NFL Picks & Pans: Divisional Playoff Round

While I went 3-1 last week in the Wild Card Round last weekend, the one game I picked wrong was the one game I was so happy to be incorrect on. The final view of the Pittsburgh Steelers looking shocked as they walked off the field, 29-23 losers to the Denver Broncos after the amazing first play of overtime was priceless and worth losing for.

Four games on the docket this weekend in the Divisional Round of the 2012 NFL post season and while I'll pick and pan the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Houston Texans on Sunday morning, here are the three games, two of them today and the other after the Ravens game later Sunday afternoon.

Saints over 49ers: I know a lot of people are picking, much less rooting for Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, to move onto the NFC Championship Game and a magical repeat match-up with the Ravens in the Super Har-Bowl,but that ain't happening, at least in my humble opinion. As good a defense as San Francisco has, and as tough as they are at home, combined with the less than explosive offense that New Orleans has on the road compared to under the dome at home, I still see Drew Brees putting up points with all the weapons he has and just cannot see Alex Smith keeping pace.

Patriots over Broncos: While I will be rooting once again for Denver QB Tim Tebow, the Lord's choice over the sinfully good Tom Brady, New England just has way too much offense for even a couple of angels overhead to swoop down and lift their favorite team to a victory. A AFC Championship Game in Baltimore sounds pretty darn good, but while I'd once again love to be wrong, this is a much different game than the one that saw such a great ending last week in Denver. The game is in Foxboro, where the Patriots are among the toughest to beat at home, and as poor as the Pats' defense has been, they are great at taking the ball away via interceptions. The miracle season for the "Orange Crush" ends here tonight.

Packers over Giants: I so want to pick New York in what would be considered a pretty huge upset, but picking a visiting team to win on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in January in the playoffs seems to be just too big of a hurdle to overcome. No matter how well the Giants played last week, they are now facing a much more explosive offense which can throw to at least five high-quality receivers that can break open games off the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers. New York has a balanced offense but at times this season they have played such polar opposite games that I just do not see them putting together two great games two weeks in a row under this type of pressure.

Last Week: 3-1

Season Record: 165-92

BONUS PICKS: Check out Beatdown contributor vlad755's predictions on the games and come back at 9am on Sunday to see his take on the Ravens-Texans game:

This weekend has a very good card for football games. You have the now surging Giants and #1 media market, playing the best football since their SuperBowl winning season and peaking, at arguably the best team in football’s place. Should be a great matchup, but I think Rodgers & Co. will prevail. You then have the irresistible force meets an immovable object game that will be N’Arlins at San Francisco. I really, really, really want to pick The Other Harbaugh in this one, but the Saints offense is about as perfect as Brooklyn Decker in a one size too small two-piece on a Panama City beach with a Frozen margarita machine and some Israel Kamakawiwoole tunes at sunset. So the big head has to trump the heart on this one and say Saints. And of course there will be the game to end all games, that which He’ith will become’ith The One And Only True qb… T-bow at some team that plays outside of Boston. This will block out all others… The interesting thing, let us say the Giants knock off the Packers, or at least make the Packers look real mortal by barely losing, and San Fran is able to slow down Brees and get past the Saints, and the Ravens put on a good, solid show and handily beat the Texans that nobody really notices outside of Baltimore and Houston; and probably doesn’t matter who wins in Foxboro because the headline will be either a) “Brady is BACK!” or b) T-bow Is. That is all it will say, and you would have to be living under a rock on Pluto to not hear about it. Which means our beloved Ravens could find themselves as being the best team in football that is completely flying under the radar and nobody knows about or is paying attention to. I like my chances against a suddenly mortal and/or flawed Packers as I believe only a hitting on all cylinders Packer team has the best chance of beating us, as even Brees & Co. on the turf at Indy, I think we can take ‘em; would relish Harbaugh Bowl II, would do cartwheels with the prospect of a rematch of SuperBowl XXXV, and I believe that we can go to Foxboro and bring yet another tear to Brady’s eye in the process. And don’t even suggest that T-bow, if by some “miracle” got past the Patriots, would come to Baltimore and… don’t even go there… no way he pulls out three in a row, not in Baltimore, not this year. If T-bow were to somehow make it to the SuperBowl, I think I would move to The Maldives, as that would probably be the only place on the planet I could get away from it…

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