff arm on Tracy Porter. The defense is suspect, as they needed every one of those 41 points to win that game. The Bears won the NFC North and played tough through the whole year. They could have prevented their archrival Packers from making the postseason, but they didn’t pull of a win. Seattle beat them in Chicago, but the Bears are a different team now. Quarterback Jay Cutler has limited his mistakes this season, but the threat always exists. The defense has achieved great pressure on the opposing quarterback with rushing their four linemen, and Julius Peppers has had a great year. This should a very interesting game, which will be close.

Prediction: Chicago 22-17

 

AFC

#6 New York Jets (12-5) vs. #1 New England Patriots (14-2), 1:30 p.m. PST, CBS

The Jets won by a foot in Indianapolis, and must now go to Foxborough to take on the Pats. Even though Mark Sanchez tried to throw to Manute Bol on practically every pass, the Jets got a great performance from the run game, particularly LaDainian Tomlinson’s 82 yards, two-touchdown performance. The defense played very well against Peyton Manning, allowing only 16 points and shut down Reggie Wayne (one catch, one yard). The Patriots rolled their way through the season, and did not let up in the last week. They killed Miami at home and entered their bye with a strong note. The defense hasn’t been great, but they have come through when it has mattered. Tom Brady has been phenomenal this year, and picking against him at home is a poor choice.

Prediction: New England 31-17

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