PFT’s divisional round picks

AP

Last week, MDS and yours truly disagreed on both Saturday games.  He was right, I was wrong, and now I’m in a two-game hole with seven postseason games left.

This week, we agree on the Saturday games.  But we disagree on the Sunday games.  Which means that we could be tied heading into the championship round, or that he could have a four-game lead with three games left.

Maybe we’ll include the Pro Bowl this year.

For our picks in all four games to be played this weekend, keep doing what you’ve been doing to reach the point where we invite you to keep doing it.

Ravens at Patriots

MDS’s take: Patriots fans have reasons to be concerned. The Ravens have a good track record of playing well in New England in the postseason, and the Ravens played some of their best football of the year in Saturday’s win over the Steelers. Baltimore is a complete team with only one weakness, the injury-riddled secondary. And even that injured secondary held up pretty well against Pittsburgh’s passing attack. Add all those things up, and it’s tempting to pick an upset. But I think the Ravens will fall just short. New England’s defense will pressure Joe Flacco into some mistakes, and Rob Gronkowski will come up with some big plays, and the Patriots will win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 21, Ravens 20

Florio’s take:  The postseason history between these two teams suggests that the Ravens will thrive in Foxboro.  Or perhaps it puts the Patriots on greater notice of the risk of getting caught flat-footed in the divisional round and losing, as half of all No. 1 seeds have done since 2005.  While the most important pieces of the two teams are the same as they’ve been when the Ravens established a 2-1 record at New England in the playoffs, the Patriots have Darrelle Revis and a healthy Gronk.  That alone should be enough to prevent the team that rebounded dramatically from a 2-2 start to the regular season from falling to 1-3 at home against Baltimore in the postseason.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 34, Ravens 17.

Panthers at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I’ve been impressed with the Panthers the last few weeks. Winning five straight games by an average margin of 16 points per game isn’t easy against anyone in the NFL. But the reality is that playing at Seattle represents an enormous step up in competition for Carolina, and I just don’t think the Panthers are up to it. This looks like the least competitive game of the weekend, as the defending champs will cruise into the NFC Championship Game.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Panthers 10.

Florio’s take:  In each of the last three years, the Panthers gave Seattle all they could handle.  From 16-12 in 2012 to 12-7 in 2013 to 13-9 earlier this year, coach Ron Rivera and company have shown that they know how to compete with one of the best teams in the league.  But each of those games was played in Charlotte; for the first time ever, the post-Fox Panthers get a taste of Seattle.  While the Panthers may be able to cover the double-digit spread, they won’t be able to advance.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 20, Panthers 10.

Cowboys at Packers

MDS’s take: Tony Romo was outstanding on Sunday against the Lions, despite a furious Detroit pass rush beating him up all day. Green Bay’s pass rush isn’t as good as Detroit’s, and Romo should be even better on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers will be better still against Dallas’s defense. In a high-scoring game, the Packers will come out on top.

MDS’s pick: Packers 38, Cowboys 30.

Florio’s take:  For the first time ever, a team that was 8-0 on the road faces a team that was 8-0 at home.  But the biggest question is whether Aaron Rodgers’ torn calf muscle will hold up.  Even if it does, the Cowboys have a healthy Romo — and an oversized, orange-sweatered mojo.  It all adds up to Dallas punching a ticket to a return to Seattle, the scene of one of the best games of the regular season . . . and the site of the snap-bungling gaffe that gave Tony Romo the label of late-game choker.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 28, Packers 24.

Colts at Broncos

MDS’s take: All the attention will be on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, but to me the difference in this game is the personnel on the defense. Denver has pass rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware and cornerbacks Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, and that will make life miserable for Luck. Indianapolis just doesn’t have the same kind of personnel, which means Manning can do what he does best, and exploit holes in the opposing team’s defense. The Broncos will score a lot and set up a trip to New England in the AFC Championship Game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 30, Colts 20.

Florio’s take:  Something hasn’t been right with the Broncos over the past few weeks.  While the good news is that quarterback Peyton Manning has had extra time to allow his thigh (and whatever else may have been injured) to heal, the bad news is that Manning tends to overprepare when he has two weeks to get ready for a big game, with a 2-4 mark in the divisional round after earning a bye.  With the Colts bumping against the ceiling that separates the NFL’s second tier from its elite, this could be Indy’s chance to break through.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Broncos 21.

163 responses to “PFT’s divisional round picks

  1. The teams the Cowboys beat to go 8-0 on the road combined for a 48-80 record. Packers home opponents went 62-65-1. Packers are the better team.

    GB 34 – Dal 21

  2. Baltimore’s history in NE is absolutely irrelevent to this game. Throw in the fact that those Ravens teams had Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin.

    Pretty sure this Patriots team went into Baltimore late last season and beat the Ravens by 20+. The media never seems to bring that part of the history up. Pats roll in this one

  3. Good games. It wouldn’t be completely shocking to see the underdogs sweep, which would be pretty rare. The Panthers probably have the toughest challenge, but if they can turn it into a dogfight, like their recent meetings, they have a chance.

  4. Joseph Vincent Flacco does not choke in the postseason. Another instant classic game in Foxboro tomorrow night.

    Ravens 27
    Patriots 23

  5. My, my, my the Cowboys are a sexy upset pick from the top tier of NFL prediction pundits.

    The Boys STRUGGLED to beat the (same ol’) Lions at home, but they are somehow now going to beat GB at Lambeau?

    Rodgers has snookered all of us. Especially those he’s conned into picking Dallas. He pulled a Minnesota Fats, mark my words.

  6. Totally love your prediction on the Pats-Raven game Florio. MDS, if you’re gonna say its tempting to pick an upset, then pick the upset. You’ll regret it in the end, though

    #BradyIsTheG.O.A.T.

  7. I hope you’re right about the Colts Mike. I have a nice future wager on them to win it all, got 13-1 odds!

  8. Close but not quite Florio. Looking through the haze of your reasoning, a healthy Romo beats Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau (even if his calf does hold up?) Not a chance…..Pack 27 – Boyz 17

  9. Why on earth does Florio think that the Dallas Cowboys defense can hold the Packers to 24 points? Detroit’s defense was better than Dallas’s and gave up 30 just two weeks ago.

  10. If there was an away team that could win, Dallas looks like the team.

    No question Rodgers is not at 100%. That will be a huge advantage for the cowboys, enough to propel them to a 27-20 victory.

    Green Bay does not impress defensively, and the running game of dallas could go off big time.

    The gbay ONE and DONERS will fall again, the first time.

  11. If Indy some how manages to beat Denver, they really, really better hope the Ravens topple New England. They couldn’t handle NE at Indy, and they definitely can’t handle them in Foxboro. They’re basically playing for the right to get destroyed in the AFCCG

  12. I was having a similar thought to Florio about the Colts. A few weeks ago when the Broncos played the Bengals, I had a discussion that I thought the Bengals had a really good shot at beating the Broncos. My reason was, “if not now, when?”. For years the Bengals have laid an egg in big games (ironically they managed to lay an egg in Indy in the first round of the playoffs, *face palm*). Anyway, I am NOT saying the Colts WILL win, and to be honest, I have a hard time picking anyone in Denver who isnt the Broncos. But the point is, for the Colts, if not now, when? Just like the Bengals a few weeks back, the Colts certainly have the players to get it done, but will they?

  13. Winning teams this weekend:
    Team Reason
    Patriots Brady at home
    Seahawks Seattle at home
    Packers Rodgers at home
    Broncos Manning at home

  14. Romo gets a bad rap on that snap fumble. Sure, he did it, it happens but…if Martin Gramatica had just stepped up and into the way of the DE coming in, Romo is in the end zone.

