As always, home team in CAPS.
Denver 9 Baltimore
The temperature is supposed to be 25 degrees in Denver on Saturday, and I am hearing many people saying the Ravens are going to win this game. Of course, that is coming from Patriots fans, who clearly want a possible New England home game next week. It isn't going to happen. Sure the Ravens are playing better lately, but the Broncos were the best team in the AFC for the last half of the season. The Broncos got some rest, Peyton Manning is ready, and unfortnately Ray Lewis' great career will end here.
SAN FRANCISCO 3 1/2 Green Bay
Some are saying the 49ers are the best team in the NFC. They could be. But the best team doesn't always win. I have a feeling that the Packers are going to stay hot in the post season. Their defense isn't great, but it is enough considering Aaron Rogers is on the offensive side of the ball, with three really good receivers to go with him. I like Colin Kaepernick, but I am not sure he is good enough to get it done here. This is his first playoff game, and it will also be his last this year. I am picking the Packers in a mild upset.
ATLANTA 2 1/2 Seattle
The Seahaws are everybody's darlings, and deservedly so. Many are also picking them to win here, some easily. Not me. I like Seattle, but last week they beat Washington with a quarterback playing on one leg. The Falcons are the NFC's number one seed, and they need to act like it. They got embarassed in the playoffs last year, and if they lose at home to the number five seed after a bye week, they will be run out of town. Atlanta MUST win this game, and Matt Ryan needs to show that he is an elite quarterback. He also MUST win, or he will have the reputation of being a loser in the playoffs. Seattle is hot right now. I think the Falcons will cool them off. For their sake, they better.
NEW ENGLAND 9 1/2 Houston
Well the Patriots destroyed the Texans a month ago, so they are going to do it again. Not so fast. It is very difficult for a team to beat another twice in one season, and this is no exception. The Patriots are healthier than last time, but so is Houston. The weather is going to be fine, so the Patriots have no advantage there. Houston is better than they played the last time, and they are very capable of winning this game. They have motivation and confidence. But that doesn't mean they are going to win. I have heard some calling a blowout, but many saying it will be a pretty close game. Houston can win, or the Patriots could totally dominate. I think it is somewhere in between. I think New England wins the game, but Houston will keep it pretty close.
Record For Last Week: 4-0 ( 4-0 without the spread ). The opening paragraph states this very clearly.
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:
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