Friday, January 11, 2013

NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend

Last week I covered the NFL Wild Card weekend going 4 for 4 and bringing up several scenarios that would forever be sketched in the minds of fans and NFL writers. Pointing to the emotional ride in Baltimore of Ray Lewis's last game to the ultimate physical destruction of Robert Griffin III in Washington D.C. Twitter follower @TheEsquireof212 in New York asked which NFL teams would cover the lines. Suggestion Seattle Seahawks -3 over the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens - 7 against the Indianapolis Colts that turned out great right Michael?

Now we enter the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs great story lines are endless this weekend as  Ray Lewis brings leads the Ravens into Mile High (great name for a stadium especially in Denver) to square off with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The offensive minded Green Bay Packers will try to strike a match at Candlestick Park against the feared defense of the San Francisco 49ers. While the Houston Texans look to revenge a 42-14 loss on December 10th to the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. Last but not least Rookie of the Year candidate Russell Wilson brings the spirit of the Seattle Seahawks 12thMan over 3,000 miles into the Georgia Dome facing high explosive offense of Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos Jan 12th 4:30 pm EST (CBS)

Coming into Denver the Baltimore Ravens are playing for their leader and head General Ray Lewis and a chance at the AFC Championship. While the Denver Broncos offense and defense are playing at an elite level. Most sports writers are going to gloat over seeing the Ravens defense face off against Peyton Manning's Broncos offense but the real story is the Denver Broncos third rated defense. The same defense that carried Tim Tebow and his anemic offense to the AFC Divisional playoffs last season. They say Ray Lewis, I say Von Miller, they say Ed Reed I say Champ Bailey, they say Ravens defense I say Broncos defense. I am sure you get the point Peyton Manning is playing with the third best defense in the NFL best defense in the AFC. Broncos offense has scored over 30pts eleven times this season. During the regular season the Ravens have given up 23pts eight times losing six out of eight.

Prediction: Broncos score over 23pts and Willis McGahee will be available for the AFC Championship.

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers Jan 12th 8:00 pm EST (FOX)

Perfect NFL classic match up 49ers and Packers at Candlestick doesn't get any better than seeing two historic franchises do battle in the playoffs. We can sit here and count championships on both sides but none of this matters on Saturday when Aaron Rodgers squares off against the vaulted 49ers defense and a healthy Justin Smith returning from injury. While the 49ers will enjoy home field advantage on Saturday, Rodgers is no stranger to playoff games on the road winner of three road playoff games and two road victories away from the all time record for Quarterbacks. Still the Packers offensive line has been a house of horrors plainly said "the Packers offensive line is terrible". Rodgers was sacked an NFL high 51 times during the regular season. Aldon Smith and the 49ers defensive front seven will be ready and well prepared to manhandle the Packers up front. Yes, Kaepernick is young his never played in the postseason "blah, blah" but he will be in front of 70,000 of his closes friends at the Stick.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers will keep the defense hunting all day forcing Aaron Rodgers to launch awkward and untimely passes down the field  while the "Smith Brothers" will be eager to clean house.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons Jan 13th 1:00pm EST (FOX)

Game of the week two perfectly good teams with contrasting styles squaring off at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta Falcons are a very finesse pass first team with multiple weapons controlled by one of the great young QB's in the NFL Matt Ryan. Seattle Seahawks are a brutal run heavy offense led by Rookie of the year candidate Russell Wilson and Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch. Falcons defense is very opportunistic with a ball hawking secondary with a very vanilla type NFL front. Seahawks are big up front, fast in the middle and HUGE in the secondary built on power and speed they posses the number one scoring defense in the NFL. Unfortunately many take this view of comparing offense against offense and defense versus defense this is the wrong approach. This is not Matt Ryan versus Russell Wilson, this is Ryan versus Sherman, Browner and the Legion of Boom. Tony Gonzalez and Jacquizz Rogers play will be the best measure of Falcons success in the NFC Divisional playoffs. Seahawks young linebackers KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner must challenge Gonzalez. On the other end Falcons must attack Marshawn Lynch and wrap up at the point of contact while keeping Russell Wilson in the pocket.

Prediction: One of the best playoff games in recent memory Matt Ryan will have the ball for the last drive seeking a game winning career defining touchdown against the leagues best defense... keyword "seeking"

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Jan 13th 4:30pm EST (CBS)

Based on the 42-14 thumping the Patriots handed the Texans in week 14 at Gillette Stadium many are predicting another double digit blowout. Silly Rabbits Trix are for Kids, Texans and Patriots match up really well despite the week 14 debacle Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster are real top 5 players at their positions. Texans defense is very underrated but can they handle Tom Brady?
Facts: Brady is (16-6) in the NFL playoffs a win over the Texans moves Brady over Joe Montana on the all time win list for QB's.Brady undefeated in the playoffs when attempting over 30 passes in a playoff game. Patriots running back Stevan Ridley finished the season with 1,230 rushing yards. Gronkowski is finally healthy. Last main point Brady has finally found chemistry with Brandon Lloyd and the Patriots 2013 team might be better than 2012.

Prediction: Texans will not lose 42-14 expect a closer match up on Sunday still Patriots offense is too much for the Texans to keep up shoot out???

Follow us on Twitter @JMCSPORTSBOOK or feel free to leave a comment below
Twitter link:!/JMCSPORTSBOOK 

Also listen to Clenaure Carter U.S. Sports Correspondent on Israel Sports Radio      

Also check out Pro Sports Lives (Atlanta GA 1190AM) at every Saturday 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST....

No comments: