Probably the best weekend of the season for equal quality and quantity of games. The Elite Eight remains...
Ravens @ Patriots
The Ravens seem to have become the trendy underdogs of the playoffs, with the national media finally taking notice of Joe Cool's best season yet, the imposing zone running game and of the best front sevens in the league. The large roster turnover negates any talk about Baltimore's strong playoff resume in Foxborough, and Flacco's playoff performance is slightly over-exaggerated. Expect a lot of bunch formations and crossers to combat the Patriots man coverages, and for pass interference machine Brandon Browner to steer clear from Torrey Smith. On the other side of the ball, Baltimore's weakness is defending the deep ball, something Brady has never hugely excelled at. The obvious key is stopping Gronk; expect lots of bumping at the line and manning up with Will Hill, similar to how Jimmy Graham was stymied earlier in the season. I think the points spread is far too high and it'll be close but the Patriots are as dominant and balanced as I've seen them in a while.
Panthers @ Seahawks
The one dud of the weekend. The Panthers gameplan is thus: bottle up Russell Wilson's option keepers, be bold on 4th down, execute almost flawlessly and somehow manage to manufacture a successful passing offense with Kelvin Benjamin and a load of flotsam.
Cowboys @ Packers
Don't fret over Rodgers; he can still wreak havoc while glued to the pocket, and the bigger concern is him re-aggravating the injury ahead of a potential showdown with Seattle. They should have no trouble scoring on a depleted defense that has somehow managed to avoid getting consistently exposed this season. The only worry is how the Packers average run defense holds up against the Might of Murray. This should be a game of long, methodical drives, and one that Green Bay should win.
Colts @ Broncos
Bill Barnwell did a good job earlier of pouring cold water over the talk that Peyton Manning and the Broncos have nosedived towards the end of season - http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nfl-divisional-playoffs-cowboys-packers-broncos-colts/. They're playing a very average Colts team, one that cannot run the ball, cannot generate a pass rush without significant blitzing (a no-no against Manning) and have a D that is superb on deep passes but poor in the short areas, where Manning thrives with his shallow crossers, WR screens and pick plays. Andrew Luck can only do so much by himself....