PFT’s divisional round picks

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I’ve been fighting the flu for a week.  Which is my officially unofficial excuse for getting three of last weekend’s games incorrect.

My other unofficial excuses are:  (1) Andy Dalton overthrew A.J. Green on what would have been a game-winning touchdown; (2) Joe Webb isn’t as good as I thought he was; (3) Christian Ponder is better than I thought he was; and (4) the Colts were far more charitable to Baltimore than they were in 1984.

So MDS went 4-0 and I went 1-3 and now that we agree on every game this weekend all I can hope for is a tie, at best, in the postseason edition of the picks contest.

Did I mention I won the regular-season contest by 11 games?

Ravens at Broncos

MDS’s take: Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis, the best offensive and defensive players of their generation, will meet one last time in Denver. I don’t think it’s going to go well for Lewis and his team. The Ravens have struggled all year against good quarterbacks and good wide receivers, and I see this game looking a lot like their December meeting, when Manning’s passing got the Broncos a big lead, and Knowshon Moreno’s running ran out the clock in the second half. In fact, I’ll go ahead and predict the same score as last time.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 34, Ravens 17.

Florio’s take:  Peyton Manning has beaten the Ravens nine straight times, including earlier this year in Baltimore.  While Ray Lewis missed that game, he could be more of a liability than an asset in the rematch.  Noticeably larger than he was when he reported to training camp with a lean frame intended to help chase tight ends, Manning could have Lewis running ragged in the thin air of Colorado.  Along with the rest of the defense.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 31, Ravens 17.

Packers at 49ers

MDS’s take: This, to me, is the toughest game to pick. The 49ers won at Green Bay in Week One. The 49ers had a better record during the regular season. The 49ers are at home. The 49ers got a week to rest while the Packers had to play last week. For all those reasons, the 49ers would seem to be the logical pick. But two factors have me leaning toward the Packers: The way Aaron Rodgers is playing lately, with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last four games. And the question mark about 49ers defensive end Justin Smith, who in my opinion is their single most important player, but who won’t be at full strength with a torn triceps. I like the Packers to win a close, high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Packers 35, 49ers 31.

Florio’s take:  In what could end up being the best postseason game of the year, the Niners will try to beat the Packers for the second time since September — and the first without Alex Smith at quarterback.  Even though Colin Kaepernick has the ability to move the ball on the Green Bay defense, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be determined to prove to the Niners that they should have picked him with the first selection in the 2005 draft.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 28, 49ers 24.

Seahawks at Falcons

MDS’s take: I was all set to take the wild-card Seahawks to win on the road against the No. 1 seed Falcons, but the injury to Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons made me reconsider. Clemons started every game and led the Seahawks in sacks, and I believe Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan can take advantage of an opposing defense with a depleted pass rush. If Seattle cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner can lock down Atlanta receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, and if rookie Bruce Irvin can step up his play in place of Clemons and make life difficult for Ryan, the Seahawks’ defense can still play well enough to win this game. But I’m going to go with the Falcons in a close one.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 27, Seahawks 24.

Florio’s take:  I’ve said all year that the Falcons won’t get respect until they earn it by winning in the postseason.  And it won’t be easy against a Seahawks team that has demonstrated it can beat anyone, anywhere.  But with two weeks to prepare and five seasons of pent-up frustration, Matt Ryan and company will finally find a way.  Most likely.  Probably.  Possibly.  Maybe.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 24, Seahawks 21.

Texans at Patriots

MDS’s take: This game won’t go as badly for the Texans as their previous meeting, but it won’t go particularly well for the Texans, either. Tom Brady can pick apart Houston’s secondary, and while there are some big holes in the Patriots’ secondary, too, I’m not convinced that Matt Schaub is playing well enough right now to take advantage. The Patriots will beat the Texans convincingly again and earn an AFC Championship trip to Denver.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 31, Texans 17.

Florio’s take:  Sure, the Jets were blown out by the Pats in December 2010 before beating New England in the postseason.  But that makes it even more likely that the Patriots won’t fall into a trap, barely a month after trouncing the Texans, 42-14.  Indeed, last year the Patriots blew out the Broncos in December before blowing them out even worse in the playoffs.  Coach Bill Belichick will have his guys ready to charge out of their foxholes and attack — in slightly more organized and effective fashion than the way the guys in Stripes attacked the obstacle course.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 38, Texans 17.

140 responses to “PFT’s divisional round picks

  1. Falcons will not beat the Seahawks. Russell ‘last name’ Wilson will not lose to a puddle of water formerly known as Matty Ice. The Mattural will do what’s natural and he will choke in the playoffs. In doors against a team that can’t run, I’m shocked both picked against the Hawks. It’s not happening. Go Hawks.

  2. Manning had his worse passing performance of the season against the ravens with 3 defensive starters on the bench. He hates cold weather and the ravens have avg 198 yards rushing per game in the last two games.

    bronco’s opponents winning percentaget this year? .38% that’s terrible. Manning has owned the Ravens but this game is much closer than people think and if they ravens can get out to early lead they will win this game.

  3. This feels eerily similar to last years Divisional Round when the media fell in love with another elite QB against the Niners. How’d that work out?

  4. I don’t think you gave sufficient backing for the 49ers-Packers picks.

    Please, explain to me how the Packers one-dimensional offense will score on the 49ers. the 49ers only lose to extremely well-balanced teams that can keep their all-pro ILB tandem off-guard and force them to ‘cheat run’ a little bit.

