Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions

#4- Baltimore Ravens @ #1- Denver Broncos - Sat 12 Jan 13 - 4:30 PM ET - Four weeks ago these two teams met in Baltimore with playoff implications on the line. The game wasn't very close. Since then the Ravens saved themselves by beating up on the Giants, took a week off in Cincinnati, and thanks to a great second half they won an emotional game in the Wild Card round against the Colts. The Broncos on the other hand have essentially taken 3 weeks off since beating up on Baltimore as they ended the season with the Browns and Chiefs and thanks to some failures by the Patriots and Texans, they were rewarded with the #1 seed and a first round bye. In picking this game, it would be easy to say that the Broncos will win because they dominated the Ravens earlier, but I think that would be a mistake. The Ravens have picked up their game recently and as we saw last week with the Packers and Vikings, the revenge aspect often has a big play in the playoffs. You may think that I am building up to a Ravens upset prediction, but that actually isn't the case. I think the Ravens will put up a good fight and thus make it a closer game then people will be expecting, but I still think the Broncos will pull off the victory and thus end Ray Lewis's excellent career. Prediction: Broncos 24 - Ravens 21

#3- Green Bay Packers @ #2- San Francisco 49ers - Sat 12 Jan 13 - 8:00 PM ET - This game is a tough one to pick. The Packers haven't had their most impressive season in recent years, but you can never count them out in the playoffs. The 49ers have been a really good team this year and at times it seems like they are an easy Super Bowl contender. The problem with the 49ers is that they haven't been consistent. If you go check out their schedule, they haven't won more than two games in a row all season long. They have won games that make you think they are Super Bowl bound like I said and then the very next week they go out and perform like they don't even belong in the playoffs. The other thing with the 49ers is that Alex Smith got shafted. Now Collin Kaepernick is a great young player, but Alex Smith did nothing wrong this season except for getting hurt. When he was healthy, he should've been back as a starter but he wasn't. Had Alex Smith been given his rightful job back, I believe he has had the playoff experience from last year needed that could take this team to the Super Bowl. But instead he will be sitting on the bench watching the young and inexperienced Kaepernick fight the Packers and this is what I believe will cost the 49ers. I'm going to have to go with the experience of Aaron Rodgers over the Niners in this game and I think the Niners at the end of the day will be regretting the decision to bench Alex Smith. Prediction: Packers 38 - 49ers 28

#5- Seattle Seahawks @ #1- Atlanta Falcons - Sun 13 Jan 13 - 1:00 PM ET - The Falcons are one of the luckiest teams in the NFL right now. They are currently owners of the number one seed in the NFC  which means they got the first round bye and the homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs. However, this is not a title they really deserved but thanks to the scheduling gods, they got it. They are owners of the league's easiest schedule by far and the embarrassing thing about that is they struggled through about half of their games at least. They have lost 2 of their last 4 games, losses coming to the Panthers and Bucs, wins coming to the underachieving Lions and Giants. In comes Seattle on Sunday and they should be scared. If you follow me on facebook, you'll notice that I did talk about picking the Seahawks just to curse them. That was me joking around. I picked them against the Redskins because I felt they were the better team and I am going to do the same here. I feel that the Seahawks are a better team than the Falcons. I think the game will be close because of Atlanta's homefield advantage, but I do think the Seahawks are going to pull it off and punch their ticket to the Conference Championship game. Prediction: Seahawks 30 - Atlanta 27

#3- Houston Texans @ #2- New England Patriots - Sun 13 Jan 13 - 4:30 PM ET - Week 14 in the NFL saw the 9-3 Patriots hosting the 11-1 Texans. What everyone thought was going to happen was a high powered, entertaining game between two of the best teams in the NFL. What they got was the Patriots making a joke out of the Texans with a 42-14 win. The Texans have really been a mediocre team at best ever since and even dropped their choke hold they had on the top spot. I was rather entertained by some people's reactions after the Texans win last week. People were saying the Texans found their offense and were back. Did they watch the same game I did? Sure the Texans dominated offensively, but they couldn't score touchdowns to save their life and despite an awful performance by the whole Bengals offense, the Bengals were very much in the ballgame for the entire 60 minutes. Well the Texans are going to have a much tougher opponent than the Bengals this week. Bost Globe had an article saying the Patriots are the first team in the NFL to get two straight byes in the playoffs heading into the Conference Championship week. That has made the Texans mad and might get them motivated to play hard, but I just laugh at it because with the way the Texans have been playing, it's practically true. This game is going to be a massacre. Prediction: Patriots 45 - Texans - 20

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