    Gramatica froze. Reminded me of that Miami placekicker trying to throw a pass on a bungled FG years ago. Garo Yepremian maybe.

  15. Florio was doing fine until he picked Dallas over GB.here is a secret,Rodgers injured calf is fine and he will move outside the pocket and make plays which isnt good for Dallas.Packers 28-17.

  16. Yeah right how is Indy going to stop Denver’s running game? I guarantee with as porous as the Colts are against the run the Broncos will run it 25-30 times.

  17. MDS and Florio going with the sexy pick in Foxboro… let me counter. Sure, the Pats have a healthy Gronk, but unlike last time around, the Ravens actually have a defense capable of covering the TE, and they do it well. And while the Pats may have Revis this time around, and let’s not forget Browner, the Ravens offense has shown that eliminating 1 receiver from the equation doesn’t shut down their offense. Last week the Steelers focused on Torrey in the 1st half, and got burned by Steve Smith. In the 2nd half they focused on Steve Smith and Torrey torched them. And all the while Owen Daniels was making clutch catches. There are plenty of offensive weapons on this team, so 1 CB will not be the determining factor. And really it depends on how they line up. I’d ASSUME they want Revis on Steve Smith for speed reasons, but can Browner, the most penalized DB in the NFL, keep up with Torrey’s deep ball speed? And stay flag free?

    And while this Pats team is good- there’s no denying that- their Offense ranks 11th & their Defense ranks 13th. Meanwhile the Ravens Offense ranks 12th and their Defense ranks 8th. And yet nobody is giving Baltimore a chance in this game all because of Gronk and Revis? That’s a big freaking stretch if you ask me….

  18. As a Lions fan, I’m cheering for a GB blowout to send the Cowgirls back where they belong (on the couch watching the rest of the playoffs).

    48-3 GB.

  19. A healthy analysis would also draw from the most recent regular season contest in which the Patriots prevailed 41-7 in Baltimore. No one seems to walk to talk about THAT one. Baltimore would have qualified for the playoffs had they won that game, but instead they missed the playoffs altogether.

    Was Elvis Dumervil on the roster for that game? I don’t know.

  20. That’s why the Pats will win tomorrow…because of Don Shula? Riiiiight. How much of that era is still left? Brady suddenly gonna throw 7 TDs instead of 2???

    I’m sure if they lose it won’t be Brady’s fault.

    New England Patriots football – bloated ‘success’ since 2004.

  21. All everyone is talking about is Romo/Rodgers. It’s going to be 20 degrees not including the wind chill. There’s won’t be 20,000 yards thrown in the game. Dallas defense is #8 against the rush. GB is #23. DeMarco vs….. Lacy? Dallas wins.

  22. And while this Pats team is good- there’s no denying that- their Offense ranks 11th & their Defense ranks 13th. Meanwhile the Ravens Offense ranks 12th and their Defense ranks 8th. And yet nobody is giving Baltimore a chance in this game all because of Gronk and Revis? That’s a big freaking stretch if you ask me….

    —-

    They are not giving Baltimore a chance because they are not a good team. How many teams did they beat with a winning record this season? 1?

    This is not the same Baltimore team that played NE a few years ago. It’s more like the Baltimore team that NE blew out in Baltimore less than a year ago. No Ray Lewis no Ed Reed and no Bernard Pollard.

  23. As last week’s Ravens-Steelers game shows, the worst thing you can do is look at prior matchups to determine the outcome. So looking back a few years is even worse. I do wonder though if Florio dislikes any other teams more than the Ravens. 17 points? Yikes! I wonder what his pick was in 2012 when the Ravens went into Denver and beat a Broncos team that had torched them a few weeks earlier.

  24. I’m looking forward to a Patriots win over the Ravens in Foxboro tomorrow. Also love the oversized orange-sweatered mojo comment for the Boys. I can’t wait to see that game. The frosting on the cake would be seeing Peyton go down in flames-again. It’s going to be a great football weekend no matter what. GO PATS!

  25. Picking Dallas seems like fun, until you realize that GB has one of the best defenses in the league since switching Matthews to ILB.

    86 yds per game against the run
    325 yds per game average
    17 points per game allowed.

    All that to go with the top rated offense in the league? At home? Where they are 8-0?

    Also, some boston yocal writer tried to talk himself into saying the Cowboys would win because the Packers home schedule wasn’t that tough. Well, guess what: The Cowboys road schedule was much, MUCH easier than the Packers home schedule. The Jags? Titans? Really?

    37-26 Packers.

  26. Florio, it’s not that there’s something wrong with Peyton Manning, it’s that there’s something different about the Broncos. They have a half-decent running game with C.J. Anderson. Defenses can’t simply game-plan only for Manning anymore; now that have to at least acknowledge Denver’s running game. That’s something the Broncos didn’t really have last year, especially after Knowshon Moreno went down. It’s not bad; it’s simply different.

  27. 7 out of 8 picks for the home team and higher seed. Yet we know that at least one of these teams will lose and probably two. I often wonder why we go through this ritual of having “pundits” predict the outcome of these games. I could predict the weather better than any weatherman simply by saying “Tomorrow’s weather will be very much like today’s.” You guys rack up predictions by essentially doing the same thing. Betting on football is immense. The reason for this is that anything can happen. Yes, most often the better team will win but not often enough to break the bookies’ bank.

  28. I don’t know what game everybody else was watching, but the Boys played like garbage for 3 quarters. Granted they came back, but holding Detroit to 20 points is not difficult, every team in the last 6 games has done it.

    31-24 Pack

  29. bencoates57 said:

    “A healthy analysis would also draw from the most recent regular season contest in which the Patriots prevailed 41-7 in Baltimore. No one seems to walk to talk about THAT one. Baltimore would have qualified for the playoffs had they won that game, but instead they missed the playoffs altogether.

    Was Elvis Dumervil on the roster for that game? I don’t know.”

    —————————————————————

    Dumervil was on that team, but there are some massive differences between last year’s Ravens squad and this year’s squad. Flacco had career highs in sacks and INTs last year, and this year he’s had career lows in sacks (INTs dropped from 22 in 2013 to 12 in 2014, but not a career low for him). The running game was pathetic last year, but a revamped offensive line has played a large role in the Ravens offense as a whole.

    In short, the reason no one is bringing up last year’s beat down is because the Ravens are a vastly different team from a year ago.

  30. abninf says:
    Jan 9, 2015 9:12 AM

    All everyone is talking about is Romo/Rodgers. It’s going to be 20 degrees not including the wind chill. There’s won’t be 20,000 yards thrown in the game.
    —————————————————-
    20 degrees in January is balmy. You must be from Texas or haven’t watched the Packers before if you think that’s cold enough to affect the passing game.

  31. @Eutaw

    You make some valid arguments, and I feel this game will be tightly contested.

    One thing I will take umbrage with is that BAL can/cover Gronk well?? This isn’t your normal TE, he is arguably the biggest offensive difFerence maker in the NFL.

    I agree the story on Def for the Pats will be can Browner stay flag free against TSmith, assuming that’s the matchup.

    If Pats Off Line can minimize Suggs,Canty, Dumerville and Ngata, Brady should pick that defense apart with Gronk, Edelman and LaFell. Now that’s a big if, strength vs weakness.

    Should a fun game though.

  32. flash1287 says:
    Jan 9, 2015 9:14 AM

    And while this Pats team is good- there’s no denying that- their Offense ranks 11th & their Defense ranks 13th. Meanwhile the Ravens Offense ranks 12th and their Defense ranks 8th. And yet nobody is giving Baltimore a chance in this game all because of Gronk and Revis? That’s a big freaking stretch if you ask me….