    With a pass-happy attack like Green Bay’s, the 49ers will stay in their 2-4-5 Nickel package all game, just like they did against the Packers earlier in the season. Rodgers will have to fight nickel coverage all game.

    so, unless Kaepernick has an awful game or something, the 49ers should take care of business

  5. Hate to say it but Broncos will blow out the Ravens, our franchise will never win another Super Bowl, Flacco sucks and is not elite, Lewis will retire a loser and murderer, thinking of becoming a Redskins fan

  6. A lot of pundits said Ray Lewis was going to be a liability last week, but he only turned in 13 tackles and a missed interception. Don’t be surprised if Baltimore goes to Denver and wins this game; it’s a completely different team from the last time they played.

  7. Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau, Drew Brees at The Superdome, Tom Brady at Gilette. I guess they need to beat Rodgers again and then beat Ryan before you guys stop assuming the other team wins because of one guy throwing the ball.

  8. No way the Falcons all of a sudden pull it together and win a playoff game. They haven’t played that many decent teams this year and they are about to be locked in a cage with a beast for 60 minutes. This Seahawks team is to young and inexperienced to be scared and this falcons team is too old and experienced not to be.

    Seahawks 34
    Falcons 21

  9. But admittedly, I was incredibly drunk during the Giants/Niners game, and am not entirely certain I was watching it. I do remember the outcome though, which was not good for Niner Nation.

  10. I’m feeling that you will both be 1-3. The Ravens in the upset special of the day knocking off the Broncos. Niners squeak by the Pack and Hawks keep the Falcons big game choke record intact. Only the Patriots win feels right.

  11. Hahaha you amuse me. Ray Lewis is going to dance on Peyton Manning. Peyton throws 2 picks and the Ravens D cruises them to the AFC Championship game again where they will beat down on Tom Brady this time!

  12. Seahawks are battle tested, Falcons are more like parakeets. I think Seattle destroys Atlanta, and I’m a Pats fan. Mike Smith is the new Marty Schottenheimer.

  13. I wish the Texans would make it close, but you know they won’t. This should be the first game of the weekend, because it is probably going to be the worst. I can see the underdogs winning in the other three games, but this one? It just isn’t going to happen.

  14. If someone uses the Falcons can’t win the big game line what do you say about Steve Young, John Elway, Bill Cowher, Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, etc. who all at one point were said to not be able to win the big game. This years Falcons team is a lot different than in years past. Turner is not what he was 5 years ago but the entire Falcons team is different and do not rely on him as much. Respect is earned yes but what happened in years past shouldn’t hold so much weight, if it did the Giants and Saints would have beaten the Falcons and be in the playoffs.

    Also Ray Lewis arm looks like its cyborg but not in a good way.

  15. All you seahawk turds who think you’re winning the superbowl this year let alone being in it…you are all delusional! Your whole entire fan base is wack….learn the game of football before you talk s***. I’m tired of seeing ppl in this state running down the street nude waving 12th queer flags because you won a playoff game against RG3 on one leg.

  16. ngbradley says:
    Jan 10, 2013 10:24 AM
    I don’t think you gave sufficient backing for the 49ers-Packers picks.

    Please, explain to me how the Packers one-dimensional offense will score on the 49ers. the 49ers only lose to extremely well-balanced teams that can keep their all-pro ILB tandem off-guard and force them to ‘cheat run’ a little bit.

    With a pass-happy attack like Green Bay’s, the 49ers will stay in their 2-4-5 Nickel package all game, just like they did against the Packers earlier in the season. Rodgers will have to fight nickel coverage all game.

    so, unless Kaepernick has an awful game or something, the 49ers should take care of business
    ________________________

    as they mentioned, justin smith’s holding arm is injured. with no pass rush because the offensive linemen can now reach their blocks, the packers won’t need to run the ball

  17. Hey Mike
    Peyton Manning has been to the playoffs 11 times…he has 7 one and dones, and is a prolific one and one in Super Bowl games.
    Does that really qualify him for offensive player of his generation???

  18. Seriously, when the Niners take away the passing game where is Green Bay going to go????? Week 1 all over again. The 49ers aren’t surrendering 30+ points at home, that just doesn’t happen unless you are an ELITE offense with balance. Frank Gore will shine here, Niners 31 Packers 20

  19. avengersevn says:
    Jan 10, 2013 10:27 AM
    And if the Packers lose all their fans will blame it on the replacement ref game.

    Wow, really? Thats why the PACK will win, and so will the Seahawks. SEA @ GB NFC championship. No FAIL mary this time. Pack will roll!

  20. Either the Broncs or the Pats will falter this weekend. Its pretty much a mathematical certainty. Two large favorites that the public is all over is doomed for failure for at least one of them.

    Don’t have a clue as to which, just know one of them will based on statistics.

  21. The maturation of the Packers will continue this week. Long gone from week 1 is the idea that Jarrett Bush is better then Sam Shields. Long gone is giving up on the running game. Long gone is Justin smith’s tricep. Long gone is the idea david akers will make another 63 yard field goal. Add together all the changes that have happened to the two teams throughout the year, long gone is the idea that the 9ers are better then the packers. Packers win 31-17

  22. Going to be in the 20s in Denver Saturday…MegaHead ain’t gonna like it and he will throw a couple of his famous ducks to Mr. Reed and company.

