NFL Picks - Divisional Round


Baltimore @ Denver

Peyton Manning is back in the playoffs, look out NFL! Or don't. Three of the last four times Manning has been in the playoffs he's lost his first game, with two of those losses coming at home. So perhaps the rest of the league shouldn't look out, they should look in. The secret to conquering Peyton can only be found within oneself. However, if the Ravens don't have time for self reflection they can just heed this advice: make him throw lots of interceptions. Like at least five, ten plus if possible. If that's not possible then Baltimore could struggle. The Ravens D looked strong last week against Indianapolis, but the Colts and the Broncos are completely different animals. Well, not really, they're both horses. But I think you get my point, and that point is that colts and broncos are actually two very similar animals while the Colts and Broncos are not. You're following this right? I think Denver will have enough firepower to handle Baltimore, even if it doesn't turn out to be as lopsided as when these teams met in Week 15.

Broncos 27-17

Green Bay @ San Francisco

It's a rematch of Week 1 when the 49ers prevailed in Green Bay. A lot has changed since then. For instance, I started using an exercise ball for all of my sitting situations and my core has responded in kind. But enough about my newly shredded physique and improved balance, these teams have come a long way too. The Packers have dealt with injuries all year but are finally rounding into form, much like their coach who rounded into form years ago and has stayed round ever since. Meanwhile, the Niners have a new starting quarterback who hasn't let the luster of his new spot on the depth chart give him a big head; I mean just look at that thing, his hat size is probably 6 & 1/4. But for however many ups and downs these squads may have gone through this season they find themselves right back where they started. I see this one being closer than their first meeting, in fact, it will be closer than any playoff game ever, or at least tie for that honor.

49ers 24-23


Seattle @ Atlanta

Matt Ryan has had a solid career so far. In his five seasons the Falcons have amassed a 56-24 record while he's thrown for nearly 19,000 yards and 127 touchdowns. There's no debating that those are solid numbers. Still, Russell Wilson has one more playoff win than he does. Ryan and the rest of the Falcons will have the weight of their past playoff failures on their shoulders Sunday, meaning that the Hawks won't need Chris Clemons to put pressure on the QB, the city of Atlanta will already be doing that. The loss of Clemons thrusts Bruce Irvin into the spotlight, which is fine because a spotlight and a searchlight are very similar, and the rookie pass rusher has some experience with the latter. A big performance from Irvin would be a bonus for the Seahawks, but the real key to the game, is their backfields, both offensive and defensive. A shutdown performance from the secondary coupled with a stampede from Russell and the Beast will propel the Hawks.

Seahawks 28-20

Houston @ New England

The Texans have become very bland. At this point everybody would appreciate it if they just left quietly, which I'm guessing is the same way everybody whose ever hung out with Matt Schaub feels. Seriously, look at this dork. It's an interesting juxtaposition with Tom Brady as his counterpart in this contest, because, as well know, Brady is the coolest guy ever. It's well documented (in several books) that the Patriots crushed the Texans 42-14 in Week 14. I expect Houston to put up a better effort in this one, I mean, with this guy rallying the troops how could they not lay it all on the line? However, even a much better effort still wouldn't be enough.

Patriots 31-21

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