Friday, January 10, 2014

NFL Divisional Playoffs

I picked two out of four in the wildcard round of the playoffs: Could have done the same by flipping a coin. At least the games were fun to watch and I expect this weekend’s divisional playoffs to offer more of the same. So let me brush off my coin and tell you what I think of the upcoming games. Now, heads or tails…?

New Orleans Saints (11-5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) Saturday 4:35pm Fox

The Saints proved they could win on the road with a last second field goal against Philadelphia. What had been a mediocre running game found its legs allowing the Saints to control the clock in a close game. Being outside on a cold day did not give the Saints problems. Will playing in front of Seattle’s 12th man pose a bigger problem?

I do expect the Seahawks’ defense to pose a bigger hurdle than the one faced by the Saints last week. This might be a close low scoring game with turnovers becoming the most important stat. In the end home field advantage will work in Seattle’s favor, the Seahawks winning 17-14.

Indianapolis Colts (11-5) vs. New England Patriots (12-4) Saturday 8:15pm CBS

Andrew Luck was not at his best last weekend. But like an old veteran he put his mistakes behind him, leading his team to a wild comeback win. Hopefully the Colts are not emotionally flat as they head on the road to face the Patriots in what should be a high scoring game.

It is always hard to pick against the Patriots who, no matter what problems face them, tend to find ways to win games. Having an indoor team come to town adds to the long list of reasons why the Patriots should win. But to be honest I cannot tell if New England is a really good team or a team with too many parts missing. I think the Colts will win 45-35.

San Francisco 49ers (12-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (12-4) Sunday 1:05pm Fox

Two good defenses will keep this game a low scoring affair. They also make this game a tough call. Both quarterbacks know how to win games. This should be a fun one to watch, possibly even going into overtime. In the end I think the home team will pull this one out. The Panthers win 17-14.

San Diego Chargers (9-7) vs. Denver Broncos (13-3) Sunday 4:40pm CBS

The Chargers continue to find ways to move forward. They should be able to put some points on the board this Sunday. Whereas the early Sunday game will be about defense, this game will be about offense. In a high scoring show down I have to go with Peyton Manning who will find a way to get it done once again this weekend. I think Manning is on a mission and his Broncos will win 52-35.

We should see another great weekend of football. The good news is we are one step closer to the big game. The bad news is we are one step closer to the big game. These are my picks for this weekend. Who do you think will win?

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