  23. uh oh… you both picked against the Texans. Will Arian Foster update his Twitter Avatar again with YOUR comments?

  24. That improved Packers running game got 76 yards on 31 carries. I guess that’s improved for the packers 😉

  25. Those Niner fans are going to be rowdy this week. The one half that drinks wine and eats cioppino during the game will be busting out the Beringer Founder’s Estate Reserve: 2003 Vintage for this monumental occasion.

    The other half that stabs each other and throws up gang signs will be in parking lot slicing everything in sight by the third quarter.

    These folks really know their ball.

  26. I think giving the Texans 17 is even a stretch. Or at least, I certainly dont see Shaub a part of any scoring. Shaub has yet to show he can really play. To date, hes shown he is mostly an average QB, and below average when it really counts.

    Coming from someone who hates the Pats, itll be a long ugly game for the Texans. If the Texans actually had a QB who could rise to the occasion, id say they would win, but that is not the case.

  27. LOL @illogicalvoicesays you must have a form of mental retardation, probably autism. Most would agree

    With that being said:
    Broncos blow out the Ravens
    Seahawks win in a close game
    49ers some how pull it out
    Patriots blow out texans.

  28. Green Bay better get their jockstraps sewed on tight cause the 9ers are gonna keep Rodgers off the field with their Run Game which includes Kappy.

    They have the Beef up front to Wham block the hell out of BJ Raji and they’ll use Mathews quickness against him all game long. Frank will have a career day against their weak Run Defense. You wait and see.

    Smith would be the better QB to Start against the Packers because he’ll dink and dunk the hell out of the Packer Defense when it comes time to throw the ball, but Kappy is averaging similar numbers. So it’s gonna be a grinder of a game for the Packers.

    Short of Kappy melting down it’s gonna be 9ers 30 Packers 20. Akers gets his groove back. xD

  29. EJ’s Picks:

    Broncos 24, Ravens 17. Manning has to throw a little more in this game because the Ravens will shut down the running game. Ray Lewis will play the final game of his successful career.

    Packers 35, 49ers 14. The 49ers tough Defense doesn’t do enough to stop Rodgers from owning the endzone in this one. Kaepernick is the weakest link this week.

    Seahawks 24, Falcons 21. The Seahawks end up being the dominant bird in this game by coming from behind to take the game late in the 4th quarter.

    Texans 41, Patriots 31. Tom Brady throws for record numbers, but falls a little short in this re-match. The Patriot’s cornerbacks get lit up all day by the Texan’s average QB. This game ends up being a total shootout with neither team getting much on the ground.

  30. Two things in life are certain: The Steelers will win many more Lombardis and the Ravens will not.

  31. Packers’ D will be locked in. Gore won that game in week one but after facing AD 3 times this year the packers will be ready to stop the run. That puts it on a quarterback in his first post season start.. I like my chances with a superbowl mvp.

  32. Matt Ryan = tony romo in crunch time. But Ryan has a much better supporting cast.

    even if the Vikings would have beaten the packers last week and advanced to Atlanta with joe Webb as their only healthy qb, money would be in the bag betting against Atlanta this weekend.

  33. [good quarterback + great running game + great defense] > [great quarterback, poor running game + average defense]

    That’s the case pretty much always.

  34. GB v. SF should be best game of the weekend. Rodgers will be the difference-maker with a trio of virtually unknown RBs who will mercilessly run at and through JSmith’s weak arms.

    Imagine a backup group of OT’s will keep SF on edge.

    Oh and don’t forget Jennings, Cobb, Jones, Nelson, Findley, Driver and company.

    Take it SF Forty-Whiners!!!!!

  35. Ngbradley- the pack have averaged 4.5 yards a carry in the second half of the season, as well as 4.7 in two games against minnesota before last week. Last week was an abberation, not the norm for the packers running game.

  36. The Pats already have the home made video from the last time the Texans were in town
    If you think the last game was a beat down…this one will be over mid way thru the 2nd quarter

  37. Two teams went into last weeks NFC wild card round gimpy with injured QBs, not surprisingly both those teams lost. What is surprising is that the two teams to win and move on are now considered world beaters and can topple the #1 and #2 seeds, even though they did not look overly impressive against a wounded dog. I expect to see the Niners (who have not lost all year to a pass first team) traveling to Atlanta (Falcons are not as good as their record says, but neither are the seahawks) next week.

  38. I think it’s wonderful that the Niners think they’re so great on defense when Tom Brady and his crew put up 28 points in 15 minutes, and the freakin’ Seahawks scored 42.

    San Fran’s defensive “prowess” is bloated by taking on Arizona twice, the jets, the bills, and the dolphins.

    I’m sorry. Would you like some sort of medal for holding those teams to such low point totals? Oh, and BTW, how is your defense playing recently?

    Giving up 25 points per game during the last quarter? Wow. That’s so much better than the Packers giving up 18 during the same stretch.

    I hope your team is as arrogant as you idiotic fans.

  39. Make mine Denver, San Fran, Seattle, and then the Pats. Packers will attempt to dress practice squad RBs at halftime after Willis and the boys destroy three headed monster. The beast will be looking for skittles on the bench after third quarter and Denver will be rockin for the Brady’s visit to Mile High!!!!

