Saturday, January 15, 2011

NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend - Saturday Games

Through the regular season, Ryan and I had made picks on all the games on the slate. The NFL playoffs are now here and we aim to bring about more insight and thoughts about each game. Last week, we each went 2-2. Here, we present the picks for the NFL's Divisional Round. As always, you are free to place your picks in the comment thread. Enjoy! -- J.L

Heinz Field
4:30 PM
CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf

Ryan’s Take: This is going to be a hard hitting slugfest between 2 hated division rivals. These 2 teams hate each other, literally. Baltimore has a lot to offer on offense, but hasn’t had much a lot of success this year. Joe Flacco has been a good quarterback this year, but it seems they tried to put too much pressure on him to carry the offense. If the Ravens are going to win this game, they will need Ray Rice to have a big game. The defense will also have to have a big game, but I don’t believe in those corners against the Steelers wideouts. The Steelers offense will need to have an efficient game. Ben Roethlisberger will have rely on Rashard Mendenhall to help control the pass rush, but in the end the Steelers defense will win this game for them.

Pittsburgh 24, Baltimore 17

Josh’s Take: Seems as if every time these two teams get together, it’s a close game. This matchup will be no exception. The Ravens’ defense played very well against Kansas City, but the Steelers are a much different animal. Ben Roethlisberger seems to be able to pull himself out of trouble whenever he is surrounded and the fact that the Baltimore corners will have a struggle against the Pittsburgh receiving corps will spell the ultimate doom for the Ravens. I must say, I don’t really want either of these teams winning – outside the other NFC East teams, if there were ever a game that was like being confronted with your choice of STDs, this game is it. So which one is it? Syphillis (Baltimore) or Herpes (Pittsburgh)?

Herpes 21, Syphillis 16

Georgia Dome
8 PM
FOX - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

Ryan’s Take: This game will be the game that decides the NFC champion, methinks. This is an interesting game, Atlanta has the best record in the NFC, while Green Bay is the most talented team in the NFC, methinks. If the Pack can run the ball, this will really swing the game in their favor. They have the best defense in the NFL and it will help shut down Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense.

Green Bay 31, Atlanta 21

Josh’s Take: This guy Starks that the Packers all of a sudden decided to unleash just in time to gash the Eagles last week…

I know. I know, I’ll stop being bitter.

Anyway, I had thought Atlanta was going to be the NFC’s rep in the Super Bowl as recently as a few weeks ago. Then the Monday night game against New Orleans happened. Mike Smith turned into Andy Reid, and now I believe the Falcons are doomed. The Packers are peaking, and while they demonstrated a weakness last week in letting the Eagles hang around, the defense once again will slam the door on another home team and become yet another sixth seed playing for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

Green Bay 28, Atlanta 24

Check back tomorrow around noon for the picks to the Sunday games. -- J.L.

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