So, now that some of us have caught our breath back from Tebow time, and I contiue to glow in my 4/4 predictions, we move to the divisional round.
NEW ORLEANS @ SAN FRANCISCO
This one is certainly the most difficult to predict, that doesn't involve Tim Tebow, as it involves the two perhaps best matched teams in the playoffs. So many things to consider: Can the Saints protect Drew Brees like they did against the Lions against one of the best front seven D's in the league? Can the secondary deal with the numerous Saints weapons? Will the Saints remember that the Niners have a terrible Quarterback when everyone else seems to have forgotton this year? Will Gore, Crabtree and Davis have to go even further to compensate this? Can the Niners compete in a shoot-out? Can the Saints win away from home, outside a dome, in the playoffs?
This should be a thriller if all these things come into play, I hope the Niners can ride them all the way, but I have to say, the Saints look incredible right now (and I want the re-match with the Packers) so I'm going Saints by 4-5.
DENVER @ NEW ENGLAND
I mean what is left to say? This should be a walk in the park for the Patriots, they have one of the best offenses in the league, the best quarterback in the AFC, are playing at home, and have beaten Denver pretty comfortably away from home a couple weeks ago. But then, Pittsburgh should have won, New York should have won, San Diego should have won, Denver shouldn't even be in the playoffs, let alone the quarter-finals. The magic of Tebow has throughly been sprinkled. And New England's D sucks. And New England has lost the last two Divisional round games when tipped heavily as favourites at home against the Jets & Baltimore. I did say last week that there was only one more Tebow-time left, and I am still going to go with the Patriots (because come on, they don't have as many injuries or inconsistencies as Pittsburgh had and its Brady vs. Tebow) but I do think Tebow will play like he did last week, and as long as that happens, they are in with a chance. I really, really hope I'm wrong (partly because it means Baltimore would get a home game if we're through) but I am going to have to New England by 4-5
HOUSTON @ BALTIMORE
This should, hopefully, be the most straight-forward of the weekend. The entire NFL analysts unanimously believe this will be a Baltimore win: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d825ed9f2/article/analyst-predictions-divisional-round?module=HP11_hot_topics and here is why. We just don't lose at home. Flacco always wins a playoff game. We've beaten Houston already when they had their first-choice QB, and despite third-stringer T.J Yates's best efforts, he hasn't beaten anyone decent yet. Andre Johnson was quiet last week, but he is their best chance. We kept Arian Foster quiet last time whereas they didn't really have an answer on Ray Rice. I know we're inconsistent and Houston have been impressive, but I just don't see us losing this one, though it will be close. By 4-5.
NEW YORK @ GREEN BAY
If this is anything like their regular season match, this should be another cracker. New York have been highly impressive in the last couple of weeks, and would have dealt Green Bay's first defeat of the year had Aaron Rodgers gone Beast Mode with only 55 seconds left on the clock. This time we're at Lambeau which is a far more difficult place to play (and Greg Jennings is back) but the Giants have been decent on the road. Like the New Orleans and New England games, I just feel Green Bay/Rodgers will have a tiny bit too much for New York, but it should be a very exciting, close and probably pretty high scoring too.
LET'S DO DIS