Saturday, January 15, 2011

NFL Saturday Preview - Predictions Divisional Round

Reader Infotainme has the following picks........

Ravens 16 - 13. Blood everywhere. No matter who wins, the question is who will be able to play next week after the beating these two give each other.

Packers 27 - 20. More because I hope that's what happens. But I think the Pack's defense is a little under-rated. Force a few field goals instead of touchdowns.

Original Post: Last week, my prognostication efforts at picking NFL games was nothing to write home abut. The only game I got right was the Baltimore KC game. "No one in their right mind", as fellow football handicapper and reader "Infotainme" said, would have picked the Seahawks to beat the Saints and all can say is what an upset.

On to this weekend's Saturday NFL games:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday 4:30 PM

This game is the hardest to predict as both teams will be able to stop the run in all likelihood. the Steelers do have an advantage at QB in Ben Roethlisberger but I think the Ravens will pull this one out in a good old fashion slug fest 19-16 with 4 field goals from the foo of Billy Cundiff. The veteran leadership in the Raven's defense will mitigate the explosiveness of the Steeler's in terms of the Steelers scoring touchdowns. This will be the difference.

My Prediction: Ravens 19 Steelers 16

Green By Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons Saturday 8:00M PM

Aaron Rogers is on a roll and the Packers showed that they can actually run the ball after all. Rookie James Starks last week carried the ball for over 100 yards and gave the Packers a rushing attack that they have not really had all season. The question is, can they show that balance between run and pass do it again?

The Falcons have gone under the radar most of the season but they are the top seed in the NFC and perhaps the most balanced team in the league. Plus they are at home and QB Matt Ryan is 20-2 in home games in his career.

The Atlanta defense is solid but not great and some experts consider the running game of smash mouth running back Micheal Turner to be in decline. I like the combination of Ryan to Atlanta WR Roddy White who had an All-Pro year at the position. Despite some of my concerns over Atlanta as the number one NFC seed I feel the Falcons will pull this out and only because they are at home. I do this with some reservation because Greenbay QB Aaron Rogers is so hot right now.

My Prediction: Falcons 27 Packers 24