    —-

    They are not giving Baltimore a chance because they are not a good team. How many teams did they beat with a winning record this season? 1?

    This is not the same Baltimore team that played NE a few years ago. It’s more like the Baltimore team that NE blew out in Baltimore less than a year ago. No Ray Lewis no Ed Reed and no Bernard Pollard.
    ———————————————————-
    They aren’t the 2012 Ravens, but the certainly aren’t the 2013 incarnation that had the 2nd worst O-Line in the NFL. And I think you’re overlooking the fact that Lewis and Reed were old and slow in 2012.

  33. The only reason I can grasp why people (some) think the pats/ravens game is going to be close is that the ravens beat the pats in the playoffs twice and played them close the third time. The last time they played in the playoffs was 2 years ago. The last time they played last year, the pats absolutely blew them out. But forget about last year, lets talk about this year. The ravens only managed to win one game against a team with a winning record this year, the steelers. The question really to ask is: would any team in the AFC North have a winning record if they hadn’t gotten to play 4 games against the NFC South? The AFC North looked better than it really was because of the NFC South. I think Ravens are a good team, but not anywhere near the level of a legitimate contender. If the ravens do beat the pats, all that meant was the pats really weren’t that good.

  34. Eutaw’s Finest, while the Ravens offense may be ranked that high, they did it against a soft schedule and poor defenses. The Patriots got the job done on a tough schedule and better defenses. The Patriots defense is much better than the Steelers defense. Forsett has been fading, Flacco has been struggling, and unlike last week, the Patriots will have a viable and dangerous run attack. I see Flacco tossing 2 picks with 1 TD, around 200 yards, with around a 55% completion rating.

  35. Florio, getting desperate isn’t a way to climb back into it.

    Luck, the TO machine and that terrible defense in Denver with a predicted high of 45? No.

    And Dallas to beat GB in GB? Remember, the NFL may not choose to advance Dallas this time. They may have to actually win.

    Romo may be from Wisconsin but he’s only played 3 times in the NFL when temps were below 32 and he lost two of them with a cumulative QBR of 26! His only win was vs a terrible Giant’s team last year.

    Having said that GB better build and keep a healthy lead. The NFL may decide they like a Hawks / Dallas rematch in the NFCCG and there may be a few inexplicable calls for Dallas in a close game.

  36. I disagree with the Green Bay pick, it is hard when any team pits their 11 against 12. The 12 man team always win.

    Det81, I agree with you on the final score except the Cowboys will hold them scoreless for the least three quarters when Green Bay rests their starters after the first quarter.

  37. It’s not going to be all that cold in Green Bay….at least for those that live in the area. Low 20’s will feel like 60’s compared to what it’s been lately….but for Dallas it’s going to feel like 20-below. Very little wind expected so no real wind chill to speak of.

    But you’re all missing the most obvious issue. A team built to play on turf like Dallas is going to have serious footing issues in the cold and on grass. Don’t overlook that. Green Bay is well adjusted to its home field. It takes way more than one football game to get acclimated to it. Just roll the Philadelphia tape from earlier this year.

    Turf teams slow down considerably on grass especially in the cold. If the media had a clue, that is the angle. Instead, they want to look at the thermometer and make snap judgments. But what do you expect….the media is a joke.

  38. dbfan4ever says:
    Jan 9, 2015 8:52 AM
    Yeah right how is Indy going to stop Denver’s running game? I guarantee with as porous as the Colts are against the run the Broncos will run it 25-30 times.
    —————————————————————–

    Perhaps the reason Den will run 25-30 times has more to do with the Denver QB having a worn out arm that can’t throw in the cold or wind?

    They will run that much because they have to run that much. Manning’s arm is limp and I don’t think he can even feel the ball anymore. Watch him on his drop backs, he;s grasping at the ball pre-throw with his grip enhanced, gloved hand.

    Colts are going to throw it all over the yard. I expect Luck to get over 300 yds. If Indy doesn’t turn it over they have a really good chance.

  39. Florio,

    If you wouldn’t have let your hate for the Cowboys influence your last week picks, you would have been 1-1. MDS just has a better nose for predicting games because he takes the emotion out of his picks.

    And of course you just couldn’t help yourself by putting a negative spin on Romo. The guy has been one of the best QB’s in the league for quite some time, and his stellar season still doesn’t afford him a write-up without some sort of criticism. Give the guy a break – he was an undrafted rookie after all. If he was a QB on any other team, the hate would be 95% less.

  40. bninf says: Jan 9, 2015 9:12 AM

    All everyone is talking about is Romo/Rodgers. It’s going to be 20 degrees not including the wind chill. There’s won’t be 20,000 yards thrown in the game. Dallas defense is #8 against the rush. GB is #23. DeMarco vs….. Lacy? Dallas wins.
    —————-
    Don’t count on weather conditions too much. Not only do Rodgers and the Packers play in these conditions, they also practice in the same environment. Packers didn’t go 8-0 in a dome, that was at Lambeau.

  41. As a Colts fan, i see Von Miller and Demarcus Ware having a field day the with our garbage O-line that Ryan Grigson has so miserably assembled.

  42. bninf says: Jan 9, 2015 9:12 AM

    All everyone is talking about is Romo/Rodgers. It’s going to be 20 degrees not including the wind chill. There’s won’t be 20,000 yards thrown in the game. Dallas defense is #8 against the rush. GB is #23. DeMarco vs….. Lacy? Dallas wins.

    —–

    Since the Packers moved Matthews inside, the Packers allow fewer yards vs the rush than Dallas.

    Also, against the best rush defense in the league, Broken Hand and the Cowboys had 72 yards. Lacy(?) and the Packers? 150.

    Good luck.

  43. We would like to invite all Cowboys fans here on put to visit Title Town on Sunday for the game.

    It won’t be THAT cold!

    Signed,

    Green Bay Hospitality Bureau

    🙂

  44. steelerswillbefine says:
    Jan 9, 2015 9:44 AM
    Eutaw’s Finest, while the Ravens offense may be ranked that high, they did it against a soft schedule and poor defenses. The Patriots got the job done on a tough schedule and better defenses. The Patriots defense is much better than the Steelers defense. Forsett has been fading, Flacco has been struggling, and unlike last week, the Patriots will have a viable and dangerous run attack. I see Flacco tossing 2 picks with 1 TD, around 200 yards, with around a 55% completion rating.

    =Oh man, I don’t even know where to begin with this laughable homeristic comment. So I’ll just laugh it off.

    As for the Ravens/Patriots game last year Joe Flacco was playing that game with a torn MCL and PCL and the game was pretty much even until they pulled Flacco for health reason and Tyrod Taylor tossed a pick 6 and had another turnover in Ravens territory. This game will be very close with the Ravens superior defense prevailing.

  45. bradyisyourdaddy says:
    Jan 9, 2015 8:46 AM

    And Ravens fans can thank Don Shula for what happens Tomorrow afternoon
    ________________________________

    We plan to do that by way of making him an honorary team captain during the AFC Championship Game, Ravens @ Broncos. Enjoy the game.

  46. The only game that will be close is Pats-Ravens. Broncos will blow out the Colts (even I’d love the Colts to win), Packers will blow out the Cowboys, and Seattle will do horrible, horrible things to the Panthers. Just horrible.

  47. I’m thinking that the lead changes hands between the Packers and the Cowboys. Maybe Dallas scores first on a FG and Packers come roaring back with a TD.

