Give me your playoff picks in the comment section below!
All of the sizzle this weekend is in the AFC.
The Packers and Falcons will be interesting. Two good quarterbacks will face two stout defenses in Atlanta. The Falcons have the home field but the Packers are hot. That is definitely must-see TV at 8:00 on Saturday night.
And the Seahawks visiting Chicago has some potential to be interesting. You have to like Matt Hasselbeck's playoff experience. Watching Jay Cutler can be like watching a drunk walking through traffic on a busy street--you never know when disaster is going to happen. But, unfortunately, it looks like the weather is not going to cooperate. The forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 22 degrees, and light winds. There will be none of the lake effect snow or howling winds that had the potential to add a great deal of entertainment value to a pedestrian matchup.
But the AFC is a different story. We have the Jets players and head coach taking verbal shots at Tom Brady. Terrell Suggs of the Ravens gave Pittsburgh a middle-finger salute via a T-shirt. Two pairs of division rivals who just plain don't like each other. Those games, Ravens vs. Steelers at 4:30 on Saturday and Jets-Patriots at 4:30 on Sunday, are the marquee matchups of the weekend.
My picks last week were anything but likable as I went 1-3 in the Wild Card round. But if being wrong stopped me, I would have quit making game prediction years ago. Here we go with my picks for this weekend's game.
Ravens 20, Steelers 17--There is potential for snow in Pittsburgh which will make this grudge match even more fun to watch. The teams split two close games this season, each winning on the others' home field. Jim Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have been road warriors in the playoffs, going 4-2 in the playoffs over the past three seasons with all of the games being on the road. While it's tough to run on the Steelers, I think that the Ravens will maintain enough of a running threat to move the ball and pull off the upset.
Packers 17, Falcons 10--This upset is being picked so often that it has become chalk. I like the Packers defense to come up big again and for Green Bay to get an early lead to quiet the crowd. I'm a big Matt Ryan fan but it's Aaron Rodgers' time.
Bears 14, Seahawks 10--The Bears are a flawed team but the Seahawks had a losing record in one of the weakest divisions in the history of the NFL. Kudos to Seattle for gaining some respect last week by beating the Saints but that was the end of the line.
Patriots 31, Jets 10--It will be a little closer than the 45-3 pasting that New England delivered to the Jets five weeks ago, but, in reality, not much more competitive. A battle of wits between Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan is a total mismatch as is Brady vs. Mark Sanchez. (Note to Jets: When Reggie Jackson and Joe Namath think you should tone down the trash talking