  40. 2 points I take um bridge with …

    1) Though I don’t completely disagree with MDS ‘s assertion that the rematch between the Ravens and the Broncos should go the hometown teams way – it’s foolish to say the game will play out the same way as the last one did . The diffence is theRavens will now have a healthy : Suggs / Lewis / Dickson & Bolden .
    This game will be closer than most think
    (and I’m not a Ravens fan )

    2) Florio states that Rodgers will play his best at SF because he has something to prove ? ( being passed over in draft ) .
    .
    I’m pretty sure Rodgers will try to play his best in order to give his team the best chance to advance – and could care less about being snubbed years ago.

    That particular story line was put to bed the day he won a SB

  41. NFCCG will be at the stick and it will be against their fast growing little brother within the division. Niners win a close one while Seattle stomps a mudhole and walks it dry in Atlanta. Sorry guys I just see no evidence that the Falcons will show up in that game.

  42. It’s like these guys just pick games by which quarterback usually throws for the most yards, SMH. The 49ers are the overall best team in the NFC, and the Broncos are in the AFC. Just watch. Green Bay is about to be crushed. You just can’t beat the 49ers being one dimensional

  43. I find it hilarious that Steeler fans are here talking garbage as they sit at home watching the Ravens. Everytime a Steeler fan gets a chance to prove they’re good sports, they fail….very much like Alabama fans except that Steeler fans dont teabag people or destroy other people’s property…….yet.

    Just 1 big question comes out of this weekend for me:

    If the Packers and Seahawks both win would they bring the replacement refs back in for a do over?

  44. I think there are some great match-ups here. I think the Packers are the favorite to win, mostly because of the inexperience of Kaepernick. You never know though… if the 49ers get hot on offense, that could spell big problems for the Pack.

    I think the Texans have lost to the big guys mostly this year, although they did win against an early Broncos team trying to put pieces together. New England is my lock to win this weekend.

    And if Matty Ice loses this one…. there will be some big questions needing answering.

  45. WHY OH WHY do people keep saying Aaron Rodgers is out for revenge against SF because they did not pick him 1st overall? I’ve good news for you people, MIKE MCCARTHY was the one who didn’t pick Aaron Rodgers when he was SF’s offensive coordinator. So in my view Aaron Rodgers is going to shave points and let SF win for revenge against Mccarthy.

  46. [good quarterback + great running game + great defense] > [great quarterback, poor running game + average defense]
    ——————–

    Good grief…what a Californian! The Packers average 4.5 per carry over the second half of the season and that’s “poor.” However, a 22 year old with about 6 career starts is considered “good.”

    I can’t wait to put both your squad and that 12th man college program to your north away for good.

  47. Wow, if you niner fans are this angry before the game, I can’t wait to see what happens after you lose.

  48. I was 1-3 last week as well (I got the Seahawks game right). This week I say the Broncos, Seahawks and Patriots all win comfortably, but that Packers/49ers game could go either way. I take the Packers in a really close one.

  49. I don’t get all the love for the Packers. They have one player who if he can’t get them 30, they’re screwed. I can’t stand either of these teams and I know that if my team were playing either of them this week SF or GB would be shivering in their cleats, but I see SF crushing GB 31-17. GB has no defense and SF has been stewing on their home NFCCG loss for an entire year.

  50. “I’ve good news for you people, MIKE MCCARTHY was the one who didn’t pick Aaron Rodgers when he was SF’s offensive coordinator.”
    —————–

    Niners fans apparently think that the offensive coordinator is also responsible for player acquisition. I guess the GM’s are in charge of turf maintenance. Quarterback’s coach…please oversee refreshments.

  51. McCarthy didnt pick Rodgers when he was the OC in San Fran? OC’s make draft picks? Learn something new every day.

  52. Manning has been practicing and playing in the cold for weeks..has not been a problem at all!! those saying it will are just grasping at straws

  53. Just wanted to point out what happens in the playoffs matters more than the regular season.. picking games included 🙂

  54. While I understand the enthusiasm for the Packers, the Niners are a better team, and their defense will prove why. I will say that the winner of this game (regardless of which team it is) will be heading on to the Super Bowl.

    Seattle is going to pull the upset. They’re good enough to do it, and Atlanta, for better or worse, just hasn’t to face that many quality teams this year. The Seahawk defense is going to rule the day.

  55. davefromca says:
    Jan 10, 2013 12:09 PM
    WHY OH WHY do people keep saying Aaron Rodgers is out for revenge against SF because they did not pick him 1st overall? I’ve good news for you people, MIKE MCCARTHY was the one who didn’t pick Aaron Rodgers when he was SF’s offensive coordinator. So in my view Aaron Rodgers is going to shave points and let SF win for revenge against Mccarthy.
    ——————

    Maybe because Rodgers himself said he will always have a grudge against the Niners for not taking him?

  56. “It’s new England’s Super Bowl to win,they are just the best team in the NFL hands down.”… maybe now that the Giants aren’t in the playoffs. GMEN would beat every NFC team this weekend with the exception of Seattle, easily.

  57. “Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be determined to prove to the Niners that they should have picked him with the first selection in the 2005 draft.”

    Regardless of this week’s outcome, he’s already proven that, not just to the Niners but to Miami, Tampa Bay, and most everyone that had picks 2-23. There are only active three players who have won both league and Super Bowl MVP awards, and he’s one of them.