    When Dallas falls behind, I think the psychology of fighting back against the 11 green and gold guys on the grass plus the cold numbing their bodies plus the crowd will be too much. The abscence of some (unknown right now) number of their defensive stalwarts will also give them a mental excuse to give up points.

    When Green Bay falls behind, I don’t think they notice the cold. It will be 20 degrees warmer on Sunday than it has been the last two weeks. I live in Wisconsin: I’ve been through that and 20 degrees warmer seems like a heat wave. The crowd won’t let the Pack give up on notching another post-season frozen tundra win over Dallas.

    Another opinion: the 1967 Ice Bowl result was too long ago to be a basis for motivation for Dallas players who hadn’t been born yet …… but ……….. the 1967 Ice Bowl heritage will be a huge motivator for Green Bay players. When new Green Bay team members visit Green Bay for the first time, they get to see the life-size plaster model of the last 1967 play in the Green Bay Hall of Fame. That makes an impression. That is remembered. Everyone in the stands has seen that plaster model. That’s a Green Bay thing and it shall be a “12th player” in Lambeau this Sunday.

    Let’s pray for zero injuries this Sunday.
    .
    .
    .

  48. These are the teams Baltimore beat this season.

    Pittsburgh
    Cleveland
    Carolina
    Tampa Bay
    Atlanta
    Tennessee
    New Orleans
    Jacksonville
    Miami
    And Clevland again

    Not exactly the cream of the crop.

    Lost to

    Bengals, twice.
    Indianapolis
    Pittsburgh
    Chargers
    Texans

    They are not a good team. They are a team that feasted on bad teams

    How do you lose to the Red Pop Gun twice?

  49. Eutaw’s Finest says:
    Jan 9, 2015 8:54 AM

    And while this Pats team is good- there’s no denying that- their Offense ranks 11th & their Defense ranks 13th. Meanwhile the Ravens Offense ranks 12th and their Defense ranks 8th. And yet nobody is giving Baltimore a chance in this game all because of Gronk and Revis? That’s a big freaking stretch if you ask me….
    _____

    Nice to read a legitimate comment for once. Keep in mind though, those rankings are based on YARDS allowed and gained. The better metric is POINTS allowed and scored. In that case, Pats defense was 8th and Ravens was 6th. On offense, Pats were 4th and Ravens were 8th. Basically a wash there. Both are Top 10 offenses and defenses.

    We know about Baltimore’s front 7, but no one is talking about Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, and Chandler Jones. 3 studs. If the Pats lock down the WR’s, Flacco could be under duress by those guys all day. We’ll see.

  50. As for the Ravens/Patriots game last year Joe Flacco was playing that game with a torn MCL and PCL and the game was pretty much even until they pulled Flacco for health reason and Tyrod Taylor tossed a pick 6 and had another turnover in Ravens territory. This game will be very close with the Ravens superior defense prevailing.

    Talk about a laugh!

    “Ravnens superior defense ”

    What ever!!!
    The game was never close last year and what does JUMP BALL JOE being pulled have to do with Blount running for almost 200 yards?

  51. If the cowboys want to win, the defense can’t play man coverage.
    That’s Ellen Rodgers favorite 😉
    They also have to resist holding Clay Aikins, bc he will try to beat them off!

  52. The last 3 times Carolina has played Seattle, Carolina has won every where but the scoreboard. That changes this week! Panthers will be the only team to score an offensive touchdown in this one.

  53. flash1287 says:
    Jan 9, 2015 10:25 AM
    As for the Ravens/Patriots game last year Joe Flacco was playing that game with a torn MCL and PCL and the game was pretty much even until they pulled Flacco for health reason and Tyrod Taylor tossed a pick 6 and had another turnover in Ravens territory. This game will be very close with the Ravens superior defense prevailing.

    Talk about a laugh!

    “Ravnens superior defense ”

    What ever!!!
    The game was never close last year and what does JUMP BALL JOE being pulled have to do with Blount running for almost 200 yards?


    My bad that wasn’t the game ran for 200 but the game wasn’t “close”
    NE up 17-0 at half then out scored Baltimore 24-7 in the second half.

  54. xxsweepthelegxx said:

    “One thing I will take umbrage with is that BAL can/cover Gronk well?? This isn’t your normal TE, he is arguably the biggest offensive difference maker in the NFL.

    ………

    “If Pats Off Line can minimize Suggs, Canty, [Dumervil], and Ngata, Brady should pick that defense apart with Gronk, Edelman and LaFell. Now that’s a big if, strength vs weakness.”

    —————————————————————-

    Will Hill did a pretty darn good job covering Jimmy Graham, who’s very comparable to Gronk. I’m expecting Hill to be responsible for Gronk throughout the game tomorrow night.

    And that is a HUGE order for the offensive line to cover all those guys. You also left out Brandon Williams and C.J. Mosley. The Ravens’ front seven is tough enough to mask the weakness in their secondary, especially since the Pats can’t double team everyone in that group.

  55. det81 says:
    Jan 9, 2015 9:05 AM
    As a Lions fan, I’m cheering for a GB blowout to send the Cowgirls back where they belong (on the couch watching the rest of the playoffs).

    48-3 GB.”

    hey if you can’t beat Dallas, might as well root for your division rival…lol

  56. flash1287 says:

    “[The Ravens] are not a good team. They are a team that feasted on bad teams.”

    Using such iron clad logic like that, I could say the same thing about the Patriots since they play in the same division as the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins. I could even go a step further and say the Patriots were a meager 3-2 against quality teams in 2014 (Ws against Bengals, Colts, and Broncos; Ls against Packers and Chiefs).

    Do you see how dumb making a claim like that is now?

  57. harrisonhits2 says:
    Jan 9, 2015 9:23 AM
    Ravens fans whining, now there’s a shocker.
    ——————————
    Steelers watching the divisional round from the couch for the fourth year in a row. Not a shocker but you know it stings…

  58. Vinny Gambini: Hey, Stan, you’re in Alabama. You come from New York. You killed a good ol’ boy. There is no way this is not going to trial!

    Hey Ravens, you’re in Foxboro. You come from Baltimore. Brady is a good ol’ boy. There is no way this is not going to be a blow out!

  59. MN is already none-and-done this year, just like 4 out of the last 6 years!

    And (I guess) this is something worth bragging about?

    The Packers OWN the Vikings. Save the put-downs for your own team, and come back next year.

  60. coachkilla6 says:
    Jan 9, 2015 8:11 AM
    The teams the Cowboys beat to go 8-0 on the road combined for a 48-80 record. Packers home opponents went 62-65-1. Packers are the better team.

    GB 34 – Dal 21
    ______________________________________
    Cowboys didn’t create their schedule buddy.

    Packers lost to the Bills and the freaking Saints by TWENTY , TWENTY!

    This is a joke. Rodgers doesn’t have a torn calf but I love the excuse before the game.
    24-13 Dallas

  61. Packers D, the last 3 games of the season (since Capers started experimenting with Clay), have given up 3 offensive TDs – none to the Bills and Bucs, and 3 to the Lions but 2 of them late in catch-up mode. This is a different team than the 1H of the season.

    Cowboys are happy to be here. Packers are focused and on their game.

    GB wins, 31-16.

  62. Too many different posters to reply to, so let me try to cover it all at once:

    1. Let’s not compare the 2013 Ravens loss to the Pats, to this coming match up. The biggest difference for Baltimore? Joe isn’t injured, Gary Kubiak instilled a new offense, half of the O Line is new, Forsett replaced Rice, Steve Smith is the #2 not Jacoby Jones (who hardly plays O now), potential DROY CJ Mosley anchoring the ILB group, Will Hill and Stewart as safeties over the horrendous Elam and Ihedigbo… basically outside of Joe and Torrey an entire new offense and outside of Suggs/Doom/Ngata, a mostly new defense.

