NFL Divisional Playoffs

Photo courtesy of If San Francisco wants any chance against Drew Brees and the potent New Orleans offensive attack, NaVorro Bowman (pictured above) will have to bring his "A" game on Saturday.

By Josh Kramer

We have gone from 32 to 12 to 8.  By the end of this weekend, we will be at 4. Wild-Card weekend lived up to its name.  It was a weekend of “Wild Cards.”  Namely, Mr. Tim Tebow.  Enough time has been spent discussing Tebow as of late though.  How about the phenomenal play of Eli Manning and Drew Brees?  Perhaps Eli actually is an “elite” quarterback as he stated this summer?  A win at Lambeau on Sunday could do a lot to ensure that the Eli-haters stay at a minimum.  This is really the stage when the “Men” are separated from the “Boys.”  The Super Bowl is just around the corner, and not looking ahead is simply impossible.  Let’s focus on the present though.

Divisional Weekend:

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

The Word:  This is your classic “Offense” versus “Defense” matchup. If Vic Fangio (49ers D-Coordinator) can develop a scheme to slow down Drew Brees and the amazing Saints offense, he will be known as “Lord” Fangio by the entire country.

The Call: Saints 34 49ers 24

Reasoning:  This pick truly defies logic.  The New Orleans Saints are one of two teams in NFL history to lose of all of their road playoff games (Saints 0 and 4, Bengals 0 and 5).  In addition, the last five times that a top five offensive team has met a team that has had a top five defense in the playoffs, the team with the top defense has won.  Though San Francisco’s turnaround has been magnificent, and the future looks bright, the 49ers have not been to the playoffs in nine years.  Brees and the Saints are playing their best football at the right time (9 straight wins, 40 or more points in the past 4 games).  You can only slow the Brees train so much before you have to put up numbers on offense yourself.  I do not trust Alex Smith to put up 30.

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

The Word:  Tim Tebow versus Tom Brady Part Deux.  Will this highly anticipated “rematch” end up being as lackluster as the “Game of the Century Part Deux” was?

The Call:  Patriots 34 Broncos 17

Reasoning:  I was utterly shocked to see the Broncos beat the Steelers last weekend.  I am sure New England was excited though.  Nobody likes to look across the line and see guys like James Harrison and Troy Polamalu.  This game is in Foxborough.  Plus Denver got dismantled by these New England guys just a few weeks ago in Denver. The Patriots flat-out do not lose at home.  Tom Brady has not won a playoff game in four years.  And you better believe him and his teammates are hungry.  The clock  will strike “midnight” on “Tebow Time” come Saturday.

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

The Word:  This game may be as scary as a real Edgar Allen Poe poem for rookie T.J. Yates.

The Call:  Ravens 21 Texans 10

Reasoning:  Houston is about to embark on their 2nd playoff game ever and their first one on the road.  It just so happens their opponent is a Baltimore team that they are 0 and 5 against all-time (including a 29 to 14 loss in Week 6).  Plus,  M&T Stadium is not exactly the most hospitable venue for visitors.  Baltimore, and their scary good defense, are 8 and 0 at home this year.  It has been a heck of a run by Houston considering the injuries they have dealt with.  The run ends Sunday.  This Baltimore team is the only team that could knock off Brady and the lethal Patriots offense.

New York (Giants) at Green Bay Packers

The Word:  It is scary how similar this matchup is to the 2007 NFC Championship Game.  That may spell serious trouble for Aaron Rodgers and the defending champs.

The Call:  Packers 31 Giants 28

Reasoning:  This was the game that I debated the most this weekend.  I am well aware that the Packers have been the best team in football all year, dating back to their Super Bowl victory last February.  There is something unique about this Giants team though.  They really bring back memories of the team that took home Super Bowl XLII.  In the end though, Green Bay just has too many weapons and will prove too much for a Giants team that finally is clicking on all cylinders.  Besides, Aaron Rodgers is playing far better at this time than Brett Favre ever did. Do not sleep on Eli and the G-Men in 2012/2013 though.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


5 responses to “NFL Divisional Playoffs

  1. TSK:
    — When are you ever going to give number 15 his due? He leads a 1 -4 team to the playoffs, plays phenomenal against the number one defense in the NFL to win his first playoff game and you still treat it all as a fairytale?
    — Week after week you have criticized him saying his time will end soon and even went as far to project last week as his final start in the NFL. I will use your favorite word to tell you what you hate hearing: SADLY (for you), not only was last week not even his last start of the Broncos playoff run this season, number 15 will be behind center all of next season as well. Good luck to your beloved Bengals when they play him (since they could not even beat Kyle Orton this year).
    — He is never going to look like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers but being unconventional does not mean you cannot play football and win games. Number 15 is here to stay for the next decade. Get used to it.

    • Skip,
      We all know that you have been on the Tebow Bandwagon since day 1. What he has done is unbelievable. And I will never question his character. The whole “Tebow Mania” has me more confused than I have ever been in regards to sports. I just can’t see him taking down Brady in the playoffs. But I also did not see any way he could defeat the Steelers.

      So who knows what will happen.


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