  58. Falcons beat this exact Seahawks team just last year in their dome. Roddy and Julio DESTROYED those two cornerbacks that they keep inflating the ego of, Browner and Sherman. And last year they had Clemons. Clemons didn’t do a damn thing. Atlanta will win because they are simply the better team. And it’s a shame that the media keeps setting those fans up for failure. During that so called little run Seattle had, no one has bothered to admit none of those teams were ranked beyond #18 in overall or in offense. They were sorry teams. Meanwhile Atlanta is ranked 5 in Offense and a top 10 defense . It’s over Seattle fans . Don’t think Atlanta will allow that team to come in their house and beat them when they already know they are the better team. And don’t mislead yourself with that loss to Tampa. The team didn’t care to win that game.

  59. Ravens will make this a closer game than everyone thinks, but I’m gonna give the edge to Manning and the Broncos defense at home.

    Rodgers needs to have a great, not good, game if the Packers are going to win. That one-dimensional offense against the 49ers D won’t net them many points. It might come down to the kickers, but if it does, it’s anyones game, because no kicker in this game can be trusted. Packers still might win but it won’t be a shoot out.

    Falcons over Seattle. I think Ryan wins his first game and proves the naysayers wrong. However, Seattle might be this year’s team of destiny — NFC seems to have one every year over the last decade and a half.

    Patriots over Texans.

  60. The Niners at home on a Saturday night under the lights in prime time with 13 days rest sounds pretty good to me. I think one or several of the Pack’s players is in line for some serious pain…hear those footsteps guys? You shopuld!

    My sources at the Niner facility tell me Whitner, Goldson, Willis, Bowman and Aldon are drooling at the mouth and kicking down the barn so to speak. Jacked out of their minds to play this one.

    I’ll be sitting on the 50YL in UR Sec 41 with a clear view of all the mayhem. Can’t wait

  61. MDS’s take: The Ravens have struggled all year against good quarterbacks and good wide receivers, and I see this game looking a lot like their December meeting, when Manning’s passing got the Broncos a big lead,
    ________
    The Broncos did not get the lead because of Manning’s passing, it was because of Flacco’s interception. If the Raven’s D plays like they did last game, you should make this your upset of the weekend

  62. Pats (in a much closer game than before, these games where everyone picks the Pats worry me the most)

    Ravens (I just see an upset coming)

    49ers (Just a hunch, both very good teams, playing well, but the 9ers are at home)

    Seattle (Can’t stand the players, but they are playing lights out and I have no faith in ATL)

  63. I love the “intelligent” fans on here who say Seattle isn’t any good. Their 7 game win streak thinks your crazy. I guess being 6-1 in quality wins this season(best in the NFL), having the #1 scoring defense, #4 total defense, Lynch running like a beast, Wilson proving doubters wrong, the best secondary in the game, and, being battle tested makes you a bad team.

    Seahawks 31 Falcons 16

  64. richcranium2112 says:
    Jan 10, 2013 11:41 AM
    GB v. SF should be best game of the weekend. Rodgers will be the difference-maker with a trio of virtually unknown RBs who will mercilessly run at and through JSmith’s weak arms.

    Imagine a backup group of OT’s will keep SF on edge.

    Oh and don’t forget Jennings, Cobb, Jones, Nelson, Findley, Driver and company.

    Take it SF Forty-Whiners!!!!!
    ———————————-

    Who knows who will win on the field, but one area us Niners fans can’t compete with is the unbelievable knowledge of the Packers fan base.

    By the way it is Jermichael Finley, not Findley, and Donald Driver has not caught a pass in a month, as he has been inactive for parts. Way to know your team.

  65. I’d also add that Dom Capers is great at disguising coverages and this plays to Green Bay’s favor as Kaepernick is relatively inexperienced at reading coverages and defenses.

  66. ravanator says:
    Jan 10, 2013 10:30 AM
    Hate to say it but Broncos will blow out the Ravens, our franchise will never win another Super Bowl, Flacco sucks and is not elite, Lewis will retire a loser and murderer, thinking of becoming a Redskins fan

    =================================
    Bye!

  67. Im goin for the upset pick here. Texans 27 Pats 24. Arian Foster will have 197 yard and 2 touchdowns, and the defense will finally step up and do what they do best. Also, as usual the Falcons will be one and done.

  68. mslegndary says:
    Jan 10, 2013 12:44 PM
    Falcons beat this exact Seahawks team just last year in their dome. Roddy and Julio DESTROYED those two cornerbacks that they keep inflating the ego of, Browner and Sherman.
    ____________________________________

    Ok, seriously?

    1) The Seahawks don’t play in a dome.

    2) It’s obviously not the exact same team. In last year’s game, we did not have Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, Kam Chancellor, or KJ Wright.

    3) Richard Sherman was not starting at that point in the season. He took over for Trufant after he and Walter Thurmond had season-ending injuries several weeks later.

    4) Even if the roster was identical (which it very clearly isn’t), do you really think this young team hasn’t improved at all in 29 game since the Seahawks last played the Falcons? You’re just being silly.

  69. kuehner131 says:
    Jan 10, 2013 12:12 PM
    Ravens have the 20th ranked rush defense in the league. 17th overall. You don’t win with mystique and a one armed linebacker.

    ============================
    Wow, 13 tackles last week with one arm?? He really is the best mlb in history!

  70. The Matt Ryan to Tony Romo comparison is a little off. Ryan has had the ball in his hands in the final minute or 2 a lot of times and made big plays and won games or set up game winning field goals even going as far back as his days at BC.

