Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Divisional Round Preview

Time for the Sunday games, after the predictable Pats blowout of Tebow and the Broncos and the epic finish in San Francisco. That game was amazing yesterday; one which I wanted to last forever. The best football games are the ones which teams trade scores at some point. And for all the Niners fans, now you know that Alex Smith is capable to win a big game. Can he win the Super Bowl? Well, let's see how the playoffs play out if he needs to go to Lambeau and/or have to face the Patriots or the Ravens/Texans. Perfect segue to my picks today.

Houston at Baltimore

Of all the weekend's games, this is the one which lacks juice. It's easy to see once you realize the starting QB's are T.J. Yates and Joe Flacco. Of all the other games, the only QB that gives you a meh feeling is Alex Smith, but it was great offense vs great defense and Smith rose to the occasion when it mattered most. Shame is, this game is the one with the two best running backs left with Arian Foster and Ray Rice; yet the defenses here are so good, the quarterbacks will decide this one. Too bad for Houston, they have the rookie QB on the road unlike last week when Andy Dalton was the rookie on the road. Plus, they lost to the Ravens pretty handily back in October when Matt Schaub was healthy. The only argument I can see for the Texans is that their defense shuts down Baltimore, Flacco plays horrible and Andre Johnson (who didn't play the earlier game) makes a couple plays. I just don't see it. Ravens win 20-3.

N.Y. Giants at Green Bay

Walking out of MetLife Stadium after last week's dominating win over the Falcons, the fans seemed to believe that this is 2007 all over again; quick start, bad losses to bad teams, admirable performance losing at home to unbeaten power 38-35, pass rush starts to dominate line as Eli Manning throws the Giants to wins. Now, the Giants have their chance to win the rematch against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Difference to this game than the Super Bowl; Green Bay's no longer unbeaten and they are home for the game. Giants, in my eyes though, are better considering the WR's are better, Jason Pierre-Paul more than makes up for Michael Strahan and we go into this knowing Eli Manning can win big games, not just hoping he would. Avoiding turnovers are extremely necessary in order to win this game, since you can't Rodgers a short field while losing chances to score (which the Giants need to do). Someone's going to screw up this weekend among the heavily favored home teams. It wasn't the Pats, I don't think it's the Ravens, so it must be the Packers. Giants with the upset 34-30.

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