    2. Covering Gronk is not easy, BUT the Ravens have the personnel to minimize the damage. Look at a few top TE’s they faced this year: Graham (6-47-0), Gates (7-83-0), Greg Olsen (2-30-0), Delanie Walker (3-37-0), Heath Miller (4-35-0, 1-14-0, 6-76-0). All top 10 TE’s faced, so 0 TD’s allowed in those 7 games against top 10 TE’s. Not saying it’s a definite, but this D is better than given credit for.

    3. Ground game for Pats is questionable. Only 3 games this season for NE have they had a rusher break 100 yards, and only once since week 6. It’s clear the Ravens need to focus on the pass and rush 4 all day.

    4. I am not predicting a win either way in this game. I think NE has the slight edge right now (not as much as Vegas thinks). I simply think everybody expecting a Pats blow out is both selling the Ravens short, and overhyping the Pats. Beating Pitt in Pitt last week was no easy task, and if you look beyond “they didn’t have Bell” and see that Ben was sacked more in that game then his last 4 combined, that the Ravens scored more on that D than they had given up in their previous 4 weeks, that the Ravens only punted twice in that game- 1st and last drive…. there’s reason to believe the Ravens have a decent shot. The biggest match up is the Ravens pass rush versus the Pats OL and Brady. If they can disrupt him, that is a game changer. If not, then the Pats should score plenty and the Ravens will be in a shootout. Not the best thing to get into with the Pats. But outside of Gronk, who scares you on that offense? LaFell? Edelman? Jonas Gray? Blount? All good, none great. Should be a very good match.

  63. southpaw2k says:
    Jan 9, 2015 10:53 AM
    flash1287 says:

    “[The Ravens] are not a good team. They are a team that feasted on bad teams.”

    Using such iron clad logic like that, I could say the same thing about the Patriots since they play in the same division as the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins. I could even go a step further and say the Patriots were a meager 3-2 against quality teams in 2014 (Ws against Bengals, Colts, and Broncos; Ls against Packers and Chiefs).

    You left Out Detroit a team that has as good front four as Baltimore and a better secondary. Also check out the common opponents.
    Baltimore lost to the Bengals twice. NE blew them out. Baltimore lost to Indy, NE blew them out. Baltimore lost to SD NE beat them in SD.

    Look guy it’s the playoffs, anything can happen. But if you are picking Baltimore you are doing it because you are a Ravens fan. NE is the better team all around.

  64. HAHA, u packers have no chance were going to shut down Nelson just like we did Calvin Johnson last week, he will be doubled all game and scandrick is gunna lock down on Cobb and shut him down, scandrick hasn’t allowed a TD all season, he’s so underated. Rodgers isnt going to be running around any where either. It’s going to come down to the running game, and the best running back and run blocking o-line in the league is coming to GB, and GB’s run D aint nothing to brag about, We have the perfect formula to go to GB and beat them. Dal-34 GB-27 GO COWBOYS 9-0 on the road !!!

  65. Rodgers went to the ground against Detroit because he thought he may have injured his ACL or MCL, and wanted to minimize the damage. He has already acknowledged as much. When he discovered it was (only?) a tear in his calf muscle, and not the same calf injury from earlier, he gave it a go and performed admirably.

    If the doctor is telling him it is purely a pain threshold issue and not a risk of further and significant damage, he’ll be out there.

    He may not run as often as he would if 100%, but I am guessing he will pick up at least two timely first downs with his feet.

    If he leaves the game because it is worse than anticipated, Lacy and Flynn and a great supporting cast will get it done.

  66. flash1287 says:
    Jan 9, 2015 11:18 AM

    Look guy it’s the playoffs, anything can happen. But if you are picking Baltimore you are doing it because you are a Ravens fan. NE is the better team all around.
    __________________________________

    No if you’re picking Baltimore it’s because they are statistically better defensively, neck and neck offensively, and have an advantage on special teams. It could very well go either way but the mentality that NE is a clear winner before the game even starts is foolish. Just ask Steelers fans about that last week. They swore up and down, even without Bell, they would destroy Baltimore. They looked at common opponents and said “we crushed Indy and Cincy and you lost to both!” And then look what happened…

    It’s the playoffs. Anything can happen.

  67. LOL at all of your pats fans trying to look at common opponents results.

    why don’t you just wait til tomorrow? we’ll be there at 4:30, right on time.

    and we can’t wait

    #AGAIN

  68. the RAVENS …KNOW you don’t want to see us.

    we KNOW you don’t want to play us.

    we KNOW you FEAR us.

    in a little 24 hours, you will be exposed. see you shortly!

    #cheers

  69. sec328onroute1, you say the Ravens’ wins in the past are irrelevant but then bring up a Pats’ win from ’13 against a DIFFERENT Ravens team. Good job, good look for you.

  70. atthemurph says: Jan 9, 2015 9:56 AM

    Perhaps the reason Den will run 25-30 times has more to do with the Denver QB having a worn out arm that can’t throw in the cold or wind?

    They will run that much because they have to run that much. Manning’s arm is limp and I don’t think he can even feel the ball anymore. Watch him on his drop backs, he;s grasping at the ball pre-throw with his grip enhanced, gloved hand.

    Colts are going to throw it all over the yard. I expect Luck to get over 300 yds. If Indy doesn’t turn it over they have a really good chance.

    ———————————————————————-

    Your kidding me right? Manning can throw, even if they are ducks. And he’s got some of the best WRs in the game. Denver’s running game is no joke, and C.J. Anderson will crush Indy’s leaky defense.

    Meanwhile, Indy has no running game. While Luck is a good QB, he’s got mediocre and has-been WRs who have to match up against some of the best DBs in the game. Luck might have a good game, but not the Colts.

    Get with the program.

  71. Chapter 19 of a 21 chapter book…am sure there are a few surprise twists left…let the games begin…it doesn’t matter who I root for, just let the games be closely contested…

  72. The NFL thinks nobody would believe the fix is in two weeks in a row. Dallas wins on additional ref assistance. McCarthy goes apoplectic at the presser and bashes the refs by stridently refusing to talk about all the bad calls by the officials…

  73. Pats played the 4th toughest sched this yr, the Ravens the 30th, according to this yrs records. Pats are a much better team than the 3 playoff meetings, the Ravens are nowhere near as good as 2012. Gronk is playing and you’re not gonna have Edelmen trying to cover Boldin, or Talib getting hurt in the 1rst half when the Pats were shutting them down. There’s a reason the Pats are 7 pt favs when all the talking heads are trying to spin it like it’s gonna be a tough game. It isn’t. Pats roll.

  74. Here’s an interesting statistic for the Cowgirl trolls:

    Of the 8 teams playing this coming weekend, the Packers have beaten 2:

    Panthers 38-17 10/19/14

    Patriots 26-21 11/30/14

    Both victories were at Lambeau.

  75. That goodness for Man-made Global Warming or imagine how cold it would be in Green Bay and New England this weekend.

    Liberals are so gullible they probably believe the report that the NFL did not see the video.

  76. No question, Green Bay is the better team. I really don’t see how playing keep-away from Rodgers will work; Dallas has no defense, and he will shred them every time he gets the ball.

  77. Ironically, the Eagles fans were touting the same mantra BEFORE they got knocked out of playoff contention by the Cowboys IN Philadelphia.