    Another reason why I think the Falcons win is they have upgrades at both coordinators spots. Mike Nolan is one of the best if not the best DC in the game right now. This Falcons D reminds me a lot of the Saints D that won the super bowl, very opportunistic and as good as Wilson is, does he have a real weapon in the pass game? Golden Tate would be the 3rd or 4th receiver on the Falcons team. If you stop or slow down the Hawks run game and make Wilson throw the ball 30+ times I think the Falcons will make him turn the ball over a few times.

    No one talks about how in the Falcons last 3 victories they made Brees, Eli and Matt Stafford look like second string QB’s, allowing I believe only 1 touchdown and 8 interceptions. Also Sean Weatherspoon is one of the best OLB’s in the game right now and no one even pays attention to him.

    And if you wanna talk about history only the L.A. Rams in 1990 have traveled back to back weeks from west to east coast and won playoff games in the history of the NFL.

  71. Night playoff game in frigid Foxboro? Pats will destroy Houston. Ravens…forget it. It’s a bad matchup. 9ers defense will stop GB enough times. Seattle is this year’s version of the Giants and Atl will fold like a cheap suit if Seattle jumps out 10-0.

  72. Packers 28,niners 27

    Seahawks 30, Falcons 20

    Broncos 35, Ravens 13

    Patriots 40, Texans 24

    Everyone gets the matchups they want to see next weekend.

    Packers Broncos Super Bowl.

    Rodgers solidifies his legacy with his 2nd SB win in 3 years.

  73. What is the point of Media backetology?

    There is a complete inability to do anything unique.

    It might turn out that the top 1 and 2 seeds form each conference wins – but when does that EVER happen.

    An upset always happens, and right? But the only one picked here is Greenbay over the 9ers. Talk about MASSIVE group think.

  74. And if you wanna talk about history only the L.A. Rams in 1990 have traveled back to back weeks from west to east coast and won playoff games in the history of the NFL.

    ______________________

    That stat is stupid. Has a west coast team had a chance to go back-to-back on the east coast every year? No.

    When is the last time Atlanta won a playoff game?

    Make sure you get all your posts in this week b/c I have a feeling that you won’t be around next week.

    Hawks win
    49ers win
    Patriots win
    Broncos win

  75. “Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be determined to prove to the Niners that they should have picked him with the first selection in the 2005 draft”

    Really?

    That’s the best you got??

    Jeesh.

  76. A west coast team traveling back to back weeks in the playoffs has happened about 5 times recently as 2007 when the Chargers did it and lost to New England. The game were LT kept his helmet on all game long.

    I would not be surprised if the Hawks win, it’s just everyone thinks it is a done deal. And it is NOT. Seattle has possibly there best defensive player out, at least the best pass rusher in Clemens and besides Lynch can you name a weapon on offense? The Falcons defensive game plan should be real easy, stop Lynch who by the way has a history of being a flake at times during the season and make a rookie QB beat you.

  77. bigdaddyraven says:

    Wow, 13 tackles last week with one arm?? He really is the best mlb in history!

    ============================

    He is, completely agree. but if the Ravens give the Broncos 15 minutes more possession time like they did the Colts…

  78. I’m sorry, but it’s restarted in my opinion how everyone is talking how great the Seahawks are. If RGIII wasn’t left in the game the Seahawks would have list that game. This is the time Matt Ryan finally pulls out the playoff win. It might not be pretty but it will happen.

  79. By my handle you all can tell that I don’t have a horse in any of these races but I sure would like to see Flacco put on his big boy pants and go toe to toe with PM in Denver. I think we can all agree that none of us want to see another weekend of blowouts.

  80. That “weak” packers run d just held AP to 99 yards. They’ll hold gore and kapp under 125. Im calling a Woodson pick because kapp is very predictable in some of his throws from what I’ve seen. Raji has been very good in the middle lately, and hawk has been good in run support. And when the pack spread out 5 wide and no huddle, this niners secondary will get dissected, by the best qb in the league.

  81. dannyreneau says: Jan 10, 2013 10:41 AM

    No way the Falcons all of a sudden pull it together and win a playoff game. They haven’t played that many decent teams this year

    __________________________

    Says the man that hasnt seen any falcons games all year long,lol.

    One thing that is a fact, the falcons have had more decent games then the seahawks this year.

    You also might find that the Falcons have a slightly better offense than the bills, jets dolphins, niners ( twice), skins, cards ( twice), Rams (twice), lions and bears.

    Just sayin’- but on the bright side you did have a good season, its just coming to an end in a very ugly way

  82. Here is how the Pack wins this weekend: Spread out the defense going 5 wide and then a healthy dose of DuJuan Harris up the middle

  83. @theeguy1

    Hilarious stat you just referenced. Though the Packers did “hold” AP to 99 yards…their D also stacked the box with 8 guys with no threat of Webb to pass. Im not saying the Packers will lose, but this week your 11 men on D will have to guard the entire field, and not just the line of scrimmage.

  84. Seriously, when the Niners take away the passing game where is Green Bay going to go????? Week 1 all over again. The 49ers aren’t surrendering 30+ points at home, that just doesn’t happen unless you are an ELITE offense with balance. Frank Gore will shine here, Niners 31 Packers 20
    ______________________________

    Week one all over again? The Packers are way better now than they were in week one. The Niners are about the same or maybe a little weaker because of that injury to Smith. Not to mention, the Niners will be starting a QB who has very little experience in the playoffs. Kaepernick admitted “it’s just another game” to him. To everyone else, the intensity level will be high and no player, besides Kaepernick, will think it is just another game.

