Man in Dailymotion: NFL Divisional Playoff Round 2013
Last week, I ran the table with my predictions, going 4-0 with my picks. Reggie Wayne was miffed about Ray Lewis’ post-game dance, Mike Shanahan came under fire for keeping RG3 in the game after re-injuring his knee, the Vikings actually missed Christian Ponder’s mediocre play, and Jermaine Gresham completely screwed my playoff fantasy team points total.
This week, we’ve got some awesome matchups. Can the Falcons contain Beast Mode? Will Colin Kaepernick best Aaron Rodgers? Do the Texans have any shot of beating Brady on his home turf? Can Ray Lewis carry Baltimore’s D to another win and ruin Peyton Manning’s MVP year? Should be much more fun and exciting than the Wild Card round.
Here’s my breakdown of the Divisional Round along with predictions and some ‘visual aid’ of each host city’s tailgate scene thanks to Tailgate 32 (a docu series following 2 brothers as they tour the country in a 42-foot RV on a 25,000-mile nonstop trek). Pre-game like a champion.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12TH
BALTIMORE - The team got a much needed emotional boost from Ray Lewis in his final home game ever, but can they continue that momentum in Denver? Anquan Boldin broke out big time last week but B-more will need all of its offensive weapons to step up in order to come out victorious. The key is to get Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce a lot of touches and utilize Dennis Pitta / Ed Dickson.
DENVER - Peyton’s comeback story will feel incomplete with an early exit from the postseason and if history is any indicator #18 could be watching next week’s championship from his couch. That is, he doesn’t play well in cold weather especially in the playoffs. Still, Denver’s cruising and connecting – I don’t see them collapsing in such a crucial contest. How’s that for alliteration?
PREDICTION: DEN – 32, BAL – 14
GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers really knows how to spread the love, throwing to 10 different receivers in Green Bay’s dominant win over Minnesota. That would result in serious bonus points in Madden. The Pack lost to San Fran early on in the season, but this is a different Niners squad on the offensive side of the ball. Will Clay Matthews and crew be able to stop the pistol?
SAN FRAN - Defensively, San Fran’s solid and they should be getting DE Justin Smith back. If they can disrupt Aaron’s timing and keep him from moving around in the pocket and making plays, they should be in control.
PREDICTION: SF – 24, GB – 20
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13TH
SEATTLE - The Seahawks are on fire and showed poise last week after getting down early to Washington. Russel Wilson continues to impress and with Marshawn Lynch reportedly over his sprained foot, the offense should be clicking. The key for Seattle is to shut down Julio Jones and Roddy White.
ATLANTA - It’s time for Matt Ryan to prove his prowess and take the next step in his already impressive career. He’ll be up against the toughest defense in the league but they’ll be without Pro Bowl D-end Chris Clemons, which means the pass rush won’t be as intense. That could lead to guys getting open late. This has upset written all over it.
PREDICTION: SEA – 24, ATL – 23
HOUSTON - The Texans shook off the criticism and bad vibes surrounding their lackluster regular season finish and put on an admirable showing against Cincy. Then again, no one thought the Bengals had any real shot at going the distance and many believe they self-destructed towards the end of the game. Houston got smoked in their first matchup against New England and if Arian Foster doesn’t get a whole lotta touches, this game could be over quick.
NEW ENGLAND - If the Pats lose this game, it’ll be because either A) Tom Brady gets beat up and knocked around thanks to JJ Watt and Co. or B) New England’s D can’t get off the field. I don’t see either of those scenarios playing out.
PREDICTION: NE – 35, HOU – 13
WRITTEN BY: Neal – our Editor & Content Manager of the Sports Channel.
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