    —-

    eaglesfanalways says:
    Jan 9, 2015 12:35 PM
    No question, Green Bay is the better team. I really don’t see how playing keep-away from Rodgers will work; Dallas has no defense, and he will shred them every time he gets the ball.

  78. razzlejag says:
    Jan 9, 2015 8:42 AM
    Romo gets a bad rap on that snap fumble. Sure, he did it, it happens but…if Martin Gramatica had just stepped up and into the way of the DE coming in, Romo is in the end zone.

    ___

    It wasn’t a DE it was “Big Play Babs” Jordan Babineaux CB that tackled Romo, and he definitely had no shot of running it in for a TD.
    Seeing Romo sitting on the field crying is little eyes out what a great memory and all the poor overly excited Cowgirl fans walking out of CLINK with their heads hanging.

  79. Everybody is saying the Panthers had an easy road into the playoffs… And the Seahawks did not? A train wreck 49ers team twice, the train wreck Cardinals twice, the Rams and whatever QB they threw out there, and a slipping Eagles team with Sanchez under center (yes, he beat the Panthers). I would say the Panthers shutting down two Top 10 offenses, winning with a roster full of rookies, our 2nd string QB, and a QB who escaped death in a violent car accident is more impressive.

    Any given Saturday, a lot depends on how the young guys play for the Panthers tomorrow. Most intriguing game of the weekend.

  80. flash1287 says: Jan 9, 2015 10:25
    What ever!!!
    The game was never close last year and what does JUMP BALL JOE being pulled have to do with Blount running for almost 200 yards?

    My bad that wasn’t the game ran for 200 but the game wasn’t “close”
    NE up 17-0 at half then out scored Baltimore 24-7 in the second half.
    ——————–
    Last year Baltimore was lucky to go 8-8. Time after time the opposing defenses were in the backfield as soon as the ball was snapped. Flacco had no protection at all and the results were many hurried throws and interceptions; this year the OL has solidified and Flacco has more weapons offensively (Brady has better weapons IMO – but last year it wasn’t even that close.) Also, the defense was a worn-down defense last year because it was on the field too often because of the anemic offense.

    I’m not saying who will win; we won’t know until both teams are on the field and actually play the game. I’m just saying that comparing last year’s season with this season is flawed logic. Just let them play the game and come back here and we will compare notes. 🙂

  81. @ eaglesfanalways

    No question, Green Bay is the better team. I really don’t see how playing keep-away from Rodgers will work; Dallas has no defense, and he will shred them every time he gets the ball.

    And WHY is an Eagle fan feeling he has any platform to be in a discussion about playoff teams? Your boys choked it away losing 2 out of their last 3 division games. 10-6 isn’t bad, but it didn’t cut it this year with better records in the NFC. The Eagles and their fans were living in the past thinking they would breeze right through, and the Cowboys ended their daydreaming by winning at the Linc, and then trouncing the Colts in Dallas.

    Eagles are now in rebuild mode with Kelly out of the HC position. You should brace yourself for a few years of .500 football at best. A lot of times the truth hurts.

  82. Steelers fan here… Out of respect for your site and your threads I’m not going to refer to the Ravens as the ratbirds; because that would be troll like.

    As much as I believe Flacco is average as a regular season QB he is a different guy in the play offs… he’s bizzarro Payton.

    I think most games are won in the trenches and I think the Ravens are too much for the Pats in that regard. I don’t see the Pat offense withstanding the smack in the mouth they’ll get from the Ravens.

    I think the Ravens will run the ball and limit the number of passes Flacco has to put up he’ll still chuck up several of his “patented punts” and gets a couple of PI calls and long completions.

    If Brady doesn’t get rid of the ball quick like it’s going to be another disappointment for the Pats.

    If the Ravens do win I think they beat Seattle in the SB. Now I have to go cut my fingers off for typing that!!

  83. lombardifan says: Jan 9, 2015 12:29 PM

    Here’s an interesting statistic for the Cowgirl trolls:

    Of the 8 teams playing this coming weekend, the Packers have beaten 2:

    ———————
    Dallas beat Seattle at Seattle and trounced Indy at Dallas.

    What’s your point? Dallas doesn’t care where the game is played.

  84. Now I know why these players make so much money…. “Hey Aaron, you played great this year but the powers that be want dallas to win. We’ll give you 50 mil. Guaranteed money to keep your mouth shut. Capichè?! Just tell everyone uhhhhhhhmmmmm… Oh yeah, you have a calf injury… There you go. Problem solved.”

  85. Lmao – okay… I’m just messin around (kind of)
    I think any team can win and I hope this weekend doesn’t suck… Give is good games and I’ll be content… GO HAWKS!!!

  86. So many dumb commentators making a big deal out the fact that Panthers & Seahawks played some close games. Take a hint: West coast teams at 10AM always get bogged down in close games on the east coast. This game will be totally different.

    Seahawks in a rout.

  87. I think most games are won in the trenches and I think the Ravens are too much for the Pats in that regard. I don’t see the Pat offense withstanding the smack in the mouth they’ll get from the Ravens.


    People act like NE hasn’t played any good defenses this year.

    Is Denver’s front 7 if not there entire D better than Baltimore? Yes.
    Does Detriot have a better D? Yes.
    Does Buffalo have a better D ? Yes.

  88. How in the world does the obvious get overlooked? You have an experienced qb who has already won a Super Bowl playing in his element while at home vs. a notorious playoff choker playing on the road in a game that will be colder than he has ever played in before. Not to mention by the grace of God is still even playing because of poor officiating.

  89. I was 3 for 4 last week so here are my picks for this week.
    Patriots 20 Ravens 17 I think the Ravens will give the Patriots a fight but Forsett will have a fumble and Brady hits Gronkowski for the game winning touchdown. This will be a in your face smash mouth football game.
    Seahawks 13 Panthers 6 A very low scoring defensive game with Lynch getting the only touchdown of the game.
    Cowboys 31 Packers 21 With a hurt Aaron Rodgers and a biased referee that will be pro Cowboys the Packers will lose the game.
    Broncos 35 Colts 20 Sorry as much as I despise Manning the Broncos will have a balanced attack which will allow Manning to shine and Talib will probably get a pick off of Luck. Colts are a one man team the Broncos are an actual team.

  90. As a Cowboys fan, hearing all the reasons why GB will win is not surprising. Since the ended with the same record, I decided to look at what I think is the best indicator of how well they are playing. In GB four losses, in the second half they scored a total of 17 points, but had one game where they scored no points in the 2nd half. GB gave up total of 65 points in the second half. In each of the losses, the other team scored at least once, with the Saints scoring 4 TDs in the fourth. In addition, they gave up two safeties. In contrast, Dallas scored a total of 38 points in the 2nd half of the games they lost while scoring 38 points. In no game where they unable to score at least once in the second half. In the loss to SF, they held them scoreless the entire 2nd half. Two of the games lost by GB were by 20or more points. Dallas lost one, Philly. The combined point difference for the games lost by GB is 61, for the Cowboys it is 46. The Packers lost to two teams with losing records while Dallas only lost to one. The reason I say all this is not the Cowboys of the past few years. For me the most telling change is they refuse to quit which is why they have scored so many points in the second half even when they lost with the exception of Philly. Romo and the Boys are gonna surprise alot of people and will be sweet to be sitting in the south endzone of Lambeau field watching it happen!!

  91. Here is the problem Dallas will have in Green Bay.

    1. It is cold. It will take the Cowboys the first quarter to be able to move the ball with any success.

    2. Green bay will be up 21-0 before Dallas has any opportunity to score.

    3. Dallas won’t be able to rely on the run game at that point.

    4. If Dallas relies on the run game, down 21-0, they will get crushed even worse.

    5. Tony Romo’s great statistical year is a product of Murray rushing for 1850 yards. Tony will struggle playing catch up from a few scores down and Green Bay will be able to score pretty easily on Dallas.

    I would not be surprised if Green Bay puts up a fiftyburger on Dallas.

  92. factman1000 said:

    “Baltimore build it’s offensive and defensive “stats” vs its very weak schedule. NE will blow them out.”

    ——————————————————————–

    Pretty sure Steelers fans said the exact same comments on here a week ago.

    Heck, I’m pretty sure Patriots fans said these same comments two years ago ahead of the AFC Championship Game.

  93. Everyone assumes the Cowboys will run at will over the Packers. Better take a closer look. The Packers running attack has been outstanding the 1/2 half of the season, against some of the best run stopping defenses at that. Furthermore people like to look at the 23rd ranked Packer run defense. That may be where they rank for the entire season, however when looking at the last 1/2 half they are much improved. Mobile or not Rodgers will shred the Dallas D. One legged Aaron moved the ball up and down the field on Detroit in the second half, all from the pocket, exactly what the experts said he would not be able to do, and would be the recipe for success for Detroit, except it wasn’t. Good Luck Dallas, you’ll need a healthy dose along with some help from the zebras.

  94. All of Panther fans saying “keep sleeping on us” or making the outrageous statements that you will win, that’s cute and all, but its not going to happen. I would be more surprised if the Panthers score in the double digits, i mean they have only done that once vs seattle in 3 games vs them, all in carolina.

    24-6 Hawks

  95. Pretty sure Steelers fans said the exact same comments on here a week ago.

    Heck, I’m pretty sure Patriots fans said these same comments two years ago ahead of the AFC Championship Game.

    The difference is THIS Patriots team is better than any Patriots team the Ravens played in the playoffs and THIS Ravens team isn’t as good as those Ravens teams.

  96. realqc says:
    Jan 9, 2015 12:43 PM
    Everybody is saying the Panthers had an easy road into the playoffs… And the Seahawks did not? A train wreck 49ers team twice, the train wreck Cardinals twice, the Rams and whatever QB they threw out there, and a slipping Eagles team with Sanchez under center (yes, he beat the Panthers). I would say the Panthers shutting down two Top 10 offenses, winning with a roster full of rookies, our 2nd string QB, and a QB who escaped death in a violent car accident is more impressive.

    Any given Saturday, a lot depends on how the young guys play for the Panthers tomorrow. Most intriguing game of the weekend.

    ———–

    Seattle has a younger team, just FYI.

  97. flash1287 says:

    “The difference is THIS Patriots team is better than any Patriots team the Ravens played in the playoffs and THIS Ravens team isn’t as good as those Ravens teams.”

    —————————————————————-

    Oh really? How exactly?

    2011 Patriots (13-3) scored 513 points and gave up 342 points, scoring 61 total touchdowns.

    2012 Patriots (12-4) scored 557 points, gave up 331 points, and scored 67 touchdowns.

    2014 Patriots (12-4) scored 468 points, gave up 313, and scored 52 touchdowns.

    If anything, the Patriots’ defense has been consistent if not better, but the offense has taken a pretty significant step backwards.

  98. Every year, the media and “elite team” fanbases try to hang the “they haven’t beaten anybody” argument over one or more teams in the postseason and it is a garbage, grasping at straws argument every time. This year it is the Panthers and Ravens.

    Will someone please explain how the Patriots’ win over Oakland (3-13) is more valuable than the Ravens’ win over Jacksonville (3-13)? How about the Pats’ road win against a dome team in Minnesota (7-9) being morw significant than a Ravens’ road win over a dome team in New Orleans (7-9)? The Ravens are criticized for beating their “worst” division rival in Cleveland (7-9) but the Pats’ sweeping the Jets (4-12) is somehow more favorable.

    The bottom line is every team plays who is on their schedule and not one of those games, win or loss, will have an affect on any of the eight teams this weekend. Stop living in the past with your logic, what matters is how all eight teams play this weekend, period.

  99. southpaw2k says:
    Jan 9, 2015 3:06 PM
    flash1287 says:

    “The difference is THIS Patriots team is better than any Patriots team the Ravens played in the playoffs and THIS Ravens team isn’t as good as those Ravens teams.”

    —————————————————————-

    Oh really? How exactly?

    2011 Patriots (13-3) scored 513 points and gave up 342 points, scoring 61 total touchdowns.

    2012 Patriots (12-4) scored 557 points, gave up 331 points, and scored 67 touchdowns.

    2014 Patriots (12-4) scored 468 points, gave up 313, and scored 52 touchdowns.

    If anything, the Patriots’ defense has been consistent if not better, but the offense has taken a pretty significant step backwards.

    Stop with the stats.
    First the Patriots finished 4 in points this season. So going from 1 or 2 to 4th isn’t “a pretty significant step back”

    As for the D, they have been consistently good. Especially against good QB’s. And they won’t have a WR playing CB in this game.

  100. I agree with Florio. The Cowboys definitely have a good chance at advancing against the Packers. Specifically, due to the following:

    1. Romo is healthier than Rodgers
    2. The Cowboys “demolished” a pretty good Lions team.
    3. There’s still the matter of the referees being able to pick up flags and reverse a call.

    Cowboys win!

  101. flash1287 said:

    “As for the [Patriots] D, they have been consistently good. Especially against good QB’s. And they won’t have a WR playing CB in this game.”

    Good QBs like, say Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, and Geno Smith?

    If you want me to stop picking and choosing which stats are relevant, that’s fine. But if you want to say the Patriots played against much better QBs than the Ravens did this season, I humbly submit those five names as Exhibits A, B, C, D, and E.

    I’m not trying to suggest the Patriots are overrated. I’m saying that we’ve had this discussion before, and the Ravens have stepped up to the plate when it mattered. There’s no reason to assume the Ravens can’t or won’t simply because they’re the Ravens.

  102. Jerruh & Fatburger will make sure the refs allow the Cowboys offensive line hold on offense, and the Cowboys secondary will be allowed to get away with defensive holding an pass interference. Cowboys will destroy the Packers. Karen Rodgers will be on the sidelines crying his little butt off. How About Them Cowboys, NFC East Champs, Super Bowl Bound Baby! !

  103. Nothing I would love to see more than the smirks wiped off of Jerry Jones and Pete Carroll’s faces this weekend. Don’t much care about the AFC, but a classic Brady and Manning matchup might be good.

  104. As stated previously, no media talking about New England BLOWING BALTIMORE OUT last year.

    Doesn’t fit the narrative.

  105. Andy Dalton, Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, and Geno Smith?

    Andy Dalton that beat the Ravens twice?
    What about Manning whom they beat and held to 21 what about Rivers who beat the Ravens. What about Luck who beat the Ravnens? Even held Rogers in check yes they lost that one but they only score 26 after aver over 40 a game at home.

    And NE D did not allow a touchdown the last 6 weeks of the season in the second half of the last 6 games.

  106. flickaboogie says: Jan 9, 2015 3:59 PM

    I heard that the Cowboys have new helmets this weekend, the star has been changed to an *.
    =============================
    Yes, right next to the narrative that says that Detroit only played 52 minutes of a playoff game for some reason.

  107. TheWizard says: Jan 9, 2015 3:59 PM

    As stated previously, no media talking about New England BLOWING BALTIMORE OUT last year.

    Doesn’t fit the narrative.
    ——————————
    Why would it fit the narrative? The Steelers blew out Baltimore THIS YEAR! Roethlisberger had a record-setting day, throwing 6 TDS, etc. Did that help them last week?