  85. ez2bcheezy says:
    Jan 10, 2013 3:12 PM
    Here is how the Pack wins this weekend: Spread out the defense going 5 wide and then a healthy dose of DuJuan Harris up the middle

    —–

    Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy your enthusiasm, with 5 wide receivers, a QB, a 5 linemen, dujuan Harris will be in the bench.

  86. Seahawks win, 28-17 Falcons have no rushing defense whatsoever not to mention they cant tackle. Packers obliterate the Niners 35-17. Niners will be humbled this year and that defense will be gassed by the fourth quarter. Patriots win 31-10 in a blowout and Matt Schaub is exposed as the average, no responsibility taken quarterback he is, all the while Arian Foster runs for almost nothing on 14 carries. Broncos squeeze out a win against the Ravens 21-20. Underperform all game but Peyton Manning comes up clutch once again.

  87. southpaw79 says:
    Jan 10, 2013 11:53 AM
    Two teams went into last weeks NFC wild card round gimpy with injured QBs, not surprisingly both those teams lost. What is surprising is that the two teams to win and move on are now considered world beaters and can topple the #1 and #2 seeds, even though they did not look overly impressive against a wounded dog. I expect to see the Niners (who have not lost all year to a pass first team) traveling to Atlanta (Falcons are not as good as their record says, but neither are the seahawks) next week.

    ______________________________

    Someone needs to tell NYGs and StL that they aren’t pass first teams.

  88. Think your both wrong; NFC West will have one if not two in the championship game. I hope the Hawks get there, but I really don’t see both West teams losing.

  89. What’s crazy about these niner fans is that they don’t seem to remember a little system called “the west coast offense.” It basically takes away the need for an amazing running game.

    Perhaps it was before your time?

  90. tdubdizzle says: Jan 10, 2013 3:46 PM

    Seahawks win, 28-17 Falcons have no rushing defense whatsoever not to mention they cant tackle.

    ______________

    Umm have you seen Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore, Dunta Robinson and John Abraham play before? They tackle pretty well.

  91. That’s a pretty weak take… I think Rodgers is probably over not getting picked 1st overall by the 9ers. You know, with the superbowl win and all. He probably hasn’t thought about it once since taking over for ole Favre. That is if he was even mad about it to begin with.. it wasn’t like he was even projected that high.

  92. The Texans are certainly an expected underdog against NE. However, the last meeting was a case of everything going wrong for Houston and everything going right for the Pats.

    No second TE for our preferred sets. An unhealthy defensive backfield. Karim Jackson tries to pick-up a fumble at 0-7, instead of falling on it. JJ Watt punches a ball loose and it goes upfield to Lloyd standing in the end zone.

    No way those things bridged a 28 point gap, but if a couple go the Texans way, it would have been a much closer game.

    Those predicting a blowout are getting their info from places like the unofficial network of New England – ESPN.

    This will be a much closer game and the result should not be considered a foregone conclusion.

  93. 9ers are dreaming. Game over niners fans. Like it or not Rodgers hates that team now and will not lose when it really matters.

  94. Cheesehead fans are unaware of ‘Niners W-L pattern this season, and it does not bode well for them. Whiners have been W-W-L, W-W-L… all season long, and this weekend they’re due for win #2 in the pattern. Then they will lose the NFCCG at home against my Hawks. Aww.

    Seahawks have far and away the dominating talent between us and Failcons. Losing Clemons to the minefield injury at FedExcrement Field only served to unleash our #1 draft pick Bruce Irvin to now start at that position. Matt Ryan will curse Snyder as well after several sacks at the hands of Bruce.

    And those who foolishly think Marshawn Lynch is our only weapon on offense will be in for quite a shock. One of the reasons RW doesn’t put up as many pass yards as the so-called “elite” passing QB’s is because he’s putting up rushing yards and scoring rushing TD’s himself. Miller and McCoy are major threats at TE, and Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Lynch, and Robinson are dependable receivers who rarely drop the very accurate throws of RoY favorite DangeRuss Wilson.

    And if the O needs help, our D has the talent to step in and makes scores, too. We will pick Ryan’s passes off with abandon, since that is the only weapon Atlanta has is a passing game.

    My only concern is the early start time and how much the Hawks will let the jet lag affect them. If they do, could be a tough slog to keep up. If they push through it, and last week showed they can, I not only look for a win, but actually feel another blowout coming in our favor. Go Hawks!

  95. ” Ramblinrex ”
    True they can tackle but then problem is the rest of your sh*tty can’t tackle and is why only one team(chiefs) is worse than yours.

    Your offense is legit but Seattle can control the clock and keep them off the field.

    Also Bruce Irvin is going home for this game, first game as a starter and led all rookies in sacks with limited opportunities not to mention he’s the fasted DE in the NFL. Hes only 6lbs lighter them Clem, and your teams doesn’t even take advantage of that because they are pass happy. Please use logic!

  96. Not understanding the “Green Bay has no defense” takes here.

    Even with giving up 400 yards in 2 games to AP – defense ended up 11th overall for the season. Giving up a whopping 50 more yards rushing a game than the 49’s — so outside of AP, GB does rather well.

    The real measure of a defense is how they stack up in scoring. GB’s D gave up an average of about 3.9 more points per game than SF. Hardly insurmountable. Consider GB didn’t play puffs like Arizona twice either…..