    Who knows who will win tomorrow? But the victory won’t be because of a game played last year or even last week. It will be determined by which team plays better tomorrow.

  108. blu4l1fe says:
    Jan 9, 2015 3:27 PM

    I agree with Florio. The Cowboys definitely have a good chance at advancing against the Packers. Specifically, due to the following:

    1. Romo is healthier than Rodgers
    2. The Cowboys “demolished” a pretty good Lions team.
    3. There’s still the matter of the referees being able to pick up flags and reverse a call.

    Cowboys win!
    ———————————————————-
    1. Remains to be seen, that MAY be the case, we’ll see.

    2. If the Cows “demolished” the Lions (4 Pt. margin of victory) Then what do you call what the Packers did 1 week prior, beating the Lions by 10, leaving 9-17 points on the field I might add.

    3. See #1 above, same applies.

  109. The last 3 times Carolina has played Seattle, Carolina has won every where but the scoreboard. That changes this week! Panthers will be the only team to score an offensive touchdown in this one.
    ================================

    2014 Seattle had 310 yards, Carolina 266; Seattle 19 first downs, Carolina 17

    2013 Seattle 370 yards, Carolina 253; Seattle 18 first downs, Carolina 17

    2012 Seattle 310 yards, Carolina 190; Seattle 17 first downs, Carolina 13

    Where are all these “everywhere but the scoreboard?”

  110. in the 2013 loss to new England..the Monday nite before ..flacco suffered a knee injury against Detroit..he was hobbling…besides that the ravens did suck at that time…Baltimore has a good chance to defeat n.e…on Saturday.

  111. Everyone has an opinion about these playoff games. I’ve heard some rational discussion and I’ve heard some ridiculous opinions (see Skip Bayless, for instance).
    So, here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth.

    Patriots over the Ravens — Yeah, the Ravens have played well in the playoffs against the Pats. But I think this time it will be different. Why? Because Gronk is healthy and the Pats defense is much better than it has been in a while. I think the Pats will win.

    Broncos over the Colts — I think the Broncos will win fairly easily. Luck is the best thing the Colts have, but he doesn’t have the supporting cast to win. Manning hasn’t had a running game this good in Denver, and that will help him immensely.

    Seahawks over the Panthers — I see this as an easy win for the Seahawks. Their defense is back playing as it did last year, and that spells trouble for the Panthers. Yeah, the last few times the Panthers played them they kept it close. But that was in their park. This will be totally different and they will get rattled. I see Cam Newton throwing a couple picks.

    Packers over the Cowboys — It’s funny. I keep hearing about Murray and how he’ll run over and through the Packers, but no one is talking about Eddie Lacy and James Starks and how they can run against the Cowboys. I think they will do that and that will help Aaron Rodgers against their defense and it’ll keep Murray over on the Cowboys bench with a parka around him.
    Plus — since the Packers benched A.J. Hawk and inserted Sam Barrington in his place, then moved Clay Matthews around from ILB to OLB and even DE, their run defense has been a whole lot better. In fact, they cut their yards allowed in half.
    And, let’s not forget that this Cowboys defense was horrible last year. Yes, they turned it around big time this year, but they live and die with turnovers, and that’s something Rodgers just doesn’t do. The other strength of the Cowboys defense is they swarm to the ball. You’ll see 5 or 6 guys attacking whomever has the ball on every play. But still there are no superstars on this defense and I think they can be exposed by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.
    Offensively, Romo, Murray, Bryant, and Witten are very good. But Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb, and Lacy are even better in my view.
    Watch for Richard Rodgers, Packers TE, to be a factor in this game. He’s been looking better late in the season and I think with the extra week to prepare, Mike McCarthy will have some plays designed for him.
    I will admit it — I am a Packer fan, and I am biased. But I’m not delirious as some Cowboys fans are acting. This is not Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys by a long shot. I give them credit for over achieving this year when no one outside of Jerruh Jones’ party bus gave them a shot.
    But the reality is, the Packers are the better team and they will win the game. Aaron Rodgers’ calf is a big factor, no question, and if he goes out of the game that will dramatically reduce the Packers’ chances in this game.
    But all things considered, the Packers will win the game.

    So — that’s how I see it. It’s just my opinion and it
    means nothing. The games will be decided on the field or in Jerry Jones’s booth with his direct line to Pete Morelli, the official. (Just had to throw that one in Cowboys fans).
    I don’t know who the officials will be for this game, but two crews I do not want to see are Morelli’s and Ed Hochuli’s. They have proven how inept they are.

  112. “Sleeping”?

    The Panthers might not be getting much love from the media (have they done anything remarkable yet?). But, believe me, nobody in Seattle is “sleeping” on Carolina. The Seahawks prepare for every game with the same focus (each one a “championship opportunity”). Sure, every team has slogans, but these Seahawks live up to theirs and will be ready and jacked up to play.

    As far as the 12’s go, we will also be giving Cam and his offense everything we gotz. Sunday and Monday night games are completely off the chain at da CLink. A Saturday night game with no work in the morning? Jus’ plain silly. Myself and 68,499 others will bring our wall of noize down on Cam. It will be non-stop, from huddle to snap, for 4 quarters (not just 3rd downs). If Cam can manage his offense and execute at a higher level than he did on his own home field vs AZ, then Panthers have a shot at winning a great defensive slugfest. Otherwise… game over.

    Good luck to all 8 teams this weekend. May those that play the best football win and the refs not influence any outcomes!

  113. I kind of find it funny that so many people are talking about the Cowboys getting calls when it’s usually the Packers get handed a gift every game. Just ask Ditka! If the cowboys can control the clock they will have a shot to win. Yes GB has improved in yards per game vs the rush but I wonder if some of that is because they blew out teams like Chicago and Philly and they abandoned the run so the rush stats would be naturally down. Ah, but I’ve been told yardage doesn’t matter by many a Packer fan. Cowboys will score but so will packers this will be a close game.

    Pats and ravens will be close, but the ravens have been up and down all year. Not consistent. Look at their season. So they beat the steelers pretty well but Pitt has also been inconsistent and they were without Bell. Pats we pretty bad to open the season then got hot and now have come back down to earth a bit. That d of theirs is much better now. They have played well in big spots. It’s either a tight game going either way or the pats blow them out. Raven won’t blow them out.

    Hawks will beat panthers. I trust Wilson more than cam not to turn the ball over.

    Colts and broncos. Hate them both but five head will find a way.

  114. 27-20 (Controversial calls like libs won’t talk about)
    24-6 Seattle (Carolina not very good)
    31-24 Denver (Manning looking, well, not Manning anymore
    37-16 GB Green Bay is just better, Dallas has no corners, average at best. Hang nail injury, I mean calf injury is a media thing. (And you can stop crying that it’s fixed)

  115. @ eaglesfanalways says

    “No question, Green Bay is the better team. I really don’t see how playing keep-away from Rodgers will work; Dallas has no defense, and he will shred them every time he gets the ball.”

    Hmmmmm. An opinion is one thing. Facts are another. The fact is that the Dallas D sure showed up against Philly in their second meeting. You didn’t forget about that, did you? And allowing 18 points over their past 4 games (3 out of 4 of those teams with winning records) pretty much shoots your opinion out of the water. And we are talking about the same Dallas D that most thought would be the worst in the league. It must be decidedly inconvenient for you to hear this. But sometimes the truth hurts.

  116. todays top picks new england 31-14 / seattle 27-0 / and clemson plus 7 over pitt ! make lots of money today boyz

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