    GB’s defense isn’t world class – but it’s more than serviceable.

  97. LOL at the Arizona comments as if GB didn’t get two games against Powder Puff Detroit….. Anyway McCarthy didn’t have final say but McGloughan and Nolan had absolutely no idea what they were looking for. McCarthy lobbied Smith over Rodgers and even acknowledged that irony when taking over in GB. Bill Walsh also told them to go with Smith. Rodgers is more talented without any question but I highly doubt he has the intergrity to have endured the circus that was 2005-2010 in San Francisco

  98. goldrush36 says:
    Jan 10, 2013 5:36 PM
    “LOL at the Arizona comments as if GB didn’t get two games against Powder Puff Detroit…..”
    —————————————-
    You mean a team with actual pass rushers and an actual QB to throw to his receivers compared to the no oline/no qb cardinals…

  99. Has Vegas posted an O/U on how many times the Aaron Rodgers Draft Green Room tape will be played through the end of the game on Saturday?

  100. I’m going to settle this once and for all — I went to the psychic today who told me San Francisco scores first — but Green Bay leads at the half and hold on in a squeaker win.

    On the over-under, she says take the over (whatever that means, I am not a better) and feel secure.

    Madame Theobald knows all tells all.

  101. At this point in the playoffs there really aren’t any bad teams – and truly “any given sunday” rule applys.

    We are looking for good teams to turn elite. I think Falcons have a good team for the regular season, but aren’t built as tough as they seem. Seattle wins this.

    If the 49ers game was in GB, i’d go with the PACK. I can’t see GB coming into candlestick and winning against the 49ers considering Justin Smith is back.

    The other games are no-brainers.

  102. Again people act as if the game is already over and the Hawks ran for 200 yards and controlled the clock. Simply and “logically” put, if the Falcons put 8 in the box play man to man and make a rookie QB beat them they will have good chance to win. I have watched Wilson since he was a freshman @ NCST, but you make him throw the ball 25-30+ times the Hawks have not faired well. Just like pretty much every other rookie QB since the beginning of time

  103. All the people in here saying Atlanta is going to choke were the same ones saying the Giants were going to destroy the Falcons and get into the playoffs. How did that turn out? This team is different this year, and every time they’ve needed to step up to a challenge they’ve done it.

  104. Probably? Possibly? Maybe? Indeed! Seahawks went South of prevailing opinion, well WAY South, again, in replacing Clemons on the roster with unknown Patrick Chukwura, latest play in the Arena League. Might be hard to think they can keep all those longshots playing at such a high level, but the score starts at 0-0—–we’ll see! Other picks seem spot on–with Justin Smith’s and Colin Kapernik’s play critical for a 49er’s victory.

  105. The Patrick Chukwura signing isn’t an important issue unless Bruce Irving gets hurt. Irving was the backup, and had 8 sacks (his rookie year FYI) by himself. Clemons loss was big, but with Irving right behind him, its not as big as it could have been. Irving came in last week for Clemons and dominated.

    This game will come down to the WR/DB matchup. I think Seattle will have the biggest issue covering Tony G. over the middle. However, the size of the DB’s we have could allow us to play in a Nickel package so we put a DB, not a LB, on Tony. If I was Carol (more like I wish I was) it would be my goal to have more DBs on the field on each play.

  106. Al that matters is this:
    There is a team with Tom Brady and there is a team with Peyton Manning. Everyone else is shredded wheat. And it doesn’t matter who goes to the Superbowl because one of those guys is going to light up the NFC for about 45 points.

  107. The Seahawks are a talented team, but people hopping on the Seattle bandwagon because they were able to beat a team whose star player (RG3) was playing on one leg will be sorely disappointed come Sunday.

  108. Seattle beat a team who’s best receiver is Pierre Garcon.
    The other guys? Aldrick Robinson, Josh Morgan Logan Paulsen, etc, etc
    Not exactly Pro Bowl tier players.
    And their QB was a shell of his normal self.
    Since their bye week in mid-Nov they’ve beaten exactly 1 good team; SF.

    Matt Ryan is at best a 2nd tier QB in this league, definitely not elite.
    However, we shall see how they do playing with the big boys now.

  109. “Aaron Rodgers will be determined to prove to the Niners that they should have picked him with the first selection in the 2005 draft.”

    Yes, I’m sure that a Packers win would really embarrass Mike Nolan Scot McCloughan, who were responsible for the pick and neither of whom have been with the 49ers front office for the past seven years.

  110. To the guy that said the Falcons can tackle and listed four players, one still banged up. Theres 11 men on defense and I watched my putrid Raiders beat the crap out of them physically with GREG KNAPP running the show. The Falcons are soft as can be.

  111. If Matt Ryan has the time to throw this will be a long day for Seattle. If Atlanta shows a glimpse of a running game, this will be a long day for Seattle.

  112. gamustangdude says:
    Jan 12, 2013 11:42 AM
    If Matt Ryan has the time to throw this will be a long day for Seattle. If Atlanta shows a glimpse of a running game, this will be a long day for Seattle.

    ************

    Wow! That’s an awful lot of “ifs”.

    Let’s tweek it a little bit:
    If Wilson doesn’t have time to throw, he will run and it will be a long day for Atlanta.
    When Lynch unleashes “Beast Mode” against a soft Falcons run defense, it will be a long day for Atlanta.

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